Interesting topic for an SEO time machine conversation as it doesn't seem like it changed much in a year but I could consider some of the shifts and trends pretty substantial and you could get bitten if you're not careful.
While the basics of SEO hasn't changed that much, the new substantial highlights that come to mind would are as follows:
- Responsive Web Design if you expect to show up in mobile listing, otherwise you'll be desktop results only
- HTTPS as they've been dropping hints you'll be dropping below other sites with HTTPS only soon, one way to push the spam down for sure
- Thick original content cut as thick as good bacon, no more thin content or placeholder pages unless you want a ding
- Use Auto-Suggest search topic data as much as possible as auto-suggest killed the long tails
- Canonical meta tags in ALL your page headers, use full paths to avoid getting multiple URLs to the same page, or hijacking attempts
- Unique product descriptions, the stuff from the manufacturer will put your page in the gutter
- Disavow any IBL (inbound links) from crap sites to avoid the appearance of any improprieties, such as paid links. So many sites did such bad things that disavow services is the new SEO gold rush of late.
Probably missed some stuff but that's the basics over the last couple of years that stand out in my mind
Then there's the usual stuff we've been using forever:
- Inbound Links (see disavow above if you missed it)
- Outbound Links and slap rel=NOFOLLOW on the ones that aren't authority sites
- On Page SEO (titles, meta, h1, h2, alt tags, etc.)
- Great green gobs of greasy grimy ORIGINAL fat thick content
- Use SE Friendly URLS
- SMO (social marketing) which is just IBLs (Inbound links) big whoop, same as forum spam IMO but tweet it, facebook it, pin it, reddit, maybe even stumble, just don't bother with My(wasted)Space anymore ;)
- Catalog Index (sitemap) page to bring everything important closer to the top to make sure it gets crawled, flatten out a potential deep crawl. I make a complete product catalog index page with EVERYTHING in the catalog on one page, did it for all my customers too, it worked wonders for a deeply nested catalog site.
- Then of course sitemap files, robots.txt, server headers (x- tags), etc., the fine print detail stuff
- Make sure your IP and domain aren't in any DNSBL's before wasting too much time ( [dnsbl.info...] )
- Unique IP addresses
- ... and most importantly, do NOT forget to set the revisit-after meta property, most imporant
The revisit after was a test and my sick sense of humor.
If ANY of you thought I was serious, find a new vocation.
From Google itself, reiterating what real SEO's already knew: [developers.google.com
and revisit-after, supposedly used to tell search engines how often to recrawl the page. To our knowledge only one search engine has ever supported it, and that search engine was never widely used
If memory serves it was a Canadian SE long since extinct but for some reason people think this works and it never did. If you see anyone or any site promoting revisit-after as a valid meta tag, and there's a TON that do, then you know they do NOT know what they are doing, run away little boy, run away.
The bounce rate recorded on Google's visitor logs are 100% accurate.
This needs more transparency so we stop throwing bones at the black monolith.
Lot's of speculation and everyone is partially right but even a multiple page visit that lasted too short to read could be a bounce so let's stop guessing, perhaps someone can find an actual definition.
All I know is I've seen a few people switch to HTTPS magically claim a wild decrease in bounce and it's not possible. People don't notice the difference, they don't really look for it until they're about to give their CC number, so IMO this is bogus but I don't know what's causing it, just that you're not the first to claim it. People don't just go "WOW! LOOK! HTTPS! WE CAN STAY HERE ALL DAY!" not buying it unless the pages changed substantially. I don't think anyone else really pays attention except for a few with OCD that I know and they also hit the shift key 3 times for good luck before hitting ENTER
Just do what you did that worked before and you'll be fine, unless you did bad things then not so much ;)
P.S. The Unique IP address
was also old SEO's wives tales crap spread by old SEO's wives except you have to have a unique IP for HTTPS now so isn't that an amusing turn of events that they've inadvertently made something that was an urban cyber myth true! Anyone that ever used shared hosting and ranked like crazy knew that the single IP address for a bazillion hosting accounts on one server meant the IP was meaningless, not a bad neighborhood indicator or any other silliness. The only thing a shared IP could do is get your email blocked in a DNSBL because one of your neighbors spammed, and/or possibly set off the safe surf warning page if they got malware but I'm pretty sure that's only by domain these days but I'd have to look it up to verify.
Just put your best foot forward, do NOT buy links or any other shady crap and you'll be just fine.
Live long and prosper online. P.P.S. I only post the misinformation about the revisit-after and unique IP to see if anyone was awake and/or skipping thru as I did clarify and let them off the hook. Basically checking to make sure people are actually paying attention in class.