SEO in 2021

Updated 14-Sep-2023

John Mueller of Google on SEO in 2021

This will be updated throughout 2021. For now, we start with John Mueller's take from SMS Virtual 2020.

Technical SEO in 2021

While John was focusing on technical SEO, it seems that this is something approached in a comprehensive manner by Google, namely:

  • There are ways for the less technical to still be surfaced (if they are following best practices, presumably in content)
  • Technical SEO does provide an advantage is several ways
  • Core Web Vitals will be vital
  • Technical SEO is harder (js, pagination, feeds), advice is to get help
  • Embrace modern formats (for technical, modern ways of doing mobile pagination / accordions / horizontal swipe images)

Brand and SEO in 2021

  • Return visitors is an important ranking factor, not just one-off visits
  • Sites need user pull which means ways for being searched by name
  • Generally easier to rank for your name
    • Converse is true also, generic brands / site names will suffer

Content SEO in 2021

  • Reach a broader audience (diversify)
  • Embrace modern formats (for content, Web Stories and the like)

Visual Design SEO in 2021

  • Embrace modern formats (for visual design, mobile first)

There is already evidence that visual design makes a big difference in the December 2020 core algorithm update. We at Lanna Digital have some specific ideas on this issue, especially around mobile-first.

Because of Mobile, there are issues with managing content, that is how to present content without being overwhelming. This comes down to not so much the theme but certain layout elements, such as:

  • Menus
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Table of Contents
  • Accordion or Tabbed Content
  • Mobile Carousel

The Fundamentals of SEO

These fundamentals are not changing anytime soon, and it is vital to continue back to these so that understanding and intention does not drift into areas that are less effective.

Neil Patel on SEO in 2021

  • PageSpeed,
  • shorter text length,
  • longer audio and video length ~10 minutes,
  • focus on marginal gains (lots of small things add up),
  • traffic and conversions via voice search,
  • top spots matter more than ever,
  • repurpose and update content,
  • podcasting,
  • update more frequently than releasing new content,
  • build brand.