SEO 2014: Google Update Predictions + Fresh Online Marketing Strategies
2014 is going to see the sequel of the war against black hat SEO techniques, since Google has armed itself with smarter Panda, Penguin and Humming Bird.
Google is heading towards an end where the definition of ‘Search Engine Optimization’ will be completely changed. Prior to Feb 2011, SEO was a warp of ’Keyword Stuffing’ and ‘Link Building’ and then came Panda- The Game changer, which illuminated the concept of ‘Original + value added Content’.
Post this appeared first Penguin, which changed the face of Link Building by bringing in the theory of Natural link building. Now the scenario has changed and Google calls you to offer great user experience in order to survive on its search engine.
With regular updates, it has tried to keep the search results at par with quality standards and hence majorly impacting SEO. Such SEO trends seem to be continuing in 2014 and 2015 too and expected to be even more interesting.
Through the length of this article we will try to answer 2 questions arising in the minds of any online business owner:
1) What are the Google updates predicted for 2014?
2) How can we prepare our business for these Google updates? OR What should be the online marketing strategy for 2014?
Here are few things that you can expect now:
1. Shrinking Organic Search Results Space
After the success of Product listing ads, use of images will be more important than ever before. AdWords are expected to soon start allowing the use of “Visual Search Ads”, which are actually the image extensions to ads. Such an addition will result in higher click through rate but is also hinting towards space drop in organic search results.
2. Google+ and Google +1s
Google plus has already been an advantage for SEO ranking, even though Facebook and Twitter are rated higher in popularity. This is not going to change; in fact you
will see more importance would be given to Google +1s and Google reviews. Especially, if you establish Google authorship of your content and tie it to your Google+ account, it is expected to add significant value to your Search engine optimization.
Hire an experienced team of online marketers who can help you reach your target customers
3. Google Helpouts on SERP
Google Helpouts results might start appearing on the top of organic search results. If you are searching for help from qualified teachers, counselors, physical trainers or any of skilled and experienced professionals, then Helpouts results will get you to them directly, as you may see them above the row.
4. Content – The King
The importance of Content Driven SEO cannot be overruled. In fact, you may need to pull up your quality socks for sounding more real and more valuable to users. Yes, it’s the user experience that would decide your place on Google search engine rankings. So, focusing on content strategy is going to be more important than it has ever been.
5. SEO = Serving Users Interest
SEOsers, who have been adamant to give prominence to users, are going to thrive. Those who lack understanding on what a user expects from search results will be eliminated. Website optimization will soon be replaced by content optimization and if you miss out offering unique content that serves user purpose, your ranking will suffer badly.
6. Site authority scores high
Google’s Algorithm is predicted to give more importance to website authority and decide your ranks accordingly. Backlinks from authoritative sites will be treated better and poor quality links will add no value to your search engine presence. Your mention on trusted domains will be rated higher on the scale of authority and fetch importance in the forecasted updates in Google’s algorithm.
7. Mobile Optimization
Mobile SEO trends say that Mobile optimized site will work in your favor, if it loads quickly. On the contrary, Google is estimated to penalize sites that take much time to load, even after mobile optimization. It frustrates users and adds no value to their search action; hence Google does and will not favor such sites.
8. Lengthy Content
Blogging and guest blogging will gain even more importance. The key is to share knowledge to build a bigger user base. The length of the content favored by Google is still a debatable topic. From the observations in 2013, it is being guessed that lengthy content (over 2000 words on an average) which is frequently liked and shared will gain preference in Google’s algorithm.
9. Guest Blogging That Is Worthwhile
Those, who use random guest blogging as the sole way of grossing back links may face penalization. If you want to get benefitted by it, then look for valued blogs that keep a check on entire content being published on their domain. Guest blogs with poor quality moderation will add no substance to your online visibility and are forecasted to be strictly dealt with by Google in 2014.
10. All Organic Keywords Hidden
All the organic data related to keywords will be 100% hidden by 2014. Webmasters cannot find a way to work around it. They will have to rely on AdWords data and on-site visitor behavior.
11. Changes in Google Analytics
After the “Not Provided” update in Google Analytics, Google is expected to make better provisions in Google Analytics for more details about multi channel attribution. This will help the webmaster understand and analyze the performance of their marketing mix better.
