State of SEO

SEO is always changing and affects the way marketers manage their online presence. Here is the state of SEO in 2016.


In 2015, Google decided to make mobile-friendliness an official ranking factor and other search engines followed their lead. Because of this, many websites were redesigned or retrofitted to be responsive. In 2016 users have come to expect mobile-friendly websites when browsing on mobile devices. If a site is not mobile-friendly, in addition to taking a ranking hit on Google, users who do manage to access your website via search results will likely abandon it within seconds.


Content will forever be one of the most important parts of search engine optimization. From word count and keyword frequency to context and metadata, onsite content can make or break a website.

According to Forbes, the average word count for top-ranking content is in the range of 1,140-1,285 words. However, the quantity of content is not the only important thing, quality is too, if not more important. Search engines have become so advanced that they can understand context. Search robots use advanced algorithms that determine whether content is relevant, useful, and high-quality.


Over the past several years, video marketing has grown in popularity with search engines ranking videos higher in search results. Video searches garner 41% higher click-through rates as compared to plain, static text content. Video is here to stay.


In 2015, Google came out with the Pigeon Algorithm which focuses on local search results. Local SEO requires specific tactics, beyond general search engine optimization. These include location-based content and metadata, presence on local directories and Google MyBusiness, and a location-oriented responsive design.


Rich answers are (according to Google) “any attempt by Google to answer the searcher’s query in search results.” This is so that users do not have to click through to a website. In the past, rich answers have come from Google or Wikipedia snippets but more and more, answers are coming from regular companies. According to Stone Temple Consulting, for 75% of rich answers Google uses external data and includes a link to its source. Though it is challenging to get content indexed as a rich answer, it has a very big payout. According to Link-Assistant.com, CTR for clickable rich answers is two times better than for the #1 ranking on a results page with no rich answer.

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