Here’s what many SEO experts think Google’s algorithm will look like in 2014. Basically, the big change is going more and more towards social engagement. That’s why Google created Google+. They want to know everything about everyone so no one can game the social media side of SEO. Right now, you can game facebook likes and tweet etc, but you can’t game Google+. That’s Google’s goal…along with making user’s experiences more personable. Notice how Google starts to show you SERPS based upon your interests and what Google has learned about you. One more reason to be on Google+.

Right now, backlinks are the most important component of Google’s ranking algorithm, and they have been pretty much since Google’s inception. If you have a lot of high authority sites linking to your website, then you’re going to rank higher than competitors who don’t. And the links are rated by quality. So one link from the New York Times is better than 10,000 links from crappy websites with no authority. Thus, quality SEO companies focus on getting only high quality links.

This image shows that Google is moving more towards social. Why? It allows more people to vote. The whole point of backlinks is to create a voting system. If more sites link to your websites then you must be popular and cool…so Google’s going to rank you higher. But think about it. That means that only website owners can vote. But with social media, everyone can vote. Thus, it’s a more fair and real system of voting and SEOs won’t be able to game the system as easily. Right now, a website could have sub-par content, but a few great backlinks that allow it to rank over other sites. By 2014, that will be very uncommon. Now, only really high quality websites that people like and engage with will be able to maintain a position in the top 3 SERPS on the first page.

The top 3 organic results tend to get roughly 60% of the traffic on any given keyword search. That’s why it’s more and more important for you to be in the top 3 positions. That number slightly decreases every year as more people click on Adwords ads and local results. One more reason to be doing Google Adwords PPC and Local SEO. So ideally, you would be doing regular SEO, local SEO, and PPC. If done properly by a firm who knows what they are doing, you can dominate your niche.

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By: Charles Crawford.