2009 was a remarkable year in many ways, and it was also a big year from SEO’s point of view. Microsoft and Yahoo signed a search deal, Bing got launched, and Google changed its tune. From the onset, these things were all set to change the way SEO companies operate, which very few people knew at the beginning of 2009. In this article, we will talk about 10 biggest SEO tunes that changed the way SEO world danced.
No. 1: Local search get listed today.
In 2009, Google started churning out local result for the keywords that even vaguely relate to local searches. With Google embracing local results, SEO world went Glocal (Globally local, the concept that has been buzz word for business management and marketing people for many years). Now, more and more SEO companies are looking to create value by optimizing website for local search queries (like electrician in Miami, or Plumber in Gold Coast, etc.).
No. 2: Google Map results
Google Map results for specialized local query also got on the front seat in 2009. If you are searching for say Chinese restaurant in the New York City, then on top of the organic listing, you will see Google map listing with the address, phone numbers, and locations (on Google maps) of restaurants specialized in Chinese food in the New York City. Top 4 or 5 results will appear here, and for more, searchers can anytime click the “Local business results for restaurants near New York City” or “More results near New York, NY, USA »”
No. 3: Personalized search
Like everything else, search has become personal as well. For a user who has signed-in to use Google’s product (Gmail, Picasa, Orkut, or any other), Google will show him the result on the basis of how he interacted with Google’s search result in the past. Your usage behavior is going to play a big role in the result that Google shows to you. Let’s say you frequently search for “free web-based games”, and most of the time you clicked Yahoo Games link then for you Yahoo Games will rank at the top for the keyword “free web-based games”. This has been done to improve the user’s experience.
No. 5: Even Flash is no more taboo
Gone are the days when Flash were looked upon with disdain by a seasoned SEO expert despite its cool features. In 2009, Google updated its algorithm with the help of Adobe to make Flash content crawlable. Now onward you can use Flash in your website without being worried about Google bots, they are more educated now than they were in 2008. Old Flash websites may not get indexed, but properly laid new Flash website stands a chance to get crawled.
No. 6: xHTML and HTML 5
It’s not yet time to give a tight hug to HTML 4.1 and bid farewell, but the process certainly has started, and with this the struggle for SEO-friendly designs will come to an end (well, almost).
For a starter, HTML 5 has sized the Div element down, which has been ubiquitous in HTML 4.1, and replaced it with a wide range of elements that will help search engine bots understand the site’s structure quite well, and they will also help web developers in creating SEO-friendly web design with ease.
No. 7: Content duplication issues.
Content duplication is not welcomed by Google or any other search engines, but there are times when even the noblest of soul cannot avoid but duplicate the content. Previously any such effort was treated with vengeance by Google, but from 2009 things has changed. Google now offer cross-domain support for the rel=”canonical” link element, which means you can avoid duplicate content issues when moving your website from one place to another, or when creating a 301 redirect is not possible.
No. 8: Content variety
For Google, quality content has always been the king, but the search giant likes most if the king dons different kinds of dresses. That is to say, Google now shows images, video, news, and other results against the searched keyword, therefore it is desirable for SEO expert to get variety of contents created for the keyword for which he is optimizing the site. This is one of the most remarkable changes of 2009.
No. 9: Get ready for Link trade penalty
Reciprocal links, Two-way links are not good anymore. Now it invites Google penalty. Trading links with each other or exchanging links (you scratch my back and I scratch yours type) will not go well with Google. The search engine has black listed this practice and anyone found guilty of such practice will be banned. Google has done this to cut off irrelevant results from its SERP (search engine result pages), which eventually will enhance user’s experience.
No. 10: SEO automation tools, Time to bid farewell.
Good SEO experts do not come cheap, and the SEO expert that comes cheap is of no value. Many online entrepreneurs are realizing this fact, so either they are going for established SEO experts or are using automation tools to analyze and execute their SEO plan. This is one of the major shifts in 2009, which in my view is not necessarily good. Machines can do anything but think creatively, and if you do not have a creative SEO thinker in your team, your effort is not going anywhere. Regardless of what I think, this trend caught up in 2009.
Do you think with this the list of 10 things that rocked the SEO world in 2009 is complete? I will say no and looking for more from fellow bloggers. Also I would like you to read my previous blog posts on E commerce SEO and SEO for WordPress blog.