Update on What’s Happened in Search Engine Optimization in 2013 – guest post by Sheila Kurdinger.

SEO has come a long way over the years, but it’s still in a constant state of flux.

This list of seven SEO trends in 2013 below will help you make sense of all that’s happened so far this year and give you a peek at what’s coming up.

“SEO is Dead. / No, It’s Not!” Debate

The debate over whether or not SEO is dead continued this year and will do so for many years to come most likely. While it can be amusing or fun to read, it’s easy to get caught up in the banter and forget about what’s really important – constantly learning and improving how you operate.

Mobile is Important

Paying attention to mobile devices – lean code that loads quickly, for example – has become even more important in 2013 and will continue to do so for the next several years at least. The good news is that it’s getting easier and easier to make sure your website is easily accessible on mobile devices.

Difficulty is Increasing

This has been happening since the very early years of SEO, but something like Moore’s Law is in effect, making it exponentially harder to try to “game the systems” and “trick the search engines” to make a quick buck. Having said that, White Hat SEO is also becoming more difficult because of the need for higher quality content.

Content Length Growing

In the past a short article of 300 words was the minimum length for content to be considered as important by the search engines, but some are now saying that 400 or even 500+ words is the new norm. While you don’t want to be too short or too long, each piece of content is going to need a different word count in order to fully explain the topic.

Rise of Social Media Signals

Whether it’s retweets on Twitter or likes or shares on Facebook, social media signals are continuing to be an important part of SEO. While search engines are not really saying how heavily these items (which can be games) weigh, there’s a good chance they’ll become more essential in the years ahead.

Increased Use of Multimedia

In order to capture and keep the attention of people, stories are increasingly using photos and videos to enhance the content. Of course, this increases the difficulty of making the search engines happy. By properly utilizing tags when embedding content, you can do a little bit to help search engines recognize your quality content. Also, with “headless browsers” being used more and more, the search engines are becoming smart enough to recognize and reward relevant multimedia content.

Future of SEO?

If anyone tells you they know the future of SEO, they’re probably not being completely honest with you and there’s an even bigger chance they’re trying to sell you something. The truth is that no one knows the future of SEO beyond 2013, but one thing is certain – it’s going to be a very interesting time period for everyone involved!

Let us know your predictions for SEO in 2014 by leaving a comment below.

Sheila Kurdinger has been following SEO – with hats of all colors – since the late 1990s when things were quickly evolving. Along with this professional life of hers, she loves to do scuba diving.