SEO – 2013 Onwards and You Are Still Doing it Wrong? (infographic included)

SEO compared to the other broadly commented terms related to Internet marketing, is the one that has changed the most over the past few years. Numerous search engine algorithm updates and new features, made the techniques, aiming to build up rankings, outdated, ineffective and even forbidden. Let’s be honest- the methods of SEO yesterday are the songs of history.

Search engines in terms of SEO became a very crowded and competitive space. Earning traffic and scoring higher rankings based on SEO in 2013 is more complex and demanding.

Search Engines and Business Promotion

Every online business is based on traffic. The ultimate goal of Internet marketing is to bring as many people that are or can be interested in your products or services, as possible. The more targeted the traffic is, the higher the chance is that your offer will solve his problem, give the product he’s looking for or generally speaking – satisfy your potential customer’s needs.


Search engines play an essential role in every online marketing strategy. About 30% of overall promotional activities on the Internet focus around search engines. In Search Engine Marketing, we can distinguish two methods of gaining traffic from search engines, PPC or sponsored links campaigns – the paid type and SEO, which is 34% of SEM and focuses on organic traffic.

The reason why search engines are so popular, is that they give entrepreneurs the opportunity to be found by a highly targeted audience, thanks to business-oriented keywords. That makes not only the paid campaigns, but also the content-based ones very effective.

The Old SEO

The old SEO methods focused primarily on developing higher positions in search engine rankings for any particular website. A higher rank equals more targeted traffic from business-relevant keywords. More traffic means more conversions, bigger sales and more revenue.

What differentiated SEO from other traffic gaining methods, is that SEO was mostly a technical process. It focused on on-page and off-page optimization as well as link building.

The rules changed and SEO, which aimed to trick search engines is not about this anymore.

SEO 2013

SEO 2013, from the mostly technical process, became purely a marketing activity and took the shape of a marketing campaign. Saying that technical aspects of SEO are not important, probably would be going too far. The technical aspects are still important, but they should be treated more like a foundation of your efforts. You still have to know how to make proper website optimization, in order to make it more accessible for search engines or content optimization, make it keyword-rich and therefore findable on Google, Bing And other search engines.

In other words, we should leave behind questions like: “How many backlinks do I have?”, “What keywords should I put in the titles and headlines?” and move forward to asking the right questions for the present SEO landscape:

  • “What kind of user experience does my site provide to visitors”
  • “Does my site provide solutions to their problems”
  • “Does my site have remarkable content?”
  • “How do I improve my conversion ratio?”
  • “How effective is my conversion funnel ?”
  • “What content is the most engaging one on my website?”
  • “How much traffic do I get from particular keywords?”
  • “How do the positions in search engine rankings affect the traffic volume and conversions I get?”
  • etc.

SEO Methods old and new


SEO 2013

Scoring backlinks Establishing relations
Link building – the manual adding of websites to directories and participating in link exchange programs Link earning – blogging, publishing articles in industry-trusted blogs
Optimization for search engines – creating titles and headlines for keywords and adding anchor text Optimization for users – creating catchy headlines and magnetically engaging content
Competing solely in search engines Competing in industry-related blogs, writing your own blog and social media in terms of content publication
Link for link exchange Offering a link regardless to whether you receive a backlink
Standing behind the brand Personal branding – being the face of the brand
Focusing on keywords Using hashtags
Aiming only for more traffic and higher rankings Aiming for bigger user engagement, brand exposure and thinking about rankings as a reporting metric and a prize for efforts, not an ultimate goal
Creating content for clicks and page views Creating content for user engagement, conversions and revenue
Focusing on organic traffic from search engines Diversifying traffic – Social Media and referral traffic from various websites
Pushing content via social media Communicating with social media around content
Getting exposure based on paid media Getting viral exposure thanks to people
Results are generated based on technical methods Results are achieved by putting time in content creation
Analytical and mostly technical knowledge is needed Analytical and mostly marketing knowledge is necessary
Focusing on here and now Operate in an accordance to strategy
Putting attention on numbers Putting attention on people’s demands
Interaction within a communities for backlinks Participating in a community to share the experience, help people with the problems they encounter

As you can see, contrary to some people saying that SEO is dead, the fact is that it is very much alive. The difference it that has totally changed, and judging by how the search engines constantly makes tweaks and changes in their algorithms, most likely it will continue to do so.

