Changes to the SEO Game

Written by Nick Stamoulis

2013 was a year of dramatic changes for the world of SEO. Google made significant changes to the Webmaster Guidelines, another few rounds of Penguin were dropped on our heads, keyword data was locked up 100% (a far cry from the original 10% we were promised), and more. All of these changes have changed the SEO game dramatically for both those of us on the agency side and our clients.

According to the State of Search 2013 report, put out by Econsultancy and SEMPO,

…the most significant trend was that of ‘not provided’ keyword data; 83% of client-side and 88% of supply-side respondents thought that this trend of Google hiding keyword data was either ‘highly significant’ or ‘significant’. Hummingbird/Penguin/Panda algorithm changes and the increased use of mobile by consumers were also frequently cited as significant issues.

 Changes to the SEO Game

‘Not provided” data has been hanging out around 80% since September 2013. While Google says you can use Webmaster Tools data to fill in the gaps, by removing keyword level data from Google Analytics sites have a harder time tying particular search queries to conversions. My working theory is that Google removed that keyword data to help reel in black hat link practices and anchor text usage. If you don’t know which keywords are converting the best you can’t dump all your SEO focus on those keywords. That, coupled with the actual penalty you can get for overuse of anchor text, is Google’s attempt to curtail spammers.

According to the State of Search report, ‘not provided’ data is a bigger concern for sites owners than even Penguin and Panda updates. My thought is that when sites know they are playing by the rules they know they can ride out any algorithm updates that may come down the pipeline; they might even be helped by it. While you can’t control how often Google updates the algorithm, you can control your own internal linking practices. But you can’t pull data when there is none to be had unless you are willing to spend a long time combing through multiple sources of information and hope you come up with something close to reality. By making keyword data in Google Analytics a thing of the past, Google is changing the way site owners measure and track their SEO program. Removing that data also makes it harder for SEO providers to guide their clients’ SEO campaigns.

With all the SEO changes that came in 2013, I have to wonder what Google has up their sleeves for 2014. Matt Cutts recently came out against guest blogging, but what link-building tactic is next on the chopping blog? In a perfect SEO world Google would have not site actively building any links, but most of us don’t live in that world. Google also changed up the keyword research tool in 2013, moving to the keyword planner tool. Is Webmaster Tools due for a facelift in 2014? Will Google+ suddenly get more present in the SERPs? SEO is very much controlled by Google, whether we like it or not, so it will be interesting to see what comes our way this year.

Categorized in:

Like what you've read? Please share this article


Read What Full Service SEO Clients Say About SEO Firm Brick Marketing

"Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation."

“Brick Marketing is extremely valuable for feedback and advice in many aspects of marketing, not just SEO and I look forward to continuing to work with them over the long term to continually improve our business and increase sales. That’s what it’s all about. Just like their name implies, Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation.”

– Jeff Nicholson, President Freely Creative, Inc. / Websticker.com

"Brick Marketing is levels above all others...an integral part of my team"

“I have formed an invaluable marketing partnership with Brick Marketing. Nick Stamoulis and the rest of the Brick Marketing team are professional, timely, thorough and take time to, not only succeed at the tasks, but also educate myself and my team on the strategies in the process. Since my first encounter working with Brick, I’ve changed organizations and have taken them along with me…they are that good! In my experience in working with many outside agencies who over-promise and under-communicate, I can truly state that Brick Marketing is levels above all others and vested in our relationship. They are not just an SEO consultant, but an integral part of my team. I highly recommend Brick Marketing for any company looking to significantly increase search engine competitiveness and internet presence.​”

– Jodi Murphy, Marketing Director EUXmedia

"superior knowledge of marketing on the internet"

“I have had the good fortune to work with SEO expert Nick Stamoulis and his team at Brick Marketing and it was clear form the get go that Nick had superior knowledge of marketing on the internet. The SEO campaign and technical writing that Brick Marketing provides has been impressive, where in the past we struggled to find the high levels of competence in these two skill sets. Were only just beginning with Brick Marketing and look forward to growing with their expert guidance. Thank you Nick Stamoulis and the Brick Marketing team!”

