If there’s one question I’m asked more often than any other, it’s this:
Is SEO likely to change?
The answer if almost always the same:
Yes and no.
You see, SEO is an industry that revolves around stats. We can discover how many searches a certain keyword gets every month and if we reach page one, we know roughly what % of clicks we’ll get depending on our ranking position.
Thanks to all this data, everything seems quite neat and orderly, doesn’t it?
So it’s ironic that we should always question the actual process of getting to page one.
Perhaps it’s understandable. None of us work for Google. None of us can guarantee results.
As humans, hating uncertainty is in our nature.
However, perhaps we’re worrying unnecessarily.
There are many types of marketing out there. They all carry an element of risk. No one knows what ROI they’ll earn on any campaign and with any particular strategy.
And actually, best SEO practice is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Why should it?
Google’s algorithm is working well. It’s returning good, relevant results. Now, obviously they’re likely to tweak things here and there, so you can expect a bump or two every now and again.
But basically, all the major changes have already happened. Therefore, if you have a solid SEO strategy, not much will change next year.
That said, what does a good SEO strategy look like in 2017?
Well, it should be honest, authentic and consistent.
It’s important to remember that Google is a business – and a very successful one at that. On average, we make 40,000 search queries every second.
That amounts to 3.5billion searches every day and 1.2trillion searches each year.
Those searches help prop up the PPC side of their brand. And basically, if Google doesn’t return the most relevant and useful web pages for searches, people will go elsewhere and use another search engine.
That could be Bing, Yahoo or whatever. It might seem unthinkable, but you would… eventually.
We use Google to help us answer questions. If it can’t be relied upon, you wouldn’t use it. Pretty simple, right?
What does this mean for SEO?
This adds more context to the SEO scene. It explains why Google will penalize websites who don’t adhere to their rules and who try to cheat the system.
But it also shows that the rewards will come if you do SEO right.
Google wants to return web pages that are valuable to users. If you can create content with value, then you’ve immediately increased your chances of hitting page one.
And we all know that when it’s deciding what to rank where, Google is also on the hunt for authority. So if you can gather links, social proof and engagement, then that will also stand you in good stead.
Ultimately, SEO in 2017 will be very similar to SEO in 2016. If you use your common sense and create content that’s a good fit for a targeted keyword, then you’ll do just fine.