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Any savvy marketer will tell you just how important Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is for both ecommerce and bricks-and-mortar businesses. Having a prudent SEO strategy in place will determine whether your business stands out from the millions of other business on the cyberspace market or becomes obsolete.
Taking into consideration the importance of SEO, you have no choice but to keep tabs of the changing trends in the SEO world. Here are some of the changes we believe will define SEO in 2017.
Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP)
It is no secret that more and more people are using their mobiles to do most of their browsing. In fact, approximately 44% of all internet traffic in 2016 was generated by mobile phone users, and many observers argue that the percentage could have been even bigger if it wasn’t for the still large number of websites that are reticent to make the full switch to mobile, not to mention that mobile internet access is still erratic in many areas.
2017, however, should be the year where accelerated mobile pages will become the norm. We already see saw a huge shift towards mobile in 2016, and AMPs seem to be another step in this direction. AMPs allow for the development of superlight websites that can load faster on mobile phones, even with unstable internet connections.
Google, being the biggest search engine, will have a separate platform and algorithm for mobile phone users, and we can expect AMPs to receive preferential treatment. This means that webmaster’s will have to fully embrace AMPs and integrate them as part of their websites if they don’t want their rankings to suffer in 2017.
Although voice search capabilities have been available for a while, they are just starting to pick up steam and are expected to completely change how internet users will search the net in 2017.
Recent statistics released by Google revealed that an increasingly higher number of people are embracing voice search. As a matter of fact, 41% of adult internet users and 55% of teenagers surveyed said that they used voice search more than once a day. Users are taking advantage of the convenience and lower error rate of new voice search technologies.
AI and Machine Learning
Initially, Google placed a lot of emphasis on keywords in their search algorithms. This caused issues as many webmasters used spammy techniques to push their rankings, which undermined the validity of search results.
However, this is no longer the case. Google is now using artificial intelligence and better web analytics to examine the behaviour of users online to provide more relevant results. And in order to ensure quality of content returned by a search query, Google are changing their algorithms every day to keep the results fresh, which could be problematic for those who relied too much on keyword manipulation techniques. SEO companies such as Go Mungo SEO understand this and provide content that is created with users in mind first, not search engines, and this seems to be a definite trend going forward.
Between accelerated mobile pages, an higher emphasis on voice search and the use of machine learning and AI to determine rankings, we can expect 2017 to be full of surprises. We should expect Google to push towards more personalised search results and favour websites who not only provide relevant content, but provide a good user experience as well.
Author: Laura Ginn