SEO in 2014: Predictions and Forecasts for the New Year
SEO changed dramatically in 2013 in how we approach it and how we are able to measure our effort. Algorithm updates like Panda and Hummingbird have made content strategy the focus of SEO and brought the importance of quality from the keyword level to the page level. So what can we expect from SEO in 2014?
We’ve compiled some of the best authorities on the subject to get their thoughts and predictions on what will be the biggest factors that will affect organic traffic to your site and how to approach optimization.
SEO for Topics, not Keywords
Jim Yu of SearchEngineLand.com wrote recently about how Google’s algorithm has now changed from awarding rank to SEO keywords to the content on the page being the key to improved organic traffic.
The rise of (not provided) keyword protected traffic has coincided with the new Hummingbird update, according to Yu. This combination now asks SEO marketers to provide value in page content, not simply optimizing for particular terms.
Google’s goal is to provide quality content for every page indexed on their network, so the pages on your site must be able to deliver on its topic. Does it provide answers to a searcher’s query? Is the content being shared frequently by other users? Do other users link to your content as reference?
Marketers now must look at their page content as a whole in order to be considered most relevant. “Question-based queries, and a greater emphasis on the meanings of words rather than the keyword itself…mean Google can do a better job of helping searchers decide which link will provide the information they seek,” according to Yu.
Social Media Marketing will Continue to Rise
Brett Relander of Social Media Today wrote that SEO is directly affected by social media. This is because search engines are using more social indicators to determine relevancy and rank. “SEO experts will need to properly implement social media marketing,” he writes, “which will not only drive traffic from the social sites, but also help improve the rankings in the SERPs.”
This conclusion was backed up by a study made by the experts at Moz.com, which ranked all of the factors in determining organic rank by importance. Some of those included:
- # of Google +1’s
- Sum of Facebook Shares, Likes, Comment
- # of Facebook Shares
Thus the marketer must:
- Share his content to the appropriate network that the content serves
- Write content that others find so valuable that it is shared to their personal networks
- Continually add fresh, quality content
SEO comes to Mobile
According to Jayson DeMers of SearchEngineWatch.com, your site will be affected by how well it deals with mobile traffic.
For those unaware, a mobile site is a version of your site that is optimized to appear effectively on smartphones and tablets. The best version that a website owner can get is a responsive site, which contoures the user’s experience to the size and resolution of the device on which they are viewing your site. “Properties that you’re trying to rank need to be designed first for mobile and then scaled up for the big screen,” Demers writes.
Another Google development, voice search, has been adopted because of mobile technology. This allows you to speak your search query into your phone and gain search results. Your site must be optimized for mobile in order to appear in those results. This is of utmost importance because of the increasing popularity of mobile devices.
These are just a few of the items to expect from SEO in 2014. Be sure to follow us for more news on further developments.