This is “straight from the horses mouth” – meaning I’m at Pubcon listening to the updates from Matt Cutts who heads webpsam at Google…. This is where google is going. The Key messages: Social impacts search, identity matters, mobile will be huge so start thinking about it mow and the algorithm is getting better.
FUTURE TRENDS IN SEARCH:
Social Authority – Social signals will continue to impact search. Likes, +1s, Tweets and Pins are relevant signals that can impact search rankings. This means that search and social continue to get closer together. Social traction shows that content is important.
Identity – Google is very interested in knowing who you are online and connecting your assets throughout the web with a singular idea of identity. Add authorship to your site (learn more about it here if you haven’t heard of it). This is a mail push of Google+ – it isn’t just “the Google version of Facebook” it is an identity network. Use it to identify yourself and your business with Google.
Mobile: Start thinking about mobile. Google predicts that mobile will outpace desktop in a few years. This means that you have to be thinking about your mobile strategy NOW. Get familiar with mobile and start testing a mobile optimized site. If you use flash, this would be a good time to stop (or maybe 2 years ago would have been).
Learn about requestAutocomplete: You can annotate your forms, which will allow people to autocomplete your forms. This means that people won’t have to re-complete their information (name, address, credit card, etc) across sites. This will allow for one-click form completion across multiple sites. To take advantage of this, annotate all of your forms. It should launch in a few months. More info on that here.
Ad-heavy pages above the fold: A new algorithm change may discredit websites with too many ads above the fold. Be cautious if your site has too many ads above the fold as this is a signal that you may not have the highest quality content.
Tightening Authorship: Google wants to make sure that there is quality on authorship. Expect changes to how they view authorship – they want to make sure that there is high quality content.
Rich snippets: May depend on site quality. If you have a high quality site you will be able to add rich snippets. If you have low quality content you may not be able to use them.