SEO in 2013 – What Will it Be Like?
Different! However, any one that has been in the SEO industry for more than 5 years will completely understand and embrace this kind of change. For those that were doing things right, the Google Panda & Penguin major algo updates were a blessing. It was extremely difficult to compete with those using advanced linking schemes, paid blog networks, SEnuke X, Article Marketing Software, Bookmarking Demon, & more.
However, if a website were to have a back link profile of nearly 100% anchor text ratio of the keyword being targeted, it became clear this was not natural. Average Joe now has a chance.
Both of these updates have wiped out many online empires that were raking in some serious dough by utilizing the above methods ($20k+ a week). Similar to the image of the penguin jumping off the cliff, the same thing happened to many internet marketers rankings, well, those that used the techniques listed above to quickly gain organic rankings. Those that try to manipulate the system are exactly the same guys I believe Google does not want to promote. Especially when the content is scraped or spun and have artificial back link profiles, which essentially provides little to no value to the visitor.
If your website gives the user a bad experience, the visitor will likely correlate their poor visit with Google, which is why it is critical to pump out useful content that will continue to be useful. Google doesn’t own majority of the market share for delivering crap results! Essentially, preventing easy manipulation will continue to be the #1 Goal of Matt Cutts.
Speaking about user experience, I think it is important to keep a heavy eye on the data tracked by Google Analytics. Is your bounce rate more than 75%? Why? Have you considered the user intent? Does your copy match their intent? Is your website simple to navigate? Does your website inform, solve a problem, or offer a solution? Is it clear? Is it easily understood by the masses? Is the time on your site less than one minute? Why?
You may be thinking, “Wait, how the heck does this apply to SEO in 2013?!” Drum roll…
Google Authorship! Author Rank = New Page Rank?
In the past, SEOs became more concerned about Page Rank than giving users a pleasant experience. While Page Rank is and will continue to be an important factor, SEO in 2013 will change with the addition of Author Rank.
When will this be implemented? Well, it already is! I’m sure you’ve seen photos of many good looking people in the SERPs. . Hard to imagine, but nearly 90% of my competitors (SEO companies) in my area have not implemented Authorship! Doesn’t bother me. Higher CTRs is a beautiful thing. It is said that only 9% of technology blogs currently have authorship implemented. What a shame!
When will Authorship have an impact on the algo? I am unsure. What I do know, is that Google would likely want ample data to ingest before making any sort of algo change, especially of this magnitude. If ample data is received by 2013, SEO will change!
The logic behind my thought process is quite simple. With so much content being churned out, by so many people, Author Rank would allow Google to establish authorities on the topic. Providing users with information written by industry experts would be of tremendous value to the users of Google.
Right now, I can open a website on the best sport cars under 30k. I can do keyword research to find some long tail keywords that can be easily ranked. I can optimize the on-page. I can elect to begin a back link campaign. I can open social media accounts. I can rent some cars and do video marketing. But am I an automobile expert?
I think an editor at Car & Driver would have much better insight than, I. Yet, the current way of things is that I’d have a fighting chance based on my internet marketing experience. This is why Google filed a patent for Agent Rank (Author Rank). This should be a clue that SEO will change greatly in 2013. Invest the time. Do this right. It will be worth it.
How will Author Rank (Agent Rank) Change SEO in 2013?
Imagine not having any links and attempting to rank in Google for a semi-competitive keyword (Page Rank). Would be extremely difficult, right? Well right now, before Author Rank is implemented into the Algo, you can start building your authorship now!
If you plan on being around for a while in SEO, and want to possibly see a boost from your efforts in the future, and avoid seeing a drop in your SERPs, read how to implement Google Authorship here. Each day, we are closer to this update happening.
Provide useful content and it will get shared. Useful content is not 10 links a day to your website. I was shocked when my first blog post here at NoRiskSEO was shared by a few internet marketing experts. I received over 75 visitors that day, due to the content (case study to be exact) being extremely useful.
If you constantly provide extremely valuable content while using Authorship, once phased into the algorithm, you will be extremely happy you did. So how do you know how to calculate Author Rank?
Factors that will Determine Author Rank
No need to re-invent the wheel here, AJ Kohn at The Blind Five Year Old has a magnificent writeup on Author Rank.
Read AJ’s post. Then read it again. We all know SEO changes, and SEO changes in 2013 will be significant.
Obtaining Backlinks – SEO in 2013
I strongly believe that back links are here to stay for SEO in 2013. Again, as previously mentioned, I do not believe automation will go far. Automation of backlinks is dead. Sure, something may work for a short period of time. It always does. However, I am a firm believer in longevity of rankings.
From an agency perspective, it is not worth utilizing tactics which are not condoned by Google for quick rankings. This can put a clients website at risk, your reputation, and your brand image. Nothing I want to be a part of for my SEO strategy in 2013.
Quantity should be second to quality. Always in my book. I think building and maintaining relationships in your niche is key. Churning out content that is high quality, in-depth, and clear to understand is key.
In an industry that is not technologically “with it”, you may have to resort to link building for your client (or your website). In this instance, as far as the backlink types, anything that does not have spam written all over it should do. Go with authority. Go with relevance. Go with quality sites. Create strategies that your competitors aren’t thinking of or willing to put the resources where it will count.
Do be aware of your anchor text diversity. At NoRiskSEO, we usually utilize a 15% URL, 25% Brand, 25% Brand + Keyword, 15% Exact Match Keyword, & 20% Generic. This has given our clients tremendous results post-penguin.
To verify our claims of the results we achieve, feel free to view our proven SEO results. Unfortunately, I cannot disclose the exact methods we utilize to achieve these results. However, the above gives a great starting point.
On-Page SEO in 2013
Local niche? I am shocked when I even see SEO companies that are targeting a local market and exclude certain on-page elements which hinders ranking potential.
Keep keyword density low. You do not need a 12% keyword density ratio to rank well anymore. I always try to write as if I was talking to you in person. I think this is possibly the best approach to take. Having an article or post written in an easy to understand manner, while including your keywords where necessary is vital. Depending on your niche, some can turn out some amazing content. Amazing content equals longevity.
I would rather spend 2 days on a great post than pump out 5 posts full of fluff.
Everything else is pretty basic stuff, and I am sure a majority of readers will already know the other factors. .
Being Successful Online in 2013 & Beyond
Aside from the continuous build up of my Author Rank (which will not have a fixed “end date”), everything documented in this post is currently being utilized by NoRiskSEO and is yielding great results for every single client of ours.
I felt giving as much insight as possible without giving away proprietary SEO techniques that we utilize to deliver results.
Important Note: Search can & will change. As updates occur, our plan for SEO in 2013 will likely be modified.