As most webmasters know, SEO is the key to achieving a decent amount of targeted traffic. If you have a lot of visitors then it means more business for you. Search Engine Optimization has constantly been changing for years now. Search engines have also devised ways on how to filter useful websites from those sites that has no quality or useless for their users. Google, one of most popular search engines shocked a lot of website owners when it released the Google Penguin and EMD update, which made SEO a lot more difficult. Here are my thoughts on what can happen by 2013 and how to deal with some of the changes.

Quality over Quantity

Quality has always been the issue for the past few years and most site owners can prove that it is better to have high quality content than having a lot of content that does not have any quality. There are a lot of changes on how search engines view quality content. Google sees high quality if it is relevant, informative and most of all, enjoyable and easy for people to read. We might experience some modifications when it comes to the number of words an article needs to have in 2013. Regardless of the number of words, as long as the content is well written then it should not have a negative effect on your site.

You can write your own article for your website or you can hire someone to do it for you. If you write it yourself, don’t forget to have a catchy and interesting title. Make sure also to avoid any grammatical and spelling errors which can affect the readability of your article. If you can’t figure out what topics to write about your niche, you can search some popular sites in your niche in order to have some idea on what the trending topics are. Avoid copying others’ work and posting it as your own. Search Engines do not like duplicate content and they tend to penalize sites doing so.

High Quality and Relevant Backlinks

Last year Google filtered some sites using low quality backlinks. We might see more filtering in 2013 and they are saying that we can expect that backlinks coming from low quality and non-relevant sites will not be counted as strong backlinks anymore. Search engines only want sites that are of high quality and they can determine if a site is of quality by checking the sites linking back to it. You can also use some of the oldest known link building methods such as Guest posts, Web 2.0, Article Directories, Social Bookmarking, and the like.

Anchor Text Usage

Perhaps if there is a major factor that changed last year, it’s the anchor text usage. In the past if you want to rank for a particular keyword, you just need to use it as anchor text as many time as possible. But after Google launched the Penguin update, this not advisable anymore. Instead of focusing on a few keywords, focus on your brand keyword, bare URL, and generic as well as some semantic keywords.

Strong Social Signals

2012 has given birth to a lot of social signals that were used in SEO. We can expect that social signals will be a stronger factor in terms of SEO this year. As far as everyone knows, social signals made a huge impact in 2012. Those who used these social signals such as Google +, Facebook Likes and Shares, StumbleUpon, and even Pinterest helped some sites gain more traffic and of course a boost in theirs. It is important however to used it in moderation, as abused always leads to either penalization or bad reputation for your brand.

Usage of Link Disavow Tool

The tool was developed by Google to help site owners dis-own spam backlinks that competitors are building to trigger negative SEO. Negative SEO was introduced after the Google Penguin update, some people thought that Google is now penalizing sites who are building spam links and abusing anchor texts. So they think that if they use this to their advantage, they can take down any competitors easily. Based on complaints by users and other SEO professionals, Google introduced this tool to stop the loophole and help webmasters protect their sites. You can see this tool in the Google webmaster tools.

Google+ Authorship

Google is setting up a program known as Google Authorship where it lets you connect your website to your Google profile. Of course we all know that this was part of a plan of Google to make search more social. This is also useful for people who want to brand themselves in the search results. Last but not least is to avoid content stealers to copy your content and claim it their own. The greatest feature of Google+ authorship is that it allows you to insert your profile picture directly in the search results. When you finished linking your site and profile, after few weeks it will start appearing in Google SERPS.

Dawn of Mobile Browsing

Technology has been improving every year and last year we saw a lot of tablets and mobile phones that allows easy internet access. We can safely expect that most webmasters will improve their site to make it more mobile friendly and easier to browse if you are using a mobile phone or a tablet. There are applications or plugins that you can use to make your website mobile ready.

This is beneficial if you incorporate this in your SEO game plan since according to statistics, there has been a rapid increase of mobile internet users for the past few months. It will be good for your site to have a mobile version ready just in case some visitors are using mobile phones or tablets.