SEO 2021: How To Keep Pace With Search Engines



From E-A-T To Video And More

2020 has changed the way business is conducted, not just today but likely forever. It has opened many business owners’ eyes to the power of the internet, not just business owners, but also the general public. People who had never before ordered goods online or anything over a mobile phone did so for the first time, a trend that will most likely stick.

I live in Canberra. For those who don’t know, even though it is the capital city in Australia, it’s by no means the most populated. However, in the past decade, urbanization has been full steam ahead. Therefore, many people have moved away from expensive cities like Melbourne and Sydney to find better value for their families.

2020 has increased families’ flow from bigger cities to smaller towns and cities in many countries. Now the dynamic of online business and being able to work from home has become more prevalent so many people are asking themselves, “Why live in downtown London, Manhattan, or Johannesburg when your boss has downscaled the office’s size and only requires specific staff that has to be there physically?”

An increase in urban numbers will lead to a higher demand for local SEO specialists. Here in Canberra, the competition is now rife for Canberra SEO. If you owned an SEO agency in Canberra in the past, your team would have been small. Now, this is becoming a hub for SEO services Canberra. With local SEO in Canberra on the rise and people depending more on local businesses and their products and services, SEO in Canberra is booming, as it is in many other towns and smaller cities around the world.

You will find this becoming a trend wherever you are. If you haven’t hired anyone for 2021, look for local SEO specialists; from a business owner’s perspective, this should be a main focal point for 2021 and beyond.

For the few positives that have come from COVID-19, it was a desperately bad year for many sectors in various industries. For SEO companies and SEO specialists, the landscape has changed, but realistically you need to improve what you’ve already worked on. However, the bar has been raised, and competition is rife. Both Google and its users are demanding quality in 2021.

In this article, I will cover areas that, throughout 2021, you need to focus on, learn about, and update.

Table Of Contents

  • Keep Search Intent Front And Center
  • Re-Think Your Keyword Research
  • Content Is Context
  • Reassess Your Most Informative Pages: What Content Can Be Updated?
  • Work On Your E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, And Trustworthiness
  • Get Writing
  • Search Is Moving Fast
  • Progressive Web Apps
  • Video
  • Other Platforms
  • Conclusion: 2020 Is Over, What Happens Now And Beyond?

Keep Search Intent Front And Center

Search intent is the reason behind why the user is searching. It’s there to analyze:

  • Are they looking for information?
  • Are they looking to buy something?
  • Are they trying to find a specific website?
  • Or is it something completely different?

This year, Google’s algorithm analyzes user behavior more than ever before. BERT has shown a breakthrough in natural language processing—algorithms are learning fast.

By mapping out your keyword strategy based upon your searchers’ usual specific intents, an SEO company will find success as this guides the search engines to what you want them to show.

Re-Think Your Keyword Research

With the changes throughout many industries due to the pandemic, SEO companies should be taking a close look at “re-researching” their keyword strategy. A 2019 approach is highly unlikely to work. Updating your keyword research will ensure you don’t miss out on new opportunities that have arisen due to a higher internet usage level and new behavioral patterns.

Look at consumer trends and think about the following:

  • What has changed in a particular company?
  • What has changed around that company’s audience?
  • What has changed in search trends in this company’s industry?

Content Is Context

Context is one of the essential words for SEO companies and business owners in 2021. Context is what the search engine requires to make sense of the information it processes. As search engines become more intelligent and faster, they are hungry for relatable information—and lots of it. By supplying accurate context, you connect the website’s content and how that fits into the bigger picture.

And it’s not just about content, when you add links, what context do the links provide to help the search engines? Schema is also an SEO specialists’ friend and can show an alternative way to show what is connected.

Let’s Take A Closer Look

When mapping context, it can lead to SEO specialists realizing there is a gap that needs to be filled; maybe a topic needs revision, as the pandemic may have now led the website down a yellow brick road. Make sure to gather as much information as possible from the business owner.

As the business owner, be sure to continually advise your SEO company of what changes have happened in your company and your industry. You may find you have to go back and re-write large blocks of content, so work as a team to get it done.

Reassess Your Most Informative Pages: What Content Can Be Updated? 

You have likely been in the SEO industry for some time if you have read this far or, as a business owner, have a small team or hire SEO specialists through an SEO company. When you have been involved up to a certain level, you will have produced plenty of content during this time. Content is about balance; overusing or underusing content will harm website rankings in 2021. Content maintenance needs to be your focus.

