How SEO Will Change and Develop in 2012

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In January I always look forward to reading the New Year SEO predictions for what will change in the field of SEO in the coming year. Some predictions are clearly hopeful and some “predictions” are really just stating the obvious. I particularly like reading Rand Fishkin’s predictions (from SEOMoz) because he is refreshingly honest about how accurate his predictions were for the previous year (the success of which he rates on a simple plus/minus scale).

New Year predictions for 2012 from Fishkin and others included, not surprisingly, the increase in the effect of Google+ and the +1 button on search rankings as more and more people start to use Google+ and give their votes to sites by click on the +1 buttons across the web. And, although Twitter is still an effective social media marketing tool, it no longer provides a specific SEO benefit because Google no longer has access to its data.

Personally I will be starting to move towards a greater range of partial keyword matches in my anchor text (rather than predominantly exact keyword anchor-text matches). Most of us have been aware for at least a year that a range of anchor-text keywords is necessary for good SEO but with the emphasis on a majority of exact matches – that could be set to change.

Also on the link front, the relevancy of the page with the link(s) has been known to be important but in addition to page relevancy I will be looking at the general on-page SEO factors (title tags, img alt tags, H1 headers etc) and incorporating them whenever possible. Basically all the important on-page SEO factors that you aim for on your own web pages you also want on the pages where your links come from so look out for more articles from me with images included.

What this all boils down to (still) is providing good quality content, both on your own site and in any articles that link back to your site. There is no need to try and manipulate the search engine results if you simply provide what the visitor wants – good, useful information, because this is what Google also wants and what will take your website to the top of the search engine rankings.

Oh, and that “to do” item of getting more videos done really should get moved to the top of your list as Google starts to put more emphasis on the variety of content on a site.

One of the hopeful predictions I’ve read is that Google really will start to penalise those websites with links from clearly dodgy sites. Let’s just hope all the search engines finally get tough on the manipulative link sites that still seem to be positively influencing search rankings.

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