Analyzing website’s current traffic and visitor behavior needs a lot of expertise and experience
12. Knowledge Graph to Benefit Local Businesses
Google is surely going to make further improvements in its Knowledge graph. To make sure that your company performs better in graph search try to have more structured data and rich snippets that allow search engines to read your website easily and help you stand out on the search results page.
These restaurants were pulled out on the basis of popularity, reviews and ratings from sources trusted by Google. All these things were tested by Google in 2013 and are expected to be implemented in 2014.
13. Commercialization of Knowledge Graph
Google is also expected to include ads in the knowledge graph. The screenshot is of an original search result spotted in 2013. We can expect such search results in the coming year.
14. Better Equipped for Semantic Search
Mobile SEO is no more restricted to a mobile optimized website. The Hummingbird Update will be bigger than ever in 2014. Search results will be better optimized for semantic search. This is to help prepare the search engine for the rise of voice search associated with mobile. But it also has direct implications (which we’re still learning about) for broader SEO. This is one area that you should pay close attention to, from how you structure your content to what content you choose to put out.
15. Correct Your Means of Local SEO
Google has already stopped giving a lot of preference to online directories listing local businesses. It is expected to become more stringent towards those who continue spamming and optimizing their profile for the wrong locations, just to increase traffic. Also those sharing fake reviews through proxy servers will be strictly moderated in 2014.
16. Social Media Moderation
The biggest and most looked forward update from Google will be related to social media platforms. This update is expected to target profiles with phony fans, followers, likes and shares on Twitter and Facebook and hyped up Author Ranks. The websites linked to these social media accounts are also expected to be pushed down in search results. How will Google spot such spammers? Well, it’s not very tough: a Twitter account with 10 tweets and zero engagement cannot have 10,000 followers.
Those trying to play Google+ should be better prepared. Fooling Google’s own algorithm won’t stay hidden for long. Google can also use social signal to check the legitimacy of your links. It is hardly possible that a page with thousands of real links has no significant Facebook likes and shares.
17. Manual Spam Penalties
Viewing the Google algorithm changes per year, it is expected that Manual Spam penalties are going to be more severe, especially for repeat offenders. Permanent bans can be imposed by Google, depending upon the seriousness of offence.
18. Meta Tags for SERP
We can expect from Google in 2014 the trend of keyword centric will come down and your future SEO rank will not be affected by it at all. Undue exploitation of Meta tags for SERPs might force Google to do that.
19. Domain Authority
Google 2014 Algorithm is expected to continue giving high importance to domain authority. Even the high authority sites will be watched over manually to ensure quality results and none will have unconditional authority. Google may look for manual vigilance to regulate domain authority and keep website owners on their toes for making them more attentive towards what they are doing.
20. Panda Penguin Hummingbird WHAT’S Next
In 2014, Google may introduce you to its new birdie update that may appear surprisingly. Expecting Google Duck after Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird in Google’s gatekeepers list will not be wrong, as it looks very calm above the water but keeps paddling under water.
So, prepare your business for Google Updates and new SEO strategies of 2014 now, as the next update seems to be something that would look harmless, yet play a major role in SERPs.
Google will keep bringing new SEO updates, so upgrading your defense mechanism or hiring professionals who can keep you safer and updated at all times would be a must for you. Your SEO and PPC strategy for 2014 needs to be more holistic, ethic and well thought out than ever before. Here are a few takeaways about new and fresh online marketing strategies which are expected to work in your favor in 2014:
- You would need to shell out a higher budget this time, for your SEO and PPC activities, as they are the best safeguards against all odds that Google can put across. The space available for organic results is guessed shrink further in 2014.
- Not just quality content but engaging, entertaining and still lengthy content needs to be shared all across the online platforms.
- Share content through only authoritative blogs to gather backlinks. Restrict random blogging. It’s a waste of time and investment. Rethink your SEO strategy for 2014 before this year ends.
- If Knowledge graphs get commercialized, you need to stay updated about how your business can get highlighted.
- Optimize your content for mobile searches even better; whether it means getting a responsive website or optimizing for semantic search.
- Stop fooling the social media networks. Social media marketing predictions clearly state that it is soon to backfire.
Don’t try to trick or dodge Google’s gate keepers. Prove your professionalism instead and be convincing enough to get in, with their consent. Hire web marketing specialists to protect your space on WWW platform.
SEO experts at FATbit are informed about all Google Updates and plan your marketing strategy accordingly
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