As technology continues to improve, the sophistication with which search engines sort websites will continue to increase. This presents both problems and solutions, depending on your current strategies and ability to adapt. As we have over the past 10 years, we will continue to see a decrease in the significance of internal keywords, and an increase in importance of external ones (including social media content, partner links, mobile site content, etc). We will also continue search engines placing more emphasis on integration of your social media profiles within your site, as well as the popularity of your social media profiles in general. I believe one of the most significant changes we will see in regards to search engine optimization this year will be Google’s new search algorithm aptly called, “Hummingbird”. The most significant new effect of Hummingbird is that keywords will be much less important when it comes to Google search rankings. Instead, Hummingbird emphasizes users’ intent by interpreting their entire query rather than matching individual search terms to website keywords. In fact, Google can now recognize that the word ‘home’ is tied to a user’s physical location, and it’s beginning to understand more and more of users’ personal preferences.
Knowing these changes will significantly improve your chances to overtake your nearest competition with those few keywords you have been battling for. As they pour their resources into old methods of SEO, you will be able to shift your focus onto the new search engine strategies, proving to the engines that you are not only able to strategically improve your own business, but also better help the needs of your clients as well. It is now almost taken for granted in today’s technology obsessed world that every company with a website must be ahead of the times when it comes to search engine optimization.