Google and other search engines are finally starting to support their mantra about "content is king" with search engine rankings. The good news is that a website with quality, unique content (linkable content) has a better chance of outperforming other websites in the search engines. The bad news is that it requires more, ongoing original content (which is evidently good news for the visitor). When in doubt, the search engines can always serve up Wikipedia and major brands to fill the coveted first page search result slots.
Although search ranking algorithms change at increasingly shorter intervals, the premise of a strong contextual foundation for the website topics and architecture is more important than ever. What does that mean? It means beginning with great content and accessible navigation, building and encouraging links from quality sites is more effective when the landing pages are of great quality.
This is how we have been building websites all along and are enjoying and welcoming the new ranking changes for 2014.
The first place to begin is to reassess and improve on-page content.
Have a great spring, 2014!