It was for 14 times that Google updated their search algorithm in 2013; however the major changes made by Google last year included releases of Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird, and the shift away from providing keyword data thanks to encrypted search. The main idea behind Google’s ongoing algorithm updates is to influence marketers to cater to the information-seeking needs of their target audiences and hence strategically create engaging, relevant, in-depth content.
In this article we are going to talk about what’s going on this year when it comes to SEO and how to deal with it as the need for an online presence has become even stronger than what it was in the years passed by. And, the thing is there are no issues with the potential of making a real ROI impact with your company’s online marketing initiative as it is in fact greater than ever. However, forget working, ‘grey hay’ tactics can end up getting your site penalized by Google. Thus, SEO professionals really need to identify with the need of the hour and step up embracing a more robust vision.
Anyway, let’s have a look to the current scenario of the SEO landscape this year when half of the year has already gone by.
Everything You Learned in 2013 is Still Applicable, Just a little more honed
By releasing updates in 2013, Google tried keeping a check on the websites that cheat their way to the top of the rankings or provide no value to visitors. There isn’t any difference as such in 2014, just that there have been some micro adjustments to Panda and Penguin in order to improve both link quality and content quality.
To turn it into a benefit you need to keep a close eye on your link profiles and perform periodic audits to identify and remove inbound links built unnaturally. High quality content investments will continue to be important.
Content marketing that was once a buzzword has moved to a more mature marketing movement. Even when you talk about SEO, Google rewards companies that have robust content marketing efforts making it clear that they’re the kind of business Google wants to support.
Let’s have a quick look to the benefits of a good content strategy.
• Creation of fresh content signaling that your site is alive and growing
• Consistent creation of helpful content targeted at your audience regular, helpful content targeted at your audience
• Social signals from regular sharing and engagement
• Increase in authority related to the industry you are dealing in
Besides, the companies that already have content strategies will need to assess the role of mobile, in particular while those who have just started to move in the direction of content marketing, need to commit and diversify. However, if you are one of those who haven’t started yet, it’s high-time that you take the plunge.
Role of Social Media has become More Visible
Last few years have certainly seen social media playing a major role in the advancement of digital marketing landscape. Although, in the initial days, the rise of giant platforms like Facebook and Twitter were seen but in the last couple of years, visual content from social networking sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and various micro-video services has swept through.
Besides, diversification is something that’s working at present and that you need to pay more attention to it. Being on a single network is not going to work anymore. In fact, a recent study revealed that the most successful B2B marketers are active on an average of seven networks.
Apart from that, since Google’s updates are paying even more importance to social signals as active human curation of good content, it has become increasingly important for us to be active on the social networks that matter to the search engines.
Google+ has gained ground
While it has become very important to actively reinforce your overall social media marketing position, making investment in your Google+ presence has become crucial as well. Recently, Moz did a research on ranking factors and found that that Google+ is playing an increasingly significant role in a solid SEO ranking. However, there are a few areas you mainly need to focus on. First thing first, you need to establish Google Authorship of your content and tie it to your Google+ account, then add up those +1’s as Google +1’s is a major factor in the ‘social signals’ component of Google’s algorithm.
2014 is the year of mobile SEO. The release of Hummingbird update was just a small initiative to address what’s happening this year.
It’s not hidden now that your site’s mobile performance matters to your SEO rankings. The ubiquity of smart mobile devices has made us to change our marketing strategy and that the properties that you wish to rank need to be designed first for mobile and then scaled up for the big screen. So, your first priority in terms of SEO this year is to have a mobile-optimized website.
I believe our discussion till now must have cleared a lot of doubts that were burgeoning somewhere inside. It’s good that you are already going by the guidelines however if you are not its high-time! It’s the time to season even what’s the best, forget about meeting the minimum requirements, if you really want to gain that extra edge over your competitors!