We often hear ‘Change brings opportunity,’ then why panic when the change comes to SEO? It is true that the SEO world is changing pretty fast. During the last few years, Google algorithm updates have totally changed the web marketing field. Many businesses vanished as a result of the Panda, Penguin, and other algorithm updates. During the year 2016, we also witnessed several different updates and some ups and downs in the SERPs. Most popular updates of the year were Google Possum, Penguin 4.0, Mobile Friendly Update 2 and Adwords Shakeup. Proactive SEO’s were successful this year too and can be successful in 2017 again only if they make smart decisions according to the upcoming SEO trends in 2017.
7 SEO Trends to Watch in 2017 are:
- Optimize User Intention
- More Rich Snippets in SERP’s
- Cross Channel Marketing
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) or Mobile Marketing
- Get Ready for Voice Search Algorithms
- HTTPS Eating up Referral Data
- Artificial Intelligence
Optimize User Intention
The significance of keywords is never going to finish or die because users search for queries and phrases in search engines. Brands will have to make strategies to focus on intent rather than just keywords. It means you need to work for the content or queries your buyer persona is searching. Once you complete your research regarding search queries, educate your customer. Keep a sharp eye on analytics and see the impact.
More Rich Snippets in SERP’s
All of us have surely witnessed that Google has started showing rich snippets in response to our queries. Google shows results along with searches for movies, videos, and reviews. The search result is generated by the schema markup or structured data markup. According to a research study, the number of search results showing rich snippets has already doubled in the last two years, and this trend will multiply in the upcoming years. Structured data markup increases the probability of your website to be featured as a rich answer in SERP’s.
Cross Channel Marketing
The trend of using various channels to market your product has increased during last few months. Cross-channel marketing is an extension of multi-channel marketing. Its actual purpose is to create prominent brand presence between different devices and platforms so that user makes a purchase. Studies suggest that cross-channel marketing is still in its infancy stage, but its trend will continue to rise in 2017.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) or Mobile Marketing
Mobile search has reshaped SEO in the last few years. According to recent research, nearly 50% of internet traffic is through mobile devices. Google also announced that it would be focusing on indexing websites designed with the mobile first approach. This announcement increases the importance to emphasize on optimizing websites for mobile devices. Mobile optimization is expected to become mandatory for SEO in 2017.
Get Ready for Voice Search Algorithms
Google voice search has been the fastest growing search trend recently. It is fast and the futuristic term of search. Google’s experts have been working in reducing the error rate of voice search plummets, and it is important to note, that recently, the speech recognition error rate has decreased from 25 to 8 percent now.
Voice search will undergo drastic changes in 2017 with better voice recognition and understanding. It includes understating of localized based content, personalized information, spoken queries and previous searches. Marketers will have to think beyond text-based queries in 2017, which might be one of the biggest change in the search industry.
HTTPS Eating up Referral Data
A couple of years ago, Google inducted ‘https’ as a ranking factor in its algorithm. Since then many companies just ran to shift from HTTP to HTTPS. However, the problem is that HTTPS has been eating up a lot of referral data. Moreover, you need to restore referral data to your HTTP website coming from HTTPS websites. Also, you will need to make sure that your HTTPS website passes referral data to HTTP sites. All this increases the risk of losing out on ranking, going into 2017.
Google has been working for a long time on artificial intelligence to improve search results. In 2017, artificial intelligence is expected to bring a major change in the algorithm. Its impact will push marketers to rethink their optimization strategies like heading tags and alt texts. They will also have to shift their focus towards intent.
What Influencers Have to Say About SEO Trends for 2017
SEO influencers always have predictions which are critically important and must be taken into consideration for the success of your SEO campaigns. Let’s have a quick glimpse at these SEO predictions:
Danny Dover, the author of SEO Secrets, says:
“I think the top 3 trends of 2017 and beyond will be just one broad trend, Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is already and will continue to change how search engines rank web documents fundamentally. The effect on marketers will be that they would need to stop relying on specific individual optimizations (like H1s or Alt Text). They will need to start working on greater, more valuable pieces of content that are optimized for how humans (and subsequently computers) interpret, comprehend and learn from and share information online.”
Eric Enge, the founder, and CEO of Stone Temple Consulting says:
“An increasing amount of SEO attention will go into Apps, App Deep Linking, and App Store Optimization (and it should!).
Page speed will become a greater ranking factor, especially in mobile search results.1
Because of the prior point, AMP will gain a growing amount of attention as a way to speed up mobile performance.”
Eric Hebert, the founder of Evolvor says:
“Top 3 SEO trends? I would say the best advice I can give is 1. Stop worrying about SEO trends; 2. Worry about putting together real marketing campaigns that are going to get people talking about your product and service; and 3. Pay attention to how people use your website, what they are looking for, and tracking what they do so you can improve the user experience and convert more sales. If you focus on #2 and #3, then you will not have to worry about “SEO trends.”
Jason Quey who helps connecting influencers, entrepreneurs, and experts says:
- AI will slowly change the landscape. People already know about RankBrain. AI will only improve things more.
- The slow pull away from the long-form content. 10x content is not necessarily long form. In an interview I did with Steve Rayson of Buzzsumo for the Content Promotion Summit, he shares that 81 of the top 100 most shared B2B articles were short form content and details their place.
- Computer generated articles will begin to rank.The only way to set yourself apart will be to have a unique voice.
The Final Word
In the light of above key points, it would not be wrong to say that SEO is not dying, at least not in the coming years. I do not think I would be wrong if I say that going forward, SEO is evolving. In fact, it is going to be very smart. Only SEO’s who work from the user’s perspective and make strategies according to the latest algorithm will survive in 2017. Moreover, Black Hat SEO is near to its death.
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Jamil is an Assistant Manager Organic Search at Cloudways - A SEO friendly hosting Platform. He has 14 years experience in SEO, and is passionate about Digital Marketing and Growth Optimization. Jamil is a Minimalist, Observer, Loves Nature, Animals, Food, Cricket & Mimicking :)