The Mayans Didn't See This Coming: SEO Predictions for 2013

Keep up with the very latest developments in the digital marketing world

By Jade Hark
on 15/1/13

Google SEO Predictions

Some in the SEO industry believed that 2012 was the year the SEO world ended; the ‘Algo-pocaplyse’, ‘Link Farmageddon’ or ‘Day of Rankoning’ and so on. The Mayans may have got it wrong recently but is SEO really going to see “the end of the world as we know it” or is there no need for REM’s lyrical predictions where SEO is heading in 2013?

We all know what the big names in the industry like Rand Fishkin, Barry Schwartz and Danny Sullivan predict may happen. I wanted to highlight what the SEO’ers from across the globe (the ones that are actually doing the day to day work) are predicting for 2013. Then compare this to my predictions. To find these unsung heroes of SEO, I simply did a Google search for “SEO predictions 2013” and took a few prediction points from each post.


Predictee: Aj Kumar, United States
• 'Structured data' will play an increasingly important role in SEO.
• Good content marketing will become a more accessible path to website success.
• Data-driven marketing techniques will drive out intuitive promotions.

Predictee: David Iwanow, Australia
• Google Insurance & Auto Platform will launch in Australia.
• Google will increase the weight of Google+ Authorship.
• Google will expand its paid ecommerce real estate on the SERPs.
• Google will roll out Panda/Penguin algorithm faster and tougher.
• Google SERPs will flux constantly so tracking keyword rankings will be harder.

Google Crystal Ball

Predictee: Anthony Kenny, UK
• Mobile really will be big in 2013 (no really, it will be…serious)
• Not provided continues its ascent
• SEO & Digital Marketing becomes even more blurred
• Google pay to play shopping results will affect organic CTR
• Even less organic results on page one
• More understanding about the disavow tool
• Personalised search gets more personal

Predictee: Pratik Dholakiya, India
• Gray-hat won't cut it anymore.
• Website structure, UI, and UX will be primary ranking factors.
• Bounce rate and loading time will matter.
• Content that solves no problem for users will rarely rank.
• Who shares will matter.
• Google will be even stricter about link manipulation.
• Content marketing and social media optimization will be key ingredients.
• Co-citations will replace anchor text.

My Predictions

• Link building will be considerably more time consuming and require a thought process rather than a link network.
• Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) will become more and more integral to overall SEO as the reliability on ranking positions dwindles and clients need results.
• SEO’s analytical considerations will become more complex as the multi device culture becomes more prevalent.
• The amusingly named 'Badger' algorithm update will be released generating a large amount of blog posts featuring statements about SEO’s imminent mortality.
• Certain agencies will continue to make money selling production-line-style black hat SEO packages to naïve SME clients.
• Keyword rankings will continue to be considered a key indicator for the majority of clients rather than organic visits and conversions - which affect the bottom line.
• A close relationship between SEO and PR, design, media buying & creative agencies will become important as collaborative activities increase.
• Rankings will become increasingly hard to check as more and more personalisation elements are brought into play.

I guess we will have to wait until we’re writing our 2014 predictions to see who got what correct, but regardless, it’s fair to say that 2013 will be another testing year for the SEO industry and all practitioners or those employing its services.

Feel free to add your predictions for 2013 below in the comments box.