Search Engine Ranking: The more things change, the more they stay the same

Emily Gray-Fow, 8th February 2016

Over the last few months the major players (Google and Bing) have announced some big changes to how they calculate a site’s search engine ranking. At the same time 2015 saw Facebook moving towards increasingly tailored news feeds, with a focus on user interaction. Another important development is the importance of the growing mobile device market.

With over 50% of Google Searches now coming from mobile devices it’s more important than ever to consistently produce content which works for desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones alike. This means having a mobile-friendly website is an absolute must in 2016; and it needs to provide consumers with content that is easily digestible on smaller screens, accessible whilst on the go.

Another important trend is the push towards weeding out ‘grey hat’ and ‘black hat’ SEO techniques. Expect things to get harder in 2016 for those who try to cheat the system – search engines now use some of the most advanced content filtering technology in the world. Both Google and Bing now clearly spell out what they are looking for: well laid out and relevant content that shows no signs of paid linking, keyword stuffing or plagiarism.

The other main trend that is likely to remain with us is localisation (targeting search results based on location); one of the main methods search providers use to give consumers relevant information. This means that using locally relevant content is a good way to boost your local search scores and improve your search rankings.

All-importantly your content needs to be engaging and valid for your clients. Technical SEO techniques such as link building, landing pages and keyword analysis can’t yield good results in the way it once did.

Having good, reliable writers, up to date knowledge, and a coherent marketing plan is more important than ever in 2016. My upcoming blogs will cover SEO news, content marketing, user experience, and more.