The basics and fundamentals of SEO change periodically over the years. These ever-changing circumstances lead most of us to learn some new things every year - and let of some things old. You see, there are new SEO skills needed each year (or every so often) to keep up with the change and keep surviving. 2020 is no exception. A lot has changed since last year, and there's a lot of new stuff to be learned.

Here are some top SEO skills one should learn in order to be successful in 2020.

1. Public Relations
This era is all about public relations! They've always been an integral part of any successful marketing campaign, but are now more important than ever. Today's customer is harder than ever to get.

Public relations can be used to build strong powerful links - links that don’t trigger penalties such as Penguin. Understanding how to pitch a story to news outlets, get them to run the story, and then link back to your site, will be one of the most powerful link building tactics now and in the future.

2. Research
Whether it’s keyword research or content development; research is becoming an increasingly important step with SEO. Not to say that it wasn't before, but is now more so than ever. The Google Hummingbird update has now forced (or is trying to force) webmasters to develop an understanding of user intent, i.e. how users search on Google. This goes a lot deeper than regular keyword research. SEOs need to now understand what types of questions users are asking, not just what words are relevant to the page, since the Hummingbird now entertains 'conversational' search queries as compared to simple keywords.

3. Taxonomy Design
Taxonomy is the practice of classifying things at a conceptual level. Roughly put, this can include your blog labels (for Blogger) and Categories and Tags (for WordPress). They might sound simple, but there's more to them than meets they eye. Suppose you have an online store that sells computer accessories. You might start organizing your inventory around product types. But maybe your target demographic searches for products by type of use, or by manufacturer. A small percentage of this demographic that might include enthusiast gamers might search specifically for gaming products, so there might be a need for further classification. There are a lot of ways you can classify information, and doing it the right way is the art to learn.

Why is taxonomy design so important for SEO? With Hummingbird, mobile search, and other future search trends, defining concepts is more important than ever. A strong taxonomy design can be the foundation for other important elements such as content development, information architecture, and keyword research.

4. Community Management
Online community management has become an important task with brand building and social media management. Having a robust community means more exposure for your brand, and a closer connection to potential consumers. With Google’s ever increasing dependence on Google+ as a platform, community management is becoming an important part of SEO. Sites with strong Google+ profiles will get more exposure and tend to rank higher.

5. HTML and Structured Data
Of course, it goes without saying that a basic understanding of HTML is valuable asset to SEO. Meta, title, and anchor tags are the traditional on-page SEO HTML elements. However, now Google is putting more emphasis on structured data and authorship. Both of which requires unique HTML tags to implement.
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