SEO in 2020 both has and hasn't changed.
Let me explain.
In 2019, there were three core algorithm updates.
One in March, another in June, and the finalone in September.
And do you know what happened in each oneof these updates? Probably not.
But I can guarantee you that 99.
99% of peoplewatching this video don't either.
And it's not because the updates weren't important.
It's because they didn't affect the fundamentalprinciples of SEO success.
So rather than searching for the latest EAThack or trying to optimize for BERT, you should focus on the three most important thingsthat will determine the fate of your rankings.
And that's what we're covering in this video today.
[music] Google's algorithm is always changing.
But the one thing that hasn't changedis what the algorithm is trying to do.
Google's job is to provide the best searchresults for any given query.
They need to find pages and rank the onesthat best match and serve the user's intents.
And to figure this out, they use hundredsof different ranking factors.
So there's really no point in chasing algorithms.
Instead, our job as content creators and marketers isto show search engines that our pages deserve to rank.
And the three things that will determinewhether you rank or not are content, backlinks, and indexation.
Let's go through each one of these.
First and arguably the most important thingin SEO is content.
No matter how prolific your writing skills are, youwon't rank unless you've gotten your content “right.
” And by “right, ” there are a few major things to consider.
First is search intent.
Search intent means the reason behinda searcher's query.
To figure this out, just do a search in Googlefor your target keyword, and look through the titles of the top ranking pages.
From these, you should be able to figure outthe three C's of search intent.
The first C is content type.
Content type can usually be categorized intoblog posts, product, category, and landing pages.
The second C is content format.
And this applies more to blog posts and landing pages.
A few common blog formats you'll see are”how-tos”, step-by-step tutorials, list posts, and opinion editorials.
For a landing page, that might be somethinglike a tool or calculator.
And the third C is content angle, which oftendepicts the “benefit.
” It's basically your hook as to why someoneshould click through to the page.
Search intent today is more important than ever.
And if you want to rank high, you'll want to matchthe type, format, and angle of other top pages.
Second, make sure you've covered the topic in full.
This doesn't mean that you have to give everylast detail on the topic.
For example, if you're writing about a topiclike “the best headphones, ” you don't have to mention every single manufacturer and/or model.
Instead, look at what the top ranking pagesare talking about.
So for “best headphones, ” you'll see thatTechRadar has organized their post by “best [type] headphones.
” Like “best in-ear headphones, ” “best on-earheadphones, ” and so on.
See the article from Digital Trends, and they'vefollowed the same or at least very similar format.
You can also use Ahrefs' Content Gap tool to see common keyword rankings among the top 3 to 5 pages.
Just enter the top ranking URLs here, whichI've already done and run the search.
And now that we can see keywords that thetop pages rank for, we can extract subtopics and create a thorough page to maximize search traffic So I might want to talk about budget headphonesas well as the best portable headphones and categorize my post that way.
Finally, make sure you get the on-page stuff down pat.
Things like titles, URL slugs, and heading tags arebasic things in on-page SEO, but they're important.
Rather than going into the details, I recommendwatching our full on-page SEO checklist tutorial which will walk you through all of the important steps.
The second thing is to continue focusingon building backlinks.
Links have been and still are one of the strongestranking signals.
And if you want to rank for anything remotelycompetitive, you'll need to build them.
Now, while you might be searching for newand revolutionary link building tactics in 2020, my recommendation is to stop.
Things like broken link building, the SkyscraperTechnique, and guest posting all work really well.
What doesn't work is when you copy other people'stemplates verbatim.
By doing that, you're essentially puttingyourself in a box with hundreds of other people sending the exact same email, which probablywon't yield the best results.
Try and provide value to the person who's receivingthe email to increase your chances of getting links.
We have an awesome playlist on various linkbuilding strategies, so if you're relatively new to link building or struggling to build quality backlinks, I highly recommend watching those videos, choosing a strategy for your pages, and executing.
Alright, the final piece to ranking is indexation.
Search engines crawl, parse, and store informationin a database called a search index.
End users are then able to access this informationusing Google search.
So if your pages aren't indexed, then it's impossibleto get your site or pages discovered in search.
To check if your site is indexed, go to theCoverage report in Google Search Console and you should be able to see which pagesGoogle has indexed.
Also, if you haven't submitted a sitemap, then you can do that here, too.
Now, if you don't have Search Console setup, go to Google and search for site:yourdomain.
Hopefully you'll see most of your pages there.
If you're seeing zero results, it means yoursite isn't indexed.
If this is you, there are three things youshould look for.
First, make sure you haven't unintentionallynoindexed all of your pages.
This often happens with redesigns where developerswill noindex an entire site during development and forget to switch it back when migrating.
Just open the source code on your homepage, and search for noindex.
If you see it in your meta robots tag, thenyou'll want to fix that.
Second, make sure you're not blocking Googlebotor all user agents in your robots.
Just go to yourdomain.
txt And if you see something like this, it means you're blocking all bots from crawlingany page on your website.
And third, check Search Console for a manual action.
You can do that by clicking on Manual actionsin the sidebar.
Fix whatever it is, and submit a reconsideration request.
Now, if you have specific pages that aren'tbeing indexed, then you likely have more of a technical SEO issue.
First, do the same checks that I mentioned, like making sure you didn't noindex the page.
Another reason can be if you're automaticallygenerating millions of indexable pages.
These are most likely going to be low-qualityand will affect your crawl budget.
Some examples are forum profiles or facetednavigation issues on ecommerce pages.
There are literally an endless number of thingsto check for if your pages aren't being indexed, but these are the most common.
Bottomline: if your pages aren't in Google'sindex, your SEO future in 2020 or even 2222 won't be very promising.
Now, while things like BERT or using Pythonto automate SEO tasks might seem exciting, prioritize and don't lose focus on these three things that are actually going to get your pages ranking high.
Think about it like this.
You don't need to know how running shoes aremade in order to become a better sprinter.
You need to strengthen your core muscle groups, practice the fundamentals like starting, accelerating, and finishing.
Most importantly, you need to get out thereand compete with others.
In the same way, SEO is all about fundamentals.
Focus on the things that matter most ratherthan chasing shiny tactics from headlines claiming SEO has completely changed.
Now, I'd love to hear from you.
Do you think that SEO will be more or lessthe same in 2020 vs.
last year? Let me know in the comments and if you enjoyedthis video, make sure to like, share and subscribe for more actionable SEO tutorials.
So keep grinding away, stay focused, and I'llsee you in the next tutorial.