SEO is a constantly evolving art with success rates that can never be boxed into one methodology. There are a number of considerations to take into account, must-have implementations and best practices, but there are also trends that seem to take prevalence every year. As Google advances their algorithms, the way in which we deliver websites and content is altered. This also changes the current SEO trends that seem steal the limelight, momentarily.
These are the current SEO trends we're seeing right now and as we move towards 2014.
The most obvious SEO trend for 2013 is content and there's no doubt it will continue to shine in 2014. If you're in the business of content marketing or have any skills related to content in SEO, you're in a profitable position. Google's Panda update indicated exactly how important quality content is and how sites will poor quality will get exactly what they deserve in terms of rankings. Penguin 2.0 also indicated that links from poor quality sites don't hold any value anymore. What makes a poor quality site? Poor content.
2. Variety In Content
While rich content is generally thought of as blog posts with an edge, and angle or just written with style and precision, it's come to light that Google wants more of any type of content. Think of the reader and what he or she wants to do on the web... not everyone wants to read blog posts and well-researched articles. Some prefer a graphical interpretation of data or infographics. Rich content also comes in the form of:
- Great quality video
- Exceptionally researched and written pieces for those who like to read
- Tutorials and how-to manuals
- White papers
- Newsworthy PR
- Venn diagrams and graphics
3. Quality Links Over Quantity
If there's anything we've learnt from Penguin 2.0, it's that link building strategies need to incorporate some serious brainstorming, planning and outreach. Gone are the days of building bulk links via sources that offer 1,000 links for $100 or paying someone to implement spammy comment links on your behalf. While all of these are still doable, they have less emphasis and their impact is decreasing every day. Link building is as much about offering quality as content is, leaving many people having to face the fact that short-cuts are no longer viable.
4. Google Plus And Authorship Count
Google are doing everything they can to offer quality web experiences to their users and the best way to do this is to moderate the content and amplify the sources where authoritative content can be accessed. Becoming an authority in your niche might be the easy part of the process, but being recognized for it is a little trickier. That's where Google Plus comes into the picture as the digital signature that links your quality content to your name. Combined, these two attributes add credibility to your site and content, making it easier for you to be cited as an authority and thus making it easier to be found.
5. Mobile Matters
As the entire western world adopts Smartphone technology, site owners are attending to their user demands with responsive design and mobile usability. Having a mobi-site is a minimum requirement for successful online presence, but making a responsive site that caters to mobile, tablet, smaller laptops and large desktops is a winning tactic that will find a lot more user satisfaction as compatibility meets their search requirements. Smart use of SEO for mobile sites can be seen in optimizing for local search as users Googling on their phones tend to be looking for something within their vicinity.
What's Ahead For 2014?
Really exciting times! But to elaborate further on that, SEO is no longer about manipulating tactics, but it's more about the over-arching strategy that incorporates content plans, content marketing ideas, link building, author profiles and even social. Just as digital agencies strategize their social and client campaigns that span over months or even an entire year, so too must SEO practitioners start looking more towards the holistic aspect of bringing search into all their marketing efforts.
What do you think will be the most important trend going into 2014?
Image courtesy of: http://www.sociableblog.com/2012/11/06/projected-top-5-seo-trends-for-2013/