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SEO keeps evolving. Some of the strategies that worked just a few years ago will now leave you penalised. That’s why when it comes to doing SEO, you want to future proof things. And if you’re hiring a firm to do it for you, make sure you understand what they’re doing so you can make sure it won’t do more harm than good.

Beyond all the basics such as genuinely creating a great website, ensuring a great user experience and awesome content, here a few things that we at Vortex Local believe Google will start catching onto more and more.

Number 1. PBN links from sites that get little to no traffic. Sure, the sites might have good domain metrics but a site that just churns out content that no-one ever reads or shares is very unnatural. If you’re getting PBN links or paying for links elsewhere, make sure it’s on sites that have traffic, are relevant, have a good backlink profile, link out to legit sites and overall offer a good user experience.

Number 2: Anchor rich text and links surrounded by odd content. Google has already cracked down on over optimised hyperlinks and we think it’ll continue. Google are also placing more emphasis on the context around your link. For example, is your link always preceded by the words guest post or sponsored by? If so, that’s a bad sign. This needs to be kept natural and varied.

Number 3: Over optimised content. Google doesn’t like sites where every page targets specific search terms. And that’s a big sign that an aggressive SEO is at work – which is another no-no. It does like sites that naturally answer genuine questions. And we’re seeing Google integrate this more and more. For example, Google q&a in map packs. So don’t just create pages and blog posts for search engines, mix things up and keep it natural.

And that’s a good place to end things. Google is getting smarter all the time. Whatever you do, think of whether it would pass a manual review from someone at Google. If not, change!