Over the course of 2013, we can expect to see developments such as the discouragement of artificially created anchor text. Search engines are always improving and getting better at detecting genuine backlinks from trusted websites over artificially created ones. This means people will not be able to abuse the power of anchor text to get higher rankings. We may also have to think about the relevancy of linking pages.
Strong rankings can be obtained by having links on many websites even with low relevancy to the topic. For example, if you published a page on hairdressing, a link on a page about football could go towards raising your rankings. However, perhaps in the future we can expect that the relevancy of a linking page to the topic will play a much bigger part in gaining the publisher high rankings.
We can also expect to see changes in the way in which social signals affect page rankings. For example, we may start to see more influence on rankings from Google +1s. However, we may also see differences between how these affect rankings and how links do, and in the ways they work. We can also expect that +1s and shares will have more of an impact.
A site with a lot of link references may rank highly because it appears to be the better site. However, although it has a strong link profile, it may not have any social activity attached to it. A website with less links, but with more shares and +1s should therefore have the same chance of ranking highly, since it has much more chance of having its profile built up naturally with social recommendations rather than strategic links.
Other ranking signals might include author relevance. More and more Google ads are having their authorship flagged. This means the authors with a lot of popular and great quality content will be picked up on and advertised, attracting more traffic to their web pages. The rel=author tag seems to be becoming more popular, and is another of the developments we can expect to see this year.
With more developments on the search engine side, we may start to see more companies turning to the help of an SEO company to help them keep up with the changes. There are so many different things to think about these days if you want to get your webpage ranking highly, and hiring an SEO company to handle things for you will ensure that you are doing the right things with the advice of trained professionals with a full understanding of the way search engines work and how they are changing.