When it comes to the evolving SEO industry, we’ve all talked about what we wish will change, what changed in 2013 that will spill over into 2014, and what will become more important, but there is one big question that still needs to be asked: What are your predictions for the changes we’ll see in 2014?
Top SEO Changes We Will Likely See in 2014
Because Google is expected to make quite a few changes this upcoming year, it’s a good idea to make some realistic predictions so that you’re prepared. Below are some of the changes we will likely see in 2014:
1. Keywords and PageRank Won’t Matter.
Everyone thought that PageRank had died this past year, but a surprise update left us thinking otherwise. Nonetheless, this update doesn’t mean that PageRank isn’t on its way out, and I suspect 2014 will actually be the end of PageRank. The little number was calculated based on many factors, one of the major ones being keywords. Now that Google introduced the knowledge graph and semantic SEO as a way to adapt to the way search is changing (more conversational), keywords are going to be less important. They might not be completely unnecessary, but it’s going to be more about quality of content over keywords as Google becomes more advanced.
2. Authorship and popularity will matter more.
Google has done a very good job of giving authors the credit they deserve through authorship. In 2014, Google will surely make this more important and connect your SERP with authors who are in your Google+ circles. Google also added in-depth search results to a SERP, so authorship might come into play with those particular new-types of results.
3. Mobile will continue to grow and evolve.
We say it every year, and 2014 will be no different. Mobile is only going to become more important and more advanced. Surprisingly, not all companies have really put a focus on mobile websites, but as more people more away from the desktop and “unlimited data” on those smartphones becomes the norm, how your website appears on mobile will be more important than ever.
4. Storytelling and different types of media, such as video, is what will get your content to do well on a SERP.
This connects back with point #1 above. Because the contents of your content will be more important than keywords, 2014 is going to bring about more storytelling and multi-media. Companies will need to not only produce videos, but also produce long and short videos, infographics, etc. in order to get people to read as well as rank well on a SERP. There will be a place for in-depth content under the new “in-depth content” section of Google, but for the most part, the rest will be quick and engaging.
5. So what about social media in 2014?
I think it is safe to say that social media is going to change in 2014, but it’s tough to say exactly how. Because social media is growing in popularity, Google will need to determine just how important they want these factors to be when it comes to ranking a website. In my opinion social media will be more important, but other experts make good arguments for the contrary. Only time will tell.
What SEO changes do you think we will see this upcoming year? How are you going to make sure you’re prepared? Let us know your ideas and your thoughts in the comments below.
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Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for the nationally recognized SEO agency HigherVisibility.com that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.