In 2014, the primary concern related to content marketing is going to be semantic search. Users are expected to focus much more on semantic search, so being keyword specific would not be enough; understanding the expectations of the searcher and the contextual meaning of the search string will be given priority. Therefore, your web content needs to be focused more on being semantic than keyword-rich.
Last year, Google implemented the Hummingbird, a milestone change in its ranking algorithm. According to Search Engine Watch, Google intends to favour those content marketers who implement robust content marketing strategies. The Hummingbird update is intended to favour websites that provide visitors with useful and relevant content, rather than just keyword-centric content.This will force content marketers to revise their SEO strategies. SEO engineers often tend to stuff keywords as much as possible into the content without giving much thought to the relevancy, quality, or meaningfulness. With the Hummingbird update, they will be forced to change this approach. Further, linking the website with Google’s social network and writing content for Google+ will help boost the search engine ranking of a website. Therefore, SEO-focused businesses will need to get active on Google+. They will need to focus on building quality links to their website content on Google+.
The Hummingbird algorithm update introduced the norm of concepts in place of keyword matches, in favour of semantic search. Hence, existing website content needs to be updated with proper semantic markup in order to improve SEO. With semantic markup, you can use HTML to reinforce the meaning of the website’s content rather than define its structure and appearance.
Mobile content will also be a prominent SEO challenge for 2014. Marketers need to put more emphasis on mobile content accessibility. The Hummingbird algorithm update requires content marketers to include responsive content, which is accessible on any platform, be it a desktop or a smartphone. This capability will become a critical ranking factor in 2014.
Despite all of the new challenges, the same factors that mastered SEO in 2013 will remain relevant in 2014. For content marketers, it will be quite a challenge to stay ahead of the updates to ranking algorithms, understand them, and upgrade their content strategies accordingly. Google’s already-published SEO guidelines for regular content updates and social media marketing promotion will still enable successful search engine marketers to be competitive with their content.