Gone are the days when backlinks and keyword placement guaranteed success in SEO. Google Search results in current times have become more timely, personalized and accurate than before. The job of an SEO goes far beyond content and meta data optimization. We will try to look at the major SEO trends which will enable you to get a picture of where SEO is headed. The increasing importance of Voice Search According to Google, one out of every 5 search comes from voice queries. Voice activated smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home are on the rise. Google recently released Google Assistant for android devices. This is vital because contrary to general belief, the adoption of voice search will happen on mobile devices. As the accuracy of voice assistants grows in importance, we will find more and more people utilizing voice search for timely search queries. Optimizing your strategy for voice is crucial in current times. You may be required to focus more on long tail keywords, syntax used in daily language and well-structured content. Featured Snippets In the last couple of years we have seen a tremendous growth of featured snippets displayed in search results. In current times, around 30% of search queries on Google have instant answers in the form of featured snippets. Use of structured data and accuracy of instant answers will further enable it to be a major factor for ranking. This trend is going to rise in the form for Q & A content which offers short answers in response to long tail search queries. SEO’s pay more attention to structure and formatting of content which makes it easier for Google to carry important information for featured snippets.
The importance of mobile SEO There has been a massive increase in the number of mobile phone users in the last decade. Today, more than 60% of the searches come through mobile phone. Hence, there has been a shift in the mobile first index. In the coming times, Google will rank pages based on the mobile version of the page. This algorithm change might turn page rankings upside down. SEO’s adopt AMP( accelerated mobile pages) and optimize the user experience for mobile right from page load time to information architecture, navigation and design. Preference for user experience Today users want immediate result for their search queries, irrespective of the device they are using. Google studies have found that sites that take more than 3 seconds to load lose about 40% of visitors. A proper navigation structure is essential in order to keep the users engaged on your site. A good user experience is far more important than your site’s speed. Google has made it clear that a good user experience is a criteria of their ranking. Optimization for intent Google integrates AI( Artificial Intelligence) into its search algorithm results so that it can incorporate historical information, present context and the intent of the query to the user in the fastest way possible. Keyword intent is one of the important criteria for ranking a webpage. For Keywords with buyer intent, Google with prioritize ecommerce websites instead of other media outlets. This motive behind it is that the searcher is looking for buying a product and not for searching information. For keywords with intent to find information, Google will prioritize credible media sites.