If you are an SEO optimizer, it is time to start preparing your websites for the 2014 Google updates. After all, 2013 was an eventful year for Google with updates that changed the entire SEO world. With the Panda and Penguin updates, Hummingbird algorithm almost ready and the changing pattern of the keyword data, 2013 has made all SEO experts scratch their heads and learn SEO again from the basics. The changes have been so tormenting that it has forced people to believe that SEO is almost a dead profession. But, the story of SEO doesn’t end here. It has simply shifted its base due to Google’s intense efforts to fight spam and provide only genuine content to the readers.

The need for SEO is stronger today due to the competitive market. But, the Black Hat and Grey Hat tactics no longer work to help you get noticed instantly online. As a result, SEO experts need to simply embrace the vision of Google, and enhance their SEO tactics. But, be careful as the rules for SEO have grown extremely complex.

Here are a few suggestions provided by SEO professionals who are thinking much ahead of time to stabilize their websites despite of the upcoming 2014 updates.

  • Keep 2013 updates in mind – The updates of 2013 are not going to change. They are still relevant, but have just been amplified to a higher extent. So, whatever changes you are planning for your websites, make sure you consider the adjustments based on the Panda and Penguin updates. Online marketers who follow these earlier changes will surely benefit from them even in the coming year.
  • Content Marketing is important than ever before – The main aim of Google is to provide optimal content to all its followers. Thus, Content marketing is considered the best source of online marketing for all types of web spaces. Companies following healthy content marketing strategies will benefit from these changes as Google will support such content and companies.
    • The content should be audience targeted.
    • The content should be engaging and sharing
    • The information should be fresh which will indicate that your website is alive and ready to grow.
    • Growing authority for your website based on its regular work.

    This is the new SEO approach that Google is appreciating.

  • Role of Social Media is higher than before – Social media has been the star of SEO in the recent times. In 2014, its importance in the SEO world will increase further. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinerest and Instagram have become an important source of communication and sharing information for people from every corner of the world.According to a survey performed by the Content Marketing Institute, all successful online marketers and business entrepreneurs have at least 7 networks. Proper usage of these platforms will continue to help your business grow with time and all the 2014 Google updates.
  • Use Google+ more – If you wish to further strengthen your social media marketing results, make sure you use Google+ and make your presence felt. According to a recent survey by Moz, it has been proven that Google+ plays a significant role in SEO ranking.
    • For better results, establish your Google+ authorship for your contents.
    • Upload all your content on Google+
    • Google+1s greatly contribute to the SERPs.

    Follow these points and you will surely see stronger SERP rankings for your website and online pages.

  • Understand the hummingbird update – The new and still to be released Hummingbird Google update is all about mobile SEO. According to a recent survey, more than half of America uses Smartphone while one third of the population uses tablets. The number of people using these high-tech gadgets will soon increase after the coming Christmas and New Year Holiday season. Thus, a website’s ranking will directly be affected due to its mobile performance. So, if you don’t have your website mobile optimized, your SEO ranking will be greatly affected.
  • Long content Vs Short content – For a long time now, we have been debating over which is a better option, longer content or shorter content. Well, the answer completely depends on who creates the content and the people reading it. It also depends on what the content is about and how it will help the readers.For Google, both content value and expertise are highly important. According to the recent trends, the content length has shifted from some 400 words to something between 550 to 1000 words or more. But, when it comes to reading content in mobiles, readers don’t prefer to scroll a content that is 1000 words or 2000 words plus. This only causes more problems content marketers about creating mobile friendly content which is short and informative.
  • Understand the relation between SEO, advertising and PPC – Earlier, Google preferred keyword based data online. But, with the new updates, they encrypted the use of keyword data and restricted its database usage. However, there exists a loophole in the system. The Keyword database is still very much available for PPC marketers. This has diverted the SEO budgets toward PPC strategies. Thus, if you understand the relation of SEO, PPC and advertising, you will achieve success for your website.
  • Guest blogging is still an effective SEO tactic – In 2013, guest blogging was considered as one of the most effective tactics for attracting traffic, brand exposure and also creating high quality inbound links. This will remain the same for the year 2014. Hence, you have to be really carefully when guest blogging for your website. If, by mistake you blog in a spammy website, you will be penalized based on a future penguin update.

2014 will see a lot of changes in the SEO world. So, if you wish to avoid dramatic changes in your SERPs, make sure you go the clean way and enhance organic online visibility with these suggestions.