For many, a few years go, SEO meant two things, keywords and inbound links. Keywords used and placed properly gave your search chances a boost in being found, and inbound links from other sites enhanced your site’s authority on the search topic. Recently, the destruction of search engine rank into those two main components made SEO more approachable to marketers of all company sizes. Google has made changes targeted at countering black-hat SEO, changing its algorithm that has taken on a different nature and seems to indicate a more significant shift in search as a whole. While keywords and inbound links will always be important, it seems that they won’t stand alone as primary factors in your website’s search rank. Below we describe a few early signs of how you can expect SEO to evolve in the coming years.
Mobile Search Will Rise
In the fast paced world we live in, online mobile searching is evolving rapidly and overtaking desktop searching. According to Google, 61% of mobile searchers who land on a non-optimized site will immediately leave the site and return to Google to find one that is more readable. Google is enacting changes to start prioritizing mobile-optimized sites on search results for users on such devices.
It is important to note that sites that might otherwise have ranked highly based on keywords and inbound links will be demoted in search rank if they’re not properly optimized for mobiles. Google recommends building your website using responsive design for your next website redesign. Websites like HubSpot have responsive design as an approach which automatically repackages website content to fit the device viewing it. Therefore, next time you redesign your website or blog, make sure that you update responsive design and mobile search.
Social Media Will Become More Central to Ranking
Social media has enabled people to get content and product suggestions directly from friends and, according to Nielsen Research, 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more completely. Search engines, as a result, have begun to shift to factor a searcher’s social media connections into their results.
This change has come slowly over the past few years, and its reasonable to assume that the social connections of content authors and searchers will continue to rise and influence in the future. Even as social media continues to influence SEO, the good news is that your existing social media strategy should naturally work will the change to position your posts to do well.
Search Engines Will Better Understand Context
Search engines are also getting better at understanding the context under which you are conducting the search. This spreading of localized searches is most evident in the recent use of Google Now. Google and other search engines have made it easier to find local information. Google Now is fascinating, as it integrates a number of elements to better understand and respond to the context of a given search. Natural language user interface is what allows Google Now to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by allotting requests to a set of web services. For instance, you’re on your way to the airport, Google Now will tell you things like travel time and good restaurants at your destination.
What does this ability mean for businesses people and marketers? It means that going forward, personalization and optimization should be considered in the same breath. As users start to see more and more of their world adapt to their history and interests, their expectations of companies will follow.
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