Google indexing gets a lot of ink because it is important. Bing and various other competitors have their place, but Google is king until someone knocks them off the mountain. While major algorithm changes like Panda are announced with some fanfare, there are loads of tweaks that occur which largely go unnoticed by anyone that isn’t making a living knowing what is important when it comes to optimizing for Google. Today we will look at some of those tweaks – even a few that are still being debated – so you can see what you have caught on to already and what you may have missed.
There is plenty of discussion concerning meta tags and what role they play. One camp says they are useless, but you still find them appearing now and then as the description Google uses within their SERPs. The truth of the matter, no one outside of Google really seems to know what role they play anymore. It can be said their value has been diminished, but they are not totally worthless. In case they are still being used as a signal ranking, keep them simple and unique on each page.
What about link anchor text? Remember when linking off the phrase “click here” was akin to blasphemy? That is no longer so true. It isn’t SEO friendly, but if you are slogging through a major link building campaign, a little variety here and there is not such a bad thing. It looks natural – and that is a good thing – just don’t go nuts purposely trying to do this. If that is what works best in a particular situation then go with it.
Is keyword density a nasty term to you? Once it was the cornerstone of SEO almost, now however, the importance of hitting a specific target is not something to go crazy over. What is important is that you have good content that reads naturally and you sprinkle your keywords in where they make sense. If you doubt this, Google five different phrases, check the keyword density the top 10 sites on each has, and then see for yourself how much effort you should put into all that counting and dividing that was once oh so important.
For over a year now, Google has admitted that site load speed is in fact a factor they consider in their ranking algorithm. It my not be the biggest thing, but it certainly shouldn’t be ignored either. Granted, this really only impacts around 1% -2% of the sites that are ranked, but a fast site is a site that has happy visitors, and happy visitors are more likely to be converted than someone that is frustrated waiting for a page to load.
A few things that haven’t changed are using title tags under 70 characters in length, using the right keywords and keeping an eye on those geographic specific and long tail varieties lurking out there, and making sure that your keyword placement within text looks and flows naturally. If you were already aware of these changes, and non-changes, give yourself a pat on the back as you are ahead of the pack!