3 Recent Developments in SEO

It is common knowledge that the speed of which a webpage is able to load into a user’s browser can affect everything from user experience to placement in the search engines. But speed is only one variable of hundreds, if not thousands, that are taken into consideration by the search engines.

There are many influencing factors for your site’s placement in the search engines and the more you know, the closer you can come to developing a strategy to raise your site’s position. The problem is trying to determine what is currently keeping your site from performing better.

However, there are three recent developments in Google’s algorithms that may provide an excellent place to start and deserve to be part of your optimization efforts.

Locale-Aware Crawling

Google has recently announced the introduction of locale-aware crawl configurations for websites that return different content based on the perceived country or preferred language of the visitor.

Because Google uses a default IP address from the US, some content may not get indexed. Google is now aware of sites that use locale-adaptive content and uses locale-aware crawling in order to index content for searchers from other areas of the world.

Design and SEO

Starting in late 2014, design elements are now being taken into consideration when indexing a page. Google’s indexing system renders the page itís crawling, similar to viewing the page in a browser, which means design elements, such as JavaScript and CSS are now visible to Google. This is important because if your robots.txt file is set to disallow access to the JavaScript and CSS files, Google will not be able to correctly render the page when it is indexed. This can impact how the page is interpreted by the ranking algorithm and the page may not rank as high as it could.

Semantic Markup

Google has introduced semantic markup to its algorithm. HTML has always been used as a design element to distinguish elements on the page from each other. Semantic markup has given these HTML design elements their own ‘voice’ to describe the importance of the text within the HTML markup.

For example:

This content is in a paragraph tag and would be considered ordinary text within a document. Text emphasized or bold would hold a higher importance within that paragraph. So and h1 tag would be considered the most important headline and an h2 tag would be of secondary importance to the h1 tag. In other words, the HTML markup becomes semantic in that how sentences, words and phrases are marked, shows their importance within the document.

While the loading speed of a page has held importance for a while now, design elements are also being taken into consideration now. These are three new considerations one has to take into account now when preparing a site for optimization, but when designing the site as well.