SEO strategies for 2011

A typical search engine results page
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The year 2010 has seen some significant changes that really influence SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies in 2011 and further. As search engines try to beat SEO professionals with their ever-changing algorithms, SEO professionals are equally enthusiastic about chasing search engines to find out what really matters for search engine rankings. Why do search engines shun SEO professionals? One explanation is that search engines do not get a pie of SEO market, while they still have to consider work done by SEO professionals while computing search rankings. Anyway, that is a different story. Now, let us look into changes that happened in 2010.

Bing now powers yahoo search: With close to 30% market share in the search engine market, a little extra optimization for Bing has now a potential to bring significant number of visitors to website. Now the natural search traffic has only two major players, Google and Yahoo+Bing as against three earlier. Therefore, it pays to do search engine optimization for Bing also. What SEO professionals can hope for is that Bing will not snub SEO fraternity as frequently as Google does.

Google Instant: AJAX has changed the way web works. With Google, implementing AJAX enabled search, Search engine results change as you type your search query letter by letter. How it affects SEO is still a debate among SEO professionals. However, everyone agrees that it does affect SEO. The user might stop a typing query midway after he sees what he is looking for or he may quickly scan through dynamic search result pages to refine his search query. There is no doubt that top websites for competitive keywords get more exposure compared to web pages optimized for long tail keywords. A top ranking website for ‘food’ gets exposure for all search queries starting with word ‘food’. For example, ‘food restaurant’, food court’, ‘food restaurant in Alabama’ etc. Earlier search results used to appear only after hitting the search button. Now they are dynamic. Websites optimized for competitive keywords get even more exposure. Therefore, it is evident that Google Instant would affect the way SEO is done. However, there is no measured information yet on this factor.

Social Media Explosion: Facebook is giving a tough fight for search major in terms of traffic and users. Often referred to as social media marketing, the optimization part is still there. Search engines are including results from social media activity. You can get better results if you did some basic SEO with all your social media activity. Social media offer an excellent opportunity for content distribution. One can get better results from posting search engine optimized content for distribution. Remember that many social media sites extract meta tags from submitted web pages. Each major social network requires different SEO strategies depending on the type of network.

SEO strategies may change as the web evolves. However, SEO will remain an effective method of website promotion for the next few years. The love-hate relation between search engine algorithms and SEO strategies will continue to result in more photo finishes. It is now accepted that every website needs basic SEO to be done manually to make it search engine friendly, webmasters really need not lose sleep over SEO strategies. Every webmaster need to understand that search engines only like what visitors like. SEO should be a part of your overall web strategy. A well-optimized, informative content and quality backlinks remains the core of SEO activity apart from the three factors discussed above. So, brace up for 2011.

  • Why the Internet Needs SEO (davidnaylor.co.uk)
  • Common Myths about SEO to Watch Out For (pctechmojo.com)
  • Chief Mentor: SEO Strategies for Startups (blogs.wsj.com)
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