The year we have just said a fond farewell to saw many changes and updates come out of the Google sphere; the upcoming year promises little in the way of big changes, more of a honing of the 2013 skills and tactics we saw coming in to play.

See 2013 as the year that Google really hit the spam hard, meaning searches are more refined and useful; look forward to 2014 knowing that the hard work on these changes really start for now you have the tools, you just need to work out how you are going to use them…

Quality, quality, quality!

Many search engine optimisation experts have been saying it for a very long time and 2014 will see no let-up in terms of the quality of the written words on your website, from the content of it, right through to the blogs and articles that are unique content to your site. Get this wrong and you are going to figure nowhere on the rankings; attempt to circumnavigate it and you will be dropped faster than the hottest potato.

Content IS king!

No matter what so-called ‘expert’ will tell you, getting the content right on your website IS king, as

is making sure it you have an excellent content strategy. The overall aim of this plan is to show Google your ARE the type of business that they want to do business with. To this end, engage in the following:

• Regular, helpful and informative content directed at YOUR audience

• Send out those all-important ‘social signals’ by getting your content shared on various other sites from Twitter through to G+

• Keep your website fresh, so that Google detects it is building and growing

• All this increased the much needed authority of your work and content

Social media – love it or hate it, you need to be doing it

Social media, regardless of whether you engage wholeheartedly with it or not, is here to stay and is an important signal of your businesses’ online presence and visibility. However, don’t think of this as a personal account where you post every second of your day, becoming on online reality star – it is about sharing interesting information and links, perhaps directing potential customers to your website but, overall it is about engaging in a relationship with people, not just customers we hasten to add. By someone sharing or liking your blog, article post or status, an important signal of authority is sent out.

Google+ – ignore at your peril!

Social media is important and what will become an increasing nugget will be Google+ or G+. Essential in fact. If you have not already done so, explore this NOW and start building your profile…

Short content or should it be longer

Not so long ago, website owners and bloggers were told to keep things short, maximum 500 words or people just turn away. But, as the Internet increasingly becomes the voice of authority when it comes to research and statistics, information is more trusted now than ever before. Pundits now suggest that the ‘less is more’ adage is out the window and to gain the attention of Google, content needs to be longer. However, enter stage left the debate of how long? Some survey groups suggest 1,000 words and yet another suggests 2,000 words plus is the norm. Akin to the size of an academic essay, it begs the question of whether this is something that will be read by the audience…

Guest blogging is still going strong but…

Guest blogging is great; it allows you to not only spread your word but also link it, with authority, to other like-minded websites and souls out there BUT, the same high level of vigilance about quality of the written word is needed. Check before it is posted that a) the material is appropriate and b) the quality is high, with no dodgy grammar or other glaring clangers. Anything short of perfect should be edited. Fact.

And so, it would seem, there is nothing here that we are not already aware of. Keep your eye on online advertising, as there may be changes afoot here too but the good thing about 2014, is that providing you grasped the basic last year, search engine optimisation of your online presence in 2014 is looking promising.

Jan, 04, 2014