4 Things Search Engines (Google) Want in 2014

Regardless of how much Google tries to discourage apparent search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, it’s still more important than ever to assure your website receives traffic.

Say goodbye to continuous linking and keyword stuffing. Instead, it’s important for websites and content creators to focus on a different set of rules to earn Google’s trust. People are using Google for many queries, and Google uses context clues to provide accurate answers.

What do you need to know for SEO success now? Here are 4 crucial SEO tactics for 2014:

1.  Answering questions in blog posts and website content. Users have switched from searching specific words to searching questions and phrases. One SEO tactic that is hot in 2014 is asking a question as the title, and responding in the page body.

Natural language queries indicate that people use Google as if they’re talking to a friend rather than a computer. Google wants to encourage this method, using phrases and questions as indications of what people are looking for in context.

2. Building Social Media networks and credibility is crucial. Whether your brand is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Google Plus, social media continues to be important. Building a large, engaged audience increases social shares of your content, bringing traffic alongside. Social also increases brand awareness both for consumers and websites alike.

Further, Google and search engines are taking social signals into consideration for rankings. Websites with large numbers of fans and social shares will get ahead in rankings versus websites who ignore social.

Another social media site to stop ignoring is Google Plus. Website content creators should set up Google Authorship in order to increase SEO rankings, and Google plus profile engagement will play a role. Google prefers verified authors, and author photos next to web results increases the click-through rate.

3. Mobile SEO is crucial for websites. Mobile websites are expected to overtake PCs for searches by 2015, according to Search Engine Land. Updating your website to be responsive is the only one step of the process.

Paid search provides differentiation between mobile and PC searches, so you can create different campaigns for each method. Considering users on mobile searches tend to complete an action within one hour, brands should rethink their mobile strategy to format easy calls to action.

4.  Creating high quality content is more important than ever. Google upgrades its search engine algorithms to simply accomplish one task: separate the spam websites from real, valuable content.

Creating valuable content that readers enjoy and share on their social networks is the most important task for websites. Sprinkling important keywords and related strategically throughout the title, header tags and text reads more naturally for readers and indicates the importance to search engines.

Plus, high quality content is more shareable on social media, reinforcing more engagement and comments from readers.

Moral of the SEO Story.

Google rankings and SEO tactics for 2014 continue to be more and more intertwined. The more resourceful your website is, the more likely users are to share content. The more shared content, the more signals back to Google that your website is valuable, increasing your Google rankings. Paying for cheap content or replicating another website will no longer be acceptable shortcuts.

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