The past year saw a whole host of changes, upgrades, and updates to the world of search engine marketing. The various algorithm updates along with a growing need for sociability and custom user experiences only point to the SEO world's malleability, and 2013 is sure to be chock full of changes. Here are a few potential trends for the coming year.
1. Emphasis on Author Rank.
The average search engine marketing company knew Google's Author Rank was coming for some time, but it only made its official debut in September with a welcoming email to those who set up their authorship information early.
Authorship connects your personal Google+ profile to the content you publish online (blog posts, articles, even comments) and reveals your authority to the public. The greater your authority, the higher your author rank. Google will begin to look for trusted links that come from the same author source. Experts predict that Author Rank will supersede Page Rank by the latter half of 2013.
Even if this prediction doesn't hold true, it's a good idea to claim authorship and begin building your authority.
2. Staying social.
The typical search engine optimization company is well-aware of how vital a social presence is. Social media continues to integrate itself into our everyday lives. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and other popular platforms don't seem to be going away anytime soon. The amount of traffic that goes through these outlets is immense and Google is aware of it.
Google+ isn't nearly as popular as most other platforms, but that might change pretty soon. Along with the authorship program, social sharing points (+1's) are sure to cause a vast growth in Google Plus' population. Those +1's in particular will carry a great deal of weight in search rankings.
At the same time, services allow for Likes, favorites, and +1's to be bought for a nominal fee. Google needs to deduce some way of better discerning true social shares.
3. Changes in how we search.
Google and other search engines want to provide you with the best user experience, which means giving you more relevant search results. In the coming year, Google will start to cater to more personalized search results. Your location and seach engine activities will, and already do, play a large part in that, but even going further than that is semantic search, wherein a search engine improves search accuracy by understanding intent and contextual meaning.
Google has already implemented several nodes of semantic search through its knowledge graph. For example, when you search for a celebrity, Google brings up that celebrity's basic profile, information, education, movies and television shows he's been in, and related celebrities. Google is answering your query itself instead of giving you a list of other websites that could possibly, maybe answer your question.