Trends in Search Engine Optimization

Have you ever imagined a library without a librarian? What a disaster that would be?

Search engines play the role of a librarian of a huge library, the internet. This contains vast and limitless information. Also, it is obvious that one cannot find out a specific book just groping and wading through floors filled with inestimable volumes of books. Here, a librarian plays a critical role. Librarians not only help the readers find the book they need, but they also arrange books in order and categories so that readers can at least narrow down their searches.

However, not all of the librarian’s work is considered efficient. Just like there are unskilled and clumsy librarians and skilled and effective librarians. Needless to say, that skilled librarian would bring the library into better order, and the readers would prefer a skilled librarian over unskilled ones. A search engine is a librarian coupled with numerous robots and algorithms that search and sort such vasts amounts of content.

It is needless to point out that why search engine optimization is needed. Today, the world is utterly awash with limitless information, and it is a very challenging job to find specific and relevant information without such technologies. Therefore, a search engine must relentlessly improve its ability to collect and display the information that is requested precisely and efficiently. An optimized website allows search engines to identify and pick the very content that is requested.

Any search engine optimization expert or consultant would point out that search engine optimization (SEO) is the process website owners use to help search engines find, index, and rank their web pages, hopefully above competitors’ websites. While there are several search engines you can rank on, including Bing and Yahoo, the majority of Internet search (80%) is done through Google.

As internet technology has developed rapidly, there have been several remarkable trends in search engine optimization, of which some are:

1. Voice search has become more popular and practical

Many of us have experienced using a voice search and may have been startled at its functionality as well as accuracy. We can readily notice that using the voice search function is much easier and quicker than typing. Still, voice search technology has room for growth and improvement. Nonetheless, its preciseness in recognizing our voice is improving rapidly, and there are fewer errors when we use voice search during simple sentences. Consequently, it would be obvious that the voice search would be preferred over traditional typing searches in its efficiency and swiftness.

Overall voice search presents a big opportunity for changing the way we communicate and process information. According to Google, 1 out of 5 searches already come from voice queries. This is more than likely to result in it becoming mainstream in searching technology.

2. Mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches

Nowadays, with smartphones, people do not realize the necessity of a computer as much as they did before. In fact, over 50% of searches are conducted via mobile devices!

Google has responded to this shift in user behavior with mobile-first indexing, which means Google will create and rank its search listings based on the mobile version of the content, even for listings that are shown on desktops.  

Also, mobile search will dominate as mobile technologies continue to advance. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) is an open-source protocol that allows webmasters to create pages capable of loading quickly. In fact, AMP website development has gone up over the years. The idea is that a handful of simple structural changes can make your site load up faster. The result of this is that visitors to web pages are more likely to stay on the web page and not bounce off. 

Multiple research has shown slower-loading webpages are associated with higher bounce rates, and up to 40% of visitors are likely to abandon your site if it loads longer than 3 seconds.

3. User experience and building for the user

Building content for the reader, as opposed to search engines, is what Google has recommended. In fact, digital content on any website or web page should be geared towards the reader. Search engines will rank content that is structured correctly as well as aimed at the reader. Populating repetitive keywords will most likely harm the website’s ranking as well as its reputation. Carefully, researching, analyzing and choosing web words should be the core part of an SEO task.

4. Search Engine Result Page

Pages have gradually transformed from a simple list of links into rich pages filled with useful features that allow users to quickly access information and answers related to their queries. One example of SERP features is the Knowledge Graph, which appears in a box to the side of Google’s search results and displays information gleaned from sources around the Internet. Other examples include the rich snippet, which appears under the link and provides a keyword-filled glimpse into the content of that link; reviews which provide feedback from other users of a business or service; Quick Answers, which provide summaries of the information people are looking for; videos, images, and even tweets. Most of us do not know or remember what search page results looked like tens years ago, but we can be sure that it must have been simpler and less than it is today. In fact, gone are the days of the search results listings, highlighted in blue hypertext, and a couple of clearly marked ads. Now, when you look at a SERP, it is cluttered with images, videos, links, social media mentions, in-depth article listings, various widgets, and ads.

5. Backlinks provide website authority

Earning backlinks from reputable sites has long been an accepted and effective search engine optimization technique to build brand authority among both potential customers and search engines. When a high-quality site links to your website, search engines see that link as a testament to your site’s relevance and authority in your field. As you earn more and more of these links, your brand authority grows, and search engines are more likely to rank you favorably in the SERPs. In fact, it is obvious that if a reputable company, like Microsoft, offers a link to your enterprise on its website, your brand will also very likely to gain more recognition and improved ranking.

6. Personal digital assistants

Personal digital assistants have become commonplace, we now readily accept them as part of our lives. Tools like Alexa, Siri and Cortana have made our lives simpler, and have sharply increased the number of verbal, conversational queries that users use in the context of searches.

Moreover, voice search is expected to grow even more with its integration in smart home hubs, helping companies access new data, while users enjoy a seamless experience through everyday devices. As digital assistants go beyond smartphone devices, there is a great opportunity both for SEO and content, taking advantage of a growing market that connects the brand with a user in a unique but still relevant and useful way.

7. AI and machine learning

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already changing the way that search results are ranked. In fact, machine learning can also facilitate the way searches take place, helping users find contextualized results. Google’s RankBrain or else Google’s deep learning algorithm is making it harder for black hat SEO to work.

8. Featured snippets and Quick Answers

Today nearly 30% of all search queries on Google have instant answers in the form of featured and rich snippets. Featured snippets are already stealing up to 10% of traffic from top positions on the first page. With the growing adoption of structured data and, in turn, the accuracy of instant answers, featured snippets will play a key role in driving traffic.

9. Increased Page Relevance

Search engines will evaluate the relevance of the content on your website and rank it far more intelligently than in the past. One of the ways that Google assess the relevance of a website’s content is with Latent Semantic Indexing. Through Latent Semantic Indexing Google can gather content from billions of websites and parse through the content, scanning for related terms and words. No matter how a webpage works perfectly and efficiently, nothing can outrun the page’s content, the very purpose of the search. Therefore, increasing the page relevance must be one of the primary focus of SEO.

Take Away on SEO trends

There are several noticeable trends in SEO, from a more sophisticated voice search to improving page relevance. Furthermore, as developers are more and more focused on mobile environments, SEO will more likely to be improved for mobile searches as well as the traditional desktops. More importantly, customers will enjoy even better and richer results in their searching activity as search engine trends march forward.