Every year search engine optimization becomes more challenging as Google’s search algorithms change and essentially become smarter in finding the best content on the web to return to searchers. Well, things are changing in 2014 and in some considerable ways. As a result, many of the best SEO consultants recommend rethinking SEO strategies as content marketing seems to be the direction in which SEO efforts are moving.

Less Importance For Conventional SEO

Since almost the beginning of Google, getting top page rank has centered on improving optimization. An optimized layout, good keyword strategy, and an efficient navigational menu has always mattered. Well, it would appear with the most recent Google changes that things are changing in a surprising way.

With Google’s recent updates, those who work to find the best SEO results have discovered that small details don’t seem to matter as much as the larger, mostly content-related issues. Websites with conventional SEO efforts will keep some ranking but not do as well as desired. While conventional SEO is important and will continue to help good pages, those pages need to be really good in the first place to be noticed.

Sound familiar? It should. It has been said before and will continue to be said – the way to rank is with content. With the release of Hummingbird earlier this year, this fact has never been more important.

Content Marketing and PR

Today’s SEO is a combination of content marketing and public relations, since importance has shifted from actual page mechanics to what is on the page and who sees it. This has been slowly changing with Google’s gradual tightening of its belt on what content it likes and what it finds useless; well, it seems as if “G-Day” has finally arrived. We are at that point where websites lacking preferable content simply will not rank, regardless of ingenious multilevel navigation and clever breadcrumbs for indexing. Hummingbird is interested in meat and potatoes, not breadcrumbs.

In theory, the way to achieve this is actually quite simple; accomplishing it requires true effort. The best consultants in SEO advise that a website must provide high quality and pertinent content that is then marketed in various ways, such as social media, reputation management, and brand building. By doing this, a website will start ranking.

Backlinks – Taking A Back Seat?

There has been focus lately on increasing backlinks as part of an SEO effort – and that is getting ready to change. While good backlinks will always offer a certain amount of clout, this only happens when they originate from sources that are deemed valuable by Google. Current algorithm changes have made authorship recognition easier for search engines and readers alike, which is more valuable and easier to attain than trying to collect backlinks from other sites.

New Page Rank Recipe

Substantial algorithm changes have significantly changed website management and promotion. With Hummingbird now in full swing, the recipe for page rank has changed yet again. Content creation is still the main ingredient; however, content marketing is now next in importance. It also requires the addition of ingredients such as increased social media marketing, public relations, brand building, authorship,and reputation marketing. Conventional SEO still matters – now it’s not just part of the batter, it is icing on the cake.

All of this can be worrisome, according to SEO consultants, although it shouldn’t. If anything, it might make ranking easier for deserving websites and without having to continually worry about conventional SEO. Concentrating on content – which has always been crucial – is now the prime concern for higher page rank!

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