The rules for SEO have changed dramatically over the years the more Google matures and weeds out spam. In 2013, Google provided further updates to Penguin and Panda and then introduced Hummingbird. In the process, many webmasters in 2014 may be wondering if SEO still matters or if it has become too complex to worry about. But even these ground breaking changes have not altered Google’s goal to serve the most relevant search results, so in many ways these updates are merely fine tuning what the search engine has been aiming for all along.
Social Media Expansion
Social media, particularly Google+, has become an important component to SEO. As long as you keep the activity on the social network meaningful and relevant, +1s and other interaction can help. Google Authorship is a good companion to Google+ because it lets users and Google become more familiar with your work, as it allows Google to publish your photo in search results.
In the past year guest blogging has become a phenomenal trend that helps bloggers build traffic and relevant inbound links, which still help search rankings. But it’s important to remember the content must still be rich with valuable information that users are searching for. Fluffy content is risky since search engines equate fluff with spam, which can get penalized
Mobile and Desktop Content
The old saying “the medium is the message” holds true for internet marketing, in which the message is often shaped by the device displaying it. Blogs and articles traditionally have been 500 to 2000 words to meet loosely defined SEO standards, but the popularity of mobile is causing search engines to accept shorter content from mobile optimized websites.
The Future of SEO
Many webmasters have caught on to where SEO is moving, generally speaking. Search engines want to reduce spammers in their search results so they continue to penalize sites with duplicate or weak content. The key to successful SEO is to try to anticipate updates in the future that further weed out shallow web pages. Focusing on creating quality content has been the winning SEO strategy all along.