The one thing that’s consistent about the Internet is change. As search engines perfect their methods, as social media evolves, as new technology and new ideas are introduced, the whole environment transforms. This is especially true with SEO. Google is constantly improving its algorithm to make certain that those websites listed highest on searches are of the best quality and most useful for people’s needs. Each year Google finds new ways to enhance their process. Here were four of the biggest trends in 2013:
1. Social Media
It’s not just about what your website says anymore; Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media platforms have become more important for developing your company’s brand. Making good use of your social media and having other people frequently discuss your site can greatly increase its prominence. When people talk about you, the search engines notice.
2. Mobile Devices
More and more people are surfing the Net using smartphones or tablets as opposed to regular computers. This means it is very important that your website is compatible with mobile devices. This doesn’t just help your visitors but also search engines. Google now gives more attention to a website that is useful to everyone, whether they’re using a home computer, a laptop, or a phone.
Search engines favour multimedia, including pictures, sound files, and especially video. Having a couple of short videos on your site shows Google that you’ve invested a bit of time and you’re interested in engaging people on different levels.
4. Quality not Tricks
Of all the changes that Google makes with its algorithms, the most important ongoing one is making it harder for websites to “beat the system” by having their site prominently featured when it’s undeserved. Websites are no longer as able to stuff keywords or juggle their content in order to trick Google into putting them on the top of the search results. Ultimately, the best way to reliably push your site to the top is to make it a clear and engaging site with a lot of content people can make good use of.
As you can see, the trends last year were about websites expanding their scope by accommodating mobile devices, multimedia imagery, and social media. A site can’t exist in isolation. It needs to be building connections.