The days of 2013 are winding down. From SnapChat to Miley to everything in between, 2013 has certainly provided plenty of entertainment. The Royal Baby, KimYe, Duck Dynasty and Tinder have all made their way into the 2013 yearbook. After all, who could have imagined that 2013 would be the year of the selfie?
Not to be outdone, the SEO world has had its fair share of momentous happenings throughout the past year. In this post-hummingbird world, it is clear that the SEO that we once knew has reinvented itself. Let’s take a look at the top SEO moments of 2013.
SEO in 2013 Highlights and Breakthroughs
Penguin 2.0 and Penguin 2.1
In May, Google released the Penguin 2.0 algorithm update and followed up with 2.1 in October. This next-generation algorithm targeted black hat spam, particularly links from paid sites or networks. Disavowing links or manually removing these them is important for sites who were hit by these updates. Penguin 2.0 and 2.1 showed us the importance of legitimate quality and content throughout a site. It also reaffirmed Google’s no tolerance view on spam.
Added in August, in depth articles offer high-quality content to help learn about or explore a subject. These long form publications feature targets proven articles from trusted resources that appear in the search results. Optimizing for in-depth articles includes schema.org article markup, authorship markup, pagination and canonicalization, logos, restricted content and free first click. The introduction of this feature again reiterates Google’s focus on quality content. After all, content still reigns king in the land of SEO.
Google’s move to 100 percent secure search turned the SEO world on its head. When the room stopped spinning, SEOs realized that the sought-after keyword insights may not be the answer to our prayers. As always with Google, this shift refocuses our efforts on what matters most: quality and relevant content. Focusing on just a few keywords will now get you nowhere fast, or about the same place Lindsay Lohan has been the past few years.
The mother of all SEO changes occurred in August. The latest of Google’s search algorithm affects 90 percent of search results and is the latest search algorithm update since 2001. It focuses on the meaning behind a search query, detailing the wheres, whys and whats in the search results. Overall, Hummingbird is a sophisticated shift towards conversational phrases and user intent. Change is inevitable for SEO and Hummingbird is one that we have started to embrace.
The introduction of Hashtag Search adds another element to the SEO timelines. Google now shows hashtags from Google Plus posts and links to the hashtag feeds on Twitter and Facebook in the search results. For marketers, hastags offer branding and authority opportunities. Likewise, hashtag search again reveals the value Google places on Google Plus. With this update, it appears that alignment among digital marketing channels is more important than ever.
If SEOs learned anything in 2013, it’s that change is inevitable. And thankfully, this applies to the entertainment world too.