We have managed to sidestep the end of the world (fingers still crossed), so now we can turn our attention to this new year and specifically we can begin the discussion on what is going to work for SEO in 2013. Addressing what will work in SEO this year just as importantly means identifying what is NO LONGER going to work this year, so let’s get into it right now.
Google Authorship – Google Authorship is going to keep playing a role in SEO. This is because content authors who go through the motions to get their picture alongside their content in the SERPs are more likely to produce quality content in Google’s eyes. I give 4 reasons you want your picture in the SERPs and put together a video on how to get your picture on Google, and there’s really no reason not to do it given the boost it will give you in traffic and rankings, plus it’s a set it and forget it thing which requires no upkeep.
Private Blog Networks – Private blog networks still work if they’re truly private. This means that you have sole ownership of the network and the content which is produced on it and link between sites on the network effectively in addition to keeping your ownership of that network private.
Video Marketing – Video marketing is going to keep working until Google has decided that people’s exploitation of it outweighs the value it’s bringing to them. YouTube videos especially have been known to outrank far more optimized content in the SERPs and take far less optimization to get them to rank well as opposed to basic text based content. Check out my recent post on how to rank videos for more information.
Social Signals – Social proof will continue to play a role in convincing Google your page is worth ranking; particularly proof from Google Plus in the form of a plus 1. Remember that Google is calling the shots and we’re starting to see more of their products having even greater influences over the SERPs each year for better or worse in order to muscle people into using said products.
Diversity – Diversity has never been more evergreen in a age of search where looking natural is king. You want diversity in all forms. First you want link diversity or in other words links from lots of different sites and lots of different types of sites. Secondly you want social proof diversity, or social influence from all kinds of social networks. Finally, you want diversity in the form of your content. You want text, images, and video embedded on your pages if possible as Google believes this equals a better user experience.
What Won’t Work in SEO in 2013
Let’s flip the table and offer a list of SEO tactics which worked at one point in 2012 but are diminishing in effect or which no longer work at all.
Public Blog Networks – Networks like Build My Rank were big in part of 2012 before they went under. Unless you own your blog network yourself, you shouldn’t put a lot of trust into links you get from them. In fact you should be wary of any paid for links you receive as Google is very critical of anything which doesn’t look natural.
Link Quantity over Quality – This has been going on for awhile, but you can expect the divide in value which multiple low quality links versus just a handful of high quality links hold continue to widen. Focus on less links and
Over Optimization – To continue on that last point, over optimizing your keywords, or in other words having too many keyword rich links to your site for the keywords you’re targeting especially has become antiquated very quickly. You can use it in moderation and especially on high quality links, but targeted keywords should be used with the other types of anchor text for a healthy mix of generic, brand, and targeted keywords.