Search engine marketing tools and tactics are in an ever-changing state of flux. Search engine juggernaut Google regularly announces significant changes to their algorithms (they announced 40 changes to their various search engines earlier this year, followed by the Penguin update in  April). On top of that, powerful new search engine marketing and optimization tools are launched almost daily and existing tools are routinely enhanced.

How can you keep up?  Get on board and add these three tactics to your online marketing strategy this year:

  1. Guest Blogging – This time last year many in the search engine optimization (SEO) community were still reeling from Google’s first infamous Panda update. Panda – Google’s code name for a massive search algorithm change also known as the Farmer update – fundamentally altered the SEO landscape by placing tremendous importance on quality content. Website owners and SEO practicioners who relied on low-quality content found themselves in dire straits.As a result of Panda, many link builders have embraced guest blogging as a link-building tactic. Placing quality guest posts on reputable blogs is “Panda-proof,” and the number of SEO companies adopting this tactic has exploded in the last few months.
  1. Search Engine Re-targeting (only now it’s more sophisticated). When Google launched their remarketing platform in March 2010, businesses couldn’t launch re-targeting campaigns fast enough. However, once the initial enthusiasm died down, advertisers saw that blitzing website visitors with banner after banner as they traveled around the web wasn’t a smart way to use the Google Remarketing system.Fast forward a couple of years and advertisers are starting to use re-targeting ads in a much more sophisticated manner. Remarketing lists are now segmented by keyword and content type and lists are generated from code placed on Facebook business pages and inside emails. Website owners are even going so far as to share their remarketing lists with one another for mutual benefit.In other words, re-targeting has grown up a lot in the last two years, and it’s a hot topic once again.
  2. Making Google Plus Part of SEO Strategy (albeit begrudgingly so). Prior to the launch of Google Plus last June, there was a lot of smoke surrounding the concept of social search, but not a lot of fire. Search engine experts boldly predicted that Google search results would one day be calculated by using data from social networks, but until Google Plus came along, it was difficult to see how this transition would take place.However, Google’s “Search, plus Your World” initiative has proved the prognosticators correct. Google’s decision to deliver search results based on social relationships – which are largely determined from data gathered on Google Plus – means that any successful long-term SEO strategy must embrace gathering followers on Google Plus. As 2012 has moved along, the number of little Google Plus icons seen around the web has grown exponentially. If your company isn’t on Google Plus, be sure to get established ASAP.

Author Jason Lancaster is an search engine marketing consultant and the President of Spork Marketing, a guest blogging service provider.

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