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12 Things We Lived, Learned and Learned to Live With In SEO This Year

This morning, I heard the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and felt immediately inspired to start writing a blog post. I know, it seems pretty odd that a Christmas song got me raring to go to write about SEO (look, I’m already rhyming), but I realized that it might be nice to wrap up before the holidays (and especially before the new year), by highlighting the 12 things I felt I learned the most from this year. So, these were the 12 gifts I feel like I got from ESI’s true love: the SEO industry.




12 Things the SEO Industry Gave To Us (To Learn)

1. People (still) love search

When it comes to gathering information about local businesses, only a small amount of people actually use social networks; in fact, a greater majority of people turn to search engines and recommendations from friends.

2. People use their cell phones – a lot

And this fact makes Mobile SEO ever-more important. Expect even more of this in 2012 (and beyond). In fact, a recent eMarketer report predicted that by 2015, mobile advertising spend in the US (which includes display ads, search, direct-messaging, and more) would reach $4.4 billion. It’s important for SEOs, SEMs and the consumers to understand this. For the search engine marketer, this reflects a need to focus on the mobile space; for the consumer, this means expecting to experience more ads while on the go. Need tips for mobile optimization? Click here.

3. Content is (Still) King

Content matters. We knew this after the Panda update, but, as many people did, we learned it the hard way. Now, we’ve got a handle on it, and we’re looking to an even more successful 2012. Remember to blog well and blog often, utilize social media platforms (especially Google +) and ensure all of the links you build are high-quality and relevant, and you’ll have a handle on it too.

4. SEO is NOT dead

Regardless of what naysayers like Leo Laporte say – SEOs will adapt with the changes made in the internet industry, and will always have a place there (according to Matt Cutts, at least!).

5. Google CAN create a social network, but may never be able to come out from under Facebook’s shadow of comparison

We have been learning about and studying Google + since its release in beta over the summer- and we have certainly come to better understand it. And though most people cannot resist comparing Google + with Facebook, it’s important to note that no matter which one does better, Google + plays into the search results (brand pages can change the search results for signed in Google users). We learned, after a little while, that comparing the two social networks came naturally; what became hard was stepping outside of our inclinations and better understanding how this social network could stand on its own. And it can – and will. Those who don’t recognize that will be left in the dust! Read more at the Washington Post.

6. Word-of-Mouth Marketing Concept + Simplicity = Google +1 Button Success

Google is ahead of the game with the +1 button. They have made it simple, which is good, because a recent survey showed people like to surf the web the most because they are bored. So, the +1 button no longer crowds the SERPs; it simply shows up if you hover over the results. This way, those looking to have a fun and simple experience on the internet will likely be more inclined to quickly hit the button and move on, therefore providing awesome word-of-mouth marketing value for whatever they have recommended.

7. Algorithm Changes, Explained

Transparency will hopefully continue into 2012. Google began a new endeavor: keeping us updated with algorithm changes on a regular basis. Twice, we have been told what has changed in the search engine landscape. We also learned about the algorithmic change process that takes place over at Googleplex.

8. Being an author is hard (well, being a rel=author is, anyways)

Even if you are doing everything correctly and follow all the rules, Google still may not implement the author markup for you (as in, your face won’t show up with your content in the SERPs).

9. Video, High Quality Content and Social Media Will be the Key to 2012 SEO

Widen that online footprint, people!

10. Google is merciful during the holidays

Google tweeted that no iterations of Panda would be run until after the holidays. Hallelujah! Just another thing for which to thank Santa.

11. Google is going commercial (literally, Google is now advertising on commercials)

Was anyone else slightly disturbed by the fact that Google is seeping into television advertising? Anyone? Bueller?

12. Branding is Caring

Perhaps one of the most important things (if not THE most important thing) to remember going into 2012 is that branding is becoming a larger part of SEO by the day. Keeping your marketing message alive and well across the web (on the search engines, on your site, on social networks, etc.) and focusing on adhering to your brand message in your content will only help you more as SEO continues to evolve.

Bonus Lesson

And one more bonus lesson I learned the hard way: Blogging daily gets difficult when the business is growing so quickly – sorry guys and gals! 2012 will bring better time management on this girl’s part! Merry Christmas, and you’re welcome for the creative and utterly ridiculous way I chose to end this blog post:

On the twelfth day of Christmas (anticipation),

My favorite SEOs sent to me

Twelve tips for ranking,

Eleven Google updates,

Ten content tips,

Nine sarcastic blog posts,

Eight awesome videos,

Seven Facebook posts,

Six Google + tips,

Five holiday office photos,

Four amazing images,

Three infographic shares,

Two Tweets and Linked-In Shares,

And a partridge in a pear tree!


(Disclaimer: numbers are totally made up for the sake of making this darn idea work).


ESI Holiday Cheer


Merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us here at EverSpark Interactive!