In 2020, there have been massive changes in the game called SEO. Some hit some webmasters pretty badly while boosting others, resulting in some massive shifts in SERPs.
And while there still are some who use illicit techniques to boost their ranking, slowly but surely, white hat SEO tactics and methods are becoming the safest investment for both short and long-term growth.
So What Has Changed In SEO in 2020?
Once considered to be the slow way to the top, white hat techniques are slowly but surely becoming the best way to increase your site’s ranking.
The many changes and updates made to search engines in the past year have made them more adept at catching and sanctioning illegal behavior, which means less spammy and scammy sites in your search results.
Black hat techniques are not as simple to implement as they once were, meaning they are not as cost-efficient, which is good - as this is a big step in moving towards creating a level playing field for everyone.
Here are some of the bigger changes made to SEO in 2020:
- Mobile Indexing Comes First For New Domains
That’s right. Google announced that as of May this year, all new domains will be indexed by default for mobile-first approach. Meaning, sites should provide 100% of the content to both desktop and mobile users if they want to get indexed.
- SERP’s Diversification
In June this year, Google rolled out the Site Diversity Update which, put simply, guarantees more source website diversity on the first page. You won’t get more than two listings from one website.
- Improved Content Presentation
As of January, Google has started to present some of the content of other sites right on the top of the search results. Why? Well, when the search engine finds data that is relevant to your search, it presents the most important bits of it. Content and data structure are more important than ever.
There have been many other changes that have left their mark, but the above three are considered to be the game-changers for this year.
With that said, let’s go through the best white hat methods that can make a big difference in 2020.
The Best White Hat SEO Tactics
There are lots of white tactics out there but the ones we’ll mention and explain here are considered to be the most promising and show the best results.
A Focus on Mobile
Let’s be honest here. Much of the surfing and browsing is done with smartphones, and if you haven’t already updated your site to be more mobile-friendly, your ranking will be lower. Why? Google tends to rate mobile-friendly sites higher.
Creating a mobile-friendly site is not that hard nowadays, and there are also a few apps that can help you test your site and suggest improvements.
High-Quality User Experience (UX) Is Crucial
An aspect that is becoming more and more important, due to the rising importance of bounce rates. A better UX means that a user won’t just leave your site immediately after visiting - they’ll stick around and check out more content.
A good UX build is something that requires a lot of work and research, as it covers almost every aspect of a site. Thankfully, there are a lot of guides on how to make a good UX, and the folks over at Google have even made one themselves.
If you are more confident with entrusting your website's UX design to more experienced professionals, consider hiring one of the top UX agencies on this list
Appropriate Link Building
No links, no love. That’s how it is in SEO. If you want your site to rank higher, you will need links from authoritative sources added to your posts. You only need to keep in mind that there is a fine line between ‘enough’ and ‘too much, which is also a factor that can decide if this is a white hat or a black hat style link building.
Many go with Private Blog Networks (PBN), which is a gray hat method. This method involves creating a web of networks that will all link to your main site, and boost its rating. Although not illegal, this method is still risky. If you want to give PBNs a try, we suggest you also employ a good PBN hosting service, one such as LaunchCDN, for example, whose PBN hosting services will ensure there won’t be a trace that can lead Google’s search engine to discover your PBN.
Social media platforms can hugely influence your site’s ranking. Getting your content in front of the massive audiences of Facebook and Twitter is paramount for the success of your online enterprise.
First, you find your audience, or better said, the audience with the highest chance of being interested in what you’re selling. Play nice with all who want to promote your content, and also be kind to return the favor when asked. Don’t be one of those people that writes to others only when you need help. Business partnerships are not just contracts. You also need to have good relationships with others. Creating good relationships with your audience and presenting your brand online the right way might be challenging sometimes. Getting help from a trusted branding agency is always a good option.
Good Keyword Research <=> Good Content
Keywords are not just words put here and there in order to satisfy a certain standard. They were in the past, but today keywords are a combination of words and phrases that are used in a certain niche. Good keyword research will give you a good direction in which you should design and create your content. Simply said, the better the research, the more keywords you will have, and the more you use them (in a relevant way), and the better your content is, the higher your site will rank.
These tactics will not make your site #1, but they can help you set the foundation for long-term success. There is no shortcut to the first page on Google that is also sustainable in the long term.
While the rules and ethics of SEO change frequently, white hat SEO methods are what they are and will not change any time soon! What’s more, they are getting more and more effective - they’re the foundation for sustainable business growth. That's why most SEOs prefer completing periodic SEO courses online to improve their knowledge and strategies on a continual basis.