SEO Trends for 2014
Most of us have now bounced back from that turbulent year after the Penguin and Panda updates that shook the foundation of Google Search. It has become obvious that Google is working relentlessly to eliminate spam from their search results to offer up more valuable results for their users. This is evident through their introduction of their new Hummingbird update. They want to create a better experience for their users through higher quality content. Link building schemes no longer cut it in the new world of Google algorithms. They are looking for highly relevant links that also generate traffic. If you have links that do not bring in any traffic, they will have no power whatsoever. Google is also following the quality of your content. If it is up to standards, then you will stand a good chance of being shown on the first page of Google. This doesn’t mean that you can get away with writing short 500-800 word blog posts once a week. You now need to create articles that are extremely relevant to your readers. If someone is interested in what you have to say, then they will probably share it. Especially if your content answers questions they have and need answers for.
Creating Content with Depth
How can you rank highly in Google after the algorithm changes? You need to think as though you are your own target audience. Now think what questions might you ask? What do you have questions about? What information do you need? Once you figure out the answer to those questions, you have just given yourself the basic outline for your content. The best way to create content for the new Google SEO changes is to follow these basic steps:
1) Think about what questions your audience has on a particular subject
2) Why would they believe what you have to say about it?
3) Why is this information useful for your audience?
4) How can they use this information?
5) How would they ask this question?
6) What answer would they find to be relevant and useful?
Once you answer all these questions, you will have a solid foundation to build your content on. This will lead you to create high quality content that Google will see to be useful but more importantly, your audience will find it useful and share it across their own social networks which will further enhance the reputation of your content in Google’s eyes.
Multiple forms of Content
It is extremely important for you to use multiple forms of content on your site. The age of blog posts is fading away. People don’t want to spend 10 minutes reading a blog when they can spend 4 minutes listening to the same information. Videos typically are shared faster and more often through social media sites than articles of text. Using advantages such as these are vital to your success in Google. You can also create infographics to create compelling content that can be understood easily and shared across social media sites. These, in my opinion, are the most effective form of content as you are able to get your information out there effectively and use images to enhance your message. This is called the Picture Superiority effect. This happens when you use images to become the focus of your message, but they don’t just make the message look good, they actually depict the message you are trying to get across. This is the best form of communication as it combines both artistic, and text based messages to allow the reader to fully comprehend the message being relayed to them.
Are you an authority?
Google takes a look at your overall author authority. Using Google Authorship allows them to develop better ways to gauge whether you are qualified to discuss the content you are writing about. You can currently link your Google+ account to any WordPress site and then link your Google Authorship to the posts on that site. This is a great way to stand out in search results as your Google+ profile pic will show up beside your search result snippet.
Google takes a look at how frequently you are writing articles and the quality of sites you have contributed to, this affects how content that you have authored will rank in the future. If you only post on your website which receives very little traffic, then your content will not necessarily rank high. If you contribute to multiple pages as well as your own, you will probably see an increase in ranking for your own content.
Create diverse link text
A great way to get hit hard by Penguin 2.0 is to create identical anchor text over your website. If around 30% of your links use the same anchor text, you’re probably going to notice the Penguin bringing you down hard. You need to diversify your links in order to make them work to your advantage.
It takes a lot of time and effort to create links using diverse anchor text, but in the long run this is the best way to build incoming links to your website. Do not try to build dozens of links per day to your website however, as that would be seen as abnormal by Google and result in your page being flagged for spam.
Should you Guest Post?
Guest posting is increasingly being seen as the new form of article marketing. While that was a great way to build traffic and links a few years back, it is now seen as a form of spam link building. Unfortunately, article marketers have now turned to guest posting to build links, and this does not bode well with Google.
To prevent yourself from being penalized for guest posting, it is extremely important to make sure you target only the best quality websites that you possibly can. This will help you not only gain meaningful traffic, but also keep away from the low quality spam sites that Google is keeping a close eye on. Check the page rank of the page you want to guest post on, and also the Domain authority. If either of these numbers is low, then you should probably stay away. That being said, there are some sites with low numbers that are legitimate, but guest posting on their sites will probably not help you out much.
Keep your content Mobile friendly! This is becoming increasingly important and will be even more so in the coming year. Google is placing a huge amount of focus on mobile searches and so if your content and page is optimized for mobile devices, then you will reap the rewards of having taken that proactive step to include mobile users in your scope of audience members. Having a mobile compatible site is now the standard of expectations of a website in 2013. Imagine the importance that will be placed on mobile sites in 2014! Look into Content Delivery Networks and see if you can use those to help you reach out to more mobile users. The number of users that access the internet on a regular basis through a mobile rather than a desktop computer are increasing greatly. Soon mobile will take over as the dominant device for accessing the internet.
If you think I have left out any SEO trends for 2014, please get in touch with me. Let me know what you feel I have left out and I will update it with full credit going to you!
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