The SEO industry is constantly evolving. What is true today will not be true tomorrow. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc, are all just companies looking to offer the best search results so that they can attract more searches and serve more ads. In this blog post, I make some key predictions into the future of SEO. The main reason, so that people are not completely caught off guard should these things happen.
Everyone will need to go responsive
Right now Google recommends responsive design. But they allow subdomains and vary http header for mobile SEO (they are all equal as far as rankings in Google’s eyes at the moment). Responsive design has so many benefits though; it is hard to think that Google will not start favoring this type of website technology eventually. I feel pretty strongly that if you are not responsive yet, you should be planning to go responsive late this year or next year. One static URL that has the same content on it is just much easier for a search engine to deal with. It is easier for the search engine to understand external and internal linking, usability and content associated with that one URL.
Sites will need to be https
Recently Google announced that they would be showing a warning in Chrome if the website is not on https. Google has hinted strongly that they want websites to go secure, especially if it is a site that is performing transactions. Google is now giving a ranking boost to sites that are secure as well. Sites should planning to be responsive and on https. We recently switched to https and saw some excellent ranking boosts.
Page speed will increase in importance
Page speed is a major ranking factor for mobile and desktop. In light of the recent Google mobile update, page speed has become even more important. Sites will be using the page speed testing tool to find ways to speed things up.
Schema markup will be more advanced
Every day Google is adding new forms of schema. While it used to be something people thought of as, “I’ll get to that later.” It is now essential. There is no question search engine optimization experts are looking for the most advanced ways to add schema to a website to increase CTR and improve page clarity to Google. Those with the best schema implementations will be rewarded with better rankings in knowledge graph and normal Google search.
Tweets will make resurgence in Google
Now that Google has access to Twitter data again, we are starting to see Tweets come back into the index. This makes Twitter a ranking factor once again and brings importance to individual Tweets. SEO companies everywhere are jumping back on the Twitter bandwagon. In addition, this makes Twitter ads more important, as it gives SEO companies a way to get their Tweets more exposure.
Google Now optimization will take off
Google now recently made it possible for third parties to appear in Google Now results. There are about 50 applications that have been allowed into this program at the moment, however, more will be allowed in soon. Applications will be trying to get in Google Now. In addition, applications will be working hard on their app SEO.
Apps will grow in search
Applications are already in the Google search space in a big way following the mobile update on April 21. Expect to see a lot more applications ranking as more companies start implementing application SEO. This is a new area that most companies haven’t taken advantage of yet, causing them to lose out on being early adopters.
Thin content pages will continue to decline
No one likes a page that basically says nothing and has nothing on it. These thin content pages and doorway pages either need to be updated or redirected, because eventually they are just going to fade away.
Social media will continue to grow in importance
Snapchat is up to 100 million users a day, Instagram and Facebook are booming and Pinterest has become a household name. These sites are only going to continue to grow. Google will try to find signals from each of the sites that speak to content quality, but will have issues as each of the sites have now become their own entity. Google will continue to look at the sites it has access too.
Links from large authoritative sites dominate over volume
Lots of links from little spammy sites are no good, but a few links from large authoritative sites, priceless. This is really where the future of linking is headed.
Content continues to get mixed in search
Google will continue to offer a variety of content for queries. Following hummingbird, Google really wants to offer a diversified set of results. This actually really helps inbound marketing professionals, opposed to old school SEO.
User metrics and AI expand in ranking influence
CTR, time on site, bounce rate, all of these things should be major ranking factors now, but Google has always maintained that they are not in desktop (but are in mobile SEO). That being said, I expect they have some impact and certainly will continue to be important in the future. Also, in the case of artificial intelligence, Google will follow users and collect data based on their cross device history. They will then use this to display different search results.
Google continues to look for new ways to improve its results. These are just a few predictions to keep in the back of your head for future planning. What are your thoughts on the future of SEO?