What does Google have in store for us in 2014?

28th January 2014 in Digital Strategy, SEO

Google has an on-going battle on their hands to fight spam and black-hat SEO tactics. Year-on-year they introduce new algorithms, updates and warnings in their attempts to deliver the ‘ultimate’ search results and UX. So what’s in store for 2014, and what should we be focusing on, or avoiding, to get great results?

Social Local
Setting up a business profile on Google+ Local pages can have a major impact if your aim is to increase more search traffic from your area. As Google’s ultimate aim is to deliver the best possible result, the likelihood is that they will place a greater emphasis on local and converting clicks to bricks.

Why is having a Google+ Local page so valuable?

  • Results are normally returned above standard search results. 
  • Business address and contact details are displayed alongside the listing. 
  • Reviews left by customers are provided (great - so long as you provide excellent customer service!)
  • Link to business location on a map is also provided.

Links, Links & More Links
But only the good kind. It’s all about organic and natural links, which are gained through killer content on your website, that people want to share or reference, and building relationships with key influencers. 
Put the effort in, earn links rather than buying them, and the rest should follow.

Going Mobile
We’ve been saying it for years - mobile is huge. If you have a website you should have a mobile optimised version or you’re definitely missing a trick.

Think about it….

  • 4 billion mobile phones are in use around the world
  • Smartphones account for 1.08 billion of these 
  • A half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices
  • 86% of mobile internet users are using their devices while watching TV
  • A third of Facebook’s 700 million users are using Facebook Mobile
  • Half of Twitter’s 175 million users are using Twitter Mobile
  • By 2015 mobile internet should take over desktop internet usage.

But there are a number of things that Google doesn’t like to see on mobile sites that you should be aware of including:

  • Faulty redirects
  • Interstitials (annoying pop-up app promotions)
  • Slow mobile sites
  • Unplayable videos

Click here for more issues to avoid.

Guest Blogging for SEO
In a blog posted by Google’s Matt Cutts yesterday (20.01.14), he officially announced that “if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.”

Why are Google cracking down? Because they believe it has gone from a respectable thing to become an opportunity to spam, with people basically offering money to get links that will pass PageRank and Google’s quality guidelines.

Matt expects that Google’s webspam team will take a “pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward” if they are clearly just a cover for multiple link-stuffing!

Read Matt’s full blog post here.

Just a few things to take into consideration when implementing your 2014 online marketing strategy. If you would like to talk to us about how we could help deliver a successful digital marketing campaign please get in touch.

More from the blog