SEO is always constantly changing and evolving. If your business relies on the search engines for any level of traffic and business, then it’s important to have a pulse on what’s currently happening in the space. However, with all of the moving pieces it can be difficult to actually see where everything is headed, or if your strategies are even still relevant.
Some of the latest Google updates, like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird really shook up the search engine landscape. But, now that the dust has settled it’s time to take a look at what the search engine space currently looks like.
Below we dive into the most common SEO trends that are happening this year, as well as, look into where it’s going into the future.
1. Mobile Is King
With the continued prevalence of smartphones in the market, mobile is only going to become more important. Mobile is prepped to be the future of digital marketing. So, if you’re not on board yet, you might position yourself in that direction soon. There’s nothing worse than playing catch up to your competitors.
In 2015 Google started to target and devalue websites that weren’t optimized for the mobile web. We suspect this is the first in the long line of updates that’ll seek to improve the mobile search experience.
Even a simple search for the same keyword will yield entirely different results on the desktop and mobile browsers.
Which brings us to our next point…
2. Direct Search Is Growing
Instead of ranking pages that are the best optimized for a certain keyword it seems that Google is now skewing their search results towards search intent.
For instance, if someone searches for the term “Los Angeles Lakers” they’re probably looking for team info, their schedule, and relevant statistics—not a website that’s selling the latest fan gear.
Google is now implementing a feature called the knowledge graph, which gathers information from a variety of sources and displays it prominently to answer the searcher’s question.
Google is going to continually shift towards relevance, which means their goal is to provide the searcher with the best information that matches the reasoning behind their search.
3. Age and Authority Means A Lot
The internet has grown at an exponential rate. For Google this means they’ve started to place even more value on aged domains and authority websites. Most of the search engine results are now dominated by authority websites, rather than small and thin niche websites of the past.
Use this to your advantage by becoming the go to resource on your topic, and creating the highest quality content out there.
The authority of your website also refers to the quality of links that are pointing back to your website as well. Today it’s even more pertinent that you focus on attracting high quality links to your site, rather than a high quantity of low-quality links. Links from authority sources that point back to your website suggest that your domain is also very high authority.
4. Black Hat SEO Is Done For
Google is continuing to crack down on black hat SEO practices. This means that tactics like buying large-scale link packages, and building blog networks are starting to lose their effectiveness. Google is always trying to diminish the effectiveness of methods that are attempting to game the system.
Quality should be the focus on your SEO efforts moving forward. This may take longer, but you’ll be rewarded over time with higher search engine rankings and preference from Google.
Moving into the future it’s important to give off indicators that your site is an authoritative resource. This means obtaining links from high quality and relevant sites, creating very in-depth content, and ensuring your site performs across every screen size.