Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) can be determined as one of the most important parameter of any website, including those who are based on WordPress platform. Understanding of the SEO rules and following them are crucial not only for the position of your website in search engine query but also for the sake of your users` experience. It happens because SEO demands exactly the same things most users are looking for: intuitive navigation, clean and useful content, wide social sharing opportunities and so on.
The main problem of search engine optimization is that it is very complex and lasts without end. Experienced website owners have already managed to find their golden mean between perfectionism and reality in terms of SEO. But if you are one of the beginners in this field, then you probably need the guiding light.
We have gathered the most interesting facts from history and modernity of Search Engine Optimization to guide you through the raging sea of subjective opinions and experience which always float somewhere near the SEO. These facts will allow you to understand SEO from the inside and determine the most suitable strategies of developing your own web project due to its requirements and suggestions. The data in this article are supported with the amazing infographic by SeoTribunal.
Search Engines and Algorithms` History
The history of search engines begins in 1993 when the first search helper called Archie was launched. Since that time there were 6 more prominent search engines launched: Ask.com in 1996, Yandex in 1997, Google in 1998, Baidu in 2000, Yahoo in 2002 and Bing in 2009.
As you can see, there is no connection between the sequence of search engine launches and their further successful histories. We know that Google is the most popular search engine of modern days, and it was launched only the 4th of the listed. This is also a good example of success story which tells us that you must not be the first of a kind to become the most popular and successful among the competitors. This fact should encourage lots of web developers and authors to create their projects despite of being not unique.
The other timeline worth mentioning shows us the history of Google algorithms` appearance. These algorithms were the turning points on the modus operandi of all websites in internet. In other words, when Google releases an algorithm update, website owners from all over the world need to change the way they develop their projects significantly.
The landmarks of Google algorithms are: 2005 (personalized search, sitemaps, local and nofollow attributes), 2009 (real-time search), 2011 (Google Panda algorithm affects websites with bad content), 2012 (Google Penguin follows the trends of Panda), 2013 (Hummingbird algorithm), 2015 (Mobilegeddon), 2016 (Rankbrain algorithm), 2018 (Mobile-first algorithm).
Market Share by Search Engines
As we have already mentioned, Google is the leader among the existing search engines. The precise market share for Google is 92,59% for mobile search queries and 72,87% for desktop devices. The second place goes to Chinese search engine Baidu with 12,84% of desktop device share and 4,57% of mobile search share. Bing and Yahoo take the third and the fourth positions in this rating appropriately. Other search engines have less than 1% share of the market through any device type.
These data actually tell us about the prime focus any website owner should have. As long as SEO demands of each search engines differs, any website should primarily focus on Google suggestions to web optimization, content, design and user experience features.
Modern and Future Trends
Search engine optimization has the stable connection with internet commerce. 39% of global eCommerce traffic comes from search engines. It means that nearly a half of your potential customers are looking for your product in search engines right now. And whether they will find you depends on how much your website corresponds to search engine optimization demands.
It is also important to understand why the last Google algorithm update is dedicated to mobile-first principle. Just take a look at numbers: 43% of consumers do online researches before they purchase something in local store, and 1 from 3 smartphone searches is made right before a store visit. These numbers show the way modern consumers analyze product information and actually make purchases. Moreover, it shows the growing influence of mobile share to the modern eCommerce market.
The mobile-first rule is also the vital influencer to the future trends. Only 5 years earlier mobile version of a website was cool to have but certainly not important. Now it is one of the most crucial demands of search engines. Strictly saying, Google does not want any website without mobile version at its top, despite of topic and country.
Another interesting and important trend of SEO is voice search. Even now this technology starts to influence the search and works for the sake of users and customers. It evolves fast and is predicted to be the leading trend by 2020. It means that the time to think about the voice search within your WordPress website has already came.
As we have basically shown how much SEO matters, it is time to talk about the ways you can influence it. In other words, any website owner wants to know, what factors directly influence in his or her project`s place in the search results. There is a number of known factors, although any search engine would not tell us the full list.
The first and the foremost important factor of modern search engine ranking is the speed of your website`s performance. The average leaders (top-1 result websites) has 1900ms or less page download speed. The average 10-position website has nearly 20% less speed. This shows how much the speed optimization matters.
Content quality is believed to be one of the most important ranking factors through the whole history of search engines. This is not a surprise while the primary goal of any user is to inform himself. The average top-1 ranking websites have nearly 2000 words on their homepages. The presence of images is also the part of a successful content strategy. 97% of top-1 website have at least one image at their starting pages.
Behavioral factors are also very important by estimating the usefulness of your website. Bounce rate, click through rate and time spent on the website are the factors you should pay the most attention while analyzing your website behavioral data.
SSL security certificates and LSI keyword research are the additional factors that can help you to succeed with your search engine optimization. A clean and subsequent backlink profile also remains one of the most important factors of a website ranking in Google (despite of any statements about its diminishing role).
Nowadays you can find a wide variety of tools which will help you to improve search engine optimization of your website. We just want to focus your attention at the most important types of SEO tools you would probably need during the everlasting development of your project.
Any WordPress administrator should have content optimization tools at his disposal. These tools help to create optimized and user-friendly content. Keyword research tools will also be helpful in this process. When the content is already created and needs some technical optimization, you will definitely need link building and technical SEO tools. Backlinks analytics tools and video SEO toolkits will become the additional source of important data.