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 Yesterday’s algorithms are gone, today’s algorithms will be dead tomorrow, and tomorrow’s algorithms will be out of date before the next presidential scandal is pushed out of the news cycle by the next scandal.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.
So what does that mean for SEO? If algorithms are constantly changing, what is it we are optimizing websites for?
While we will always keep one eye on the algorithm (both the algorithm of today and the suspected algorithm of tomorrow), the smart SEO is the one that emphasizes more than just SEO itself. Social media, usability, and conversion optimization all play a role in the optimization of today. In fact, the algorithms of tomorrow will hold these things in higher and higher regard. By focusing on these things rather than on algorithms, you’re building a better business. Algorithms get you rankings. Conversion optimization gets you sales.
When you focus on user factors rather than ranking factors, you’ll find that your site is less impacted when the ranking factors change.
By being aggressive in building up your entire web presence, you’ll have no problem of staying ahead of every algorithm there is today or will be tomorrow.