4 SEO Trends of 2016 & 3 Top Trends that will dominate the SEO Market in 2017
It’s that time of the year again. It’s time to look back at the summer trends that dominated 2016, baffling SEO strategies, neck to neck marketing battles, and wondering where all the keywords went. And yet we keep asking ourselves, “What exactly is SEO”? For some, it is the game of always staying ahead, and for others it is all the strategies that keep them Omni-visible throughout the web.
There’s no doubt about the fact that SEO has undergone tremendous makeover. And over the past few years, technological advancement has given rise to strategies that have changed the face of the industry. We are here today to predict the trends that will dominate 2017’s SEO market. But to successfully gauge the future, one must take a plunge into the past. So here’s a comprehensive list of all the trends that came into being in 2016 and ruled the world of SEO:
- Accelerated mobile pages – Google’s new-found love, AMP or accelerated mobile pages are not secrets anymore. It is possible to turn any content on any web page into AMPs and it boosts organic search visibility on any popular search engine.
- Video Content – Video contents have gained impetus in the latter half of 2016 although the craziness started when Facebook introduced video content on their pages.
- Long form content – 2016 was the year of long form content with tons of short sections. This was especially SEO friendly because this form of content have massive scopes of brandishing title tags, header tags (H1, H2, H3…and so on) and Meta tags which are wonderful for getting the attention of search engines.
- Keyword updates –Keywords simply became meaningless phrases altogether. The new trends made sure that search engine spiders “understand” the context of the keyword use and the different forms a keyword may take. This was one feature that completely revolutionized the way we look at SEO.
In 2017, however, SEO is in for another massive change. We are not expecting huge upheavals in the search and SEO algorithms of the popular search engines (and that includes Google). But we are definitely expecting some new trends to dominate the 2017 SEO market. Let us look at some of those trends that are defined by advanced technology.
- Machine Learning –Machine learning is no longer a fad. It can figure out exactly what you are looking for and where you need to go to find it! RankBrain is the new magical algorithm that helps Google process all search results and one-of-a-kind queries. 2017 will be the year Google dabbles in the integration of search engines and machine learning.The effect of RankBrain on SEO – as expected a new algorithm from Google will have colossal impact on search engine optimization and ranking. It will be the end of an era of generic, search-bot governed industry. RankBrain will help satisfy one-of-a-kind queries that were unthinkable even with the advents of Hummingbird, Panda and Penguin.
- Natural language processing –The difference between human brains and CPUs is the ability to understand the contextual meaning of a word, phrase or even a complete sentence. While human brains can understand the emotion and intent behind a set of words, it is almost impossible for a simple CPU to do the same. It was literally impossible, well up until someone went and invented machine learning. It has enabled electronic devices to understand large bodies of data. For example, language systems are being trained on the likes of Google’s NYT Annotated Corpus, a set of 1.8 million articles over a period of 20 long years. This will help the machines understand more than just frequency, density and usage of specific words and key phrases.The effect of machine learning on SEO – The effect will be massive, especially since machine learning is about to usher in a new era where electronic devices understand what exactly we are looking for. Who knows? The rate with which machine learning is evolving, we might even get to know what women want!
- Smart virtual assistants –Yes, we are talking about Siri, Cortana and the other voice assistants that might be helping you out right now to find the perfect valentine’s gift. Now when you see a person talking to himself, you never know if he’s a raging schizophrenic or he simply has Siri in his earpiece. We mostly started using voice search and voice assistants simply because they were entertaining. It wasn’t because we were initiating ourselves into the generation of hands-free, smart search.It was simply out of sheer disbelief.||Things spiraled totally out of control when Amazon introduced Amazon echo in 2014. It is a wondrous device that can morph into your very own personal assistant without any qualms. Its unique ability to chit-chat and answer all queries besides playing the occasional favorites and reading out audio books made Amazon Echo a must-have on every technophile’s Christmas list.
The impact on SEO – If you think voice assistants and voice searches cannot impact Google SEO, you have been living under a rock! Almost 55 percent of all teens and 40 percent of all adults are using voice search for the most common queries every day. From finding the most nearby sushi joint to booking airplane tickets for the holidays, people are using voice search and smart virtual assistants to make every aspect of their lives a little easier.
SEO has had to make a lot of adjustments to accommodate the new changes that have come with the steadily climbing face and use of virtual assistants. So far, all virtual assistants (Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant) have been used for searches, and it looks like it is opening up a new market for SEO. Keyword optimization and social media marketing will undergo a fresh overhaul if the focus shifts from search based usage of virtual assistant to function based usages.
So far, it looks like 2017 will be a year for newer and more optimized SEO techniques that focus more on the true meaning of search terms and keywords/phrases rather than technicalities. With virtual assistants, machine learning and native language comprehension, things might get a little invasive, but nonetheless easier for the inquisitive Google user.
Author bio: Derek Iwasiuk is the brain behind quite a number of SEO ventures. He has his own SEO firm headquartered in Minneapolis and another SEO company in Los Angeles. He is quite the motivation for brilliant young minds who want to make a dent in the impenetrable world of digital marketing and social media marketing. Follow him on Twitter @Diwasiuk for a wonderful ride across the world of evolving marketing trends.