Over the years, Search Engine has evolved in many ways. And so does the Optimization part.
When we say search engine our minds straight away think of Google. And it’s obvious to think of Google when we say search engine coz Google alone holds 92.37% of Search Engine Market Share Worldwide as of November 2018 (Source).
And for India, it is 96.23%. So, my suggestion is to forget about the other search engines, just optimize your blog/website for Google, that will be more than enough.
That being said, I am not encouraging you to try some black hat techniques or anything. Google is constantly perfecting its algorithm every day; so, it would be foolish of you to think that you can keep fooling Google for a long time.
Sooner or later you’ll get caught and that will hurt your blog a lot.
So, optimize your blog/website the traditional way and focus on helping your audience by sharing great content rather than trying to manipulate them for a few extra bucks.
Like I said SEO has evolved drastically in the past few years; in the year 2011 adding your target keywords too many times in your content could put your blog in the first page of the SERP and now doing so would completely vanish your blog from the SERP itself.
You see the picture.
And in 2018 also we have seen many ups and downs in the SERP. This was one of those years when Google brought in many changes to the SERP.
The few significant changes that happened this year:
- Google announced that the mobile-first index has finally “rolled out.” You must have seen the notifications inside Google Search Console if your site has been enabled with this feature.
- Google rolled out the mobile page speed update, in which Google made page speed a ranking factor for mobile results.
- Google added a new dedicated tab for videos.
- Google tested a longer display snippet of up to 300+ characters for a few months and also rolled most snippets back to the former limit (about 150-160 characters).
Additional to all those, on July 24, Google rolled out another big change with its in-house web browser, Chrome. With Chrome 68 it began to mark all non-HTTPS sites as “not secure.”
Now 2020 is here. This year again we can expect to see some major updates that will mostly revolve around creating the best user experience.
Today in this post I have shared 4 SEO trends that you can look forward to following in 2020 to outrank most of your competitors.
4 SEO Trends to follow in 2020:
Trend 1: Great content will win the SEO race
Like they say, Content is King; they are not wrong.
“With great content, it is now possible to rank on the first page of Google without having a single link coming back to the site.”
I am not kidding.
You can look up, I haven’t build a single backlink to my site, yet I get some good relevant organic traffic to my site.
After Rankbrain, it really doesn’t matter how many backlinks you generate if you don’t have compelling content on your blog.
Why I said “generate”, you ask?
Well, if you need to build links that means it is not natural. So, you must be implementing some or all of the various tactics to create backlinks.
I am not saying you shouldn’t do that, all I am saying is focus more on providing value through your content and people will love to thank you with a backlink.
As you must have already figured this out, Google is completely focusing on providing the best user experience. And with the help of AI and machine learning, it is now trying to figure out the quality and usefulness of the content by using search intent as a signal.
So, if your content is not useful enough to fulfill the user’s intent, then you’re gonna lose your rankings big time.
No amount of backlinks can save you from that.
!! How do you prepare? – Create great useful content, target long-tail keywords, get your on-page SEO strong.
Trend 2: the Mobile search will rise even higher
As soon as the mobile-first index rolled out this year, my blog had literally vanished from the SERP, all because the theme I was using is not completely mobile-friendly according to Google.
And to recover from that blow I had to finally change my blog’s theme and redesign it.
Well, I don’t blame Google.
According to a report from Hitwise in 2016, nearly 60% of all online searches were carried out on a mobile device. So, in the last 2 years, the percentage must have grown up for sure.
Since mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches, Google is obviously now giving more preference to mobile-optimized sites and contents.
In fact, if your blog doesn’t perform well on smaller screens and slower connections it might negatively impact your overall SERP rankings, which includes your desktop rankings as well.
And on the contrary, having a site well optimized for mobile devices can rank you well on both mobile and desktop.
So, get your blog optimized for mobile if you haven’t already done it.
!! How do you prepare? – Improve mobile site speed, Host your blog on a high-speed server, Implement AMP or use a responsive theme, and optimize your content for mobile users.
Trend 3: Social Signals will still matter
In 2010, Matt Cutts, the former head of the webspam team at Google had confirmed in one of his videos that Social Signals are a direct ranking factor.
Here is the video:
But, in 2014, Matt Cutts himself again reported that Google doesn’t use social signals in its search algorithm to rank sites.
Here is the video:
In the year 2016, Gary Illyes, a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, was asked the same question, Does Google use social signals as a ranking factor? He said, no, we don’t.
Since no outsiders can tell what’s Google secretly cooking, and what ingredients are being used, we have to satisfy our cravings with those comments as their official word — that social signals aren’t a direct ranking factor.
So, I ask, is this a coincidence that sites with high ranking positions also have high numbers of social signals?
Just because Google said they are not including Social Signals in its search algorithm it doesn’t mean it has no impact on the rankings at all.
Google loves authority contents; and how do they determine that? – by counting the number of times people are referring to a particular page or content. And people love to share on Social Media.
I say, if Google’s main goal is really to bring you the best experience, then it will never ignore your likes and dislikes.
So, in my opinion, it does matter how often you are being seen on the different Social media platforms.
How many times you’re being mentioned? How many times your content is getting shared? How many positive reviews you have? These all count.
A strong online social presence alone can help your site rank on Google. In fact, there are many websites I heard, already seeing a leap in their rankings just by having some good and genuine social signals.
!! How do you prepare? – Produce awesome content that people would benefit from and also would like to share, be present on all the top social media platforms, and don’t buy social signals, let it grow naturally, Google hate cheaters.
Trend 4: Voice search will rule
According to ComScore “50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020”
With the continued rise of both personal assistants and voice search, it is high time you consider semantic search and building context while constructing your content rather than just focusing on one keyword.
When it comes to voice search, it is not the same as a text search.
When you type something in to google the traditional way, google suggest is there to tell you the most searched terms related to that something you are looking for, but in case of voice search, it’s natural, you ask Google what you feel like asking.
So, Google is now trying to interpret the user’s intent from his voice to present him with the best results. In fact, according to Merry Meeker’s recent internet trends report, Google’s machine learning has successfully achieved a 95% word accuracy rate for the English language.
With devices like Amazon Echo, Alexa, and Google Home being on the rise, you can predict for yourself how long it might take for the voice search to take over the traditional search.
It’s just a matter of time before the people are aware of this new trend.
So, you better get ready for the internet revolution.
!! How do you prepare? – Write content in a natural and conversational tone; sprinkle LSI keywords throughout the content, integrate structured data and schema markup to help the search engines understand your content more efficiently.
This was just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more to come.
Technology is growing faster than we could imagine. Mark my words, there will come a time when everything will be controlled by your voice.
And, Google being the dominant Search engine, it will keep on perfecting every aspect of it. And we are being the puppets, we will have to follow the guidelines and have to adopt the new trends even if we don’t want to.
2020 is here, so pull up your socks and get to work. If you want to win the race, you gotta be always ready to run.
What other SEO trends you think might rise in 2020?