I hope you are all enjoying your seasonal holidays. I couldn’t help catching up on some tech reading and a blog post by Stuntdubl, titled “40 SEM 2006 Predictions.” Stuntdubl provided a list of ideas related to SEO that are forecasted for 2006. Let’s explore this post, I have highlighted some of the key points and added additional insights.
Community Reviewed Content
Stuntdubl’s foresight about involving the web community in content creation remains pertinent to the Web 2.0 movement. By enabling users to participate, we foster loyalty, generate backlinks, and boost conversion rates. An example is Threadwatch, a pioneer in community-driven content curation. This trend continues to evolve, with projects integrating user-generated content and contributions from trusted blogs, enhancing engagement. Article
Prioritising Unique, Quality Content
The emphasis on quality content remains relevant. Stepping away from repurposing content from free article repositories, we acknowledge the significance of unique, well-crafted content. As we move into 2006, the focus shifts to skilled content writers, who will help in driving traffic to websites. Recognising that search engine algorithms identify content duplication, prioritising originality is crucial for optimal search rankings.
Information Architecture and Strategic Deep Linking
The importance of strategic deep linking and information architecture continues to be a central topic. While Stuntdubl deferred to the community for insights on deep linking, strategic website structuring is essential. For SEO campaigns, especially for portals, meticulous site architecture is pivotal. Developers have explored approaches to disseminate information effectively within complex portal structures. The MyJournal social network experiment yielded positive results by using deep-linked folders to organise relevant content.
Parasite SEO – Unethical Tactics
Yes, it sounds bad, because it is. There are SEO practitioners who utilise unethical SEO practices and techniques. Search engine algorithm evolution has rendered many of these tactics obsolete. The concern is malicious actors exploiting new technologies for spam and to gain an advantage in the search engines. There will be more innovative and unethical methods of achieving rankings. The current rise of ‘flash and burn’ sites proves this.
Sandbox Existence Debates
The ‘sandbox’ debate remains a fixture in the SEO psyche. The Sandbox filter is a hotly debated subject. It’s challenging to find valid reasons for a new website to be subjected to the ‘sandbox,’ unless it has been excessively optimised right from the start, or has undergone ‘dark arts’ SEO techniques. Imagine launching a meticulously coded website site with well-written and researched content, and then, within its first two weeks, a barrage of links suddenly targets it. This activity raises eyebrows within search engines, causing them to question the abrupt influx of link activity. Consequently, the site could undergo manual or automated review. When a site revolves around a well-established topic with current events, naturally earned links are seen as legitimate and well-deserved. However, if the site becomes flooded with conspicuously ‘purchased’ links, it risks triggering the ‘sandbox’ effect. In my opinion, a more prudent approach involves starting with a modest number of authoritative inbound links, each carrying more weight than a multitude of insignificant ones.
MSN Acquisitions and Products
2006 will be partly the year of the ‘come-back kid’ I’m talking about Bill Gates here. We have seen Google and Yahoo (in part) creating good services; many of them are still in their Beta stages priming for the future. Microsoft has not been doing a lot of this lately and has been fairly quiet on the sidelines. Given their reputation, I think they have been biding their time. We will see Microsoft purchasing their fair share of businesses and applications in 2006. I believe we will see the slow decline of Yahoo as a major search engine over the next few years, leaving Google and Microsoft to battle it out. My bet is on Google.
Usability and Standards Compliance
Sound coding and adherence to standards are integral to SEO strategies. Website architecture’s significance cannot be overstated, particularly for scalability. Building websites with web standards and utilising W3C standards compliance coding will offer future-proofing benefits for SEO-optimised websites.
Mobile Content Optimisation
My prediction of optimising for mobile devices and the mobile web remains accurate. Small device technology is steadily improving, modern SEO professionals should include mobile optimisation as part of their offering. As smartphone web network connectivity improves; visitors will want to browse the web and find information quickly without too much effort.
Final Thoughts on SEO Predictions for 2006
I look forward to reading the explanations of Stuntdubl’s list or what others have to say regarding his post. It’s quite an extensive list and while some of it appears to have already been said and done elsewhere; concepts like community engagement, content quality, strategic web architecture, and mobile optimisation remain essential. All food for thought.