SEO and the Current Ecosystem
Search engine optimization is the art and science of growing the quality and the quantity of your website’s traffic.
The battlefield arena, so to say, is the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), where every business is fighting against competitors and rivals to rank higher. Generally, SEO refers to the improvements in organically generated traffic of online visitors that are different from direct and paid traffic.
According to a report compiled by Statista.com, Google accounts for more than 75% of all the global search traffic, while Bing accounts for 9.97%, Baidu at 9.34%, and Yahoo only at 2.77%. Google’s revenue in the first quarter of 2020 amounted to 40.98 billion US dollars.
Online businesses are booming, and there is no doubt that the e-commerce model has become quite lucrative. Considering just how expansive the online market has become in recent times, there’s no doubt that things will keep growing in the coming years:
The Future of SEO
AI and informed decision making
Artificial intelligence and machine learning might be considered unrefined by many experts out there, but they are starting to show their value in SEO success. Machine learning integrated with business is offering rapid changes for companies. AI can help you re-optimize old content, get your topics analyzed, review your SEO data, and help you deliver smarter and more compelling content.
For a search engine, however, AI will offer improvements in semantics, ranking algorithms (e.g. Google’s RankBrain), and augmentations (e.g. RankBrain supporting Google’s Hummingbird). Additionally, there’s also BERT, Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, which is a neural network-based technique that helps in processing natural language. In short, it can help Google to understand the context of words in search queries.
Brand vs algorithm
For brands to stay at the top, they need to think like machines, understand users, and deliver personalized experiences. SEO and various other online platforms are changing fast. The need to stay updated is hence mandatory. The branding of the future depends on cross-collaboration, such as enhancing media distribution to drive organic traffic.
The digital mindset has to incorporate the user’s mindset and intentions to build long term awareness. This means we need to develop brand algorithms that can deliver digital marketing solutions for a brand using cloud-based technology. This will eventually help you to obtain oversight and scale your online activities concerning your brand.
Dofollow vs nofollow
For those still sliding along the learning curve, dofollow is a hyperlink that allows search engines to pass along its page rank influence to an outbound link. While nofollow hyperlinks, on the other hand, remove the ability to pass on its page rank status to other sites. Thus many of us consider the former to be more powerful.
However, experts and professionals predict otherwise. In the future, the line separating the two will become increasingly blurred. In fact, many top officials consider that in the future, as far as SEO is concerned, both Dofollow and Nofollow links will converge and become inseparable.
Lower search CTR
Click-through rate is often a concern for many businesses and ventures that seek to bring in traffic by all means to their landing pages and websites. As Google and other search engines are continuously adapting and changing, many users are expected to click on an advertisement rather than going through your site. It’s no surprise then that paid search is being regarded as the most effective means for businesses nowadays to gain new customers.
In the end, though, what matters is the quality score of your advertisements. An average score is 5/10, which is passable. The CPC (cost-per-click) and the CPA (cost-per-action) are correlated and both increase together. However, businesses can generate more profit by lowering CPCs and raising CTRs along with Quality Scores.
To effectively combat Lower CTRs from organic search as predicted in the upcoming years, companies need to develop robust strategies. This would require more focus on high-quality content that generates top value for users and instantly becomes the best thing on the internet. Secondly, for businesses, they must focus on conversions rather than CTRs. Lastly, companies must educate their clients and making them conform to the changes and how they will pay dividends.
Smarter information without queries
There is no doubt that results in queries are often instigated using different algorithms in conjunction –and a lot goes on behind them. Nevertheless, we still find issues like pogo-sticking a concern for users and businesses.
Google, for instance, is empowering itself with NLP (natural language processing) and AI both to offer users results without even entering a query in the first place. This will ensure that content is marked up with structured data based on previous search queries by a user.
The term pogo-sticking refers to the act where a user enters your website by entering a query on a search engine and clicking on to the link on the SERP — but then exits your page and goes back to the SERP. The user then finds another link and heads to a different website. This happens because eventually, the user realizes that the first link they clicked on wasn’t appropriate to their needs and didn’t manage their query well.
In the future, along with considerable advancements in algorithms and SEO as a whole, a lot of pogo-sticking will be resolved. SERPs would generate results that are more tuned into the user’s intent and the context of their queries rather than merely focusing on their face value.
Search volume plateaus
You have probably heard about the dreaded SEO plateau, where even after competent content marketing strategies, the list of actionable items and low hanging fruit dwindles. While companies invest more in SEO and secure growth, they gradually start losing growth, and organic traffic stops increasing. This is why businesses need to think beyond these search volume plateaus when trying to plan for success.
For that, you need new keywords research, create new content, invest in verticals and SERP features and additional methods of domination, move up the buyer funnel, and target multi-language audiences.
Speedy and on-the-go
If there is one thing we are looking forward to in the coming years is speedy SEO. This is not just the site speed that we are talking about. This on-the-go mentality will rule the future of consumer markets –which means if the content is not coherent with the user, it will be overlooked. Presenting viable information will be much faster and has to be effective. This will not only entail what users want but how they are going to access the information they searched for.
Before we conclude this post, we need to mention that both voice search and visual data are here to stay. The majority of the updates search engines are making nowadays are all closely linked with enhancing customer experiences. There’s no doubt that the future of SEO lies in generating the maximum amount of value for the users. We need to analyze our businesses and approaches so that we can cater to their needs and primarily focus on their requirements.
Hopefully, this post was able to offer some insights regarding future trends for SEO. For more questions regarding the topic, please feel free to leave a comment in the section below.
**About the Author: Amanda Jerelyn currently works as an SEO Manager at Dissertation Assistance where higher education students can acquire professional assistance from experts specializing in their field of study. During her free time, she likes to engross herself in sci-fi novels and escape to a land fueled by her imagination.