Every year, every search engine update, the sky is falling chatter begins. SEO is dead, they cry. Look out, SEO is dead. But despite the fear mongering and cries to the contrary, SEO is alive and kicking.
Following 2012’s Google algorithm changes, SEO was born again, reimagined. Don’t you believe me?
Just look at how SEO experts have shifted their tactics to recover rankings and press onward and upward.
SEO has adapted to its new rules and will likely transform again in the new year as well.
Curious what’s ahead? Let’s look at how SEO will change in the coming year.
Personalized Search Will Offer Exciting New SEO Opportunities
Google has been busy making changes, making Google results look more like Main Street than ever before.
Search engine results have begun to rank differently, showing preferences in rankings to outlets and sites you are connected to.
In an effort to personalize your web browser experience, your social media connections will start to show in search results as will music, videos, and images closely associated to your search terms.
Search engine results will look more like personal news feeds on your social media, presenting content connected to you and therefore, likely more valuable.
Personalized search will be all about presenting value to internet visitors and this value will be shaped by SEO.
To get your pictures and statuses to show in these rankings, SEO tools like writing relevant keywords will become increasingly important as will widening your customer base and online connections to disseminate your content to a wider audience.
Social Media Will Increase in Importance
Social media will now drive much of SEO work in 2013. The reason is because these social networks are ranking so highly.
Search engines like Google are showing a preference to these sites because the content that is shared and reshared on these networks is deemed highly valuable.
Social media shares will become a new internet currency, used in part to determine how valuable a site or business is and therefore deserving of rankings.
Like never before, internet curators and content creators will have a hand in shaping the information space.
These social media posts will become a new kind of SEO, elevating your site to a higher ranking and status.
As links previously indicated a site’s value before, likes and reshares will now indicate a site’s value to the internet audience.
Mobile Optimization Will Drive Traffic Results
According to internet researchers Mongoose Metrics, an estimated 90% of websites are not yet optimized for mobile usage. This means that only 10% of websites are prepared to capture a rapidly growing mobile device market.
According to Pew Research, 74% of mobile device users search and shop from their handheld devices and move on if websites are not optimized correctly.
Businesses seeking greater value and not to get left behind in the dust will have to adapt and optimize for mobile.
Google has been encouraging websites down this path for quite some time and will begin to show preference to sites which are optimized and user friendly.
As we near 2013, speculation abounds.
But what is clear is that search engines like Google will continue to compete to grab the lion’s share of internet traffic and will do so by enticing internet visitors with more relevant and valuable search results.
If your business wants to be included in the top results, you should be reevaluating whether or not you’re aware of the burgeoning trends.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net