SEO is exploding right now, if you didn’t already know. With Google’s new Penguin 3.0 algorithm update, we are seeing a bubble forming in which SEOs are sought after to explain how the update changed the game. 3.0 comes around at a time when the web is likewise exploding with liquid, dynamic designs that are leaving many beginner web designers in the dust. The question is how new design norms and established SEO practices are combining to cope with changes brought on by the refreshed Penguin 3.0 and HTML5 recommendation. Let’s have a look.
Links, links and more links
What I love about the new update is it goes after the spammy sites. Crappy link structures and link mania are coming to end, and we’re one step closer to perfected search. This is of course not so great for the SEO profession, but don’t worry—we’re still a long way off from AI and the resultant obsoleteness of SEO professionals.
So, links. Web design will benefit from the fact that obvious anchor text keyword-packing will now be penalized. Designers won’t have to worry about their awesome work being upset by intrepid optimizers creating questionable content via ugly link text. Instead, on-page content in both design and text will find harmony in their contextual relationship—and Google will like it. How quaint!
In the world of websites, October 2014 was a BIG month. Apart from Penguin 3.0, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) finalized its recommendation of HTML5. For the sake of dissemination of this information, I will explain what this is. HTML is the principal language of internet documents (webpages). HTML5 is the latest update to this language, and in my opinion it’s the best. I’ll tell you why.
Why is jQuery ok where Flash wasn’t? Because the content that exists within this code can be read by the spiders which in turn create the indexes that empower smart searching. You can optimize jQuery for SEO and therefore its contents as well. So that nifty animation there on the liquid navigational bar isn’t interfering with your SEO. Cool, isn’t it?
What about browser compatibility?
Now on to some global advice: HTML5, and its accompaniment of animation functionality, is not yet supported by all browsers, despite its being recognized by W3C. This means that all the HTML5 and jQuery fun you implement on your site needs to be backward-compatible with older browsers, or otherwise it should fall back onto a default option so that visitors with outdated browsers aren’t alienated (and by now they are outdated).
Penguin 3.0 doesn’t seem to have changed the general consensus that browser compatibility is not a ranking factor that Google or other search engines take into account. However, our main audience is our public, and a designer should definitely think about making their designs compatible across browsers.
These are our insights into new trends at the juncture of web design and SEO. What are yours?