Direction of SEO in 2013 : Can You Get Higher Rank?

It has been reported that in a typical year Google makes as many as 500 minor adjustments to its search engine algorithms.

Strange? 😉

In 2012 major changes that had huge impact on rankings were seen with the Panda and Penguin updates. Looking ahead to 2013 there are some areas expected to draw greater attention as well.

Direction of SEO in 2013 : Can You Get Higher Rank?

Some Key Items to Watch and Prepare For!

Though nobody can accurately predict all of the changes that may come about in 2013 there are some prevailing expectations and areas of interest. If you keep some of these in mind as you prepare your strategy for maintaining or attaining high rankings in searches you can be prepared to take advantage of changes as opposed to being negatively impacted by them.

Author Rank 

  • It is widely expected for Author Rank to assume an ever increasing importance in search rankings.

In simplest term, Google has been and will continue to monitor authors of content all over the web. Based on the reputation of that author (as determined by the strength of sites they have content on and feedback from social media as measured by sharing, tweets, etc.) a ranking will be assigned to them.

A high ranking may well be used to increase the rankings of sites that publish content by that author. Conversely, have a lot of content from very low ranked authors could have a negative impact on the sites ranking.

  • As a blogger, your ranking will be determined by the reputation you already have.

Google may use the author rank it has assigned to you based on the content you have already written in the past for your own blog. Based on the way it determines your authority or expertise in given areas or your particular niche your Author rank is very or very low your ranking may well change to reflect that.

  • If as an author you have attained a good reputation your blog and the content on your blog will reflect that with higher rankings.

To further push this process everything you publish likely will be automatically linked to your Google+ profile. The bottom line is your reputation and the reputation of contributors to your blog will be given considerable weight in determining the search ranking of your site.

Mobile Friendly is a Must

Over 1/3 of internet traffic is estimated to be from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Websites that do not fully support mobile browsers or that are deemed not ‘mobile friendly (non-standard pixel widths as an example) will be hurt in rankings.

In addition, if a search originates from a mobile device it will not appear at all in the search results. A key strategy for on-page SEO will be to ensure your website is mobile compatible.

An Even Greater Role for Social Media

Direction of SEO in 2013 : Can You Get Higher Rank?

Social media will continue to grow in importance. If you have a website or blog and have not yet fully integrated the major social media outlets such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. then it is time to do so.

More importantly, simply having the logo will not be considered to be integrated- you will need to begin to actively use these outlets to achieve or maintain higher rankings.  If your content and website is popular on social media your rankings will improve. The measure for that popularity will be shares, tweets, +1 , etc. The concept is if people can find it on social media outlets and are looking for it there then the search engines want to make certain it is just as easy to find by people doing related searches.

Co-Citation is Widely Expected to be a Consideration

Co-Citation is a relatively new term in reference to Search Engine Optimization and search rankings. In the past in order to get credited or gain authority and rankings it was required to have a link posted to your website from other websites.

It was by counting these links and the assigned value of the site they came from that a ranking could be determined. This may be changing.

The downside of using only the backlink method of determining influence is that often you do not actually get a link even when something is attributed to you. The example used in a SEOMoz video conference was:

Many sites talk about ‘cell phone ratings’ and ‘Consumer reports’ in the same breath but don’t actually link to

But Google (getting smarter all the time) is able to figure out that 1) the phrases ‘cell phone rating’ and ‘consumer reports’ often appear close together, and 2) Consumer Reports as a ‘branded phrase’ is highly relevant to

Therefore on a search for ‘cell phone ratings,’ has a high probability of showing up.

As the search engine algorithms get ‘smarter’ they will continue to use and improve on these concepts to make search results more relevant and less likely to be manipulated artificially. In 2013 expect this to be a prevailing theme.

What do you think? Is it hard to get higher ranking in search engine? What will be direction of SEO in 2013? Share with us

Amanda Revie writes for the WebMarketing Group, a specialist SEO agency in the UK. 