The New Face Of SEO (infographic)

In addition to the table above, below is a nice infographic put together by FuzzOne Media. One interesting topic mentioned on this infographic is about the “new face” of the SEO team. Sounds more human, don’t you think?


What do you think? Do you see more changes for SEO in the future? What do you think would those be?

Krystian Wlodarczyk

Krystian Wlodarczyk is an Internet Marketing Manager at Positionly, which is a user-friendly SEO software designed to track and analyze search engine rankings with simplicity. He is also a contributor to the Positionly Blog.

28 thoughts on “SEO – 2013 Onwards and You Are Still Doing it Wrong? (infographic included)

  • Hey Krystian,

    Love the infographic! You make some great points about how SEO requires an entirely different approach nowadays as opposed to years gone by.

    It’s getting a bit harder but I am actually quite happy with the way things are going, it means that a lot of the weaker competition is falling by the way side 🙂

    • Hi Jamie,

      Glad you liked it. SEO is transforming and I must admit, that I like the changes. I remembered interesting quote I can’t get out of my head and it fits well how I feel about it:

      “What I really love about SEO, as a profession and an industry, is that it continues to challenge its practitioners.”

  • enjoyed the article, beautiful infographic as well. The new face of SEO is an important tool to learn. Thank you.

  • It’s funny how much we believe all the Google hype.

    The fact is there are plenty of sites, both big and very big brands that still rank sites using the same old school and black hat linking methods that Cutts says no longer work. Do some link analysis, or even better your own testing and you will see.

    Link earning is nice, but in reality for affiliate marketers, ecommerce and those building small niche sites it’s a pipe dream when trying to rank for any worthwhile money terms.

    What’s really ironic is that with all their talk, Google still cannot consistently detect a quality site or a natural link profile, they miss the mark all the time, it’s obvious with their search results.

    They also continue to favor big brand and always will. But, in reality it is not big brand that makes for a deep and useful web, but all the smaller sites that fill the many product and informational markets.

    • Thanks for comment. It’s difficult not to agree.

      I wrote an article about SEO recently. The main thought was, that SEO isn’t free and the rankings aren’t quite organic after all. Still, I find publishing content not only much safer, in terms of ongoing Google search algorithm updates, but also valuable for me and for readers as well.

  • These were really nice tips. I was looking for such resources and I believe that your blog is gonna help me a lot in future. Thanks a lot for sharing this useful article.

  • This blog layout is actually following a lot of these rules. Pretty interesting and easy to follow. I’m just not clear about building relations instead of back linking. Hard to figure out how to measure that.

    • Hi Saj,

      Like you said, it’s difficult to measure relations, but surprisingly they are the most reliable, long-term investment you could possibly make. SEO landscape is constantly changing. Backlinks you scored yesterday can be useless, due to search algorithm updates tomorrow.

      Building relations stay opposite to hit and run backlinks catching. We can take as an example my guest post. It let me reach wider audience, present my point of view and take a part in an interesting discussion with you and other people, who are as passionate about SEO, as I am.

      Although it’s difficult to measure that, I think participating in a discussion and building relations with real people is much more important, than scoring a backlink only for search engine purposes.

  • Thank you for this article! I was always questioning my efforts to write an article optimized for SEO. I’d rather write down what I want to write down, instead of stuffing my article with keywords in strategic places. I do believe unique and engaging content is the way to reach your audience and get good targeted traffic! I’ll keep following your blog!

    • Thanks Bastiaan! I’ll do my best to provide only the best stuff.

  • Hey Krystian, I liked the layout of your post a lot. I would agree that SEO methods have changed drastically over the years, and why wouldn’t they. The percentage of people involved in online business has also shot up unoticed. Your seo efforts need to be very different to make it work for your business.

