SEO Trends for 2014
After an eventful 2013 that saw algorithm updates aplenty from Google, the virtual elimination of PageRank (or at least visible updates to it), and new penalties for “black-hat” SEO tactics, 2014 figures to be another eventful year in the search engine optimization world.
While some, including a now formerly prominent SEO specialist, have declared SEO dead, most agree that while it is harder than it used to be, and now must be integrated into a larger online marketing plan, SEO remains an important part of online strategy for websites. Here are a few trends for the coming year.
Bing it on
As Bing continues to expand, or at the very least maintain, its market share in the search industry, optimizing your site to Google is no longer sufficient – Bing commands at least some attention.
At the very least, utilize Bing Webmaster Tools, and employ their suggestions for SEO, which are remarkably similar to Google’s – inbound link building from authoritative sites, original content with appropriate keywords saturation, and clean code. A theme that will resonate throughout 2014 SEO resonates here – tried-and-true methods are tried-and-true for a reason … they work.
Social media, specifically Google Plus, matters
Obviously, the social media platform that the entity on whom you are seeking to have success manages is likely an important one on which to be active. At the very least, set up a profile and link it to your site … it cannot hurt.
By that same token, Google is evidently putting greater stock in their search algorithm to Google Authorship.
In other words, reputable, established authors count for more than random folks on the internet … in theory a valid concept, it is just important you make yourself one of those “reputable, established” authors.
Google Authorship is also integrated with Google Plus circles, so all the more reason to incorporate both. One writer on the matter also had a good point – Google Authorship confirms that you are the writer of your work … no one can plagiarize it and still get your picture in the search results.
Mobile – Hummingbird
According to SEO specialist Jayson DeMers, mobile will play a pivotal role in 2014 SEO. He writes, “As a result, your site's mobile performance matters to your SEO rankings.
Properties that you're trying to rank need to be designed first for mobile and then scaled up for the big screen. If you don't have a mobile-optimized website, this needs to be your top priority in terms of SEO and design investments for 2014.”
This leaves websites with a content conundrum, however, as though Google likes to see longer content from authoritative writers, at minimum 750ish words, is someone on their iPhone going to scroll through 1,000 or more words of content … talk about a tedious process. As such, it may be that content needs to be split to cater to both computer readers and mobile readers. This brings me to the next point – responsive web page design. If you do not yet have it, get it, as it is becoming increasingly important.
Guest Blogging …
Provided you are doing so with exclusively reputable sites, and generating quality content, guest blogging remains a viable strategy for 2014.
There are sites that can link blog guests and guests blogs such as My Blog Guest; make sure that, if you are going to guest post, you pick your spots and hosts wisely, as Google updates are cracking down on “guest blogs” that are really advertisement dumps, however do not fret, as legitimate guest posting is still a viable SEO trend for 2014.
SEO is not dead, it is simply no longer an easy maze of black-hat, low-hanging fruit … Google is better than that, thus so too must you.
Following the aforementioned SEO trends for 2014 will get you off on the right foot for your search engine optimization efforts in the new year. After all, pandering to Panda by utilizing Google products such as Google Authorship and Google Plus will certainly not lead you astray in your endeavor to find favor with Google, while utilizing strategies that Bing releases as what it looks for will certainly not lead you astray in your endeavor to find favor with Bing.
Ultimately, SEO lives on, but remember the “O”, it is “optimization”, not ostentation or obfuscation. In other words, do the best you can with the information you have, rely on function over fashion, keep it simple stupid, and keep your white hat, or at worst a very light shade of gray hat, on at all times, and you will eventually realize SEO success.
About M Street LLC
M Street is a web development company in Lancaster, PA, that has built dozens of websites, predominantly for small businesses in York, Harrisburg, Reading, Pottsville, Lancaster, and Strasburg, Pennsylvania. M Street is skilled in search engine optimization and has a proven record with its clients. Let them build a strategy for you today.