Article by

A blogger, web designer, front-end developer and WordPress expert since 2011. I started this blog during high school. I’ve gone from 0 to $3,000+ per month all in my spare time. Here I share what I've learned so far and what I continue to learn through blogging so that I can be of assistance in some way to improve your blog. Interested?

Ammar has written 166 awesome articlesfor us.

Comment below, let me know what do you think?
  1. says

    I think it’s dangerous to rely solely on Google now a days, due to all the changes they are making. Like you said, I do think they are going to rely more on Authorank and social sharing in the feature, which is why I’m trying to build mine up as early as possible!

  2. Traveler says

    Few more tips I would like to share. ‘Content is king’ – This term is going to be more fruitful this year. Thus on-page SEO will be very important. For link building strategy, relative backlinks will work and irrelevant or spammy links will penalize your website very badly.

  3. says

    Good post, especially on the author rank issue. This will undoubtedly be of bigger importance as this year moves on and in subsequent years as well.

    Thank you,

  4. says

    Yes, mobile friendly site is a must to consider in today’s modern world. Many are already using their mobiles to surf in the net. Thanks for this post.

  5. says

    This was an awesome way to increase seo ranking in a blog. it should be very important to make popular your blog. and to do this should follow the two more important option. first one is your blog content and the second one is doing proper seo for your blog.

  6. vicky says

    My site had been affected by the recent update and I do not wish to risk it again. I will make sure that I cover all the points covered above. I do use social media and guess have to work on mobile friendly design and others mentioned. Great info. Thanks.

  7. says

    Well, I am following most of the points you’ve listed in the article. The only lacking point is Mobile optimization. Thanks for creating an awareness! Gonna start working on this point.
    Great article Ammar. Thanks for the nice information!

  8. Sarbajit Saha says

    Nice post.
    One thing that has decreased traffic to my site is the updated Google Images Results.The way Google has changed it,people no longer visit those sites ,after seeing the images.I am sure many others are affected by it too.

  9. Usman says


    Its been a lot of days I’ve been seeing authors in google search results, like this thing is written by this (along with the picture). I though its just the representation of what content belongs to whom.

    But yes it might be the ranking factor as well, but If some one is new in blogging, he/she must use all of his real details, in this way google will definately recognize them as a good author is couple of days.

  10. Sujit Pandit says

    Hello Ammar Ali,

    Well written article on SEO. I do agree with you in 2013 to get rank is not a easy task. As we know that Panda and Penguin has been came in many version which completely change the method of SEO technic so we should have follow white hat SEO. As you article title suggest “Direction of SEO”. While generating back links we should have to consider the Percentage of Anchor(Keyword) diversity. IF we are only generating the keywords on Targeted keyword(Main Keywords). It will harmful of your site so try to mix up.

    1. Targeted Keyword(Main Keywords)
    2. Generic Keywords. Like: Click here, For more info, Visit here etc.
    3. Brand keywords: Ex: then brand keyword would be abc, etc.

    So keep these all points.

    Thanks to be the part of these all above conversations.

  11. says

    Well said for all points. but i certainly think that unless you are posting some very good content; you don’t need to worry about such factors. Google will still give your site thumbs up.

  12. says

    Great! I was just finding it out the 2013 round ups for high page rank. And i appreciate that you have shared such a great and informative stuff, now on words my focus will be on the main points you have shared.

  13. Tarun Jaitely says

    Good Article. Its true that there will be some major changes in SEO in 2013 too. The factors mentioned above will help webmasters to keep their sites on top. I would like to add one more point in this list and that is the use of diversified anchor text.

