SEO 2014: The Biggest SEO Survey of the Year
Why did we do this survey? As Google tightened the screws on SEOs lately by specifically targeting what used to be one the most important parts of SEO process, i.e. link building, we wanted to take the pulse of the SEO community. We wanted to know how SEO experts viewed this significant change implemented by Google that transformed the whole SEO landscape.
This has been the biggest SEO survey of its kind in this year so far. We conducted it on Twitter. It was not a general survey. We wanted to collect the opinions of only the experts in the field. The iMarketing Café team contacted more than 300 SEO experts around the world. We, as far as possible, expected them to define ‘SEO 2014’ in 140 characters (a tweet) and some of them really came up with great answers. We got a decent response from the SEO community even though the survey was not much publicized. All those who have responded are truly experts and have several years of experience in the SEO industry.
The iMarketing Café team heartily thanks them for taking time out to respond to our tweets. Here by, we bring you some interesting expert opinions on how will SEO change in 2014.
@iMarketingCafe "Create useful content your buyers will love and share."
— Mike Volpe (@mvolpe) October 21, 2013
@iMarketingCafe same as in 1995: SEO is making your website the best it can be for your users and the search engines.
— Jill Whalen (@jillwhalen) October 18, 2013
@iMarketingCafe hard in 140 characters. I can list 4 "keywords": Trust; Topical Context; Search Entities; Personalization
— Gianluca Fiorelli (@gfiorelli1) October 23, 2013
@iMarketingCafe The process may change from client to client, but certain constants remain paramount: relevance, authority & conversion.
— Gabriella Sannino (@SEOcopy) October 18, 2013
@iMarketingCafe A shift towards full integration in order to support multiple channels.
— Selena Narayanasamy (@selenavidya) October 18, 2013
— Bruce Clay, Inc. (@BruceClayInc) October 4, 2013
@iMarketingCafe SEO in 2014 is just marketing. In 90's there was "Web Marketing", now Marketing includes "web" by default. Same w/ SEO imho.
— Larry Kim (@larrykim) October 15, 2013
@iMarketingCafe Branding, content marketing, knowledge graph & google authorship. Plus the same stuff that's worked for the past 10 years.
— Takeshi Young (@takeshiyoung) October 8, 2013
@iMarketingCafe 2014 won't be too different to now – if your site is crawlable & technically sound then the right links + content = success
— Chris Dyson (@ChrisLDyson) October 2, 2013
@iMarketingCafe fir me SEO 2014 not different than SEO 2K. In 2K as well, u were allowed to spam, build unntural links, keyword stuffng,etc.
— khem Raj (@khem_raj) October 23, 2013
I’m banking on next year’s SEO centering around more creative online marketing campaigns. A lot of SEOs focus on raw data insights for their work, without appending that data to marketing ideas. Now with some of that data being restricted in [not provided], and Google turning up still somewhat-unknown other factors, the bigger sites, making the bigger brand moves, are going to get SERP recognition because they’ve always been more “big picture”.
If big brands are doing so well in Google, and it’s not because of a conspiracy, then it might be because Google is focusing on the big marketing contributions (and/or returns) through other algorithm signals. I believe in 2014, SEOs are going to want to put their marketing hat on even tighter and make more creative marketing and brand decisions to get Google’s attention.
FYI: Email response
@iMarketingCafe SEO 2014 == good old fashioned marketing. The sooner SEOs get on board with what that is, the less algo affected they'll be.
— MichelleRobbins (@MichelleRobbins) October 18, 2013
@iMarketingCafe Great content, social activity, editorially earned links – ultimately real engagement with real people (that's my hope)
— Adam Connell (@adamjayc) September 30, 2013
— Brian Dean (@Backlinko) October 1, 2013
September was a pretty telling month for SEOs to understand where the industry is going in 2014. We officially lost our keyword referring data and Google rolled out what they’re calling the biggest algorithm change since 2001. Before we talk about what SEO in 2014 is going to be about, we have to talk about what its not going to be about. It’s not going to be about keywords anymore. Hummingbird was designed to focus on the meaning behind words, not necessarily the words themselves. Removing keyword data, if you think about it, is a means to the same end. It forces SEOs to think about the meaning, the intent, and the motivation behind the keywords rather than the keywords themselves. It would be cliche to say SEO in 2014 is going to be more about the user because that’s what SEO was in 2013, in 2012, and so on back to the beginning of search. SEO in 2014, therefore, is going to be defined by analysis at a much deeper level than ever before. It’s going to be defined bywhy and not by what.
Simply put, SEO in 2014 is going to be defined by psychographics. Search engines (not just Google!) want to focus on user intent and generate results based on that user intent. Market research will become even more important and communicating the competitive advantages of your product/service effectively will drive success. Keywords remain, of course, a necessary conduit to your users but recognize the shifts in the landscape dictate that SEOs must refocus their efforts toward how and why their product/service solves a human need to be successful in 2014 and beyond.
FYI: Email response
@iMarketingCafe SEO in 2014 will be driven by unbridled creativity, across technologically sound websites by multi-disciplined marketers.
— Mike Essex (@Koozai_Mike) October 3, 2013
@iMarketingCafe Same as it ever was: build a large amount of content for your target audience and acquire lots of branded links.
