SEO Trends - What 2011 Holds for Us?
With 2010 nearing an end, we are all looking ahead optimistically towards 2011. In the world of web technology, we have not witnessed any major upheaval this year. Being an ardent web surfer and a webmaster it's all but natural for me to become curious about what holds for us in 2011.
The most interesting area to look forward to is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), without which no website under the sun passes the fitness test. The SEO domain has got a tremendous boost owing to the growing popularity of social networking sites and various improvements in search technology. In this article and the following one, I will share with you some of the SEO trends that you can look forward to next year.
Social Media Optimization
Close on the heels of Search Engine Optimization, comes Social Media Optimization, the newest incarnation of SEO. I know that you are not getting surprised any longer by this new term, thanks to the tremendous popularity of social networking sites worldwide. Webmasters should not consider Social Media Optimization as a distraction from their normal SEO efforts; but this new activity should be deployed to boost a site's SEO prospects.
Social Media Optimization activities may include back links from individual social media sites, development of a credible profile on these sites, and targeting towards real time searching. The greater impact you can cast on the social networking sites, the greater your SEO prospects will improve in the coming year.
Website Speed and On-Page SEO Activities
There are some webmasters who rely on off-page optimization rather than on-page optimization. But in 2011, you should give equal, if not more importance to on-page optimization. Most importantly, the site load time is going to be the litmus test.
Google, in its effort to improve websites' performance has decided to penalize those sites that take a longer load time. Simultaneously, improper use of Meta tags in website coding will have a negative effect on major search engines in the coming year.
The Web Is Going Mobile
Smartphones are getting more and more ubiquitous and people have started surfing websites on their mobiles more than ever. This trend is going to increase in 2011. The number of mobile Internet users has touched 90 million already. The need for optimizing your site for mobile users will naturally be more pressing. Your site needs to be optimized for relevant mobile applications, such as Google's Mobile Search Services and mobile keyword tool in AdWords.
Google itself has stated that mobile search results takes precedence over desktop search results when it comes to mobile searching. This underscores the need to invest your time and money towards mobile SEO in the coming year.
Video is the buzzword today. Your site needs to be powered with YouTube video clippings, one of the most popular media on the web today. If you upload a video on YouTube against a particular keyword, your site gets a better chance to be "visible" by leading search engines like Google against that keyword.
One cannot ignore the growing popularity of YouTube. It has outdone Yahoo! To become the second largest search engine in U.S. Therefore, putting up a relevant video on YouTube not only enhances your site's SEO prospects in Google, but boosts up the SEO prospects in YouTube itself.
One of the important trends in online search features is personalized searching. This trend will get further intensified in 2011. Google, the global leader, has in fact made personalized search the default option. Unless users opt out of this default option, they are likely to experience only personalized search features from Google. Personalized search results are based on the user's web surfing habits.
The probability of your website showing up on the search results is going to be lesser, unless your site is one of the frequently accessed sites by the user. If your site is widely popular and users access it frequently, you are likely to enjoy better search positioning on the days ahead. Else, you need to build up your site's branding (by other means) and entice users to access the site from time to time.
Experiments with local search were seen in 2010 and the trend is likely to continue well into the next year. Leading search engines like Google has started depending on local search listings. As a webmaster, you should emphasize more on improving your site's SEO abilities in local search engines. Dominating the local listings is pretty easier as there is lesser number of players. Big search engines will then filter the top results into their search lists and you will get an automatic entry.
The outcome is debatable if you have hosted your site in a different country to grab the advantage of global search. Generically, it is advisable to host your site in the same country where your business operates in order to take the most advantage of local search listings.
So folks, these were some of the SEO trends for the upcoming year. Pay attention to these if you want to retain or improve your site's search-friendliness.