With the news that technology giant Google has recently clamped down on an affiliate SEO marketing campaign conducted by lyrics site Rap Genius, it has become clear that the nature of search engine marketing is likely to change significantly in 2014. With concepts such as Big Data and content marketing encouraging a more streamlined approach from brands, for example, it is crucial that the prevailing trends within the market are given careful consideration.
With this in mind, what are the SEO techniques that are likely to determine the course of the industry in the year ahead? Consider the following: –
- The Rise of Authorship and Thought Leadership: While many experts within the industry are suggesting that guest blogging is set to become moribund in 2014, this is a misleading and ultimately inaccurate opinion. Although low quality guest posts and the publication of irrelevant material is likely to be sanctioned, for example, the rising prominence of Google authorship and thought leadership means that higher quality content will become increasingly credible. This means that marketers who strive to create informative and engaging content will earn greater success in 2014, while those who purchase links or engage in affiliate campaigns are likely to see their search engine rankings suffer.
- The Development of More Diverse SERP’s: Google’s SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages) have been subjected to considerable experimentation in recent times, with the prioritisation of organic listings central to this evolution. This trend is only likely to continue in 2014, as Google will continue to give credence to in-depth content and multimedia graphics. The consequence of this is that brands and marketers must strive to create relevant content that is capable of engaging readers through multiple mediums, using both text, imagery and videos to target audiences. Without matching the evolution showcased by Google’s own intricate algorithms, marketers are unlikely to achieve their short or long-term goals.
- The Changing Nature of SEO and the Rising Influence of PR: As the nature of SEO changes, so too does the role of each individual service provider. So if we accept that the typical SEO agency must now create thoughtful content that shares ideas and invaluable information with a vast target audience, it is also crucial to understand the rising influence of PR and Big Data within the industry. More specifically, as brands and marketers look to use targeted information as a way of educating interested readers and developing a reputation as industry experts, they will need to integrate the SEO and PR campaigns into a single, all-encompassing strategy.
While these trends are just three of several that are likely to influence the SEO industry in 2014, they will arguably have the greatest impact. By understanding these and tailoring their strategy to suit the industry, however, leading brands and marketers will be able to optimise each individual campaign and achieve the best possible results. Those who fail to do so will struggle, however, and may ultimately see their efforts and financial investment undermined throughout the course of the year.