SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is similar to shooting at a moving target. New updates to Google’s algorithm happen frequently and with each change, the best practices that worked the day before may, at best, be no longer affect or, even worse, have a negative impact on your results.

Here’s Why Keeping Up With SEO Best Practices Matters: More than 2.8 trillion search queries are made on Google each year. If you do the math, this means Google “answers” more than 88,700 search request worldwide per second. In other words, every second your website is not being indexed, you miss out on hundreds or possibly thousands of opportunities.

So, What Has Google Been Up To? Google updates their algorithm somewhere between 500 and 600 times each year. While most updates are minor and don’t affect SEO best practices, some have an impact, such as the Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird updates. These updates are often rumored or even unconfirmed, and the impact of the changes are, in most cases, only felt after a drop in rankings is felt.

Myth #1: Backlinks are the secret sauce to ranking – the more, the better. FALSE!

The catchphrase, “back links are dead” might be excellent click bait but the truth is it’s not so black and white. True, the days of the more links, the better, regardless of the source are over, but good quality relevant linking strategies do support SEO best practices in today’s Google algorithm.

What does this mean for your SEO strategy?

  • If you are mentioned in a press article, the link back to your site is good for SEO.
  • If you have legitimate partnerships with complementary businesses, these links are good for SEO.
  • If you buy links or search for link directories to add your website to, you’ll most likely experience a negative impact on your search metrics.

Myth #2: Page speed doesn’t matter. FALSE.

One of the most commonly overlooked SEO best practices is related to your page speed. Google looks a combination of many factors when addressing your site and site speed has been shown to one that can help or hurt depending on how your site performs.

What does this mean for your SEO strategy?

  • There are many free or low-cost online tools to measure your site’s load speed. Check it out and understand where you stand as well as if this is an area of improvement.
  • If you find that large images, extensive video or any unnecessary elements in your code are slowing down your page speed, make those changes to see how your SEO KPI’s are affected.


Myth #3: Keyword stuffing will help my page rank better. FALSE.

Content is the reigning king of SEO, no question, but Google’s Rankbrain AI engine is extremely smart and not easily fooled but the keyword-stuffing shenanigans that once ruled the SEO best practices list.

What does this mean for your SEO strategy?

  • Don’t do delete your keyword strategy; it still matters.
  • Weave keywords into your content at a reasonable, common sense frequency. Too much will reduce the quality of your content as well as run the risk of annoying Google (which will translate into lower ranking).

What’s trending in SEO for 2018? Google will no doubt be keeping us on our toes this year as we continue to pivot our SEO best practices to align with any future algorithm changes. Some trending areas to watch for in the near future are:

  • Look for voice and visual search to continue to gain more traction in SEO.
  • Pay attention to your user experience – it’s a win, win.
  • Mobile-first still wins the race.
  • Artificial intelligence will become more widely-used.

2018 is sure to be an exciting year for many reasons! By following (and staying up to date) on the latest SEO best practices, you can gain more organic reach for your business and feel confident that you’ll have reached your goals by New Year’s Eve!

Do you need a site audit or general advice regarding SEO best practices? I’m here with answers. Email or call me today.