A couple of weeks back The Semantic Web Blog reported on research from SEO optimization vendor Searchmetrics about the virtues of semantic markup. Now the 2014 Content Search Marketers Survey, which recently came out from enterprise SEO platform vendor Brightedge, adds some more interesting statistics to show about what matters to optimized search.
Among them: Half of the respondents consider a page/content-based approach to driving page traffic, conversions and revenue as being much more important for SEO in 2014 than in 2013. Another 50 percent said it would be more or as important this year than last.
“The page-based approach to SEO in the world of secure search is important for 100 percent of SEOs, and 85 percent stated that it would be more or much more important for them in 2014,” the report states. “SEOs are also still focused on the business impact of the keyword (90 percent), though the shift in focus to the page leaves only 50% percent stating that measuring the business impact of the keyword will be more important in 2014.”
Semantic technology can be a critical tool in SEO pros’ page/content-based approach toolbox. Rich snippets implemented via schema.org, which uses the microdata markup format, for example, can make web pages appear more prominently in search results, which can lead to an increase in traffic. While search engines like Google don’t use markup for ranking purposes right now, the report also points out that consistent enhancements to the Panda search ranking algorithm and to the Hummingbird search algorithm that expands Google’s use of the Knowledge Graph, as well as its Penguin algorithm, “reinforce the value of content above keywords as marketers look ahead to 2014.”
Speaking of the Knowledge Graph, the report notes that Google’s updates here are reflected in the fact that nearly 60 percent of SEO professionals say that measuring rank on Universal Search results such as videos and images will be a more or much more important factor this year.
The Brightedge survey also shows that understanding the link between social sharing and rank will be more important for 71 percent of SEOs in 2014, given the growing importance of platforms such as Google Plus and Facebook’s Social Graph,