Firms potentially to invest effort in the wrong type of Search Engine Optimisation

By Krishna Rao | 09 Jan 2014

Issue 10 of The Greenlight Magazine, "The Predictions Edition", unveils what's on the horizon for Search, Social and eCommerce in 2014

2014 is the year of Authorship but it is going to fly right by most companies when it comes to their investing in it to maximise their visibility online and maintain top rankings on Google.

This is one of other predictions for 2014 which Greenlight unveils in the tenth quarterly edition of The Greenlight Magazine, just published.

Google is using Authorship as a signal of ownership and origin, an ideal way for it to force quality and aiding it in the delivery of returning the most appropriate results to the searcher. For businesses online, alongside being visible in the search results, authorship contributes to branding on the online stage, improves the click through rate (CTR) and thereby delivers more visitors to the vendor's site.

Despite this, Adam Bunn, director of search engine optimisation (SEO) says Authorship will be under-invested in, largely because outside of the technical set up of an author in the Google Authorship programme, it is actually very difficult, even intimidating to approach taking advantage of.

"You have to develop a reputation for developing good content within a particular field, and have other people who have a history of being interested in and/or also having expertise in that field interact favourably with the content you produce."

Bunn says most firms will instead place their efforts on things like schemas which webmasters can use to mark up their pages in ways recognised by major search engine providers.

"Because schemas are something solid to grab hold of in an otherwise quite ephemeral marketing discipline, I predict companies will continue to invest in their implementation. Fruitlessly."

Hannah Kimuyu, Director or Paid Search at Greenlight believes audience targeting is set to become one of the biggest trends in 2014 as it reduces the speculative cost of advertising and allows businesses to invest directly into the right customer segments, advocates, engagers and friends of fans.

With regards to eCommerce, Kevin Murray, director or eCommerce & technology (client facing) sees this as a year of evolution rather than revolution as the maturity of ideas that have been talked about over the last few years are only now becoming realistic for retailers today - from the mining of "big data" to personalise campaigns through to social networks beginning to have a much bigger influence on the what and how the customer buys in 2014.

Other predictions the agency makes include:

-       Google putting its Hummingbird technology to use for spotting unnatural links and clamping down on inline text links within spun blog posts

-       The close affiliation with Google's Hummingbird algorithm has with mobile search being refined to the point where mobile search queries will once again operate separately to desktop searches

-       Social advertising coming to the fore

-       2014 being a year about finding ways of effectively measuring content's success