A professional search engine optimization (SEO) specialist takes the time to learn about the latest best practices and algorithmic developments. The challenge is in vastness of SEO coupled with the quick rate of changes year-over-year. It can be difficult to know where to look. To start your research on the straight and narrow, here are some of the essential topics to review for your next SEO strategy:

  1. 8 Old School SEO Practices That Are No Longer Effective” by Rand Fishkin

To get the search ranking results you want, you’ll need to live, breath, and eat experimentation. Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and online behaviors come-and-go. When things start to feel comfortable, it’s a sign that you may need to go back and retire some of the tools in your toolkit to keep your SEO efforts clear and efficient.

Moz’s blog does a great job in not only supporting why certain practices are no longer effective, they also offer insight on symptoms and long term effects of persistent use.

  1. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): one year on-stats and infographic” by Christopher Ratcliff

Mobilegeddon started the race for faster site speeds. Now, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are leading the charge as amp listings spread throughout organic mobile results.

Christopher Ratcliff believes AMP will be a battleground for content publishers and eCommerce with huge numbers to back his claim. The blog lists the biggest participants of the AMP format and the results for publishers using AMP.

  1. SEO Trek: The Search for Google RankBrain” by Larry Kim

RankBrain broke headlines when Google announced it was no longer exclusive to long-tail queries. The artificial intelligence program is now involved in the processing of every query.

Larry Kim dives into a deep set of data, concluding that sites with high levels of engagement saw a swelling of activity. To better compete in the era of RankBrain, sites will need to focus their efforts on engagement metrics like CTR.

  1. 301 Redirects Rules Change: What You Need to Know for SEO” by Cyrus Shepard

One of the major changes Google made to its search algorithm was in PageRank loses of redirects. According to Google’s John Mueller, no PageRank is lost for 301 or 302 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS.

This change in algorithm was made to persuade webmasters in adopting the HTTPS format. However, there are still potential for indirect negative effects when a page converts to HTTPS. The blog goes into further depth on how to diagnose symptoms of PageRank loss because of the 3xx redirects post-update.

  1. Google updates Penguin, says it now runs in real time within core search algorithm” by Barry Schwartz

Penguin was one of the first major search engine algorithm changes from Google that actively took arms against web spam. Sites that were found keyword stuffing, cloaking, duplicating content, and other black hat activities received a penalty that cost them their search ranking. However, these changes only affected 3% of queries and were only running on a periodic basis.

Now, with the release of Penguin 4.0, the filtering process is done in real-time. Sites that were penalized can quickly regain position quickly after changes are made.

Staying up-to-speed with the latest happenings in SEO is a must for your strategy book. In the span of a few months, we’ve seen many outstanding changes in search algorithms and online behaviors. As you venture out and boost your search rankings, keep an eye on the horizon for future changes coming your way.


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