To analyze how a website’s content is performing, do a re-assessment:

  • Do we need to write more content or less content?
  • Do we combine shorter, less competitive articles into longer ones for better rankings?

Sometimes, it’s not always about writing new content, you can improve what you have already written.

Work On Your E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, And Trustworthiness

Google’s algorithm is an expert at judging content, and SEO specialists must ensure the content is valuable to the user. Here are questions the algorithm asks itself:

  • Is it trustworthy?
  • Who is claiming that they can do this?
  • Is the author trustworthy?
  • Does the author have authority on the subject?

Google monitors the professionalism behind the content, not just the quality. The algorithm takes a particular interest in financial and medical pages, also known as Your Money or Your Life pages (YMLY), whereby trust and expertise are a must. All SEO companies out there should be prepared for this in 2021.

Get Writing

Quality engaging content is one of Google’s primary ranking factors now. It needs to be in-depth, informative, and original. The algorithm is getting more competent at identifying the quality of text within an article and making judgments on its findings.

Readers value more well-written content as it comes across as trustworthy, and for an SEO company or website owner, guarantees a lower bounce rate. If the content is engaging, reads well, and is grammatically correct, it’s likely to be read through and recommended.

Also, don’t just write about you, your products, and your services, write informatively about your industry in general. It shows the reader you care about them, not just about your bottom line.

Search Is Moving Fast

As seasoned SEO companies know, a search is no longer confined to a website, optimization has even morphed outside of social media platforms. Devices, which now have AI inside that can answer a spoken question, can now be optimized for rankings. eCommerce has extensive platforms that garner a large percentage of product services, plus many others.

Progressive Web Apps

Apps are everywhere. After the pandemic, apps for services usage were at an all-time high—possibly never returning to 2019 levels. They continually pop up in searches, especially mobile. With companies like Uber being an app-only company, this represents a vast, profitable gap in the market for SEO companies and local SEO specialists to take full advantage of for their clients.

Also, Google now has the Discover app, which will suggest relevant content depending on a user’s interests. This is where local SEO comes to the fore; if Uber can do it, why can’t a local company do the same?

Apps offer an alternative. In many cases, they are a better solution to a market gap, and they can reach an audience better than other forms of traditional and digital marketing. From an SEO company’s standpoint, it’s worth looking at what progressive web apps your clients would benefit from in 2021.


Video is surging in relevance for global marketing. YouTube is now officially second only to Google in hits. Companies have become household names in no time, such as Tik Tok, and with ever-evolving technology and advancements, this is not slowing down.

With Google’s 2021 updates, video is now a ranking factor in search result pages. For businesses, if you can delegate finances to make competent videos, it’s worth the investment from 2021 onwards. When I say “investment,” I am not talking Hollywood level here, as long as it’s real and gets your message across, you can gather a following.

Other Platforms

Surprisingly in recent times, we have seen a slight decline in converted traffic from social media platforms as other platforms come to the fore and overshadow them.

As I mentioned above, YouTube has a significant role to play, as do companies such as Amazon, who made a monster profit from the pandemic and are still doing so. Short-form video is now widespread, so if you are an SEO company that sticks to traditional marketing, look outside the box into new platforms and judge the number of users they have, as that could be an avenue other SEO companies won’t touch.

Conclusion: 2020 Is Over, What Happens Now And Beyond?

All the information in this article has been kept relatively simple, and it may come across as straightforward when you read it. But for all SEO companies, SEO specialists, and local SEO specialists, 2021 will be the most challenging in recent memory and for some of you, in your careers so far.

With two Google algorithm updates this year, you can’t properly prepare. Stick to the basics and leave the flair and unchartered waters for post-May. Everything in this article is techniques you are familiar with or have at least heard of or done some research on. My best advice is to get a priority list together, as to:

  • What needs to be optimized right now?
  • What needs to be analyzed for optimization next?
  • What needs to be looked into to add an extra dimension after the Google updates?

Consumer trends are what will guide you from a yellow brick road to a straight path to results. Overseeing a fast loading website, with modern UX features that is technically flawless with engaging, informative content is a solid foundation.

However, with many famous brick-and-mortar companies with solid, long-standing reputations moving online, as an SEO company, you cannot afford to represent sub-standard products and services.

Everyone, including business owners/manufacturers, has to step it up in 2021 to compete online. Google won’t settle for anything less, and if they do, you’ll have to settle for page 2 or 3, and nobody wants to be there, do they? Good luck.


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