Search engines are getting smarter with each passing day. The same SEO tactic that can pay rich dividends in the past can get you penalized today. Yes, I am referring to keyword stuffing here. Digital marketers will have to keep pace with latest SEO trends and take each step according to the latest changes to Google’s algorithm. This is not possible without knowing what the latest trends in SEO are.
As 2017 draws to a close, let us look into the crystal ball and predict what the future of SEO will look like in years to come. Watch these SEO trends.
SEO Trends to Watch
1. Voice Search Will Gain Traction
Comscore predicted that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. According to a report by Technavio, voice recognition market will reach a whopping $601 million by 2019. With voice assistant already built into our devices and virtual assistants at our fingertips, it is clear why people will use their voices instead of their mobile screens to perform a search. 60% people has started using voice search last year, which speaks volumes about its exponential rise in the last couple of years. The trend is not going anywhere and will slowly overshadows other methods of perform a search.
2. The Rise of Visual Search
Another area that is usually neglected by SEO executives is visual search but that is about to change sooner rather than later. As internet shift towards visuals, the opportunities in the visual search market will grow. Popular search engines like Google, Bing and social media platform such as Pinterest have already started working on visual search engine to take the first mover advantage in emerging visual search market. As an SEO strategist, you need to incorporate visual search in your strategy and optimize visuals for search engines.
3. Mobile First Index and Accelerated Mobile Pages
Google has made it intentions very clear when it started to demote non-responsive websites down its search rankings. The crackdown forced digital marketers to rethink their strategy and shift to mobile first approach. Google did not stopped there, it went on to create a separate mobile index for mobile sites and rounded it up with the announcement of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). With the number of mobile internet users surpassing the number of desktop users, all these moves come as no surprise.
Year 2018 will be no different, as we will see the implementation all these initiatives and many new announcements that will bring mobile into the limelight. Simply put, having a mobile friendly website and a mobile first strategy is not an option anymore; it is prerequisite for your business survival. As a SEO professional, you can’t afford to ignore mobile anymore.
4. User Experience Counts
Let us be very honest, user experience was never a priority for SEO in the past but times have changed. Today, it is one of the most important ranking factors. Google has made it clear that the focus is on users. The kind of user experience your website delivers to the website visitor will directly influence your search engine rankings.
Page load time is a critical factor in this regard. Even a couple of seconds of delay in page load times will reduce the customer engagement, conversion rate and increase your website’s bounce rate, which would reflect negatively on your search engine rankings. Get rid of the excess baggage from your website to make it nimble so it loads instantly as no online likes to wait for a website to load.
5. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
After making an impact on every industry imaginable, artificial intelligence and machine learning is now changing the way search results are ranked. We will see the shades of machine learning in Google search as it tries to identify the intent of the searcher and contextualize results. With Google RankBrain and deep learning algorithm already working behind the scenes, do not be surprised to see their involvement on search results in 2018 and beyond. Expect to see some more new developments in this area as Google is keenly pushing for it.
6. Relevant and Authoritative Backlinks
Probably the most unexpected trend that will catch you by surprise in 2018 will be the return of backlinks. Yes, you read that right, the good old backlinks we all use to build. What will change is the approach. Unlike the past, when quantity of backlinks matters more than quality of backlinks, comes 2018, it will be the other way around. Both search engines and SEO executives will divert their attention towards relevant, authoritative and valuable backlinks. The focus will be more on relationship building and guest posting. Google has already warned publishers regarding the use of guest posts for link building purposes. It is a move to curb spammy links.
7. Problem Solvers Will Win
When do we conduct a search on search engine? When we have a problem and we are looking for solution, right. All search engines and tech giants know this secret very well. Whether it is Google, Microsoft, Amazon or any other internet giant, they all solve user’s problem. Come 2018, the emphasis would be more on solving user’s problems quickly. The “Quick Answer Box” that appears when you type a problem or question in the search bar is testament to that. Businesses who manage to provide satisfactory solutions to customer’s problem will rank higher on search results. If you are not doing it yet then, start today.
Whether it is voice search, visual search or user experience, SEO experience will be the driver of SEO trends in future. With search engines striving to deliver the most accurate and relevant results, SEO agencies will has to adapt according to the latest trends to stay afloat. Are you ready to cope with these changes in SEO? Which SEO do you think will have the biggest impact in 2018? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.