Search engine optimisation is no longer regarded as a far-off concept that is only mastered by the information technology team, it is now being touted as a mainstream part of Internet design, and dedicated experts are taking the future of SEO to new levels.
Increasing business investment in SEO is seeing an upward trend, and as Google pushes for better user experience, SEO is coming into a stronger level of awareness in the general business community. As well as this, SEO is constantly evolving. It is not only necessary to keep up with the latest changes, but now you must (try to) look into the future to see what further potential changes will be made.
We understand that you don’t exactly have a crystal ball to look into, and to be honest, neither do we. But what we do have is years of experience and knowledge. This is why we have written a list for our readers to show what the future of SEO holds. With this knowledge on your side you can better plan and organise for the months and years to come!
User Experience Design Will Increase in SEO Planning
Google puts a massive amount of research into creating a better end user experience. The field many years ago was about human and computer interaction, and now is regarded as user experience.
It encompasses a vast array of disciplines, chiefly understanding the nature of how people of different demographics interact with technologies. As artificial intelligence, ubiquitous Internet, virtual reality and mobile access increase in its pervasiveness in our culture, so does the importance of user experience design.
User experience design, as far as SEO is concerned, gears everything towards content creation that solves and provides solutions for end users. When a business or a commercial enterprise uses metrics and other tools to analyse the way site visitors interact with their pages, it gives a better indication of what to work on, and how to maximise the site’s overall impact.
If end users are spending a lot of time on the site, and web masters are aware of this, then better decisions can be made about how to expand and refine a website. As well as this, look for pages that users are spending the most amount of time on, you are clearly doing something right on this page and it will probably become the most important page on your website.
User experience design encompasses a wide array of concepts. User experience focuses primarily on the processes encapsulated within the web, and how users perceive those processes. With respect to SEO and content engagement, Google is driving a lot of research into debunking websites that have poor user experience levels.
User experience focuses on creating and designing for a certain demographic of people who engage with a particular website. As well as this, engineering the entire site to promote a pleasant and engaging encounter helps to boost positive user experience.
Usability and user experience are different fields, and user experience is focused more on providing the person with engaging information on the site. This needs to be completed through the best possible process of events and a rewarding psychological experience.
A user interface or graphical design of the website is imperative, and comes under the importance of designing processes and systems within a website that enhance positive occurrences. Here it is recommended that you conduct testing to see what type of interface works well with your target audience.
More generally, user experience design is about creating ease of usability, intuitiveness and enhanced levels of preference for the person when interacting with a website. SEO that is geared towards improved user experience is measured against a certain set of quality criteria put out by Google.
Google Has Divided Its Search Indexes
Mobile indexing is now regarded as the primary search index, with desktop sites being relegated to the secondary index. If sites are not responsive and designed from a mobile first perspective, then they are sent to the bottom of the indexing pile. Google searches are now done primarily from mobile sites, and end users are demanding answers immediately and on the go.
Increasingly as we are a mobile society, wanting to better our lives and make things more efficient, using mobile technologies replaces a lot of running around so we can devote more time to doing what we love. As consumers, we are almost constantly on the go; mobile phones give us a quick and easy solution to help us find what we need.
Mobile indexing as the primary ranking category of Google has been a response to the way that people use the Internet, and the large numbers of consumers now have access to smart phones. Research from Search Engine Land has shown that mobile searches account for 58% of all queries on Google, and that over half of all people will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
An open source Google project, Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP is a way to optimise the load time of Internet pages on mobile phones. Google is researching how to present pages instantly on cellular technologies, in order to create better user experience. A webmaster would be best concerned with now improving page load times in order to be ahead of Google starting to index pages according to load times.
Artificial Intelligence Will Run Search Indexing
RankBrain, an artificial intelligence created by Google, is learning to analyse different types of content and user interaction with search queries. It is increasing its ability to learn based on the types of responses it gets, and is improving the results it is able to return.
As artificial intelligence adapts to the Internet, and Google relies less on human interaction to rate different websites, this means indexing will be a lot faster and sites will be able to be validated more reliably, and consistently.
When Google involves people to rank sites for quality and other criteria, humans still have potential bias involved. Artificial intelligence applies arbitrary criteria from one perspective across all websites, allowing for the most accurate ratings of quality.
Marketing is beginning to shift direction with the increasing use of artificial intelligence, according to Forbes, artificial intelligence programs are being deployed by Associated Press to create over 3,000 articles every season.
With the ability of artificial intelligence to generate blog posts, article content, marketing and other types of user engagement material based on what demographics are coursing towards, it means that marketing is becoming increasingly targeted.
Predictive modeling based on demographics, and an aggregation of marketing response data in real time means that web developers and businesses can maximise the potential of the fusion between artificial intelligence and SEO. By making simulations according to time, geographic location and relevant searches, the right information and user-focused content will reach the right person at the correct time.
Artificial intelligence, a machine that is impersonal and robotic, is able to use metrics, demographics and qualitative measures to deliver a more personal and rewarding experience to individuals who use the Internet. While this does sound slightly absurd, Google is working tirelessly to ensure their artificial intelligence can perform the exact same functions as a human, when it comes to indexing.
This means that as the economy diverges more away from large scale corporations, and small business is on the rise, more niche interests are popping up and there is a type of industrial or economic revolution being forged by the change on the Internet.
Google Is Pushing SEO Towards Creating Its Knowledge Graph
The Knowledge Graph has been around since 2012, and is also driving the future of SEO. Websites that are designed with “structured data” that is able to be collated by Google search bots can be compiled into the Knowledge Graph, and Answer Boxes that are displayed at the top of search engine page results.
Google has a series of tutorials for optimising websites so that information and content can be indexed and then displayed on their Knowledge Graph. Front end developers should work in cooperation with content developers in order to write structured data that sits embedded in websites.
This will ensure that their site’s content will appear in the relevant search engine page result at a higher level than a comparable site without structured data. The Knowledge Graph, or positioning of relevant responses is Google’s acknowledgement of better user experience design and a population with a lessened attention span.
The future of SEO is being forged by several different facets, and derived chiefly from the desire of large search engine corporations such as Google to provide better user experience. Search engine page results in the early days of the Internet were full of spammy keyword stuffed and irrelevant information, creating frustrating experiences for people.
The increase in competition between search engines such as Yahoo, Bing and Google means that better user experience research has resulted. The science and study of how people use the Internet has led to the refinement of the search engine results page, and ensures that quality controls are applied to websites.
Inevitably through research and applied content design, and usability experiences, the Internet is becoming a tool that provides a life that is much simpler and more responsive. A complex set of search engine optimisation tools and depth of understanding, developed by SEO experts means that the Internet has become increasingly simpler to use and more intuitive.
What do you think about the future of SEO? Let us know in the comments below! We would love to get your thoughts on this issue.
Charlotte is a digital marketing and communications practitioner working in our Sydney office. She takes on a range of roles relating to SEO and has a keen interest in studying the SEO industry and its future direction, particularly in relation to content marketing. Charlotte takes her writing very seriously and always seeks ensure the content she produces is of a high standard of quality.