SEO Trends for 2009

Guest post by Jill Whalen

Each year around this time, I like to review the traffic trends to our High Rankings website, and compare the traffic to the previous year. I usually learn a lot from this exercise, and I highly recommend it to everyone. Thankfully, with Google Analytics it’s very simple.

Some of the things I look at are total number of visits to the website, as well as the number of visits to certain sections or pages of the site. And of course, I especially like to look at which keyword phrases drive search engine traffic.

Because our site is all about SEO, in addition to learning how we’re doing with our own optimization and overall online marketing initiatives, I can also learn about overall trends in the industry. High Rankings has a number of authoritative articles on fundamental SEO techniques that are typically ranked #1 or #2 for the keywords that relate to them. In fact, those articles tend to have more page views than any others on the site.

Today I thought I’d share some of these insights with you. Please remember that you have to take these “trends” with a grain of salt because many factors could be at play beyond just what people are searching at Google.

With that said, here are some statistics for you, with my commentary on what they might (or might not) mean.

For this exercise I looked at just Google visitors, rather than all search engine visitors, because it was easier to filter the data that way. Our overall Google visitor number was about the same in 2008 as it was in 2009 (–0.24%), which is good for purposes of looking at the trends. If we had substantially more or fewer Google visitors, the numbers of visitors based on keywords would be skewed because of that. Continue reading