Search engine optimization has dramatically changed over the past few years.
The traditional practices of bombarding a written material with keywords and link buying have become obsolete without much warning. But SEO players continue to adapt - they have too, else they will fall behind those who do.
In just a few weeks' time, we will change the calendar again. But what does the coming year have in store for SEO?
Here are our predictions for SEO for year 2017:
1. Google AMP will Start to Takeover
Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages or Google AMP is the Internet giant's way to improve the search experience of users on mobile. It is said to combat Facebook's Instant Articles and Apple's Apple News.
With Google AMP, rendering of pages on mobile will be faster. Publishers have gone ahead and transitioned to this advancement, and case studies have shown that speed really has gone up and that it is bring great results.
This being said, it is expected that Google will expand its supported page in 2017. As Google AMP implements stricter protocols in order to hasten page rendering, SEO will be affected.
If your page would remain on traditional format, you are bound to be run over by those who can offer a better search experience.
See Also: The Quick Guide to Google Accelerated Mobile Pages
2. It's Time to Say Goodbye to Intrusive Interstitial Ads
Google has announce that on January 10, 2017, it will launch a new algorithm penalty in which mobile pages that have intrusive interstitial advertisements will be demoted.
If you do employ interstitials ensure that they don't make content less accessible to a user.
Google identifies interstitial as such if they:
- Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
- Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
- Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
3. Voice Search will Grow
There more than 40% adults and more than 50% teenagers who are already using voice search to date. In 2017, the numbers are expected to grow.
Users will find it easier to search this way as they won't have to think about inputting punctuations and mind their spelling anymore.
4. Artificial Intelligence will Affect Ranking
With the help of Artificial Intelligence, search engines like Google will be able to show up more relevant sites on the SERP.
AI will dig deeper into pages and this will affect ranking.
5. Schema will be More Important
Schema helps provide direct answers or snippets when users make a search on Google. More websites are expected to make use of the schema markup in 2017.
6. Visual Search will Rise
As it is a fact that images get more attention that plain text, it is seen that in 2017, visual search will be a thing.
Pinterest currently has a visual search feature in which users can select any object on an image and then Pinterest will filter similar pins.
This is especially helpful when you cannot describe in words what you saw.
7. App Marketing will Continue to Grow
More apps are launched each year and the trend will continue in 2017.
Studies also show that users spend more time in apps now so there will be a great opportunity in app marketing in the coming year.
8. User Experience Will be Prioritized
SEO really has gone far where it began. User experience (UX) will become a great factor in a site's ranking so website owners are expected to prioritize user experience in their SEO initiatives.
See Also: 16 Essential Strategies for Improved User Experience (UX)
9. Localization will Matter
In 2017, the location of the user might affect what results he will see when he makes a search.
Currently, local results are placed on top of the SERP. This is expected to develop further. This is in consideration that local results will matter more for the user.
10. Agile Marketing
Agile Marketing is effective as it is driven by the industry and the customers.
Agile marketing will take into consideration what really matters to the customers and will make sure that these are met in order to provide the satisfaction they seek.
Agile marketing will then be seen as a better practice than traditional methods.
It is best follow the 70:20:10 Rule in 2017 where:
- 70% of your marketing strategy is planned.
- 20% is automated/programmed Marketing, and
- 10% is agile marketing.
11. Originality of Content will Matter
Duplication of your own content and that of others would not help achieve your SEO initiative.
2017 is the year you start working on your own content from scratch. Not only will the creation of original content save you from copyright infringement, it will also help you rank so ensure that you really do spend the effort in making your own content.
12. Virtual Reality Marketing will be a Thing
Virtual reality won't be for games, clips, and movies anymore. Marketing through VR will be beneficial.
As VR is seen as impactful, immersive, memorable and novel, marketing through it will be a good idea.
13. Social Search will be Stronger
This year, companies with social presence are already optimizing their content for social search. This is expected to be stronger in 2017.
Companies will need to strategize their content well so they will rank in social search.
14. Marketing Automation will be More Prevalent
Automation of marketing tasks is already happening. One example of marketing activities that can be automated is email marketing.
In 2017, more and more marketing tasks will be automated. It is with hopes that automation won't take personalization for granted.
15. Optimization for Mobile will be More Significant
Studies show that optimization for mobile is important. Some reasons that were pointed out are the following:
- Users spend a lot of time in mobile apps.
- A lot of users start their day by checking their phones
- A huge majority of successful companies already optimize for mobile
Because of these reasons, mobile optimization should be considered by more companies in 2017.
See Also: Top 5 Tips for Designing a Mobile Friendly Website
Let's Hope for the Best in 2017
2017 is almost here. No one really knows what it has in store for search engine optimization.
Let us all face the year head on, and let's just all hope for the best. SEO is dynamic - it will continue to grow, to change, and to live.
Whatever happens, we shall all go with the flow and play by the ever-changing rules of the game.