Google made significant changes in 2013 with Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates. Penguin ensures no poor quality links are rewarded, while Panda ensures great content is rewarded, and Hummingbird now has a better understanding of the words on each site and strives to deliver more accurate results in the searches.
SEO is constantly evolving and new techniques are created each year. While there is no way to predict the changes that will occur, a good business will follow the trends and keep up with the changes as they do occur. The updates in 2013 were aimed towards removing the ability to cheat your way to the top, so 2014 SEO trends are predicted to work in that same direction.
Here are just a few of the trends you can expect to see in 2014:
1. Google +
Google + not only strengthens your overall social media marketing position, in 2014 it helps increase your overall SEO ranking.For those who thought Facebook was the only important social network, they need to take another look at the importance of Google +.
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Google authoring has become a significant part of any SEO campaign, and in 2014, tying your online content to your Google + account will strengthen your Google Author rank as well as increase your search engine rankings. Many people wonder why Google + is an important SEO tool, especially when in the past it had little to do with a page rank. The reality to the new trend is related to the content that is created. Shared articles on Google + have their own canonical URL. These links to content accumulate page rank, and because they are followed, they provide pass link equity.
The +1’s that are added up in Google are playing a huge role in the algorithm changes in 2014, so start working on adding more to your account.
2. Social Media
Social media has been an important part of Internet marketing for several years, but now it has an even larger impact on SEO. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and Pintrest are playing an important role in SEO, is your site ready for the changes?
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In the past, inbound links to your site were one of the most significant SEO strategies for creating higher page rankings. Today, the algorithms in the search engines are geared more towards understanding and appreciating the important of social signals.
Having shares, likes, posts, comments and followers will expand your business not only in the branding aspect of your business, but the search engines as well. Actual interaction between your business and your targeted audience provides an extremely effective and beneficial organic SEO campaign strategy.
3. Multi-screen Marketing
A 2013 survey revealed that 17.5% of all web traffic comes from a mobile device. The previous year study showed only an 11.1% mobile generated web traffic result. This trend proves that more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the web. This creates a huge demand for mobile-optimized content.
In order to compete in 2014, businesses need to look at mobile-optimization as a necessity. With so many Smartphone and tablet users, you have to think about what that means to your email marketing campaign. If your website is not optimized for mobile viewers, anyone clicking your link from a mobile device will be greeted with an unorganized site that is impossible to navigate.
Create a responsive website design, so that visitors get the best possible experience no matter what device they use to get there. If a business does not create a responsive website design, bounce rates can become bloated and harm the conversions.
The tools offered to mobile users are expanding with extreme popularity. When creating your mobile campaign, consider these options:
- Mobile Voice Search
- Local Search
- Google Maps
- QR Codes
- Social Network Integration
If mobile optimization and marketing is not part of your online presence, make it happen now! With more and more people turning to their mobile devices for Internet usage every day, your business cannot afford to miss this strategy.
4. Content Creation
In the past content creation was designed to place keywords on a website. The type of content that was created was not as relevant as the keyword that was used. Today, that has all changed. As the algorithms became more intelligent, the need for quality content that offers value to the reader increased.
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Semantic search and knowledge graphs are squeezing out the relevance of long-tailed keywords. Hummingbird updates are in place to offer Google searchers the most relevant information, meaning the long-tailed keywords might not outweigh the quality content on other sites.
The length of the content has started to shift dramatically for 2014. Where an average of 550 words was standard for SEO purposes in 2013, the average for 2014 is around 1,000+ words. There is a huge debate over the length of words that are needed for higher search rankings, but everyone agrees that the content should be high-quality and valuable to the reader.
Google is also offering more rewards to websites that offer content variety. Graphics, high-quality videos, white papers and longer articles are recommended for a well-balanced site optimized for search.
Content that is used on social media networks is also proving the need to be unique, high-quality and human generated. As more and more updates are created throughout the year, expect Google to be watching…and reading everything you do.
5. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is considered to be one of the most effective SEO trends of 2014. It is a great way to build quality in-bound links, build your brand and gain relevant traffic to your site. Be careful when using great blogging as part of your SEO campaign, what you say and where you say it has a large impact on your rankings.
- Use stringent criteria when selecting your targeted sites
- Leave high-quality content
The goal is to build yourself as an authority on the topic at hand, so tie in your social networks, Google authorship, website content and guest blogging for one large amazing SEO campaign tactic.
The SEO industry has seen major changes in the past years, and 2014 is predicted to offer some of the most significant changes yet. The trends have been on the same path for several years now, so predicting your direction is simple. Stick with solid white hat SEO tactics and pay attention to areas that offer the most change, such as mobile and social platforms. If you stay on course, you should have no problems generating visibility for your business in 2014.
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