Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ever-changing and ever-growing field of expertise. To add to the complexity of this vast topic, there are so many unknowns – even by the people who are closely linked to implementing some of these major changes (we’re looking at you, Google).
While the Internet is responsible for producing these constant changes, it has also become a great source of information to stay in the know. Let’s take a look at the latest predictions for 2016’s pillars and trends as they relate to SEO.
Pillars and Predictions – What Will Shape the Face of SEO?
Mobile searches will surpass desktop – Mobile searches will finally reach the point at which the majority of spend, organic traffic and paid clicks come from mobile devices rather than desktop and laptop searches.
Voice searches will change how we advertise – Voice searches are on the rise from mobile devices and even in vehicles. When you think about how people phrase a search, it changes based upon whether they’re typing it into a search engine or simply speaking it. SEO and keyword advertising will need to be mindful about these differences and adapt their ads accordingly.
Everything must be mobile and search friendly – This is not necessarily new for 2016, but will certainly maintain its importance into the New Year and beyond. Everything you do needs to be mobile and search friendly. This means your website, apps, content and advertising need to be optimized for the user who is likely finding you via search on their mobile device.
Quality is still king – One pillar of SEO that will not change in 2016 is the emphasis on quality content that is foremost written for the reader and not a search engine. Google’s continual updates (we’ll touch upon this next) have one overarching theme in mind – reward good content and punish the bad (i.e. spam). Don’t take shortcuts! Keep your content top quality.
Changes and Updates – Why Worry Over a Real Time Penguin?
On January 8, 2016, an unnamed core search ranking update took place impacting many websites’ rankings. The internet was abuzz with people speculating over this “massive update” and how it may be related to Penguin. Google has since confirmed that this was indeed a “core algo update,“ but not a Penguin update. However, the details and full implications of this latest change remain mostly unknown.
While Google strongly maintains that this is not the highly anticipated Penguin update, it’s important to note the concern of so many SEO gurus and businesses who initially thought it was. What could a Penguin update do and why should businesses care? Here’s what we know:
A real time Google Penguin (as opposed to the current Google Penguin that only rolls out every 8-12 months) could result in more link spamming and ultimately hurt the power of links in search engines, which have always been a top metric when determining search ranking.
When it first came out, Google Penguin aimed to clean up spam links and punish websites (via search rankings) who used them. Because Penguin only comes around about once a year, if you are caught, you are punished for quite a while before your site starts to properly rank again.
A real time Google Penguin, which would update constantly instead of every once in a while, decreases the penalty for trying to “game the system” with bad links. As you can imagine, websites with good links that follow the rules would prefer to not have the real time Penguin update and leave things just as they are – hence the apprehension over this looming update.
Looking at the pillars and changes of SEO in 2016, which one do you think will have the greatest impact? Do you anticipate any other significant changes and when? Share your thoughts by commenting below!