First of all we’d like to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year 2014! We saw a lot of changes last year in the world of SEO, online marketing, social media, and beyond. Here are some notable things we saw in 2013:
• Google Hummingbird
• Stricter Link Quality Requirements
• Google+ Prominence
• Content Marketing
• Social Media Optimization (SMO)
This year will build on these topics from last year, and it’ll be important for online marketers to understand them to have a solid foundation in 2014.
Paying attention to these topics, and having a solid foundation in them, is a key component. However, everyone wants to know the future, and what we’ll see in the coming year. Content marketing will become one of the most competitive spaces we see this year. The barriers to entry are low, and the payoffs are well known to be high.
What this means for 2014 is that to remain competitive with your content marketing strategy, you’ll have to provide an even high level of quality than ever before. Short, low quality content will simply not be of any benefit and may actually harm your efforts. Be attentive to your audience, and provide them the kind of information they can rely on. Don’t just provide articles, but rather provide resources.
With the introduction of Google Hummingbird came an increased, and public, focus on personalization for the web. Not just personalization with your customers on social media, but personalization on the broader web. With the introduction of +Post Ads, Google has made it clear that they intend to extend social presence into the broader web, and make it your social stream.
Google is the powerhouse of online advertising, and their latest introduction into this space will spell major changes in 2014. These ads are still in a closed beta stage, with only a few companies like Toyota able to participate. However, we’ll see more participation as Google opens +Post Ads up to more companies.
+Post Ads, and a rapidly growing influx of new participation, both point to involvement by more major brands in Google+ this year. Recently GoDaddy hosted a hangout with NASCAR star, and GoDaddy spokesperson, Danica Patrick. Not only GoDaddy, and Toyota but also Mercedes-Benz, BMW, H&M, Ferrari as well as many others are on Google Plus. 2014 will likely see more major brands adopt the platform.
Google Authorship and AuthorRank
2013 was a major year for the Google Authorship program. We went from seeing almost no author photos in Search results, to seeing them everywhere. At the end of last year we even saw a large reduction in the number of people who actually get their photo in Search. Many feel that this is an indication that Google is continuing to work on understanding authority in preparation for using it as a ranking signal.
What we know now is that Google does actually use Authorship as a ranking signal in personalized, that is when logged into Google, Search results. The major question remaining is whether this year we’ll see these effects more broadly. Will we see content rank in Google based on the authority of the author who produced the content? As links continue to be scrutinized by search engines there will have to be ranking signals to replace them. 2014 will be another interesting year for Google Authorship.
Success in 2014
We wish you, and your business, much success in 2014! Keeping in mind the topics we’ve outlined here, and staying up to date with them, will go a long way toward that success. That’s where we come in, and we have a commitment to keeping you informed throughout the coming year. There’s a lot of information out there, some more important than others, and we’ll be here every step of the way providing the resource you’ll need for the coming year!