If you want to describe the transformation of SEO from the last year till present, “Evolution” would be the right word for it. With so many changes last year, this year there will be some popular trends that you should look for.
Major Changes in 2015 – Sneak Peek in SEO’s Recent Past
- Mobilegeddon:2015 proved to be the biggest year for SEO industry. Businesses and digital marketers were more keen about mobile marketing, thanks to Mobilegeddon algorithm from Google.
- 3-Pack:The shift to 3-pack results made a huge impact on search engine rankings of many businesses. This was the first legitimate move from search engine giant toward aligning desktop and mobile user interfaces.
- Content Quality:On top of 3-pack updates, the Google sent new updates concerning content quality. Following that, there were some really quick updates, and that was enough to alert online businesses and websites that the high quality of content was not optional anymore. This, at that point of time, looked quite futuristic, but now, we have seen it ourselves how smart Google has become, serving with the almost the same results we wanted to see at the first place.
What Trends You Should Look For In 2016
These changes also affected the approach of digital marketers. In this year, they must brace themselves for some major changes. This post from one of the best search engine optimization service Canada is all about these popular trends.
- Beware of Dark Traffic
In two of the major SEO conferences in the USA, a great deal of discussion has been observed on the point of “Dark Traffic”. The focus was on getting a better analysis of it, because Google Analytics seems to fail in identifying the source of dark traffic. It could not report where it comes from.
If you don’t know the source of traffic coming to your website, your marketing efforts will surely muddle up. If the number keeps on growing with time, it will become much harder for you to figure out where all the visitors are coming from.
This year, digital marketer will attempt to get as much and precise information about this phenomenon as possible.
- Digital marketers should try to get direct traffic report from Google Analytics
- Filter out pages (homepage, landing page and other important pages) and sections that visitors often visit naturally, or bookmark.
- Rich Answers Can Help You Gain Prominence
According to the study conducted by Stone Temple Consulting this year, there is a 38% increase in how Google’s search results are showing Rich Answers.
What Rich Answers Are: They are direct answers to user’s search queries that are derived from public domain data or from the information that are already licensed to Google, and usually appear at the top of search results.
It means, if your content and SEO strategy is constructed around using public domain data, as well as other non-proprietary, you’re in danger of losing search traffic from Google. The reason is, Google gives priority to top domain sites, such as Wikipedia or other similar sites.
The study moves on to highlight that Google utilizes external data as much as 75% of Rich Answers that are returned. But it also provides a link to source of the data.
So, if your content is unique and has a high quality, you can use this content to get your site included in Rich Answers list of Google. Here’s what you can do:
- Begin by identifying the most common search terms related to your niche using a long-tai keyword search.
- Provide answers to these queries directly, with unique content.
- Make the content easily accessible on your website, as well as other channels.
When you do that, you’ll see 2 times better clickthrough’s than the top ranking pages that have no rich answers. Your content and pages might be featured as a Rich Answer.
- Double Algorithm Approach to SEO
In order to provide users with their specific needs, Google is keen to delivering search results based on user behavior. In fact, user behavior is a strong ranking factor that is based on previous ranking experiment performed.
According to Rand Fishkin of Moz.com. user-centric approach can be used to search results and a traditional Google-oriented SEO approach can be combined with it to deliver double-algorithm approach for SEO. Four factors should be focused that have greater influence in search rankings.
- Click Through rates
- Relevant Content
- Social Signals
There are many other trends to watch out for, but these three trends have been the most talked about ones, and can impact your search marketing campaign a great deal.