Experts Blog

7 SEO Predictions for 2013

By Casey Markee on Dec 17, 2012 - 11:18 AM

With the projected end-of-the-world date of December 21, 2012 fast approaching, I thought it prudent to get a jump on my annual list of predilections, prognostications and predictions that may drive your SEO marketing efforts in the coming year.

But first, if you didn't get a chance to review this year's 7 SEO Predictions for 2012 article it's worth your time. Overall, I'd say I did pretty well. I predicted that Google would lower the value of exact match domains (EMDs), continue to integrate author marked-up content in their search results, and provide a higher algorithmic lift to fresh, date-specific content.

Next, I predicted that Amazon would work to leverage its 160+ million customers to dominate the daily deals space against heavyweights Groupon and Living Social in 2012. Unfortunately, not only did Amazon not increase its stake in Living Social in 2012 but it actually took a third-quarter $169 million write-down on its investment. Ouch! Nevertheless, Amazon Local did make good inroads in 2012 and, although it hasn't unseated Groupon yet, it's killing them on mobile devices!

I then predicted that Siri would result in a paradigm shift with local search as others rushed to fulfill everyday needs through voice-initiated search. In fact, Siri predicated the introduction by Google of their Siri-clone, Google Now, which was pushed out live in August as part of a substantive upgrade to their mobile search UI. Google Now is still rolling out but expect 2013 to be a big year as Android phones will surpass 1 billion in 2013 and Android tablet sales are projected to pass Apple iPads (and thus Siri) for the first time.

Finally, I talked a lot about the continued domination of social networks in 2012. I stated first that this year was the year of Foursquare and although it recorded its 3 billionith check-in earlier this year, that's about all the positives they have to report. Not only will they only generate a paltry $2 million in revenue this year but their user growth has slowed: of their 25 million users, only 8 million are considered "active" each month.

Continuing on with social networks, I argued that Pinterest would continue to grow at a great rate (correct there), that Twitter Promoted Tweets would go mainstream (right again) and that, a site connecting business professionals together for mutual benefit would "blow up" (it didn't...yet). We'll call the social media predictions a mixed bag at best.

Overall, not bad. But what's done is done and it's time to look ahead. What does 2013 hold? Where do I see SEO going? What do Google & Bing have in store for searcher and site owner alike? Where should you concentrate your efforts for your own sites and those of your clients?

Here's where I plan to spend MOST of my time and resources:

  • 1. Guest Blogging Still Goes Strong - But Quality Matters! Similar to the 2012 death of SEO prediction, I don't see Guest Posts dying out in 2013. Specifically, I do not see Google going after guest posting through any concerted algorithmic update on their part. However, like anything, quality matters. Make sure to review our tips for quality guest posting and remember what the point of guest posting is: a viable way to get not only high-quality content for your own site audience but as a tactic you can use to push out your own content and achieve niche-related dofollow links.

    If you do decide to use guest blogging in 2013 we recommend you check-out My Blog Guest and Guest Blog it as their communities seem to provide the highest quality sites and content from which to choose.

  • 2. Technical SEO Algorithm Coming: Google is going to continue to punish sites in 2013 with algorithmic updates aimed at improving the user experience. I believe an evolution of Panda, Penguin, and EMD will arise in the form of a new algorithmic update centered on the technical aspects of a site's profile.

    Similar to 2012's Top Heavy update, sites may now be judged on things like the following: canonical issue correction, site speed metrics (do they load faster than three seconds), bounce rates (are pages below 50%), time-on-site (excessive 30-sec. or less visits?), and whether the site is W3C markup compliant. It wouldn't hurt for you to conduct a detailed professional site audit now, just in case.

  • 3. Google AuthorRank Influences/Increases Rankings: We've covered the importance of author rank and optimization repeatedly in 2012. This wasn't just for show. I believe that AuthorRank really comes into its own in 2013. The importance of keeping your blog or website content ranking competitively may come down to whether you've established yourself as the linked to and recognized author of that content. If you haven't, don't expect to get the full algorithmic boost from that content.

    Are you a brand operating in a competitive sphere? Get your authors set-up in AuthorRank and claim their content. As each of them increase their engagement and exposure through existing writing this in turn will push up the brands to which they are tied. Result? Increased site traffic and rankings for your brand and those of your clients!

  • 4. Google+ Goes HUGE in 2013: Google+ is the social spine by which Google has built their entire future. Not only does the system have 100+ million active users as of 12/1, but it's projected to TRIPLE that in 2013. Google has also quietly expanded their third-party API functionality with the goal being to provide users substantially more ways to manage, track and promote their circles than ever before.

    Google+ is also positioned to launch a whole new host of services in 2013 that expand Hangouts, build on their Google Voice VOIP protocol, and which involve the integration of a new improved Google Chat (Gchat) both into gmail and in regular Hangouts.

  • 5. Mobile SEO in 2013 Takes Off: I and all the staff here at Search Engine News have been arguing for awhile that Mobile SEO cannot be ignored. Make sure to read our previous resources here, here and here. This is a mantra that will continue in 2013. Facebook has already acknowledged that growth on mobile devices has already outstripped PCs when accessing the site. In 2013, this means that if you don't have your site optimized for mobile users, you are missing a HUGE portion of traffic.

    And what is the best way to optimize for mobile AND Google in the 2013? Responsive design! Google finally embraced responsive design earlier this year and it was a long time coming. Full details on building mobile-optimized responsive designed websites can be found here, and if you are considering a blog or site redesign, I recommend going with a responsive theme like Nexus to best position yourself in 2013!

  • 6. Facebook Advertising Goes Mainstream: Facebook had some hiccups in 2012 as it went public and worked to monetize their large following. However, I believe they finally solve their missteps and really up the monetization ability they offer to advertisers. The result? More opportunities for advertisers to target highly defined customer classes.

    If you aren't using Facebook advertising, or had a bad experience in 2012, I recommend you give it another try. Big changes are in store with Facebook and if you don't get your sites and those of your clients involved, someone else will. And most likely, it will be a competitor!

  • 7. The Explosion of Social Good Advertising: I predict that 2013 will see a huge surge in ad dollars being used to buy or influence social users. The result of this influence will be to generate social goodwill which leads to more traffic, mentions, and better rankings.

    These "Do Good" campaigns are going to become the norm as SEO and advertising agencies work to expand the reach of their clients by connecting with popular social users and running social reputation management campaigns. If the concept of social media for social good is new to you, check-out this recent infographic put out by the UNC School of Government for further explanation.

My Magic 8-ball didn't do too shabby this year and my clients reaped the benefits. How will the above predictions hold-up in 2013? Check back next year and we'll take a look. In the meantime, enjoy an SEO in 2013 laugh courtesy of CopyPress.Planet Ocean article end

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