  14. says

    Getting higher rankings nowadays and especially in 2013, is not as easy as hop step and jump. Laying down all this strategies requires planning and consistency. Google has of late changed allot of things to fine tune the SERPs. Getting down to stuff like social media is what i do nowadays. In fact I have active participation in nearly all social sites. Social media does not only make my blog popular but i tend to attract massive traffic out of them. Social platforms like twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest just to mention a few are being used by Google to rate your blog. Thank you for talking about co-citation. I had a clue about it but u just made everything clear now.

    • Ammar Ali says

      Exactly Brown. I’m also focusing more on social media. I’m very active on facebook and twitter. It helps me to generate lot of traffic daily! :)

  15. says

    Hi Amanda
    author rank plays pivotal role in blogsphere
    the more popular you are in social networks the more is your author base
    so keep leaving your links everywhere really helps a lot


  16. says

    In 2013 I hope to migrate to wordpress for a better SEO and running on my own hosting and domain. Thank you for the post. I hope that my blog/ you blog will get higher rank in 2013.

  17. says

    As you mention Author Rank is matters in search engine ranking. So when we write an article or guest post to another blog then Google considers the increase of author rank?

  18. says

    Nice post full of useful information,
    I like the idea of author rank for bloggers as i think that it is a better way to rank content than page rank. Social media is also important for any blogger anyway as well as SEO.
    I was not aware of co-citation before this post and you have explained it well :)
    Thanks for the tips

  19. says

    I’ve already got a head start on Author Rank, but was unaware of Co-Citation. Thanks for the heads-ups. Google, it seems, will forever be changing the way they do things. Sometimes, I wish they would just stick with one ranking system, but I guess if they did that, everyone would eventually be ranked high. This way, Google can weed out potential “scammers” and their tricks to gain visibility. Great article.

    • Ammar Ali says

      Right Adams, Google is making so much changes. It’s better not to depend so much on google. Glad you learnt something new! :)

  20. says

    Hello Ammar,

    I also see a possibility that re-written content may also have negative effect and pure content will have more value.

    Definitely google is playing a negative game by giving undue importance for google+ in search rankings..As you rightly said responsive designs and infographics will play a definite role in SEO…Is Alexa rank genuine and does the rank clearly show the difference in traffic..Recently I read in itech code that Alexa rank is not genuine..What’s your feedback on that?

  21. says

    Hi Ammar,

    Great share!

    You have given everyone great direction to work on their weakness if any according to the points mentioned. Google author rank and social media is going to make a difference for sure.

    Thanks a lot for this share.

  22. says


    Yeah! Google uses Author Rank as a factor to rank a blog! I’ve read about it at many places.

    I think the best way to have better ranking is by Guest Blogging on Reputed and high authority blogs. Also actively participating in Social Networking sites like FB, Twitter and Google+ (as Google uses data from these sites) to rank well.

    • Ammar Ali says

      Right Thejas,

      Google+ playes important role in SEO. You should also focus more on Google+ like you do on Facebook!

  23. says

    wow, new strategy is must to get the best result in million and million of list of blogs. but Google this time i think, snatching the chances from new author. reputed author will get higher and newer will be hunted by many attacks or bad SEO even after content.
    What actually should monitor is feedback/share/Likes on post and time the person is in blogging or such thing. Giving equal chances to everyone and but filtering the Content for best User experience.
    What you say Ammar?

  24. says

    Hi Ammar,

    Good round up. I was aware of some new factors that are likely to matter much to score high rank like Author Rank, having a responsive site, and of course, your social media reach. Co-Citation was something new for me that you’ve mentioned here. So what does this mean – will people change their way of writing and commenting so they keep co-citation in consideration?

    One more factor is the site speed that everybody knows. However, the new revelation to me was that the time users spend on your site is also going to be big ranking criteria. And, I guess Alexa is also up to something because many people, including myself, are experiencing their sites/blogs surge up in rankings. Do you’ve any clue what’s happening?

    • Sarah says

      Same here, also I’ve not. Nice post Ammar, One question so that means the blog post by person with high author rank has bigger value in SE rather than the new one?

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