The Best SEO Blog Posts of 2011

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No matter what else you might have to say about the year 2011, you can’t deny that it’s been a time of incredible changes in the SEO world.  So to recap everything that’s happened this year, we’re bringing you the top SEO posts of 2011:

Google Panda

Probably the biggest change to hit the SEO world this year was the implementation of the Google Panda algorithm change.  Plenty of great articles were written on what this update means and how to recover from any assessed penalties, so be sure to check out the following sites:

What Is Google Panda?

Google Panda Update History

Succeeding in a Post-Google Panda World

Google+

This year, Google made major strides in its efforts to compete with Facebook and provide the best possible search results by customizing the SERPs to its users’ preferences.  Here’s how it happened:

The Launch of the Google +1 Button

The launch of the Google +1 button surprised many SEO experts, as the full strategy behind Google’s search and content integrations wasn’t yet completely clear.

The Google+ Social Networking Site

Although it has yet to steal a significant amount of market share from Facebook in the competitive social networking space, Google+ offers a number of unique tools and features that could make it a contender in the future.

Personalized Search

With personalized search results replacing traditional SEO rankings in many Google SERPs, webmasters are well advised to focus on building their social networks and developing viral, sharable content.

New Metrics in SEO

Across the search engines, major shifts have been taking place in terms of the factors that lead to high rankings.  No longer is it enough for webmasters to optimize their title tags, fill out their meta descriptions and include target keywords at a specific density.  These traditional SEO markers are on their way out – and the following new metrics are in!

Social Media

Probably the biggest change to SEO metrics in the past year has been the increased importance of social media signals as a ranking factor.

Site Speed

Although site speed isn’t a new ranking factor, its importance is growing, which makes it a relevant area of opportunity for most webmasters.

Bounce Rate, CTR and other Metrics

Smart webmasters are shifting their attention off of keyword density and other traditional SEO metrics and taking a look at bounce rate, CTR and other current indications of site quality.

Freshness

Recently, content “freshness” has grown hugely in importance, making it a vital consideration for brands, blogs, content sites and more.

Content Quality

The Panda update was all about rewarding content quality and weeding junk sites out of the SERPs.  Here’s how to improve the quality of the content on your site to take advantage of this new metric:

Branding

Surprisingly, SEO has shifted in focus to favor defined brands, meaning that high rankings can no longer be achieved by keyword optimization alone.

The Future of SEO

Although there’s no way to know for sure which factors will impact SEO most in the coming years, we can make a few extrapolations based on what we’ve seen so far.  The following articles highlight the changes we’ve seen to SEO over the past year and make predictions about what will be big in 2012:

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