Preparing for the New Year: The Changes to SEO in 2014

Dec 19, 2014

Changes to SEO in 2014

Photo Credit: SEOPlanter via Compfight cc

The New Year is almost here, and in honor of ringing in 2015, we’re taking a look back at 2014. We saw multiple changes to SEO in 2014, and the changes will alter how you optimize your website in 2015. With that in mind, here’s the most pertinent changes you should be aware of in 2015 and beyond.

Preparing for the New Year: The Changes to SEO in 2014

#1 Google Authorship

Google authorship is now gone. Before, a blog article you had written would appear on Google with your image next to it, but now, authored articles look the same as any other entry on Google. If you counted on Google Authorship for extending your personal brand presence, count on it no longer.

Changes to SEO in 2014, Knowledge Graph#2 Knowledge Graph Takeover

More and more, Google is providing the information that users are searching for right in the search results. For example, look at the example at the right. Instead of clicking on any of the websites below the graph, I can figure out the conversion to Celsius right on Google. This proliferation of Knowledge Graphs means that your organic traffic might go down in the New Year. Of course, searchers who are just looking for quick information wouldn’t make marketing qualified leads anyway, so you’re probably not missing out on much.

#3 Pigeon Update

The Pigeon update combines traditional and local ranking signals to put more of an emphasis on local results. If you rely on local search traffic, Pigeon is a helpful update for your company.

#4 Panda Update

The Panda update crawls for quality content. Make sure your pages (both blog and site pages) have over 300 words on each and you should be just fine.

#5 Penguin Update

The Penguin update crawls for over-optimized and unnatural links. Penguin measures link quality, so the update hurts sites that have built spammy, purchased links. Build your links honestly and Penguin won’t affect your site.


These are the Big 5 for the majority of sites, including yours. There were some additional changes to SEO in 2014, like the Payday Loan update and the HTTPS/SSL update, but those probably aren’t changing your SEO impact. Remember these 5 updates, the major changes to SEO in 2014. Use it to guide your SEO strategy in 2015.

And for more holiday-themed fun, if you’re looking for help using Pinterest to your full advantage over the holidays, read here.