Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about being up-to-date with the changes search engines are making and being a step ahead of the competition. Search engines have been consistently making changes to their algorithms to deliver better quality results. In fact, Google has made three major changes in the last five years itself: Penguin, Hummingbird and RankBrain. To be on top of your SEO game, it is not just enough to design SEO strategies as the new SEO trends set in but you must predict the future trends and be prepared for it. To make your job slightly easier, we have identified the top SEO trends that will dominate the year:
1. Google’s AMPs
Mobile and machine learning will be the biggest challenges for SEO in 2017. The major shift or change in algorithms in the recent years has been in improving the user experience on mobile devices. This is where Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) will really come into their own in 2017. The main purpose behind AMPs is to allow web pages to load faster on mobile devices while consuming less data. This is crucial because researches have shown that higher bounce rates are directly associated with slower-loading web pages. If a webpage does not load in under 3 seconds, visitors are more likely to leave the site. Also, there are many countries, like India with a population of over a billion, which still charge consumers for data. So, any tool that will result in faster loading and lower consumption will be of utmost importance in 2017. AMPs address both these issues. They make it possible for a site to load four times faster and yet consume eight times lesser data. This is why Google favors and gives more visibility to sites that comply with its AMPs protocol. It is expected to give greater preference to such sites in it search results in 2017. So, if there is one SEO trend that you have to incorporate in you SEO strategy for 2017, it is the AMPs.
2. Disruption from Machine Learning
Until now if your webpage consisted of the keywords users search for and the content related to it, your webpage showed up high on the search results. This is now changing. Even if your webpage does not contain the keywords but only quality relevant content, your webpage will still show up high on the search results. This is because of algorithmic machine learning, which is made possible by Google’s RankBrain. Google and other search engines are betting on machine learning technologies that make it possible for search algorithms to gradually learn how users search and deliver results accordingly. Industry experts expect major machine learning updates in 2017. So, the age old trick of keyword density will not be of much use going forward.
3. Voice Search
Voice search is still in its infancy but one that is growing very fast. Apple’s Siri has come a long way since it was first introduced. Microsoft’s Cortana is fast catching up with it and so is Google’s own voice search. If you have doubts that voice search will not play an important role in SEO trends and techniques in 2017, you must let go off it right now. Voice recognition software and apps are becoming smarter and much more accurate. This means that more and more people will start using voice search. SEO strategies must take this into account as keywords will now be more conversational. So, it is more important for a webpage to answer user’s specific questions to feature high in search results.
These are the three big SEO trends that will dominate in 2017. It is very important to consider these trends while formulating your SEO strategy. While, it is difficult to predict what exactly the different search engines are planning, it is not impossible to see what directions they are taking. No matter what changes and updates the search engines introduce, these trends will play an important role.