You’ve seen and observed the SEO trends in 2014. We’ve outlined a few of them below.
1) Become one with your link profile
Two weeks ago, Google said that it was rolling out a humongous “Penguin” punishment, the third of its kind, and that it had already been rolling out for over three weeks. In case you missed it, the Penguin penalties are the primary reason for websites to get kicked off the first pages in Google—something that’s extremely difficult to recover from. There are a lot of great websites that were hit by negative CEO, courtesy of their competitors. The good news is that Penguin 3 also worked to re-rank websites, so if they were previously penalized, they had a chance to be spared any further punishment.
2) Use content to prove to Google you’re real
In our previous post, we showed you how to build a great content strategy for your website, with the assumption that Google helps real companies outrank regular sites. This follows an ongoing methodology of Google that’s been going ever since the Vince update and up to the latest Panda update.
3) Be mobile and be fast… or don’t be
We talked about how a website that isn’t mobile compatible or loads slowly is going to be on Google’s evil side. To back us up on this one, Google released two revolutionary aspects of a mobile user experience. The first one is a new Webmaster Tools feature that allows you to track the mobile UX of your site. Understanding that mobile is growing at an amazing pace, Google now lets your witness the visual errors that might have occured for users browsing your site on the go—everything from small fonts to “touch” elements being too close.
What’s coming next year? We’ve outlined a few of our upcoming ideas below.
1) Adding social layers to a website
We all got used to Google Analytics telling us the location and number of people who visit and perform actions on our site. Then, platforms such as KISSmetrics came along to help us understand even more about who performed these actions. This year, it seems that the next hit will be to dive one step deeper, putting a face on each and everyone one of our visitors and getting them to know each other.
2) Visual content will replace plain text
We all saw the immense rise of visual content. The increased use of infographics and videos instead of plain text articles and mega-successful websites that are based on GIFs alone are showing us firsthand just how vital visual is becoming.
3) Pre-secure yourself from negative SEO trends
There’s a certain irony that search engines are becoming more and more sophisticated, up to the level of a real-life artificial intelligence machine—and a negative SEO is still putting millions of websites in danger. Negative SEO, of course, stands for a competitor or any other person that is trying to de-rank you. It’s as simple as paying a foreign provider $5 to build thousands of black-hat, automated links to your site. In 2015, businesses will need to work a lot harder to defend themselves against negative SEO, with an emphasis on securing their link profile, in order to prove to Google that they’re a real brand.