What better time than the last day of the year (2013) to look back at some of the best and worst moments and speculate about what it all means for Internet professionals moving into 2014.
Below are some of the most interesting news items that caught the collective attention of the Website Magazine community in 2013 and some thoughts on how it will influence your digital success moving forward.
What tech moments from 2013 do you believe will shape 2014? Comment below and join the conversation with other Website Magazine readers.
Google Algorithms: Definitely the numerous moments that captured the attention of Website Magazine readers most, were the numerous changes to Google Algorithms – from Penguin and Panda (and their refreshes) to Hummingbird. The search results pages of the Web’s most popular search engine are far, far different than they have been in the company’s history. Today’s SERPs contain sites that are authoritative through and through and produce content that effectively serve the needs of their audience.
Apple Releases iOS7: Mobile was most definitely one of the defining trends throughout 2013 and that can be seen in Apple’s much heralded (and sometimes maligned) update of its mobile operating system to include a faster system, a new look and several new features. Apple also released two new iPhones (with fingerprint detection nonetheless) and faster iPads. As mobile continues to dominate, websites must finally make the move to responsive design or a dedicated mobile presence.
MicroVideo Action: Twitter released its Vine app that enables users to share six-second videos, and Instagram released a feature that allows users to record and share videos up to 15 seconds long. Microvideos quickly took off in popularity with users and are now being used for everything from news shorts to product ads and seemingly everything in between. What’s interesting about the
microvideo trend in general is how it’s changing the very definition of social and video.
Startup Idiocy: There seems to be at least one startup each year that brushes off a buyout offer often worth billions – this year that startup was SnapChat, the ephemeral messaging service. A few vocal proponents are touting the messaging app as a genuine threat to traditional social media sites like Facebook, which has seen an exodus in younger users of late. The startup however has been the subject of privacy concerns and it’s future, despite its advocates, is up in the air. The lesson? Take the money, and run.
Wearable Tech Looms: The past six months have seen numerous stories circulating about the potential in, and rise of, wearable technology – from smart watches to ‘Net enabled eyewear. While still very much in the early adopter phase, and many years from critical mass, wearable tech will influence how brands both large and small message their users and as such should be on the virtual radar so to speak of trends to monitor moving forward.
gTLD Expansion: The expansion of the Domain Name System from 22 to possibly 1,400 new gTLDs continued to make waves in 2013, and is sure to be a hot topic in the New Year. In fact, 1&1 reports more than 4 million domain names have already been pre-registered, with some of the most popular extensions being .Web, .Online, .Shop, .Blog and .App. This shows that the savviest Web professionals are preparing their digital enterprises for the future of the Web, despite the uncertainty still surrounding the new gTLDs.
Pinterest Power: Pinterest was very busy in 2013, as the company launched new features that undoubtedly changed the way that businesses view the social network. Among those features are Rich Pins, which give enterprises the ability to make pins more useful by adding information like pricing, availability and location to pinned content. Plus, a December Pew Research study reveals that Pinterest bypassed Twitter in popularity in 2013, and many social professionals expect the pin-boarding social network’s momentum to continue its growth in 2014.
Content, Content, Content: With changes to Google algorithms and users' appetites for content, there was no bigger digital marketing push in 2013 than creating and publishing engaging content. Aside from writers around the world rejoicing thanks to job security, content marketing offers numerous ways to personalize a brand and also a user's experience. The New Year will have no shortage of content (and platforms to optimize it), but more companies will become privy on how to use content to get a return on investment and truly build lasting relationships with customers.
Keyword Not Provided: The SEO world took a collective gasp when Google shifted to encrypted search in 2013, which stripped away 100 percent of keyword insights that search marketers relied on. In 2014, however, this will encourage SEOs to focus on page-level data and use it to improve the quality of their pages, which should, in turn, improve their search rankings.