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SEO has somewhat of a polarizing reputation for webmasters. On the one hand it can help build a business that brings in thousands or even millions of dollars’ worth of revenue. On the other, if you’re not careful, one simple update can effectively destroy months or years of work. Google telegraphs to some degree the long term changes they’re going to make. Though in reality they never specifically outlines exactly what variations are going to be made to their algorithm. In that sense it is somewhat of an educated guessing game – though if you want organic traffic, you’ll have the play. Here are five of our predictions for the future of SEO in 2016 and beyond.
Page Rank and Domain Age could become a less defining factors. Google is all about the democratization of information. Allowing sites with huge Page Ranks (PR) to consistently rank over smaller niche sites means that in many cases the reader gets access to the most well-known source of information, and not necessarily the best. Similarly, in regards to Domain Age (DA), older sites shouldn’t be given more power simply because they have been around for a long time. There are many younger sites who may have better quality information but just weren’t around a few years ago. At the end of the day Googles intention with SEO is to ensure the highest quality and most targeted information reaches its’ readers and it doesn’t want to promote a misbalance of information.
Mobile will be a necessity. We have already seen this change take place in recent Google updates, but in the future an inability to be responsive across devices will be punished by the Google algorithms. Make sure your applications are mobile friendly today in order to boost your SEO and safeguard against future changes.
User experience will be key. There are many ways in which we could define user experience, but we’ll just cover a couple of things to keep in mind. You must guarantee unique, well-written content that is honest and shareable. It might sound like a mouthful, but readers want to feel like they are connecting with a real person. Also, your content should encompass multiple forms of media from video to audio and text.
Onsite analytics will be increasingly important. Factors such as time on site and bounce rate provide an accurate look at how good your user experience is. These will likely be two of various factors that will determine your strength in the SERPs.
Social signals will be important (but only when authentic). There are many in the digital marketing community who believe that social signals are the defining factor of the future of SEO. However, what is important to note is that there are many ways in which these can be faked, manipulated or even bought. Google will likely crack down on this and ensure that fake pages, such as those with millions of likes but little to no engagement, are punished.
There you have it, five predictions for the future of SEO. Make sure you or your team are considering these in your SEO strategy and always be forward thinking enough to stay on top of industry trends.
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