The future of SEO: are you ready?
The SEO world is in a bit of a pickle with the ever-evolving online search habits in the Web 3 era. Back in the day, all you needed was a few keywords and some backlinks to be king of the hill, but now things have gotten more complicated than a math problem. You’ve got to have the skills to pay the bills, as they say, including a deep understanding of algorithms, user behavior, and content creation.
Trying to predict the future is like trying to predict the weather — you just never know what will happen. But hey, let’s peer into a virtual crystal ball and see what it says about the future of SEO. The online business world is getting more crowded by the minute, so it’s time to step up your game and make your company’s website shines like a diamond in a sea of mediocrity.
Looking back to look forward
The future of SEO is exciting but challenging. With new technologies and trends emerging daily, staying ahead of the curve is essential. Some have suggested that the rise of zero-click searches on Google signals the beginning of the end for SEO, but the good news is that SEO is not going away anytime soon. In fact, the need to optimize for search is becoming more critical than ever as consumers turn to a rapidly expanding number of search destinations other than Google to find information and make purchasing decisions. These include:
These are a few of the world’s most-visited websites, serving as a gateway between your content and global consumers. While Google-owned sites and apps still have the most significant market share, these other websites bite into a bigger and bigger piece of the pie each year.
Amazon, for example, is no longer just an online store. Amazon and its subsidiary brands, Kindle, Audible, Prime Video, and Alexa, are vast, searchable content distribution networks. And anywhere people search online is an opportunity to optimize.
Optimizing for many websites might seem like a daunting task, but there’s a lot of overlap between them. Amazon Alexa, for example, is constantly listening and learning. So, if you want your website to provide more answers for Alexa voice search, ensure your content is conversational and easy to understand. Alexa loves simple, direct language, so ditch the jargon and get straight to the point. More on voice search technologies in a bit.
Next up, let’s tackle Facebook. With over 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a goldmine for website traffic. To optimize your website for Facebook search results, make sure your content is shareable and engaging. Use eye-catching visuals and witty captions to grab the attention of potential visitors. And don’t forget to link back to your website in every post.
Last but not least, let’s talk about good old Yahoo. While not as popular as Google, Yahoo still has a significant user base that you want to take advantage of. To optimize your website for Yahoo search results, check that your meta text is keyword-rich and relevant, as most SEO analysts agree these are still the top indicators in Yahoo results.
With so many ways for people to search, optimizing your business website is more important than ever. So let’s dive into a few of the most prominent technologies influencing the future of SEO.
The impact of AI tools
AI tools are transforming the way we approach SEO. From keyword research to content creation, AI is making optimizing websites for search engines easier. One of the most significant advantages of AI in SEO is its ability to analyze vast amounts of data quickly. AI tools can help identify patterns and insights humans might miss, enabling us to make more informed decisions.
The SEO testing platform Market Brew helps you build your own calibrated search engine models to discover statistical gaps between your landing pages and the competition.
AI tools are also helping us to create better content. With natural language processing, tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT can analyze the context and intent of search queries, enabling us to create content that answers users’ questions more effectively.
Additionally, AI tools can help with content optimization, ensuring that our content is structured in a way that is easy for search engines to understand. Tools like Surfer SEO use AI to help write articles that read well and rank high.
Finally, let’s be honest. Creating content that is both SEO and conversation optimized is no easy feat. It takes a lot of research, skills, and time to get it right. That’s where our trusty AI tools come in. They can analyze data, identify trends, and suggest improvements that can help us create better content. From generating headlines to suggesting relevant keywords, AI tools can help in many ways.
But don’t forget: AI tools are not here to replace us. They’re here to help us become better at what we do while engaging with technology in new ways.
The role of voice search in SEO
Voice search is one of the most significant trends in SEO today. According to Google, 55% of teenagers and 41% of adults use voice search daily. Voice search is changing the way we approach SEO, as users tend to use more conversational language when conducting voice searches. Think about it: have you ever had an argument with Siri or Alexa? Our brains sometimes process smart speaker “conversations” just as we would a real, human conversation, and that’s very different than Googling “pizza near me.” Some studies have shown that people explore less when they get voice-based recommendations. This means we need to optimize our content for more natural language queries.
To optimize for voice search, we must focus on long-tail keywords and questions. We also need to ensure that our content is structured in a way that answers users’ questions directly. Additionally, we must ensure that our pages are mobile-friendly, as most voice searches are conducted on mobile devices. Answer The Public collects data directly from autocomplete suggestions and other features on Google, giving you immediate free access to hundreds of questions real people ask about any topic.
While these factors are crucial to consider today, we’ve already learned that it will be necessary to pivot in the future as search technology continues to evolve.
Evolving search engine ranking factors
Search engine ranking factors continually evolve, and keeping up with the latest trends is essential. Today’s most significant ranking factors include quality content, backlinks, user experience, page speed, and mobile-friendliness.
Recently, a former employee allegedly stole nearly 45GB of source code files from Yandex, Russia’s largest search engine. The leaked source code files reveal key ranking factors for the search engine, including:
- A preference for pages that are not too old
- Sites that have a lot of organic traffic
- Content with optimized code
- Sites hosted on reliable servers
Although there is no clear indication of the potential security or structural implications of the leak, it does provide a rare look into how search rankings are put together at a site that services one of the world’s largest countries.
The Yandex code leak is only a glimpse into the many ways other engines evaluate these factors, but it provides essential intel for business owners.
Certain rank factors remain unchanged over the years. For example, quality content remains critical for SEO, as search engines prioritize content that provides value to users. Providing valuable information is the key to success. Backlinks are also essential, as they signal to search engines that other websites consider our content authoritative.
We can also see that user experience is becoming increasingly important today as search engines prioritize websites that provide a positive user experience. Page speed and mobile friendliness are also crucial, as potential customers expect websites to load quickly and be easily used on mobile devices.
As far as the future of SEO ranking factors, longtime search expert Neil Patel predicts quality and relevancy will remain at the top of the list. Website architecture will become more and more crucial, as thousands of competing sites build content libraries with thousands of pages apiece.
Preparing for the future of SEO
With new technologies and trends emerging every day, it is essential to stay ahead of the curve. By focusing on creating high-quality content, optimizing for user experience, and utilizing AI technology to take our websites to the next level, we can position ourselves for success in the ever-changing SEO landscape. By staying up-to-date with the latest trends and developments and using tools to track our progress, we can ensure that our websites remain competitive in the years to come.