2013 was quite a doozy. It truly was. There were just so many surprises. Lots of chills, pills, and thrills. If you are looking for an internet marketing version of a roller coaster, 2013 was it. 2013 started off on a high point when people thought that the fall out from Google Penguin was pretty much settled. People started getting back to their normal SEO and online marketing activities. All of a sudden, Google unleashed Penguin 2.1 and everything came to a head. While Google keeps saying that only a small percentage of all global searches were affected by Penguin 2.1, we don’t believe it. This was a major hit to many online publishers. And in fact to this day, many distinguish online publishers are still grappling with really low search engine rankings thanks to Google Penguin 2.1. Due to the carnage caused by 2013, more and more people are looking forward to what 2014 brings to the table. Just looking at the internet marketing Tealeaves in front of us, we see three patterns. Number one, Google+ authority is going to figure prominently. Number two, cross-linking is going to be huge. And number three, the targeted social media content is going to be more important than ever.
As much as Google like to deny that Google+ imparts direct search engine optimization benefits, more and more evidence is becoming clear that the number of Google+ shares impacts rankings. While we don’t expect 2014 as the year Google finally comes clean regarding the role of Google+, we do see its influence growing. This should not be a surprise. Google is on the record as saying that it is already factoring in social mentions and social signals in terms of ranking. As we have seen with the decrease in the impact of certain back links as evidenced by Google Penguin and Google Penguin 2.1, we expect the role of social media mentions to increase tremendously. Why focus on Google+? Google+ is a great place to start because it is the only social network system that Google completely owns. Since Google is in complete control of this social metric, it can slice and dice data in such a way that Google can think that it has some measure of controlling Google+ spam. Regardless of whether Google admits that Google+ imparted direct role in your search engine ranking, you need to emphasize Google+ in your social media marketing activities in 2014.
Cross-linked social media identities lead to cross-site authority
Google is very serious when it comes to authorship. Google is really trying to establish authorship, especially, Google+ authorship as a metric of quality. This is why more and more SEO specialist are paying attention to how their author profiles on Google+ are perceived online. At the very least, your social media identities must seem real. If you haven’t put up a picture for your avatar, now is a good time. If you haven’t filled out the details of your specific social media identities, now is the time to do it. This window for opportunity is closing because as Google continues to cross-link social media identities, the more it is becoming apparent that these are being used to determine your search engine rankings. Moreover, social media identities also impact the overall cloud that you have on the internet. As you can well imagine, Google is really worried about the level of trust to place on certain online accounts. This is why you should invest a lot of time in cross-linking your social media identities to articles and sites that you are associated with. The more associations, the higher your credibility.
Targeted retweets and FB shares boost credibility
When it comes to social speaking of social mentions, the traditional way of gauging social mentions is how often your materials are retweeted on Twitter and shared on Facebook. While we suspect a lot of this social media bean counting and crediting is being done using Google+ instead of Twitter and Facebook, it is a good idea to start changing your retweet and FB share campaigns. Instead of trying to get your Twitter followers to retweet essentially garbage or nonsensical posts geared towards key word targets, you should start sharing high quality materials. The reason for this is obvious. The higher the quality of the materials that you share, the higher your credibility is. This all leads, of course, to credibility at Google+ or other areas that Google controls. It’s a good idea to clean up house now in terms of social media content. The more valuable the content you share, the higher your social media credibility.
Social media is only going to continue to increase in importance in 2014. Due to the increasing doubts regarding the value of back link, the only logical conclusion is to maximize your social media presence. Follow the tips above to maximize your social media marketing efforts impact and get on Google’s good side.