Last year, we’ve discussed the Search Engine Optimization trends for 2020: waving goodbye to keyword density, confident steps into the age of semantic search, and moves towards the safer and mobile-friendly web. This year, let’s catch up with the shifts in older tendencies and uncover some new opportunities along the way.
1. Link-building is extremely much alive
A never-ending story – there’ll always be SEOs that claim link-building dead, and SEOs that desperately brainstorm on new ways to realize links, and switch ‘building’ into ‘earning’. You’d better get on the second team, as there’s also a never-ending flow of studies and surveys, proving backlinks to invariably remain one among the main rankings factors, and uncovering the positive correlation of sites’ rankings with their backlink profiles.
Google isn’t getting less strict about unnatural backlink profiles and manipulative link-building methods, so stick a fork in it. While the low-quality and spam my links are more likely to only get discounted and devalued by Google, there’s still an opportunity of getting a manual penalty if you choose illegitimate methods.
Nowadays, mobile search has become ever more integral to people’s lives, and Google is understood for its aspiration to be reflective of users’ needs. Within the end of 2019, the so-called Mobile godson (expanding the utilization of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal) was followed by the announcement that Google starts testing the mobile-first indexing.
While 2020 has been a year filled with the controversy around the topic and delay notes from Google, 2020 seems to be the year when it’s going to finally become, and therefore the rankings could also be determined supported the mobile version of a site.
Load time remains the factor that drastically affects user experience, and has a minimum of some effect on the performance of a page within the SERPs and further interactions and conversions.
To stop an enormous shift from mobile browsing towards apps, Google has introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which can load 4x faster than the regular pages and improve the user experience with little hints (like displaying ads during a mobile-friendly way).
Case studies show that AMP implementation improves user-behavior factors like CTR and bounce rates also. So, AMP isn’t a ranking factor now, but it well may become one.
3. Voice Search is on the increase
number of tools supported voice recognition continues to grow – we’ve Siri and
Cortina to offer us touch on ‘where to travel for best pizza near me’ and to
inform us of a joke, Google Home and Amazon Echo to allow us to shop almost
The accuracy of the voice recognition continues to enhance also – Microsoft reported reaching a 5.1% word error rate, Apple SVP Phil Schiller in his interview with John Gruber made a joke that he is not scared of saying ‘Hey Siri’ on stage anymore.
As it becomes more convenient and fewer frustrating, we observe the number of voice searches growing real fast. Over 70 percent of respondents to a recent Higher Visibility survey admitted using voice search a minimum of once per month, and nearly half is using it weekly or daily.
Consistent with Google, 20% of mobile queries are made via voice now, and Commodore even predicts that it’ll structure 50 percent of all searches by 2020.
4. Progressive Web Apps Are Gaining Popularity
Web Apps is another Google’s initiative to form a mobile web better and faster.
PWAs’ essence is combining all the simplest features of mobile web and native
apps, leaving the issues behind. It’s faster, its x times lighter than an app,
and adjusts its performance to the power of the device and connection, making
the experience seamless.
While launching such an app may significantly cut the expenses and maintenance for businesses, PWAs also convince to have an incredible impact on engagement and conversion rates.
Having the app-like functionalities (push notifications, offline accessibility, payment apps integration, the power to download the app to home screen) and being superfast within the meantime, PWAs also are showing amazing re-engagement stats – in cases when users get obviate heavy native apps, it’s more likely to win them back with such an alternate.
5. Structured Data Deserves More Attention
In the era of the ‘meaningful web’, most of the SEOs agree on the very fact that Structured Data Markup is underrated, while it is a good way to form your site crawler-friendly, and help the search engines understand your content (concepts and logical relationships between them).
Over the past few years, Google has also introduced many new ways of displaying the info within the SERPs: featuring an instantaneous relevant answer, adding context, useful nuances and a visible layer to the search results. of these aspects believe the info organized in a clear and logical way.
With the evolution of the SERPs layout, and with the main target shifting towards user-experience, Structured Data is becoming fundamental, so you literally haven’t any excuse to not make use of it.
6. Crawl Budget is often Spent Wiser
Crawl Budget has been an idea shrouded in mystery for quite a while, until early 2016 when Google has shed some light on the subject.
While SEO mostly focuses on user-experience, crawl budget optimization is primarily about making your site appealing to the program bots. This still overlaps with SEO tons, as you’re naturally concerned about all the important pages being crawled, indexed and updated in time.
Keeping your website ‘healthy’ on the within, and ensuring you do not waste any of the crawl budgets – are your best shots at making Google want to crawl your site more frequently. And what’s good for your crawl ability – benefits your searchability also.
7. New Approach to Good Old Content
Content is here to remain – that’s just the very fact that does not require proof. However, Google is consistently evolving and learning to be better at understanding search intent, and now relies on topical relevance, context, and other factors to return the results a user expects.
The content optimization now goes far beyond keywords and requires a far more complex approach.
The standard also will still beat quantity – most SEOs agree on the very fact that producing short pieces of content frequently now tends to be less efficient than creating comprehensive ‘long reads’ and keeping them updated.
The future is nearly now, and therefore the line between optimizing for search engines and real users is becoming increasingly less vivid.
Once you can’t easily fool Google and need to compete for the choosy audience attention, new trends, initiatives and standards-to-be (that are flattering both sides) are absolutely worth consideration, or a minimum of being conscious of.