There is one notion about SEO that very soon becomes clear to all the SEO novices, and that is well-known by all those who have been into it for years, trends continuously keep changing. SEO is like a living organism; it keeps updating and evolving, all to provide the best possible search results for the users.
2020 is, by all means, a specific year in all areas of life. COVID-19 pandemic changed the way the world operates, shifting the focus on an online business even more rapidly than expected, at the same time bringing changes to online shopping behaviour. All these tectonic shifts made a significant impact on SEO service all around the world. Bearing all this in mind, these are the trends that everyone into SEO needs to familiarise with by the end of 2020 since their evolvement will surely continue in the upcoming years.
UX above all
Just like any other service provider, Google always deemed user experience as an essential factor. Still, the announcement made by Google at the end of May this year made an unexpected disturbance in the SEO world. It became clear that Google’s experts plan on giving it more importance and feature UX as a constituent element of the new ranking algorithm. Google Page Experience will go live sometime during 2021, which leaves enough time to prepare for the changes. However, user experience is a complex area. It requires serious dedication, particularly bearing in mind its increased significance in the future. In other words,familiarizing with Google Page Experience needs to start as soon as possible to make the overall adjustment of SEO services successful.
Rich snippets and Zero-click results
These two trends are practically interchangeable and complement each other. A well-done rich snippet contains all the data a user is potentially looking for in a particular search entry. For example, if apple pie recipe is the search entry, a rich snippet that features all the ingredients needed to make it, the time it takes to complete it, pie’s nutritional value and a picture of the baked product will cater the needs of the majority of Google’s users. They will have to make zero clicks to find out everything they needed in the first place.
The fact that the users get all the information needed without having to leave Google is very convenient and makes the search process more rewarding and straightforward to them. Naturally, this kind of information display benefits Google, as well. It is a continuation of Google’s trend of shifting from organic to the paid advertisement that has been going on for quite some time now. This SEO trend will eventually leave all those sites that make a living from pay per click advertisement empty-handed or make them promptly reorganize their business conduct from scratch.
We are all witnessing the fact that video is booming when it comes to online marketing campaigns. This certainly has to do with the advancement of smartphones that are now almost universally capable of streaming even the most demanding HD videos without any display issues.
Coupled with the upcoming generation of users who prefer video as a means of receiving information, this advertisement trend will undoubtedly continue to develop favoring video as a go-to media option. Naturally, all those who wish to improve their search ranking will need to feature more videos to stay competitive and noticeable.
Another trend that is highly influenced by the users’ behavior is the need for an increased focus on mobile site presentation. According to the official statistics, mobile has taken over the throne from desktop when it comes to traffic and sales in the vast majority of product and service industries. And, with the advancement of smartphones and networks worldwide, this will progress. What does this mean to SEO trends?
First of all, those who wish to keep or improve their SEO rating will have to take immediate action in making sure their websites are mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized. On the other hand, those who are just starting their online business presence should consider building a presentation for mobile first and then adapt them to desktop users. They should even think of making completely separate websites for mobile and desktop users, incorporating the best practices to both versions independently.
Voice search and AI
Artificial intelligence has been a topic of interest among SEO experts for years now. One of the reasons for this was Google’s use of AI and machine learning in improving its search algorithm, all to prevent ranking manipulation, as well as providing the searchers with the most accurate results.
With BERT update from 2019 and a large investment Google has been making in the natural language processing technology for quite some time now, the trend of featuring voice search will obviously remain in focus and is bound to flourish.
The combination of these two approaches means that the SEO trend of insisting on the quality of the content featured on a particular site and determining its ranking more and more based on the assessment of this quality by a search engine algorithm will profoundly change the SEO in the near future. “Tricking” Google has become very hard even today, and will turn out to be impossible pretty soon.
Remember the rich snippet? Regardless of how thorough and insightful it is in providing all the necessary information to the users, it won’t get featured in SERP unless the data on the website is structured properly. Therefore, to be ableto follow the rich snippet trend, structured data optimization needs to precede it. Why?
The search algorithm is not yet capable of understanding the nuances in the quality of the content a website provides and requires data to be organized in a manner that is clearly understood by a machine. A well-structured data gives useful hints to search engines in better understanding what is featured on a particular webpage and how individual elements on the page relate to each other.
Once again, the only way to improve an SEO rating, or preserving the current one at least, is to stay on top of the actual trends dictated above all by Google. Carefully studying the active ones by the end of the year and keeping an eye out for the upcoming one is strongly advised to all those who wish to stay competitive.