As it’s the changing of the calendar year in most of the world, around this time many blogs seize upon this opportunity to look back at the previous year, look ahead at our next planetary orbit around the sun, and make solemn vows about doing things right in the months to come.
Yours truly is no different, so I’ve contributed to a number of posts aligned to these themes, and wrote one myself. First of all I looked back at 2013 in a post collated by Marc Bitanga, where I give some of my thoughts about the Hummingbird update and its repercussions:
Marc Bitanga: SEO Year in Review 2013
“I do expect to see a growing impact in the near future as the aspects of search that Hummingbird has enabled for Google will start to become more prominent, and we’ve already started rolling out changes in our tactics that prepare for where we believe Google search is heading, with special focus on more abundant use of structured data, social signals, and information-based content.”
I was also asked to once again contribute to Gaz Copeland‘s annual SEO predictions post, despite the fact my predictions for 2013 were so vaguely worded and widely defined that a considerable number of them would have come true regardless.
Stoked SEO: The future of SEO in 2014
“Another area I think Google will be looking at is sentiment analysis, and finding ways to incorporate positive brand mentions as a potential ranking signal. Already we see positive reviews beginning to have an impact on a business’s visibility in search – especially local search – but Google will want to expand that to all mentions of a brand online, and endeavour to rank those brands highly that are mentioned most often in a positive context.”
Lastly I wrote a post on State of Digital where I capitalise on the cultural phenomenon called ‘New Year’s Resolutions‘ to, perhaps, subtly shift some behaviours in the SEO industry towards what I feel are more productive uses of everyone’s time:
State of Digital: Five SEO New Year’s Resolutions for 2014
“…over time my perspective on ratting out black hat SEOs has shifted from ‘good riddance’ to ‘live and let live’ – especially as Google has proven to possess a petty and vindictive streak when it comes to SEO in general and black hat tactics specifically. Personally I find a huge company with multi-billion dollar profits wanting to ‘break the spirit’ of small businesses to be thoroughly despicable and morally bankrupt.”