If you’ve spent any time trying to promote a website or set up a company blog, you’re almost certainly aware of the inherently dynamic nature of SEO.
Many of the techniques that worked in the past – especially before Google’s fearsome Panda and Penguin updates – are either useless today, or their effects have been severely attenuated . Nonetheless, it’s a good thing that observation and research has enabled you to have some understanding of what Google wants from websites in order to endow them with a good ranking; and this means it’s possible to confidently predict trends in what the tech giant will do insofar as SEO is concerned in 2013 and beyond.
Working With the Search Engines Gets Harder
You know what that means. No more exchanging links with shoddy websites or content farms with legions of poorly-written articles. This year, you’ve got to focus on content-enhancing tactics for onsite optimization, and legitimate link-building methods for the offsite stuff. Without further ado, then, consider these 10 predictions for what Google wants in 2013:
1. Content will be more important than ever before. Content was always King; this year it might be Emperor. Whatever changes Google makes to continue adding versions to Panda/Penguin, they will seek to do an even better job of weeding out spun content and poorly-written blog posts.
2. The importance of pictures and video, in the form of video marketing, photo sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Etsy, will supersede everything other than content. People gravitate towards images even more than text; using both together expertly and engagingly will do wonders for your site this year – and in the years to come.
3. Blog commenting might take a dip in relevance this year; it is an even bigger source of spam and robotic manipulation (think spinning) than even article marketing. Instead of awarding links just based on the presence of a comment backlink, Google’s algorithm may gauge by how many click-throughs the hyperlinked website receives from human readers. Work on quality over quantity in your link building strategies .
4. Content marketing will continue to grow in the positive effect it has on your website. You can almost look at this as “foundational SEO”; everything else you do get your website out there hinges on the content you have for the traffic to interact with once they get there. If your content is lacking, you won’t capture leads.
5. Internal linking has always had a place in Google’s algorithm; this year, it will capture an even greater share. In a sense, this is a natural result of content marketing – the more pages you have on your website, the more hyperlinks connecting internal content should result. It presents a coherent whole to your impending audience; giving them a map of your entire site.
6. The webmasters with the foresight and know-how to incorporate the mobile revolution into every piece of content on their site will reap big dividends in 2013. Just think: the latest metrics have shown that desktop and laptop computer sales have suffered hugely because everyone is buying tablets and smartphones instead. Optimizing your content for reception on these devices will give you a leg up on everyone else in your niche – and they may not be able to catch up.
7. Getting a spot on the ever-shrinking real-estate of the top blogs in your niche will be more important, as Google focuses more on quality than quantity. Both quality and quantity have always been important, but quantity is about to take a seat in the trunk. Just a handful of backlinks from authority sites will outperform a stable of mediocre links.
8. Google will analyze the time-on-page factor more than ever before, and from different IP Classes. It will be difficult to artificially manipulate this for most webmasters, and it’s a great way to tell how traffic likes the content its seeing.
9. Backlink portfolio will become even more important than it already is – which means you’d do well to have multiple forms of relevant techniques for getting your links.
10. And last but not least: content resonance. How well does your content resonate across multiple niches? Are minutely-related niches picking up your stuff? If so, Google will surely smile down upon you.