SEO Tips for new Date().getFullYear();

Dino Kukic

Dec 16, 2019

Truth to be told, I started writing this exactly one year ago with an idea to address what is very common with this period, but yet quite annoying and useless to everyone. I had a year to think whether I am going to finish it or not and reinforce some arguments so here it is. With the year coming to an end/new one starting what are we going to see when it comes to SEO (or online marketing industry, in general, for that matter)?

Year in Reviews – this is where everyone will talk about ‘Medic’ update and its impact (this was for last year, but I figured it can stay). SEO Tips for 2019 – These ones represent previous one which talking in future tense – ignore it more than you ignore the previous one – you will learn nothing and no one will give you your 20 minutes back. Also, these posts tend to grow in terms of number of people contributing to them while containing comparatively less information.

Now, talking about those. Here’s a post that is in the featured snippet for SEO tips 2019 keyword.

There’s no doubt it’s written just for the purpose of content production, but to illustrate the value it brings, let’s analyse it just for a second:

    1. Quality Content is King of SEO – I guess the thought process went something like this “I can’t say anymore ‘Content is King’ so how can I rewrite it to stress on how important content is”. But, okay, I agree, but just my overall feeling is that it’s time to stop talking about it unless we have something new to say. What additionally grinds my gears when it comes to this particular section is the following:

google crawler

This is not how search engines work! And, the crawler is performing its job way before any user interaction happens.

  • 4. Mobile Indexing is the next big step – First things first, it’s ‘mobile-first indexing’ and, my friend, mobile-friendliness update happened in April 2015 and if your website is responsive there’s no reason to even talk about mobile-first indexing, you should change nothing. Not even mentioning it, because that it’s not even ‘n’ of the ‘next big step’.
  • 5. Improve Website Speed by developing Responsive Website. – Responsive ≠ Faster Load Speed.
  • 6. Use Voice Search Optimization – “tips for 2019” or any other next year for that matter can’t be without trying to involve some conceptual things “we are going to optimize for” while having almost no influence on it until we notice the impact of these differences on our website. And yep, no SEO tip post doesn’t end without mentioning “Google’s AI – Rank Brain”.

I could go on and on with this, but I’ll just stop here. To be sure that nothing has changed after a year and that my writings are still relevant an accurate I took a quick look on the new set of results discussing tips, trends, etc. for the next year. And, boy, it is not only still relevant.

We got this thing ranking first. Not sure why, but seems quite familiar 🤔. Voice search, AI, all the blunt talk until we finally get to the tips section and get the following:

Use headings and subheadings – I got so much knowledge from this one it started leaking out of my ears. Optimize the article length – It is enough to write a 2000-word article. Ask yourself, did you respond to the topic properly. If in doubt, try search for let’s say “php jobs” and check the number of words on those pages. Add links to previous content – now this one refers to internal links, but why would be talk in such a broad way when we can break it down to “add links to previous content”, “go back to old articles and add links to new ones”, etc and have more tips to share. Brilliant. Choose keywords wisely – Isn’t this what SEO is all about…

{{ENTER_YEAR}} Year in Review

#1 Recycling of the famous quotes – From what I’ve found on internet, it seems like it was Marc Anderseen who first wore the “Software is Eating the World” hat. Ever since it has been adapted, recycled, upcycled and more, particularly in SEO industry. So we now have:

  • Chat is eating the world
  • AI is eating the world
  • Probably more, but this is what I came across to so far…. #2 All you need to know about {{Month}}{{Year}} Core Update – The impact of those updates is getting smaller and smaller, but yet we feel a need to write blog posts, organise panel discussions, or in other words, make it bigger than it actually is. Just to demonstrate our authority and the voice in the industry.

The actual tips for the next year

#1 Stop reading blog posts containing tips, trends and promises for next year. This industry doesn’t work in cycles of a year. There are a lot of great SEO blogs out there, but they rarely come in form of small agency blog talking about tips, concepts, big ideas in SEO. Things don’t change that fast as we like to talk about them. Here’s a blog post which is probably timeless when it comes to its underlying message. A good rule of thumb is that most useful facts you will get from personal blogs because you aren’t being sold anything. Though Ahrefs’ blog ranks pretty high on the ladder. And for what I mean more, check MOZ blog during their UGC era 🙂

#2 Do Stuff. It’s very rare when a blog post appears and you learn something new from it. Particularly when it is discussing broad concepts. Create a website, create a blog, just about anything, make mistakes, add disallow to robots txt file to see what happens, add a nofollow, analyze other websites – go through this process. This is how you can become Michael King level SEO. As you go deeper into some topics more specific questions arise and this is how you learn. Books can help you get an overall structure of SEO, but you learn things as you go.

#3 Focus on learning an actual skill. You might have noticed that being in SEO means you need a good understanding of a wide variety of subjects. We don’t need to know anything, but choose a focus get an in-depth understanding of it and learn a bit about everything else. For instance, if you’re more on the content promotion / linkbuilding side, perhaps you don’t need to understand the technical side, but it wouldn’t hurt knowing what FTP is (comes from an actual conversation I had).

I’ll stop here.