There’s no shortage of theories out there concerning what awaits SEOs in the latter part of 2014. From Dr Pete Myers’ “Bigfoot update” to the booming popularity of Facebook video ads, it’s clear that the game is changing, but how can marketers and website designers adapt to compete for top ranks?
Google’s Matt Cutts has made clear the importance of focusing on content quality rather than manipulating SERPs, and with the Hummingbird algorithm, mobile search has never been more important. In this article, we’ll discuss how these and other factors will influence SEO trends in 2014.
1. Mobile Device Expectations
The sales of smartphones jumped 51.8 % in 2013. That said, businesses can maintain or expand their online audience with mobile-responsive sites that immediately adjust to screen sizes. Sites that load faster not only could enjoy a more active mobile audience, but they also might rank higher on SERPs.
2. Google and SEO Trends in 2014
Moz published an article by Dr Pete Myers, who discovered some interesting changes in how Google “selects” first-page results. Basically, the top 10 results were showing fewer unique domains. Instead, four or five results would link to different pages of the same website.
So, what does that mean for SEOs? For starters, this could make competitive keywords even more competitive, and it could mean that certain primary keywords should appear on every page of a website.
3. Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm
When Google updated its algorithm to Hummingbird in September 2013, it was an acknowledgement about the importance of “mobile-friendly” web design. In particular, there were two new capabilities aimed at improving the experience of mobile searchers:
- Speech-mimicking, specifically with long text inputs
- Understanding idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms that are rarely typed but commonly spoken
For SEOs, this means that mobile marketing will be part of any successful campaign in 2014.
4. Streamlined Content
While longer articles offer the opportunity to insert more keywords, this year will see a shift toward shorter text bodies designed for smaller screens. This can speed up load time and make it easier for portable-device users to find what they’re after. This could also improve bounce rate, time on page and repeat visitors—all of which play a role in search ranks.
For more tips about producing SEO content, read Rand Fishkin’s article, Content Marketers Could Become Their Own Worst Enemy.
5. Social Media
Too many businesses underestimate the importance of social media. Besides being absolutely free, there are plenty of benefits worth considering:
- Improve search rankings of your root domain with authoritative backlinks
- Inform your audience about new promotions
- Promote blog entries, which can improve root domain SERP ranks
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