– Craig Raubenheimer, President, Roan Solutions, Inc.

"went above and beyond to help us with any SEO issues"

“We hired Brick Marketing to manage our SEO, but they ended up also managing our company blog, social media marketing, helped us launch a pay per click advertising campaign, migrated our website to a new domain and so much more! Our SEO Specialist is always quick to respond whenever we had a question and went above and beyond to help us with any SEO issues.”

– Mory Creighton, CEO, Pinpoint Laser Systems

"Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business"

“Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business. Through their expertise with the ever changing world of SEO, our web presence is as strong as ever. Our working relationship with Nick Stamoulis and Danielle Bachini has been outstanding. In collaboration with web designer Chris Roberts, we were also able to develop the perfect responsive website that truly reflects our business. Thank you Brick Marketing!​”

– Ellen Parlee, Parlee Farms

"traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year"

“When we started working with Brick Marketing, we had just been subjected to a Google algorithm update and our websites both took substantial hits to traffic. Within a few months, Brick has taken both of our websites to pre-algorithm traffic and conversion levels, and for the CallFinder site, the traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year. Their expertise in SEO, responsive design, and content marketing helped us turn the situation around, and we could not be happier with the results we’ve seen in just our first four months of working with them. The team we work with at Brick Marketing is always available for off-the-cuff consultations and are at the ready to provide recommendations and suggestions to improve our site’s appearance and performance. They are truly a hands-on partner, which is immensely valuable to our business.​”

– Jeanne Landau, Director of Marketing www.800response.com | www.mycallfinder.com

"highly recommend Brick Marketing to all of my clients"

“After working with many other SEO firms and not being satisfied I finally was introduced to the Brick Marketing President and Founder, Nick Stamoulis. Nick Stamoulis has educated me about SEO and has provided me with a well rounded SEO package, not only does he offer top quality services he also educates his clients and spends the time to explain everything and their SEO pricing is competitive. I will highly recommend Brick Marketing to all of my clients. Brick Marketing is an A+ for SEO services.”

– Mike Cardella, Integrated Computer Services

"dependable, professional SEO company"

“Brick Marketing has been a dependable, professional SEO company that has helped us get results. In the last 6 months of using their services, visits to our website have increased by almost 30%. Our dedicated SEO Specialist was pleasant to deal with. Her suggestions for articles and press releases were industry specific. Brick Marketing always answered our phone calls and emails within an hour which made us feel valued as a client. I would recommend Brick Marketing to all businesses to handle their SEO needs.”

– JoAnne Loftus, Archival Designs, Inc.

"Our keyword rankings have improved and traffic has increased"

“The Brick Marketing team, was critical to ensuring that our new Web site is optimized to drive maximum traffic. Our keyword rankings have improved and traffic has increased thanks to her assistance and advice. In addition, they executed a strategic link building program that helped further increase Web traffic.”

– Lauren LaFronz, Director of Marketing, enChoice, Inc.

"Brick Marketing is "solid" when it comes to support for SEO marketing advice"

“I had been impressed for a long time with the content that Brick Marketing was sharing in their informative blog posts and articles. I chatted with Nick Stamoulis a couple times and decided that he was the expert I wanted to work with. I have worked with Brick Marketing for about six months and they have helped us resolve several SEO related issues pertaining to our website. Our account rep is always just an email away with answers to any questions I have and suggestions for how we can improve what we’re doing. Brick Marketing is “solid” when it comes to support for SEO marketing advice. I definitely recommend them if you want to feel more secure about how your website is performing in searches and have the confidence that everything being done to improve your rank is white hat and legit.”

– Paul Rarick, Debbiegrattan.com

Contact Us about brick marketing Industries We Serve Case Studies

Need Assistance? Please Contact Us Below: