When it comes to search engine optimisation SEO, every one man and his dog has an opinion, including Google who change the Guidelines to suit their own purposes. Nonetheless, this is my humble opinion about where SEO will head in the future, especially for businesses.
In determining where SEO will go in 2014, we look at the changes Google has made to its algorithms and predict, thumb suck and guestimate what other kinds of changes the Google may make in the next year.
In the last year, Google made several changes to its algorithms so that it could better filter out quality websites from those attempting to spam all the way to the front page. Because of this, there are even fewer “quick wins” for any website looking to rapidly increase visibility on search engine pages, making it all the more important to maintain a long term strategy for SEO in 2014.
Arguably the biggest change that Google made came with Google Hummingbird, which made semantic search and the Knowledge Graph both much more important factors.
Actionable SEO Areas for Businesses
Google will continue to Fight Spam
Google will continue to fight spam this year. They have penguin in place and of course Matt Cutts is showing his true colours by trying to break Black Hats. Whatever you do as a business this year, Please for the love of SEO, do not fall for any “Linkbuilding” services.
If you do decide to try your hand at Un-Natural Linkbuilding, make damn sure that you are spending a million plus bucks a month on Adwords or you are affiliated with a Charity with great PR.
If you are a mear mortal online business, then a manual penalty could ruin your year. Google may have also introduced a trust signal into regaining positions after a manual penalty has been revoked, Google Psych Ops
And if you are still unsure of how a manual action may affect your site read our: What a Penguin Penalty Looks Like
Ensuring a business website has mobile optimisation could be the difference between mobile customers finding the website or not. As more consumers look to shop through their mobile phones, it is hard to ignore the site traffic that comes from this medium. In fact, InfoScout noted that 22 percent of early sales for Target’s Black Friday came from Apple-brand mobile products alone. Last year, we also noticed Google giving businesses with mobile websites prominence on search engine results pages; this trend is expected to continue through the next year. In fact, some websites could also face penalisation by major search engines without properly optimised mobile websites. Make sure your mobile site works properly ! Points to ponder
Not only has Google Authorship continued to play a major role with search rankings, but social media is expected to play more of one for 2014. In the past, one of the biggest things that determined how visible a website was included the amount of links other websites made to that page. While inbound links might still be important in of itself, these are quickly becoming replaced with what are known as social signals. The algorithms already factor social media profiles for ranking.
Through 2014, it is likely that the algorithms will be even more intelligent and consider more about the social media aspect, including everything that your audience can do to interact with the brand and business, such as likes, post numbers, comments, shares and followers. (This area may still be too Noisy for Search Engines to understand properly)
Businesses who have not yet started building a presence with social media would do well to get started right away. Social media is going to make a major difference in how much more visible you are over your competitors.
To break down the social media aspect a little further, Facebook is one of the more important ones that needs to be implemented (Depends on your Business). Facebook may be a beast for social media but has its issues with local search compared to bigger directories like Yelp and Google. However, it would be unwise to completely ignore the site since it has over a billion consumers. In addition to this, Facebook makes for a great place to conduct paid marketing while building engagement through promoted posts and furthering local search and a brand’s presence on social media.
Trust me on this, get your Business page or Brand page set up on Google+.
When it is all said and done, SEO will continue to thrive and change as we go through 2014. Despite some experts beginning to question whether the practice has died, it seems clear that SEO will continue to evolve and even retain a number of the trusted principles from the last decade. Remember to keep these SEO tips in mind to continue with the changes to SEO.
If all else Fails
This is how you build a website
And one last article, certainly worth a read: