2012 turned the SEO world into a virtual Zoo, what with all the Penguins and Pandas wrecking havoc on websites with low quality content or those that had indulged in questionable link-building practices.
While 2012 perhaps saw the worst side of algorithm updates, it’s a fact that Google algorithm updates occur more than 100 times a year, and the search engine giant is not going to let up on its efforts to create what it believes would be a ‘better search experience’ (the word ‘better’ though is a highly debated one in this context).
Search engine optimization is not as simple as it was two years ago, and in the coming years it’s likely to become even more complex.
While, no one is aware about exactly what Google has up its sleeve, here’s a list of the expected updates as per the trends seen in 2012, and opinions of Industry experts.
In 2013 Author Rank is likely to become an important search factor. The importance that Google has been giving to rel=author by showing the author picture in search results for those that have set up Google authorship profiles, is just one indication.
Here’s more evidence—Google filed a patent for author rank as ‘agent rank’, back in August 2005. As per the patent, ‘agents’ with a higher rank could get their content listed at better positions in SERPs as compared to content from unsigned or low-ranking agents.
In 2011, Google filed a continuation patent and mentioned a ‘portable identity platform’.
If one were to translate the geek-speak, it means Google seems quite serious about assigning author rank and Google+ authorship looks like the tool the search engine will be using.
Author rank could be assigned depending on a number of parameters for example domain expertise, niche authority, etc.
So, a good pre-emptive action to deal with Google’s likely update about Author rank would be idea to start linking your content with your G+ profile and ensuring that you are seen contributing to high authority sites, in addition to your own.
The Disavow link was created to scrutinize a website’s backlink structure and allow webmasters to disassociate their sites from bad neighborhood or spammy links.
According to industry experts, Google may use this tool in 2013 to create a new algorithm utilizing the links that have already been submitted.
Social media Updates
Search engine optimization is strongly influenced by social media networks currently. Twitter shares, G+ recommendations, etc, already seem to have an impact on how content is ranked by Search engines. Social sharing too provides valuable backlinks.
Going by this trend, it looks Social Media and SEO integration is likely to become crucial in 2013.
At the same time, just like 2012 was about targeting spammy website, in 2013 we may see some movement on thwarting the forces of social media spam. At least a lot of industry experts including, Bruce Clay (President of Bruce Clay Inc.) think so.
A good strategy for 2013, would be to re-vamp your social media content to make it more relevant and useful to your target market, and more importantly steer clear of fake likes and followers. The key to surviving and growing your social media presence in 2013 is going to be ‘Real Engagement’.
The one trend that seems to have emerged in 2012 is that of integration of different online marketing strategies to form a comprehensive approach comprising of diverse tactics.
So, SEO is no longer about acquiring backlinks and social media is not focused increasing your likes and followers only!
What’s more with the world moving to smartphones and searches going mobile, mobile marketing too is likely to become an important aspect of online marketing for most local businesses.
As per statistics released by Google 1 in 7 search queries is mobile and 1 in 3 mobile searches is local!
So, going by his trend not only is it time for businesses to make their sites mobile friendly, but also figure out online marketing strategies focused on the growing market of smartphone users.
So, are you up for the new Google updates in 2013?
About The Author: About The Author: Vishal is the founder of Appsquare, an app development company in Australia that creates innovative apps, provides part funding for selected app ideas and also helps app developers get funding through its network of Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors.