SEO is in a state of continual change, and new techniques come along all the time to replace outdated strategies that have become redundant or even harmful.
But what lies in store for the coming year?
Many industry professionals have made predictions about the future of SEO, and here are some of the techniques that are likely to become more important over the coming months.
More Focus on AMPs
What are AMPs? This stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and you’ve probably seen them before.
They are essentially web pages that load a lot faster on mobile devices, and you can spot them by the “AMP” that is listed next to links in Google’s search results along with a small lightning bolt icon.
If you click on one, you will notice how much faster the page loads. This is great because it provides a better user experience, and faster sites can increase conversions on your website.
Animesh Kumar from Mindshare Vietnam suggested in a recent post on Digital Vidya that these are going to become increasingly important, and he predicted that we will see more bias towards these sites.
Google also hopes AMP will become the standard for mobile web content. Adam Greenberg from Google even suggested that AMP is important for Google rather than just a fad that will come and go, as reported in Link Assistant
The Need to Earn Your Links
Rajiv Pandey was also featured in the Digital Vidya link above. He suggested that link building will move to a greater focus on links that are earned through creating valuable content, ego bait where you feature people and play to their egos so they link to you, and guest blogging,
Effective search engine optimization has always been about creating great content, and now it would seem that this is more important than ever.
Growth of Voice Search
It’s been a while since we started talking to our phones. With the development of tools like Siri and Google Now, it’s become very normal. And according to an article in SearchEngineLand, it is set to be one of the biggest SEO trends.
Voice search is fast and hands-free, making it popular. Technology will also get better, and that means voice will become more accurate over the coming years.
There will also be more focus on voice understanding rather than just voice recognition. This will take account of factors like previous searches and the location of the searcher to provide a more personalized experience.
More Focus on Rich Snippets and Answers
The same SearchEngineLand article also highlights this as one of its trends to look out for. Google now answers questions directly rather than just showing links, and this is very useful for facts about people, places, events, etc.
Getting featured in an enhanced listing is obviously great for any website. It takes up the prime real estate at the top of the search results, and it also suggests that this is an authority website that can be trusted.
You can use schema markup to improve your chances of getting featured. This helps the search engines understand the content, and it can be useful if you provide content on topics like recipes.
The number of rich answers is increasing in the results all the time, and it is set to go up even more. People are going to want more of this kind of content in the future, so it makes sense to provide it for them and increase your chances of getting featured in the top spot.
It used to be desktop first, but all that has changed and now it is very much a mobile-first world. The Mobilegeddon event highlighted this, where Google’s algorithm change gave precedence to mobile-friendly sites in mobile search.
Now, if you want mobile users to find your site in search, you need to ensure you have a mobile-friendly site.
This usually means a responsive site, which Google has stated it prefers. But as long as it is optimized for mobile, you can help to increase your chances of ranking.
Mobile use continues to grow, as does mobile search. More people are searching for information via their mobile devices, and this is especially true in the case of local search. So make sure your site is optimized for the mobile visitor.
Keep an Eye on the Trends
It may well be the case that some of these trends will be more important than others in the future. But for now, these are the main areas to look at according to SEO experts.
So make sure you keep a close eye on these areas over the coming months and years, keep up with the trends, and ensure you have a solid SEO strategy in place that keeps you ahead of the competition no matter what changes are made.
Clwyd Probert has worked in the world of SEO for close to a decade. He shares his industry knowledge around the web through his articles.