Every New Year ushers in new trends in technology. 2013 is no exception. Several changes have been introduced in SEO and online marketing this year. This discussion will take you through some of the major developments in these fields.
1. Author Rank and the Link Disavow Tool to Improve Quality of Sites
Google’s execution of Author Rank will be an integral factor for searches in 2013. This factor will affect SEO and online marketing in an unprecedented manner. Google is set to provide an Author Rank to every blogger, which will be determined by several factors like domain expertise, and also niche authority. To put it simply, a higher rank for an author or promoter means the chances of their content appearing in better positions in search engines are more.
The Link Disavow Tool had been created to collect and organise information on the backlink structure of websites. Google will be implementing this tool in 2013 to prepare an advanced algorithm using the gathered links. This will be used to improve spam reports, and poor backlinks or redirection; as a result, forums and blogs cannot be used to refer to backlinks anymore. Google will also be doing away with advertisements hidden in editorial content, i.e. advertorials, provided these do not comply with PageRank.
2. Impact of Social Networking, Media and Mobile Trends – Reached their peak
The growing presence of smartphones and tablets, and the growing population on social networks are all set to shake the foundations of SEO and online marketing in 2013. Content of an author’s page is to be linked directly to their profile on Google+, and this is another augmentation to SEO calculations. As a result, success of a site will depend directly on social quotient, strictly speaking, the reputation and expertise of the author over social networks, including Facebook, Pinterest, MySpace, Twitter and StumbleUpon. +1s, mentions, tags, retweets and shares will be the new trophies in every webmaster’s cabinet. In the marketing aspect as well, instead of running lengthy campaigns, sellers are encouraged to run real-time promotions and interactions with consumers over social networks, and this helps in engaging customers on a more personal level.
Visual aids are very helpful in making a site user-friendly and are the one step a developer might need to change his long, rambling site into an attractive and intuitive webpage. Relevant results that include media have been found to rank higher than other similar sites.
Design may not be a direct factor influencing a page’s ranking, but is a vital point for attracting customers and viewers alike. A mobile or tablet-friendly site will be a major positive to add to your portfolio. An intuitive design for a website, will promote usability, and is likely to be a tremendously influential element in promoting websites in 2013.
3. Localisation – A Major Influence in Site Traffic
Majority of the searches on search engines ask for information on local offerings, and prefer local websites. 2013 will be no stranger to this growing trend. Web sites and marketing sites which apply Local SEO will be awarded with greater visibility and higher rankings. Local Search Engine Optimisation includes reviews on local sites, citations, maps and listings to render more usability and provide utility for local customers and viewers.
4. Impact of the Equivalency Score Algorithm
The Google Equivalency Score Algorithm is a major development. The ESA is supposed to follow the same principle as the Quality Score feature of Google Adwords. Every keyword will be awarded a point score based on several criteria. This score is then used in combination with the bid amount offered by the Advertiser and the ads on the page are also ranked accordingly. If the ESA is brought into operation and implemented well, it will have a big influence on SEO and online marketing. It will definitely level the playing field for all businesses by cutting down the monopolistic influence of some of the “big players” in the field. Another effect of this algorithm is that it allows Google to display the results for a query in different orders based on similar equivalency scores, every time the results are displayed.
5. Long awaited Penguin and Panda updates
The next generation of Google’s Penguin, called Penguin 2.0 is about to be deployed soon. It is a web-spam tool to locate and eradicate web-spam. The new version is supposed to be more comprehensive than the previous, to the extent that it will dig deeper and have a larger effect than its predecessor. As a result, webmasters must work on cleaning up their set of links and anchors. They must also work towards building a better link base by sharing and promoting content over social networks.
Google have been considering upgrades to Panda, its tracking and screening algorithm to filter and sort search results on basis of quality. After a certain amount of trepidation, Google have come up with a different updating strategy. The updates used to be large, and long awaited by webmasters. Google has warped it into a rolling update, that is, from now on, Panda will update regularly, and Google will not announce any large Panda upgrades.
6. Onsite Changes are the Key to Success
It was always important to have onsite SEO for title, Meta description, naming structure etc. However, some hired SEO agencies over-optimise the website. This is a bad idea, and it could cause turmoil. Google has issued a statement saying optimisation is unnecessary, if more attention is paid on preparing quality content for sites. This basically is an attempt at stopping those who stuff their content with keywords so as to “game” the system and attract traffic at the cost of a poor article.
Some ways to prevent this from happening have been provided by Google. For example, Webmaster Tools helps troubleshoot any site issues. Sites should be optimised for loading fast even on slower connections. Google will be checking for themes or main topics of content, to ensure quality. Moreover, plagiarised articles will be penalised, so one must ensure that their content is absolutely unique. Providing good quality, engaging content on a user-friendly website is the way to go, rather than over-optimisation or keyword clogging.
Author bio: James is into SEO and internet marketing field from past six years at SEO India. He also writes a blog where he provides his useful tips on blogging, seo and marketing. You may check out his blog to know the latest updates on seo in 2013 and how it has changed the businesses drastically.