SEO trends and strategies seem to change with the season, due in part to programming changes from Google and other search engines. In 2013 alone, businesses had to adapt to Panda and Penguin releases, an initial implementation of Google’s Hummingbird update, and the introduction of encrypted searches. To remain viable in online markets, website owners must roll with the changes. Start planning now for SEO trends in 2014.
Semantic Searches and the Need for Quality
Google’s Hummingbird update hurt Internet marketing strategies in the late part of 2013, but marketers are beginning to understand some of the impact to SEO. A major change is that Hummingbird concentrates on semantic searches and returning to what Google believes are pages that are more relevant. Hummingbird diminishes traffic results for long-tail keywords, which were Internet marketing gold in the past. According to Google, the best way to drive traffic via content is to concentrate on relevant, quality content and avoid worries about link quantities and keywords.
According to a study from the Content Marketing Institute, the most successful business-to-business marketers are active on at least seven social media or content channel networks. As social media options increase in 2014, diversification is likely to become even more important. Companies must take social media seriously, put effort into each platform they opt to participate on, and engage with users instead of advertising in a one-sided method.
More in Depth Content
SearchEngineJournal predicts 2014 will be the year of in-depth content. SEO strategists are already trending in this direction. With so much competition and a constant stream of new information online, it’s difficult to achieve authority-status with short content that’s only published a few times each week. SearchEngineJournal experts predict that content between 1,000 and 2,000 words will be common in 2014. Since many Internet marketers are already starting to order content of 800 words or more, that prediction rings true.
Safety and Privacy Concerns Will Grow
The only thing that never seems to change about the Internet is a concern over privacy. Though Google and other search engines will begin encrypting searches, companies are always looking for data-mining and marketing demographic opportunities. Less ethical individuals also use the constant shift of information online to disguise hacks and data theft, which makes it important for individuals and companies to protect themselves against identity theft.
Taking steps now to find out about Lifelock and other identity protection services can save you time, money, and hassles in 2014. As websites become more sophisticated and individuals become more reliant on Web-based services, strong passwords may not be enough to protect your information. A common-sense approach to Internet use as well as the use of things like firewalls and virus protection are the first line of defense. Identity protection and awareness are the second.