Doesn’t it feel like we were just talking about what hot trends would take over in 2014? Now that we’re in the final month of the year, we’re pausing for a second to reflect on the game changers that swept the content marketing scene of the year – check out the video or read the script below.

bye keywordsFirst – the fall of keywords

Did we see it coming? Yes. Since Google took away keyword data we knew we should focus less on them – but what’s interesting is to see that “relevant terms” are now a top ranking factor.

Speaking of other top ranking factors: Google Plus Plus ones – still? Yep. Facebook shares and Facebook comments? Yep – those are up there too.

Content marketing isn’t just about SEO for your website – it’s about the whole package of a well rounded web presence.

Bye AuthorshipWe also saw the fall of Authorship

This as a good reminder to stop and think about the other factors that make your post clickable in search. For example – the disappearance of authorship images made an article’s meta description that much more important.

And although Matt Cutts has softened his take on it , earlier this year he was telling everyone to stick a fork in guest blogging, because it had become so spammy.

Okay so we’ve been talking about all of the things that went away in 2014. But what about the stuff that came to the forefront?

longform contentFirst up, long form content

We were under the impression that readers wanted quick, snappy articles – but studies came out this year, including one from Medium that suggested the ideal length of a blog post is 7 minutes, which equals out to roughly 1600 words. Plus – Google’s rewarding it. Content that ranks #1 typically has 2000 words now.

In 2014 we also saw an increased focus on brand awareness

branding for the winit turns out marketers are spending more than ever on this, and there’s data that shows brands tend to rank better in search – so there are clear wins for building a distinct brand presence across the web.  

The good news is that Google isn’t only rewarding big companies’ brand efforts – Matt Cutts said anyone can build a presence online – from mom and pop shops to household names. 


What content marketing changes affected you the most this year? Let us know in the comments and check out more 2014 recaps:

Molly Buccini is Brafton's community manager. She joined the team with a background in digital journalism and social media. She's a theatre nerd, pop culture junkie and lover of summertime.