  • Nice job…one thing I noticed is that a lot of companies, especially smaller ones, suffer from market myopia and end up looking at a problem from their narrow perspective…they often forget to approach their website from the view of a visitor. This is definitely true in their selection of keywords. Just because it is attractive ranking wise does not mean it applies to you.

    • Good point. Rankings, like I said in the article, they should be treated as a prize, not a goal itself. You could rank high for your keywords, but it doesn’t mean, that your visitors would convert and people would want to do business with you.

  • As the new update of Google policy, now webmasters and SEO Experts are somehow in a problem that they need to update their website on regular basis and do back-linking for their websites otherwise their website’s ranking may go down..

  • Hello Dear

    i read your post really and i see really what a big difference between NEW technology and OLD technology of SEO really but this time SEO need unique content and quality back links really so thanks for sharing me

  • I completely support the new ways of SEO, solely because the competition is changing by the minute. How can the techniques be the same, when the market is constantly changing. I really liked the tabular form in which you highlighted thedistinctive features of each technique. Thanks a lot for sharing Krystian.

  • The SEO techniques which have surfaced with the beginning of this year, are very different from what people used to apply since the very inception of SEO. Not only this, the new techniques try to focus on the core of internet marketing i.e. the traffic. All their efforts are strictly directed towards the visitors only.

  • Nice table there. Sums up the situation succinctly. Didn’t even bother to look at the infographic afterwards : )

  • Recent research has found that content with more than 2,000 words ranks higher in Google than content with less than 2,000 words – That’s great insight for your content marketing strategy – Aim for lengthy-written content and you will do better in search and attract more traffic.

    • 2000 words seems an awful lot, unless it is really something great 🙂 I don’t think I was able to write any article with that kind of length before..

    • Good point, but it’s a bit difficult to write a content with 2k + words and stay focused on the topic though.

  • This is one very helpful post. With the constant updates, sometimes we really lost track of the right things to do. Now I know what are the strategies that are still effective and what are to be changed.

  • Awesome Research Krystian,
    I do agree with your research outcomes, I do not understand where the Google SERP moving. unrealistic results on first page.

  • There are a couple of things I don’t really agree with, but all in all, this was good.

    One of the things I really don’t agree with is that author rank thing. I find it narcissistic to say the least, and intended to benefit those who are already famous rather than those who write an article and they do it well. There are hundreds of one-hit wonders in the music world, why couldn’t there be hundreds of one-hit wonders in the writing world as well, and why should they be relegated just because they don’t have a good author rank. It sounds stupid.

    The other point in which I don’t agree is the overrated use of social media. Speaking for myself only, I must say I have never bought anything from anybody because of a tweet, have you? Same with Facebook, I am afraid. I may click on a link and check what someone else posted on his blog, but from there to buying there is a huge difference.

    On the other hand, every time I needed or wanted to buy something, SEO and even banner ads have been there to assist me.

    • I can totally relate to what you are saying Tedel. Ar does benefit more the “brands” that are already there. Nonetheless, I still think that there is a portion of the pie that although much smaller is reserved for the lesser known… 🙂

      As for tweets and FB posts. No you are right, never bought anything from those links. I did however bought some stuff that originated from Twitter and Facebook.. those that took me to a very well prepared and compelling landing pages.

  • Awesome article ……. i am using some of these tips but still waiting for something good….. i have a question that if you are a blogger than whats the minimum quantity of the posts your blog should have. Another question is niche blog is good or blog with mixed content will get more priority

    • HI. I really can’t tell what the minimum quantity should be.. Think of a magazine with only three or four pages. May not have as much traction as another that has a bit more. I think that it is not the number itself but how good your articles are. If you want a number, I’d go for a minimum of 20 – 30. Mixed is more complicated to rank for, unless they are related.

      • Thanks for the reply…. i got it…. one more question that i have some tutorials in my blog and many comments are there but i havnt seen commentators back …. or help others when some other will comment always i have to answer the problems. They just download the file and gone just like wind. How to solve this problem

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