13 SEO Tricks, Treats, and Frights of 2017

Happy Halloween from KoMarketing!
Happy Halloween 2017

Halloween has become the IT holiday for SEOs. #SEOnightmares is sure to be a big hit again this year with everyone sharing their best horror stories of 2017. Which, undoubtedly, will include many tales from the developer’s crypt!

In celebration, I’ve pulled together my own list of 13 SEO Tricks, Treats, and Frights of 2017 (+ Monsters). And, there is no better way to start the list off than with a big FRIGHT…

1. FRIGHT: Negative SEO for Ransom

Pennywise - IT 2017

We аrе using differеnt methods of DDOSing,it will bе hard tо stоp thеm all.
Should that be nоt enough, we will dо nеgаtivе SEO аgаinst you wеbsidе. Negаtivе SEO is hаrd tо detесt (until it is to lаtе) and imроssible to mitigate.Gооglе will just drоp your wеbsite into SEO оbliviоn.
So whаt саn yоu do tо аvоid all this damagе? The sоlutiоn is simрle – give us 500 USD in Monerо, аnd wе will nevеrbothеr yоur соmpany аgain.

The above email excerpt shows that hackers have taken a new approach to their efforts to extort money from businesses. They have begun coupling standard IT attacks, like DDoS, with threats of Negative SEO.

Luckily, John Mueller confirmed via Twitter that it’s just a scare tactic and Google is equipped to handle.

2. TREAT: AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

Amp'd up Frankenstein's Monster
What a treat AMP has been in 2017! Early adopters in 2016 definitely reaped traffic rewards in 2017. If you are using a popular open-source CMS, implementation of AMP on your site can be done in minutes without developers. If this wasn’t in your roadmap for 2017, make sure it is for 2018.

3. TRICK: JSON-LD Implementation of Schema

Jason Voorhees - JSON-LD
The option to use JSON for Linking Data (JSON-LD) to implement Schema data markup has been a lifesaver. A singularly placed JavaScript tag with well formatted/nested data is the way to go. Gone are the days of back-and-forth with developers because they put a tag in the wrong place.

4. TREAT: Real-time Penguin 4.0

Penguin vs. Batman
Google released the real-time Penguin 4.0 update at the end of 2016. Many sites immediately began seeing the benefits of deep content pages being released from an umbrella penalty across the site. This update also removed the notion of a “penalty” related to Penguin and rather “devalued” links that no longer conformed to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

5. TRICK: Redirect Chains

Texas Redirect Chainsaw Massacre
Historically, limiting the number of “jumps” in redirects was a great strategy for helping ensure as much equity as possible would pass through your redirects. Gary Illyes confirmed last year that 30x redirect do not lose PageRank. Amazing! So, who cares how long your redirect chains are? Google does, and they recommend that redirects still be kept to two jumps to ensure there are no crawl issues.

6. FRIGHT: HTTPS Migration

Pan's Labyrinth of HTTPS
This has to be one of the scariest things facing SEOs in 2017. The benefits of making this move are potentially non-existent to performance but Google continues to push the agenda for a more secure Web. The migration typically comes with known traffic issues while Google figures out you have moved.

7. TRICK: Keywords in Internal Links

Scream Internal Links
Most potent when used with new content. A clear alignment between targeted keyphrase within new content and the internal links helps with improving relevancy. John Mueller also recently reconfirmed that Google would prefer this over “click here”.

8. TREAT: Google Answer Box

Jigsaw Google Answer Box
“Position 0” as it has been dubbed, gives you maximum visibility from an Organic perspective. Google continues to show an increasing amount of results with Answer Boxes and there is a structure you can use, if you want to play the game.

9. TRICK: Brand Monitoring

Stranger Things
You are being talked about and you may not even know it. Use these three tools to monitor your brand mentions:

10. FRIGHT: Unsecure Form Alerts

Coming from Google any day, sites using the HTTP protocol and a form with text input fields (especially those collecting “sensitive” information such as email address) will receive a special warning in Chrome version 62 for not being secure. The impact on conversions is unknown and should be evaluated for your organization; this “feature” may be lost on most users.

11. TREAT: Mobile First Index (not until 2018)

Walking Dead Zombie
As more and more people are on the go, searching for brains, etc., mobile site usability and availability have been at the forefront of Google’s mind. Over 50 percent of searches are conducted via mobile devices. Google’s experimentation with a mobile-first index did not and will not make it live in 2017. Phew! Though, be prepared for it when Gary Illyes begins to ramp up talks about it.

12. TRICK: IA Structuring

Vampire Penny Dreadful
As everyone is talking about AI, I’m over here talking about IA – Information Architecture. Building a site structure that funnels value and authority to key categories is a foundational piece to SEO that is often overlooked.

13. FRIGHT: Changing Dates on Content

Once upon a time, small tricks often resulted in SEO treats and making minor edits to content or published dates appears to be a trick that was still working. However, Google is on to it and will potentially cause some trust issues if you are changing your content in this way.

Be Safe Out There!

Join in on the fun of Halloween by sharing with us your scariest SEO nightmares, horror stories, or just your favorite monster movies and creatures.

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