First Penguin, then Hummingbird and now RankBrain, there is no stopping Google with its whole list of updates. As we leave 2016 and move on to 2017, the SEO market is seeing a shift in the autonomy of Google as the premier search engine. Facebook and Yahoo have come from behind with their own algorithm modifications and are set to compete against this favorite brand.
What does this tussle do to you? As a person looking to rank his/her page, it means more updates and more criterions in the upcoming year. Based on the current scenario, the following SEO trends are likely to prevail, and you may have to modify your existing website. Take a note and start evolving.
1. Voice Search is set to dominate
Microsoft has already declared that it has made the Cortana more human-like. Siri is not behind as well. So, all the searches now performed are likely to be more of that conversation pattern.
So, no longer will your page be searched based on “best Chinese food”. Expect things to change to “nearest Chinese restaurant serving the best Kung-Pao chicken”. In short, keywords are set to become more conversational.
2. AMP may just become the new favorite
Most of the internet users’ access search engines via a mobile phone now. Google has identified this and so will other search engines. Hence, sites that have moved over to AMP protocol have already started gaining popularity on Google’s indexing.
Things do make sense. Sites with more than 8-10 seconds of loading time receive the least traffic and show maximum bounce rate. Whereas, if this period is 2-3 seconds, users tend to show more patience and wait around. With AMP, Google only wants to make content-first the essential criterion in 2017.
3. Long content will cease to be attractive
Till date, search engines have stressed on information factor to index websites. However, people are becoming more impatient with “epic content.” Blame Snapchat or YouTube for it but the era of lengthy contents is diminishing.
Keeping things dense and posting a video instead is likely to trend in 2017. Visuals tend to enhance user experience and information gathering capacity of a person. Google is sure to notice this and make necessary modifications.
4. Secure sites will be favoured more
The recent declaration from Google places this in golden words. The HTTPs tag will help your site to rank and will have greater prominence over ones without it. Google says, “People feel safe when they see HTTPs beside the domain name. We want to respect it.”
Your site may have excellent content with all the technicalities maintained, but no HTTPs will keep you behind the mediocre ones. So, move your site to the secured domain and boost your SERP ranking.
5. Social content may emerge as a new SEO strategy
When you search for a company in Google, its Facebook or Twitter page comes in the first two options. This shows a growing trend in users favouring social content more than the content on the company’s website.
This is sure to emerge as a new ranking technique in the upcoming years. So, focussing on your social posts along with your website’s SEO factors will definitely improve your chances of topping the charts.
6. Integration of machine learning may open new doors
With RankBrain, Google has paved the way for combining machine learning with webpage indexing. The new algorithm will identify a new word and take a guess about its meaning to search pages.
So, even if your webpage does not contain the word that a user has searched for, chances of him/her landing up in your site will increase. Expect Google and others to come up with more such machine learning updates which are likely to change the way SEO factors are now framed.
You may argue that everything is still in the hypothesis stage and things may not pan out as anticipated. But changes are coming and with improving technology and search patterns, they are likely to be more rapid. Be informed and remain logical. After all, the SEO game is all about staying ahead of your competition.