Over the course of 2013, SEO has evolved steadily. Both the Penguin 2.0 and Hummingbird updates changed how Google determines page rank. As this year comes to a close, there are three discernible SEO trends that should have a major impact in 2014.
1. Rich snippets will have greater influence
When search engine users are browsing through results, they only have limited information to go on. Apart from the title and URL name, the main source of information is the snippet.
If marketers want to maximize the number of clicks their content receives, it’s necessary to create a rich snippet that’s catchy and grabs users’ attention. According to KISSmetrics, “the number of clicks increased by 150% once the rich snippet was added.”
Also, the more that marketers tell Google in their snippet, the better their chances are of climbing the SERPs. That’s why it will be ever more vital to include relevant, keyword-rich information that appeals to both humans and search engines.
2. Google Authorship will play a greater role in rankings
One of the more innovative features of Google+ is the authorship program. By claiming authorship status, writers are given full credit to their work and their head shot will appear alongside their links in search results.
This is helpful because it prevents scraper sites from duplicating original content and taking credit. It increases click-through rates because many people respond positively to visuals and prefer to click on links that include a photo of the author.
It also makes it easier to get more love from Google and increases ranking because Google knows the content was published by a real human being and isn’t spam. This article from Copyblogger explains the advantages of Google Authorship in greater depth.
3. Social media will have an increasing impact
While social media has been viewed as a valuable marketing tool for some time, it will basically become a necessity in 2014. It will also no longer be sufficient for a company to have a presence on only one or two networks.
In fact, some of the most successful brands appear on an average of seven networks. Businesses will want to personalize their social media presence and utilize several networks to increase brand equity.
Not only should this help generate leads and get more repeat sales, but social sharing will be an even larger factor in contributing to rankings. The more social shares a piece of content receives, the higher its position will likely move in search.