If you're a website owner or an SEO professional and you often feel like you're at the mercy of Google's every whim, you're not alone. Most users still rely on Google to find your website, and utilize the search engine to discover information about your company. if you want to increase search engine visibility, you've got to play by Google's rules. Fortunately, you don't have to blindly wait for what's to come.
Pay Attention to These Guys
Most avid SEO professionals are familiar with Matt Cutts, who is Google's head of the search spam department. Matt updates his personal blog anytime significant changes occur. Another name that should pique your interest is Danny Sullivan. Although Sullivan doesn't work directly for a search engine, the writer for Search Engine Land does have a more direct relationship with these guys. He's the one that often seeks clarification from Google and company when the public is fuzzy about policy or algorithm changes. Rand Fishkin has a similar role as the founder of SEOMoz, one of the leading SEO resources online. Pay attention to both these sites to make sure you're getting the most out of your marketing strategy.
The Link Building Challenge
Link building became more difficult with the Penguin algorithm release because Google is trying to enforce spam controls rigorously. Your site likely took a dip if your marketing strategy relied solely on link building. Expect this trend to continue refrain from purchasing links or using low-quality back links. It is important to receive quality back links over total quantity. When your website does take a hit, use Google's Link Disavow Tool to suggest that the search engine ignores back links.
Mobile Browsing Continues to Grow
Chances are, you've seen the impact of people browsing from their phones on the train or tablets while enjoying a cappuccino at the coffee shop. Some experts suggest that half of all Internet browsing will be done on mobile devices by 2014, which means you better make sure your website is fully functional on smart phones as well as tablets. Check and double-check your website and ensure all features function properly.
Incorporate Micro Data
Lists, headings and images to break things up are essential if you don't want readers walking away thinking "too long, didn't read." The same is true for search engines, and it's going to become even more important as 2013 goes by. Although micro data has existed for some time, you can expect Google to give it even more weight in the following year. The move to structured markup will help because Google uses this to qualify and quantify your website for specific keywords and themes.
While we can't say for sure what Google will do in the next twelve months, hopefully our predictions can help tailor your SEO efforts. Contact us today for any additional tips regarding Google’s recent algorithm updates or SEO.