Google is constantly changing their SEO algorithms and discovering better ways to rank websites. The biggest challenge for online marketers is that Google is very secretive about their ranking systems and what factors are weighed heavily and what is ignored. Google does over 200 algorithm updates every year and there is no way to truly know what the rest of 2013 will bring but things seems to be trending in a common direction. Based on their most recent changes, here is what we can expect over the next 12 months:
Google’s number 1 priority is removing spam from search results. 2012 brought a radical change in online marketing with their Penguin update which took a large step in the right direction for eliminating spam, but we have found that a few loopholes are still being exploited allowing low-quality pages to sneak into the organic rankings. Expect some refinements or even another radical change soon to help combat spam.
Link building schemes are a thing of the past. All those services that promised tens of thousands of back links for a small amount of money used to be effective, but they are no longer a good strategy. In fact, if you have taken part in these schemes in the past it could actually have negative effects on your rankings. Be sure to check your Google Webmaster account for any warnings or red flags.
Mobile web traffic is predicted to account for half of all web traffic by 2014. It is imperative that your website uses mobile SEO best practices as we believe Google will give higher value to these sites over others. This doesn’t mean you need to have a mobile website, in fact most companies these days choose to go with a responsive website instead.
Quality content is probably the most important thing to focus on in your current marketing strategy. Google is pointing all arrows in this direction – they have made many advancements with their website scraping algorithms and can really differentiate websites that have engaging and relevant content and those that don’t. Expect to see this trend continue over the next few years, and if you haven’t adjusted your marketing strategy, start now!
The ever-changing landscape of online marketing is a difficult industry to keep up with. This article only focuses on Google and doesn’t account for some of the other (still) big players in the search space like Yahoo and Bing, although if you are ranking well in Google chances are you will have good positions in search engines across the web.