2016 is coming to a close and it’s that time of year when we look in the SEO crystal ball and try to predict what factors might affect our SEO strategy for the coming 12 months. Keeping up with all the changing trends in SEO is part of the challenge we face as SEOs and also the fun part, as we play cat and mouse with the big G.
Below I’ve tried to choose 5 of the hottest SEO trends that I think we will see over the next year.
- The Rise of “Dense” Content.
- Google Rank Brain
- User Experience Optimisation (UEO)
2016 has all been about the mobile and how to make the mobile experience better. This is due to the fact that over 50% of searches are now done on a mobile device, and 2017 isn’t going to be any different. The Accelerated Mobile Pages project or AMP is an open source initiative with Google, which allows web owners and publishers to create mobile optimised content. The way it works is by stripping back all HTML of a page and recreating itself in the simplest form. This allows the page to be loaded as quick as possible on the mobile device.
The Rise of Dense Content
Over the last few years its been drilled into us that Google loves long content…in 2017 this will change. The trend will move away from the length of content and move towards more concise and dense information. This move will allow users to find the information they need far quicker without having to trawl through pages of fluff to find the main point.
So what is RankBrain? RankBrain is Google’s name for a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that is used to help process its search results. Released earlier in 2016, RankBrain is just one part of the overall algorithm called Hummingbird, which Google uses to sort through billions of web pages. RankBrain is used to understand and interpret what people are searching for, so if you’re searching for Nike trainers, it will learn to understand that you could be looking for similar topics like running, fitness and you also meant “running shoes”. It allows Google to become a lot smarter in the results it shows you.
User Experience Optimisation (UEO)
Google is all about giving the best experience to all its users, so the lines between SEO and UEO will become increasingly blurred as Google adds more importance to the overall experience each user receives. How Google will measure this is still unknown, but we can guess it will use metrics already seen in Google Analytics, like Bounce Rate, Time on Page etc. SEOs, Designers and Webmasters will need to understand the user journey and how user interact with their site, making sure it’s fast, easily navigated and answering a users needs. You will need to ask yourself, ‘if users have a rubbish experience on your site, why should Google show it’?
Schema or Structured Data isn’t new. It was released in 2011 in a joint effort between the largest search engine at the time Google, Bing and Yahoo to help standardise how data within a page is seen by a search engine. While schema markup doesn’t directly have SEO benefits, it does indirectly impact the SEO health of your website. The markup will help give your site a better opportunity to allow the search engines to serve your content to the right users. i.e rich snippets. 2017 will see Google use these rich snippets, even more, to give its users answers more quickly. If you don’t use Schema or Structured Data on your site, we suggest you start. Learn more about Schema.
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