The foundation of SEO may have not changed much over the past 15 years, but the concept of creating good content and obtaining quality links definitely have. Here are a list of concepts that have faded with 2013.
1. Keywords are essential To Search Results
The search is not about keywords but the intent. The average user realizes that they do no have to use the word ‘buy’ in the query when they have to buy something. They can simply click on one of the placed shopping results, or skip the search engine altogether and use a vertical (shopping) search engine like Nextag.
2. 302 Redirects are a part of SEO
302 redirects are outdated. They were used before to because the search engines would only crawl sites every now and then, and not frequently like they do now. The official reason for this was that you didn’t want the search engines to update all your inbound links to the new URL. However Google stated, “ the 302 is something where we would still pass the PageRank. Technically with the 302, what can happen is that we keep the redirected URL and just basically use the content of the redirected URL.” More and more sites were being penalized for bad links to their site, especially affiliate links this year. These often went through 302s with the intention of stopping the flow of PageRank.
3. 404 Error Pages are only for old pages
Google’s obsessiveness to kill spammers has hundreds of sites being forced to deal with inbound links that they cannot control by making the destination page go to a 404 or 410 result. This brings new broken links on the web as a result of Google’s rigid penalties.
This is a disaster for user experience, but this is the best option to get in Google’s good books if you cannot control the the links and cannot get the webmaster to remove them. You can see this as a problem if you start looking at search results on a site, especially for news sites that have posted a lot of press releases and later have them removed due to pressure from the webmasters.
4. Geo-Location Keywords are a must
If you want to have your site to show up on the for a specific city, all you had to do was create a page that showed the city or city and state along with the keyword. This is no longer a recommended target. Now you have Google Places/Pages/ for a verified address in the local area to rank well.
Researchers are becoming more savvy and are realizing it is no longer essential to enter the city name to get a local result unless they want a location outside of the area they are currently in. Although this practice is redundant, but there isn’t a good replacement option available yet.
5. Links do not affect you
Just because you cannot control who links to your sites that does not mean it cannot hurt you and affect your ranking. Google is extremely stringent in their efforts to remove spammers, so no one will be spared.
This is a sad, but that is how SEO has changed this year. Lets us hope for better news in 2014 for SEO.