If you have been writing online for more than a few months, then you have heard of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a multi-faceted game plan that is used by marketers and content creators to get search engines to recognize and promote their content. Because so many people use search engines to find information online, they are a critical piece of discovery and traffic for websites. Before I dig deeper into this topic, it is important to understand that search engines are not the only way to get your content found, but they definitely are influential.
Ebook writers, article writers, bloggers and marketing writers need to be aware of changes in the SEO landscape as Google makes changes to its algorithm. While we can never know exactly what Google looks for in its algorithm, we can gain useful clues by their behavior, announcements and changes to the search engine.
Periodic Table of SEO Success
In 2011, Search Engine Land created the Periodic Table of SEO Success, modeled on the Periodic Table of Elements. The table offered a visual aid, broken down in several categories to assist in understanding what content was good or bad according to Google. “Good” content is basically defined as content that Google approves of and supports in search.
The Table is really a genius illustration of how SEO works, making it much easier for newbies and SEO-disabled writers to understand this complex topic. Over the last several years, SEO has become more subtle and complicated as search engine technology has become more sophisticated. It is also true that many of our clients are behind on realizing how much SEO has changed.
The last update of the Table was in 2013, and we all know that a lot has changed since then. It is very interesting to compare the changes from the beginning to now, even though it has only been 4 years.
Updates for 2015
So, what has changed in the 2015 version of the Periodic Table? Search Engine Land started with a survey in May 2015 to get solid feedback on what their readers were seeing in the real world of SEO. Ultimately, the updated table added three new elements and changed the weighting of four elements. Added were the elements below:
- Cv: Vertical Search
- Ca: Direct Answers
- Ah: HTTPS
Changed factors were:
- Hs: Structured Data – changed from +1 to +2
- Th: History – changed from +1 to +2
- Te: Engagement – moved to the trust area from content
- Vs: Stuffing – changed from -1 to -2
- Vp: Spam – changed from -1 to -3
- Va: Ads – moved from content to trust
You can see the entire Table here on Search Engine Land, and it is well worth your time to study it. Each element is fully explained on attached pages which helps understand the depth of SEO terminology. The most significant change for me is how much trust has become an important factor for SEO. It is patently obvious that it is more important that links and social media, both of which we hear a lot about. You can download the Table and related information as a reference for easy access on your own computer.
Paula A is the mom of a college graduate and a freshman in college, and covering up the gray with lots of colorful highlights.