Too many SEOs rely on the search engine algorithms of today to guide their SEO. The problem with that is that algorithms change. Yesterday’s algorithms are gone, today’s algorithms will be dead tomorrow, and tomorrow’s algorithms will be out of date before the next presidential scandal is pushed out of the news cycle by the next scandal.
Search engines change their algorithms as a means to combat manipulation. The problem is, as long as there are algorithms, there will be people trying to manipulating them. So that means algorithms are in a constant state of flux.
But it’s not just spam tactics that get tossed to the wayside. Sometimes legitimate optimization tactics–those designed solely for the purpose of giving value to website visitors–can get thrown away too. Not to anyone’s particular fault, it’s just that signals that were once considered important or valuable are truly less so today. A great example is the Yahoo! Directory. For years getting listed in this directory was an important part of SEO and was a legitimate search ranking signal. Today, not so much. The Yahoo! Directory closed it’s doors in 2014.