[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f there’s one thing we can be sure of with Google, it’s that they are big fans of change. Each year, the search engine changes its search algorithm around 500-600 times alone. Then there are the thousands of ideas they test every 12 months and then of course there are the hundreds they actually implement. If we know one thing about Google, it’s that they love to change things up. But what big changes does Google have in store for us in 2014? Here we take a look at a few of the rumours that are flying around…
2014 will be the year of mobile SEO
From the shape of things that have taken place in 2013 with the Hummingbird update, it looks like 2014 is set to become the year of mobile SEO. Mobile usage is only going to continue to rise and with 30.9 million smartphone users and 17.4 million tablet devices in the UK alone, Google will be keen to react to this rapid shifting landscape.
It is being suggested that a website’s mobile performance will have an effect on its SEO rankings and websites will need to be built firstly for a mobile device and then developed for a desktop. If your website isn’t already optimised for mobile usage, then it should go without saying that this needs to be high on your agenda for 2014.
SEO budgets will be driven towards PPC
With Google encrypting more and more of its searches, the ability to access keyword data continues to be restricted. However advertisers spending on PPC do still have access to this data, because of this 2014 could see much more spend shifting towards PPC. There also rumours that Google will be releasing a paid-for product that will provide additional insight into this data.
Google+ will play more of a key role
Following on from the changes to the YouTube commenting system which saw users having to comment using their Google+ accounts, it seems 2014 will see even more increased integration between all of their services. As a result of this, it appears that social extensions will become more important and Google Places will become the only option for the location extension in PPC adverts. For this reason, in 2014, firstly it’s important that you have Google+ set up and secondly that you are keeping active on the platform.
Google Glass to be launched publicly?
Will 2014 finally be the year that Google make their wearable Android-powered computer available to the public? While film, images, translation and search facilities have been in the eye-line of developers for months courtesy of this device, Google haven’t been very forthcoming with a launch date for everyone else. Will it be in 2014 that will finally be able to get our hands on these? And if so, how will a system that is operated via voice commands as well as taps and gestures on a touch-sensitive bar affect search?