Published 13th January 2014 | SEO

Our Top Three 2014 SEO Predictions

Now a couple of weeks into 2014, we thought it only fitting to put together our top three SEO predictions for the year ahead, outlining what we believe is in store for webmasters and marketers alike over the next 12 months and how we’ll see Google’s algorithm and the wider industry behaviour as a whole evolve. When we look back a what 2013 saw (a comprehensive list of all of Google’s algorithm updates can be seen over on the Moz site here) we saw two significant refreshes of Google’s Penguin algorithm, Panda merged into the core algorithm, the launch of Hummingbird, a Payday Loan update and a whole host of smaller, but nonetheless important updates and, based on these, we expect to see similar, if not more, in 2014. In terms of our top three predictions, however, here you go:

  • Penguin Will Be Merged Into Google’s Core Algorithm

Almost a year ago, back in March 2013, we saw Google integrate their Panda update into the core algorithm, doing away with manual refreshes for automated, monthly refreshes. For webmasters and site owners, this means that if any problems do occur on site, these can be resolved and recovery can be seen far quicker than was previously the case. On the other hand, of course, it also means that Google are able to identify and penalise content spammers far quicker than before and ensure they don’t show up on searches.

Taking into account that it is now almost a year since this was rolled out, it makes absolute sense that Penguin will follow suit at some point this year and rather than seeing manual roll-outs of the algorithm a few times a year, we’ll see an automated regular refresh. Again, this benefits webmasters, Google and searches and seems only a matter of time given Google’s dedication to keeping their search engine spam-free. When we will see this roll out, we’re not quite sure but we’re putting our money on the fact that it’s some time during 2014.

  • Content Marketing Will Take Off Even Further

Some say that 2013 was the year in which the digital marketing industry finally accepted that content was king and started to adopt content marketing as their approach of choice however for others, this is the approach which had been in place for years. Taking a look at the year ahead, however, there’s no doubting whatsoever that content marketing is going to continue to gain popularity and the spammy SEO of years’ gone by will finally be put to rest, at least by a new breed of online marketers.

There’s no doubting the fact that in order to succeed online, you need to be regularly creating and distributing high quality content and it seems only right that more marketers will see the light and realise this. In 2014, there’s absolutely nothing to be had from producing spammy, thin content for your site, your blog and off-site resources and we’re fairly confident that we’ll see a lot less of this over the next twelve months compared to the past.

  • Social Signals Will Continue To Impact On Search Positions

Whilst the industry as a whole is divided as to how much of an impact social signals currently have on ranking positions, we’re predicting that 2014 will be the year in which this is finally accepted as an important (or even vital) approach to online marketing and that the value will be widely acknowledged. Matt Cutts’ said as far back as 2010 that Google do use social signals as a ranking factor, just not to what extent.

We’ve already seen Google Plus posts and profiles popping up mixed in with search results more frequently and it seems only right that the platform which Google will reward users for most is their own. With that in mind, combined with our prediction that social signals will mean even more this year, if you haven’t already signed up to Google Plus and started to have an active presence, now is certainly the time to do so!

That’s our top three predictions however we’ve so many more we could add! Do you have your own thoughts and predictions on what’s to come in SEO in 2014? Let us know…we’d love to hear!

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