In online marketing, few strategies are as competitive or rapidly evolving as search engine optimization (SEO). With algorithms, technologies and optimization techniques in perpetual motion to gain a place at the top of search engine results (SERP), today’s SEO experts are on the lookout for the next trends that will shape the digital future of companies.
2017 was one of those years when Google did not announce major changes and yet many small changes in the SEO domain where observed. And in 2018 one thing is certain; things will continue to evolve. By visiting the websites and blogs of different experts in the field, we can already see these new trends that are being established. The changes are already affecting the American market and are beginning to be introduced to Europe and Switzerland.
Here are a few examples.
Individual search habits will change the way positions are calculated.
In an effort to provide a better user experience, over the last ten years Google has been pushing personalized search results for every Internet user. These measures explain the appearance of individual search results, browser cookies or the patents Google filed related to the user experience – all with the objective to offer personalized SERPs to the individual user. Already well established since 2017, this trend towards customization will have an even greater impact on SEO in 2018. Unfortunately this will make it even more difficult to predict the ranking of your company and the reasons for its current ranking.
The increase in voice research is associated with the rise of intelligent speakers
In a time when every watch and washing machine is suddenly becoming “smart”, it’s a short step to convert our wireless Bluetooth speakers into smart voice assistants. Several large companies already have launched their models such as Google Home or Amazon Echo and it won’t be long until others will fill follow. All these new devices will further increase the rise of vocal searches and this trend will certainly change the types of queries that will be sent to the search engines. Companies will have to keep their knowledge up-to-date and adapt their SERP approach in order not to get left behind.
SEO will expand beyond Google and Bing
Over the longest time, companies have been fighting to be well positioned on the main search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. Certainly Google still dominates the sphere of search engines, remaining by far the most popular search platform of the moment. But recently, third parties such as Amazon or Yelp, digital assistants such as Siri and social networks have started cutting their share of the pie by offering rather powerful search tools. In 2018, the key to SEO will be to provide content that is interesting and directly relevant for your community to be visible beyond Google’s influence.
Automatic learning (Machine Learning) will stop the usual updates of the search algorithm.
With Rank Brain, Google immerses itself even more in automatic learning. It’s an intelligent system based on click rates and time spent on a page that allows Google to learn more about users’ behavior and therefore offer even more relevant search results. Gaining more importance ever year, Machine Learning will see its influence grow even stronger by the end of 2018. It’s only a matter of time until Google’s algorithm updates will be done entirely through automatic machine learning.