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The numerous Google search engine optimization companies competing in the SEO industry had quite a year in 2013, when they had to scramble to refine their search optimization techniques in the wake of significant changes brought about by Google. What major changes were they and how are they going to affect site owners and web marketers? Read on for a recap of the major changes, as well as a glimpse of what to expect in the coming years.

Google’s Changes

To understand the new SEO landscape that greeted site owners and marketers in 2013, it is useful to understand the gradual changes Google implemented in the last couple of years. In 2011 and 2012, Google rolled out major updates in their algorithms, the more notable (and notorious) of which were the Panda and Penguin updates. The Panda and Penguin updates primarily targeted low quality sites that relied heavily on linkage – whether the links were useful to users or not – for their organic search rankings. These updates were not without their collateral damage, and owners of decent websites had to restructure their sites and their links to avoid being penalized by Google.

On top of these changes, Google gradually increased their usage of secure search for their users, resulting in increased occurrences of (not provided) keyword data in webmasters’ analytics pages. In 2013, Google continued to update and tweak these new algorithms, as well as increase their secure searches to the point at which all of their searches became secure searches.  Amidst these changes, Google unveiled their Hummingbird update, which was the largest algorithmic change in 12 years. Google’s Hummingbird update emphasized a shift from keyword-based search to semantic-based search; the new algorithm would attempt to retrieve search results from natural language.  All of these changes combined mean a shift away from traditional SEO methods such as link-building and keyword-based optimization, and a shift toward content creation and quality site-building. As you can see, everything changed for Google search engine optimization companies and website owners in 2013.

What It All Means for Site Owners and Marketers

From here on out, SEO is going to be a very different ball game. Link-building for the sake of link-building is not going to work anymore. Websites should contain meaningful linkage to other high quality sites that are going to give visitors the best possible experience. Site owners and Google search engine optimization companies should also move away from simple keyword-based SEO. Though keyword data can still be gleaned through correlative methodologies such as looking at traffic and conversions, using data from other search engines, and other analytic tricks, marketers should concentrate on generating high quality content and building web sites that appeal to and serve their users.

Businesses that can manage these changes will pull ahead, while the businesses that grapple with old methods will be left behind. General trends indicate that Google will increasingly pursue intelligent search that will retrieve quality sites for its users. As long as you build high quality sites with high quality content that visitors will love, and you can effectively market your business, your rankings should do just fine.

Stay Ahead of the Curve in 2014

2014 is going to be a very different year for SEO, and there are surely more changes in store for site owners and Google search engine optimization companies. Why should you constantly struggle to keep up? Hire a professional SEO firm that makes it their mission to keep up with the SEO industry and utilize the latest techniques. Coalition Technologies is one of the top SEO firms in the industry, and we have extensive experience building quality sites for our clients. We’ve always focused on high quality content and compelling web sites, so we weren’t too worried about the latest Google updates. Stay ahead of the curve. Give us a call today at 1-888-993-7639 and get your free quote.

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