SEO Predictions for 2017 will not be something that is going to change the world of SEO – as it will continue to evolve just as it has in the previous years.
Most experts tend to take the safe route when making SEO predictions, particularly at the beginning of each year… hence, it is advised that predictions should be taken with a pinch of salt… as no matter how experienced and authoritative the writer is… we will know what happened only at the end of that year.
Now that being said, the main purpose of this article post is to have a constructive view of what could happen over the next 12 months… taking in to account, the SEO trends of 2016 and the previous years. Of course, there would be some key changes, but apart from that, little remains to be said. Obviously, new technologies and new trends will emerge, and gain popularity, and a few of the existing popular practices will disappear.
So, let’s take a look at what is ahead in 2017.
SEO Predictions for 2017 – Mobile, Mobile, Mobile…. The shift from desktop to mobile.
Focus on Mobiles.
Sometime during early November, Google indicated that their index would begin to slowly shift to a Mobile-first focus. Obviously, this further justified the reality that the era of the mobile search has begun… It now was about 60% of the total search volume. That’s about close to a 2:1 ratio between mobile and desktop. It does not stop there... as it is projected to increase further as we move into 2017.
Hence, it is fairly clear to say that Google is fast moving to a mobile world. In fact, mobile-first indexing seems like the inevitable consequence of a year (or if not more) of almost exclusively dedicated to forcing a change of mindset from desktop to mobile. With this announcement, it is clear that we now we now have to prioritize mobile over desktops.
Obviously, in such a scenario, i.e., in a mobile-only world, the relevance of local search is even higher.
Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMPs.
SEOs have long considered that mobile search as one of the many key specializations of SEO... That mentality did not change much back during end of 2015, when Google announced AMP.
It is no secret that we live in the age of mobile and smartphones… You see people just about anywhere fiddling with their mobile devices… As a result, this has had a significant outcome on overall search trends.
If you require some info on any query, it is quite natural that you would take out your smart phone and run a search about it… Besides, you would also want a site that loads fast and comes up with the required info that you need. If it doesn’t load quickly, chances are that you would exit and go elsewhere.
AMP uses data, which is 8 TIMES less than the usual pages, and which is also 4 TIMES faster than regular pages… thereby loading pages faster. In fact, Google is also giving priority to AMPs… by providing increased prominence and even the insertion of a lightning symbol, indicating the presence of AMP.
Sometime back in February, 2016, Google started to send people to AMP pages in their TOP STORIES section of the Google Search Results page on mobile phones… Other key industry players have been collaborating for over a year to make this become a reality.
Through 2016, Google has pushed several AMP-related actions for adoption… and it is fast becoming accepted… One of the much talked about factors was the AMP validator that they built into the Google Search Console or Webmaster Tools for webmasters… this helps them QA their own AMP-optimized content and pages… Alternately, you can also self-validate with this AMP validation post on the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project website itself.
The bottom line is that people want prompt answers to their queries on mobile devices… this has led to Google pushing this hard during 2016… so it is high time you catch up, as this will greatly decide your SEO strategy for 2017...In short, it is obvious that the AMP function will be popular in 2017.
Importance of CDN or Content Delivery Networks.
Over six years ago, Google first announced that page loading speed would be a prime factor for website rankings.
These Content delivery networks has been gradually growing over the last couple of years. News and media sites along with e-commerce merchants use it to improve overall conversions and user engagement as it helps content load faster.
A lot similar to AMP, the objective of a CDN is to ensure that web pages load faster, and to also improve SEO ... it is obvious that 2017 will see more sites utilizing the benefits of these content delivery networks.
SERPs will begin to show more of Long Form Content, instead of Category and Product Pages.
Another interesting fact is that the mobile search keywords are longer, or long tail keywords, rather than their smaller cousins at desktop.
It is obvious that users are getting sick of the short form content that most retailers currently offer… and which show the same headlines and post titles with little value… invariably their keyword searches end up in category or product pages... The best way you can prevent this is by providing lower quantities of richer, more detailed, and long-form content…, which will make you stand out from the competition...
Google favors informational content over ecommerce sites... which means that longer precise keywords with the right mix of content marketing will play an important part for SEOs in 2017.
Personalized Search and Branding.
Personalized search is one of the current main characteristics of Google... enhanced by entity search and context. In other words, Google will present results or content linked from sites that already exist in our search history.
This would mean that your short term content marketing strategy would be to target long-tail queries... and your short-term strategy would be to make your brand synonymous with our products and services. This can be got by promoting the precise content in the right format, promoted to the right people at the right time… Make a note SEOs and remember this while promoting long tail keywords.
Artificial Intelligence or AI Could See Wider Adoption.
Artificial Intelligence or AI has been an important component in Google’s suite of technologies for sometime now… this is only going to increase in 2017 with other tech companies following suit.
Backlinks Could Lose Out To Content.
It has been reported that backlinks could continue to lose out as a ranking signal in 2017… as Google will give more emphasis to relevant content. Schema Will Grow in Popularity.
Schem.org is very crucial for online companies as quick answers and rich snippets are now showing 22% of the time in Google search results.
These rich snippets are extremely beneficial for people looking for the quick answer to something… they usually feature at the top of the results page… and generally contain most of the information that we are searching for… with little or no requirement to view the link.
So, make it a point to include schema.org markup to your website… more importantly, make it a New Year’s resolution for 2017 as well.
Voice Searches or Assistants.
More people would be using voice searches in the New Year… About, 20% of searches are now done using voice recognition software.
It is predicted that by 2020, 50% of all online searches will be done through voice software…. This will also lead to more accuracy in search. (Source: Comscore - a global media and analytics company)
Although the difference for SEO is small, it is something to make note of. There is a lot of difference to typing a search query than how we say it… Hence, SEOs must think in terms of conversational tones while implementing their voice searches for 2017.
Make Frequent Audits.
And, as a final say, it is advised that you do a SEO Audit very regularly… Although search engines are now well developed, it is no excuse to periodically evaluating your SEO strategies, and checking your data…Stagnancy will only lead to a decay of any SEO campaign. With a regular audit strategy, you can constantly identify any glitches and correct them before they become too problematic.
A closing word… SEO is all about patience… I cannot guarantee that these SEO Predictions For 2017 alone will be enough to increase your site’s rankings in search engines, but for sure, they will definitely make you a better online marketer in 2017.