If 2012 was the year of the Penguin and the Panda, then what will 2013 be the year of [insert name of cute, cuddly animals here]??? If your SEO results suffered in any way, shape, or form last year, many Industry experts believe online marketers will endure “more of the same” this coming year. The list of what to expect includes continued updates to last year’s game-changing Penguin and Panda algorithms (link buying, content stealing is bad!); and a lot more interest in what’s happening with your brand in Social Media (activity and growth is good!).
Sites that have been “over-optimized” will continue to slide downward in favor of sites that provide better user experiences. Period, end-of-story. While this may not be the most shocking news to people, the Big G has been promising this as reality for at least the past 6-7 years. But it wasn’t until Penguin and Panda updates happened last year, that we finally believed them.
Other predictions include the squeezing out of organic real estate on the SERP’s in favor of more Paid Ads (get used to it) and perhaps a little more competition from a relatively new, upstart search engine (see Blekko.com). While we don’t anticipate that Blekko will steal away a thunderous amount of traffic away from Google, they are already making inroads on mobile tablet searching. We expect that they, at the very least, finally get on the public’s radar this year.
If we were to offer any advice coming into the new year, it is this – optimize your brand online the right way! Look at your analytics, look at your site speed & load times, look at your activity in Social media, and look to see where your customers are getting hung up and falling out. Your goal this year should be to better meet the needs of your customers. If you are still unclear what the purpose of your users are, why not survey them just to be sure. While SEO is not the end-all, be-all it once was, organic traffic is still the best return on your investment. So, understanding how to play the game is still worth your while.
Here’s wishing you the best of success online in the new year!