Major SEO Shifts We Saw in 2014

Hummingbird Changes and Impacts

Hummingbird may have made it’s debut in 2013, but 2014 saw us SEO experts conquering it. In 2014 we evolved from keywords to keyword themes. We thought more about long tail phrases and making our content valuable for our site visitors. In order to introduce more long tail keyword phrases, we made more pages with original content. We added more videos to our sites. And, we added a whole lot of infographics! We increased the number of blog articles we wrote. And, we stayed on topic! Ahhh…the influence of Hummingbird!

In August of 2014, Google 3 year adventure with Authorship ended.  Authorship was a tagging system to help authors display their names and images in search results and was linked with Google+. In theory, it was a way to rank higher in SERP. Note: you don’t need to remove the mark up – it won’t hurt anything. RIP, Authorship.

Author Rank – Quality Content Continues to be Important

Author Rank is separate from Authorship and is quite tied into the “who” of who is creating that quality content. Author Rank is a search algorithm that scores authors based on social media follows, comments, back links, the quality of the publishing site, and more. It follows that those authors with a higher ranking will have their content show higher up in search results. Author Rank is definitely something to look into for 2015. Keep on writing good copy, and the search engines will reward you.

Mobile Search – The Trend Continues

Mobile Search in 2014 became ultra important (and will be even more important in 2015). More and more websites adopted a responsive design approach, displaying websites more appropriately on smartphones and tablets. But responsive design wasn’t the be-all-end-all. Marketers needed to start to understand what their customers were looking for, when on their mobile devices. Mobile is all about local and semantic search. More and more users driving about, would pick up their phone and activate the mic, asking search engines a specific question like “Where is the nearest grocery store?” Sites that incorporate a conversational tone and include location in its content took the lead in 2014.

What Do All These SEO Changes Mean?

The SEO changes, or evolutions really, continue to mean that giving quality content to your site’s visitors still matter the most. It remains important to think about your customer’s needs and how your goods or services fulfill these needs. Then write good quality copy to help your client’s understand how you can help them. And, write it so that they can understand it!