— Kane Jamison (@KaneJamison) October 2, 2013
@iMarketingCafe SEO 2014 is the result of wholistic cross-channel marketing with a delicious gooey center made of kick-ass content!
— Harris Schachter (@OptimizePrime) October 3, 2013
— David Wallace (@DavidWallace) October 10, 2013
@iMarketingCafe "Change" it's not static anymore, so don't chase it. Create solid content consistently.
— Steve Hughes (@sbhsbh) October 17, 2013
— Dana Lookadoo (@lookadoo) October 19, 2013
@iMarketingCafe Real content. Content marketing is dead. Long live content marketing. Successful brands will share quality, engaging…
— Jayson Akers (@azakers) October 21, 2013
Jayson’s full response given below:
Real content. Content marketing is dead. Long live content marketing. Successful brands will share quality, engaging…expert-crafted content published cross channel (on/offsite,social) in a variety of forms (static articles to dynamic IGs). Serious brands should be expanding digital marketing budgets to include robust content strategy & expert copywriting
@iMarketingCafe continued movement towards context – local and semantic; and emphasis quality (and depth) over quantity or frequency – thnx
— Brent Carnduff (@BrentCarnduff) October 23, 2013
@iMarketingCafe Making real stuff work for Google.
— Tim Grice (@Tim_Grice) October 8, 2013
@iMarketingCafe SEO 2014 = cuckolded eunuch… now just one less powerful arm of all digital marketing.
— Brian Carter (@briancarter) October 23, 2013
— Ruud Hein (@RuudHein) October 23, 2013
— Garth O'Brien – SEO (@garthobrien) October 23, 2013
— Garth O'Brien – SEO (@garthobrien) October 23, 2013
Garth shared some more points later.
@iMarketingCafe agree with @lookadoo Sites need to grow a pair & publish content their customers are seeking. Not marketing lingo &……image laden pages. Content = targeted and focused text.
— simon penson (@simonpenson) October 7, 2013
@iMarketingCafe Masks falling down. True entities rock, can't hide behind keywords. SEOs playing WITH G, not against. Schema saves the day.
— Alesia Krush (@AlesiaKrush) October 12, 2013
@iMarketingCafe the more I go on, the more I understand that SEO is just a little piece of the cake
— Mauro D'Andrea (@MauroDAnd) October 15, 2013
@iMarketingCafe seo = optimization of content for optimum query visibility and retrieval in a search query.
— steveplunkett (@steveplunkett) October 16, 2013
@iMarketingCafe Cleaning up Toxic Links and starting to do things right.
— Christoph C. Cemper (@cemper) October 18, 2013
— Nick LeRoy (@NickLeRoy) October 5, 2013
— Zac Johnson (@moneyreign) October 8, 2013
@iMarketingCafe SEO 2014: Quality Uniqueness Authority Relevance Trust QUART
— Alan Bleiweiss (@AlanBleiweiss) October 20, 2013
— Andrew Girdwood (@AndrewGirdwood) October 24, 2013
@iMarketingCafe The same as any form of marketing. Make things people want, instead of looking for less time/money consuming shortcuts.
— Peter Attia (@PeterAttia) October 4, 2013
@iMarketingCafe Fewer tricks, more quality. Make humans happy, and you should be able to make Google happy
— Nicole Beckett (@NicoleBeckett) October 4, 2013
— Erwan Derlyn (@AirForceWan) October 25, 2013
— Joanna Vaiou (@joannavaiou) October 25, 2013
@iMarketingCafe for long-term SEO & ranking, produce quality content (1000-2000 words), interlink & use Youtube and social networking sites
— Salman Ahsan (@salmanofficial) October 26, 2013
@iMarketingCafe Missed your survey… My response? "Ensuring a match of query (intent + context) to share-worthy content answers."
— Grant Simmons (@simmonet) November 13, 2013
@iMarketingCafe The SEO fundamentals have not changed follow SEO best practices and you can't go wrong.
— Robert O'Haver (@RobertOHaver) November 26, 2013
• Content is emperor now, not king
• Creating great content is not an option anymore. You don’t have a choice.
• Greater Inclination towards content marketing
• Social signals will play a significant role (step up your social presence, engage your target audience effectively and meaningfully)
• SEO continues to evolve. The term ‘inbound marketing’ is often used interchangeably by the Industry leaders these days.
• No more shortcuts
• Shift from link building to link earning
• Be creative in order to compete and excel
• Focus more on user intent and requirements.
• Build audience, trust, authority and presence. Don’t get too obsessed with keyword rankings. When you get obsessed, you are likely to make mistakes.
• Spamming will still continue in 2014 (But, chances of getting caught are MUCH higher)
• Clean up all the toxic links, even if you have still not got affected. The worst is yet to come.
• Factors that are gaining importance: Topical context, semantic search, Google authorship, relationship between search entities, Schema, Personalization, Co-occurrence and co-citation.
• Basic technical stuff still matters a lot.
• Good Links are still powerful
• Provide best user experience in all possible ways
• Don’t ignore mobile SEO
• SEO 2014 = Marketing
Please do let us know your views in the comment section below. Tell us how you think SEO will change in 2014.
You can also ask questions to these experts. Ask questions to a person of your choice by mentioning his/her name.
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Presented by: TheiMarketingCafe Team
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