SEO Trends of 2013 and What Are We Learning?

SEO, Search engine optimizationLike many business owners, I am always learning how to attract new traffic while retaining my “regulars.” Writing for other sites has been a good teacher. At times it can seem as if search engine optimization (SEO) is very mysterious as the search engines change their algorithms to prevent people from gaming the system. On top of that, there is the behaviour of our blog readers and unique visitors to our site.

What are the SEO trends of 2013?

The Search Engine Journal provided an interesting list of 2013 trends

  1. Longer and more detailed content
  2. Diversified content
  3. Connecting all of your content from your own site and other sites where you are a contributor
  4. Link building is becoming more of a relationship-based process
  5. Varying link text is ongoing
  6. Design works as a credibility builder and engagement
  7. Guest posting could be looked at more closely by Google and other search engines
  8. Social media is key ingredient
  9. Having a mobile accessible site is becoming more important
  10. SEO is more about strategy

For anyone who learned to write shorter posts or to make sure that keywords were used in abundance, this list may give them pause.

What are we learning?

As Jayson Demers noted in a post on Huffington Post about SEO trends, some of what we understand about SEO has be to adjusted. It does seem that there is a certain level of unlearning as well. Video seems to be a trend that will stay. Oddly, longer posts seem to becoming more of a norm as well. There was a time when we all aspired to be like Seth Godin and write short, pithy blog posts. But even Seth Godin is write longer posts (although not 1,000 words). If we being told on one hand that attention spans are a few seconds, it seems completely contrary that an audience really wants more extensive content from a blogger.

It certainly seems that the days black hat tactics are waning. Google has made a strong effort to outsmart them with the Panda and Penguin algorithms. Content creators are being challenged to find out how to use videos, written content and infographics so they maintain and increase engagement.

While Google may be driving this (lest we also forget how Google Authorship can get us in front of more eyeballs), the other search engines like Bing, Safari and Yahoo are adding to the  new trends with their algorithms too. Technology, algorithms and user behaviour are creating a new landscape for our SEO.

Join us on Friday, September 20th at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am PT and add what do you think this will mean in 2014 and beyond.

How many of the trends listed do you see becoming common practice?

Given the current trends for SEO, how does this change our understanding of search engine optimization?

What types of content seem to attract more search engine attention?

How will the demands for varying link text, content formats and other trends change the  job of a social media consultant or web designers?

Is Google and its quest to outsmart gaming the system is driving these trends rather than our audiences? Why/Why not?