SEO is forever changing. It’s fluid. Sites rise and fall every year as they get caught out by the Google Dance. 2014 is no different, and you need to be informed about what the playing field looks like this year.
First of all, as a little aside, let’s take a look at the Google Dance. This is what happens to websites that err on the edge of legal and illegal SEO techniques. Once Google changes their algorithms, a lot of these sites plummet down the rankings. They’re up and down like a yoyo.
So, just what will SEO look like in 2014?
Social Media is Here
Google Hummingbird, which came out at the end of 2013, taught us one thing. Traditional SEO techniques are no longer as effective as before. Social media is now the main factor.
Why does Google place so much faith in SEO, though?
We have to look at Google’s vision to answer this question. Google wants its search results to reflect the popularity of the websites displayed. It doesn’t want distorted results, like it had to put up with in the past.
Social media is the closest thing to this. Like with most things, they weren’t all created equal. Below you’ll find a little ranking system.
Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list. It does display Google’s bias, however. Tumblr is at the bottom because it’s owned by rival Yahoo, whereas Google’s own social media platform is at the top.
Make sure you have at least the top 2. The rest largely depend on the type of business you’re attempting to promote.
What Does this Mean for Keywords and Backlinks?
Make no mistake, we will eventually reach a stage where keywords and backlinks mean almost nothing. Google has made it clear it wants to move away from this type of thinking.
SEO firms have changed and adapted, though. If we use www.clickintelligence.co.uk as an example, we can see that they have moved much of their focus towards general online marketing.
Marketing and SEO are no longer two distinct fields. They must link together to make a successful website.
Much has been made about guest posting and its future. Google’s Matt Cutts definitely confirmed that quantity of guest posts doesn’t mean much these days. People have taken this the wrong way.
To a lot of marketers, they have taken his comments to mean guest posting is dead. This couldn’t further from the truth. Guest posting will never die. It’s here to stay forever, and that is no lie.
Google has no interest in killing collaboration. In 2014, you will still gain results from effective guest posting.
Things have changed, however. What you’ll now need to do is carefully research the websites you publish your posts on. You’ll need to measure how active they are on social media and how popular they are.
One major trend in SEO is the money grabbers. Some sites have tried to extort marketers by charging them large amounts of money to publish their posts. Expect this to become another obstacle.
How Much Will We Really Change?
The buzzword for SEO in 2014 is ‘quality’. Google have been pushing this for years. Only very recently have they been able to put this into practice.
What we would recommend is to spend more time on crafting quality content and cultivating a smaller number of relationships. These will yield far more than hundreds of pointless posts on worthless websites.
Social media is something you’ll become close to throughout the year. If you haven’t yet signed up for the likes of Google+, you’re throwing away a major advantage.