Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a field which you simply can’t predict with a great degree of accuracy. It doesn’t mean to say you shouldn’t read the signs. Preparing yourself in the best way you can will help you a lot when it comes to Google’s next big updates. Here are some of the predictions for the future direction of SEO in 2013 and beyond.
Going for the old school and morally questionable SEO techniques will become increasingly harder. Spamming the odd keyword can bring short-term benefits, but as it takes shorter and shorter amounts of time for Google to scan websites these techniques will become unusable.
At the moment, most of us use a combination of social media, or new social media techniques as we might call them, and keywords. These old and new techniques work fine for now, but later this year and in 2014 the focus will have almost left traditional SEO techniques.
Social Media Uptake
Social media has gained new prominence with the major updates of Panda and Penguin. If we look at SEO metrics it shows the number of ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ you get has a direct impact on where your site ranks. There are some signs Google intends on taking these things further and transitioning almost exclusively to social media.
We could see some early signs of this with the unveiling of Google+. Unsurprisingly, your performance on Google+ plays the biggest factor in where you rank. Other signs have come from Google’s corporate activities. They’re buying smaller social media companies to enhance their own social media alliance, presumably to take on the likes of Twitter and Facebook.
If you aren’t using social media now, it’s time to start.
Local SEO Priority
Local SEO is something most websites have traditionally snickered at. Unless you were an exclusively local business, local SEO was mainly a sideshow and something you did halfheartedly. It’s expected to come back and grow bigger, though. It will become essential to make your website location specific.
The reason for this is the increasing use of mobile Internet. According to current trends, by 2015 mobile Internet traffic will grow to be bigger than traffic coming from desktop computers. In some countries, such as India, this has already happened.
40 per cent of all mobile users are searching for local businesses. Growing your business online now has to focus on local SEO just as much as worldwide SEO. This doesn’t apply as much to online-only businesses, but if you’re land-based you must focus on your locality.
Stay Ahead of the Game
You have to stay ahead of the game by working out where Google is going to go next. The best way to do this is by staying updated on the latest algorithm changes and rumors. You should look at the long-term effects of each SEO technique. You can’t get away with short-term strategies. This will grow your profits now, but your site will soon fall back down the rankings again once Google makes another change.