Search Engine Optimization is an industry which is constantly growing. It is an essential part of the digital marketing strategy. Predicting about a certain future about anything is always difficult but one thing is for sure that SEO will not be dead and has a bright future.
The access to internet for everyone is increasing day by day and there is no doubt that in future, users will mostly search the web through mobile phones. Some big changes might take place in SEO services but it will be for better. Over the years, changes have taken place in the world of internet and SEO has survived all of this by adapting to every change. SEO in future will be more competitive and challenging with the new upcoming trends in technology.
Role of Mobile Phones:
Smartphones have changed the way mobile phones were seen before. Now mobile phones are not just about calling or texting. Mobile users browse the internet and use other media features. In a recent research, it was found that more searches were done on Google through mobile phones compared to PC. There are many reasons behind users preferring mobile search over computers. Mobiles provide increased speed, easy functionality and multimedia capacity. The trends which can be seen in mobile search in the upcoming future are mentioned below:
1. More Queries: - Mobile search is growing well compared to the traditional search. The queries through mobile would increase in future. This is a good sign for the search marketers.
2. Single Set of SERP’s: - The search results at present vary on desktops and mobile. In the coming years it is possible that there would be same search results on both platforms.
3. No need for Separate Mobile Site: - In future, a separate mobile site won’t be required and that would make things easier for adding content on website. With new technology and advancements in Google search, the same desktop site would be easily viewed on mobile.
4. Separate Mobile Strategy: - The paid search results differ in mobile compared to desktop. So, there might be a need of separate mobile strategy in future.
5. Geographical Targeting: - The content in future would be tailored and marketed towards the customers according to the location. This will make geographical targeting very important.
Role of Artificial Intelligence:
Artificial intelligence is an intelligence which are demonstrated by machines. The machines analyses the environment, perceives it and takes action which increases the chance of successfully achieving the goals. Artificial intelligence will play an important role in the future of SEO through different methods. Some of them are mentioned below:
1. Rank Brain: - Google introduced Rank Brain in 2015 and it is an artificial intelligence system. It is used for providing better search results for users. Right now, it takes charge of only 15% of the online queries but in future it might be possible that it will be taking charge of most of the queries searched online.
2. Automatic Content Generation: - Many predictions are being done about content being published in future with the help of artificial intelligence system. There is a possibility that 20% of the content will be published by AI in the coming years but for the time being, we can say that best content is still written by humans.
3. Optimization of Visual Content: - In the coming years, visual content is going to have a bigger influence on SEO as artificial intelligence system might give more emphasis on images and videos. There would be a need for optimization of visual content like optimizing description and tags of videos.
4. Selective Link Building: - In future, search engines will get smarter and will quickly analyze whether the links being clicked are actually being read or not. There is for sure going to be a need of greater focus on quality and relevance in the backlinks.
5. Keyword Phrases Will Become Irrelevant: - Artificial Intelligence might make keyword phrases irrelevant in future. Rank Brain has shown that keyword phrases are of no use. Marketers need to write in a simple and natural way for readers using related concepts and terms.
Benefits of Artificial Intelligence:
1. Personalized Experience: - Artificial Intelligence can automatically tailor messages based on user’s history and predicted behavior.
2. Budget Management: - It automatically recommends the area where the money can be spend in a profitable manner.
3. Multitasking: - In upcoming years, Multitasking can be delegated to Artificial intelligence which can help in doing extra creative and strategic work.
4. Performance Monitoring: - Using artificial intelligence, any abnormality or mistake can be easily found out and action can be taken immediately.
Disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence:
1. High Cost: - Artificial intelligence is created using very complex machines which requires high costs. Maintenance and repairing also requires heavy spends. These factors can affect the budget.
2. Replication of Humans not possible: - Intelligence is nature’s gift. It is almost impossible to replicate human intelligence. Machines do not have emotions and moral values. Machines perform incorrectly when they face any unfamiliar situation.
3. No Experience in AI: - Machines cannot change their response with changing environment. Humans get better with time and experience but with machine wear and tear is clearly evident with passage of time.
4. No Scope for Creativity: - Human beings are emotional in nature and emotions drive their actions but these features are absent in machines. So, we cannot expect anything creative through artificial intelligence.
5. Unemployment: - There are chances of unemployment happening if machines start working instead of humans. Unemployment might create an imbalance among humans which can in turn become a problem for the society.
Role of Websites:
At present, it has been seen that slowly users are getting more reliant on cell phones. So, websites are getting lesser traffics compared to mobile apps. It can be possible that businesses which are having websites would need to make a shift towards mobile applications. Some technical modifications can be done in web design so that it can handle the challenges which are lying ahead. Different sectors of the market have to deal with it in a different manner. Real estates and hotel businesses might shift towards virtual reality applications in future. We just cannot totally rule out possibility of no websites in future. Websites should be prevalent in future because the information it provides is much greater compared to any mobile application.
Role of Backlinks:
At present, backlinks play a role in increasing referral traffic to your website. Google bot have become more intelligent and link building which are manipulative in nature will soon end and will not be a part of the SEO strategy. Social media platforms use hashtag for trending topics which is already giving us hints of introduction of linkless backlinks. In the past few years, Google has made some changes in the way it judges reputation of a website. Spammy links are heavily penalized by Google after the introduction of algorithm updates named Penguin and Fred. It now checks references to the brand present anywhere online and backlinks are not the only criteria for good ranking.
Link building strategy is now changing a bit and will keep on changing in the years to come. Methods like Social Media campaigns, Online Reviews and Guest Blogging are becoming more prevalent. Now there is also a need to keep a track on the mentions of brand sentiment and any negative feedback should be worked upon immediately. These mentions are actually a part of linkless backlinks. In future, there is a chance that Google will recognize the actual language more than the backlinks.
Role of Social Media:
Google has already stated that social media doesn’t play a major role when it comes to determining rankings on the search engine but no one can ignore the fact that social media’s popularity is increasing day by day. It has made connectivity better and the first preference when a person uses the internet is social media rather than organic searches. Social media platforms generally have a section of trending topics which gathers lots of views and responses. In organic searches, the content determines the ranking but in social media it is determined through the number of views a post is gathering.
The various methods being used to optimize websites today will get irrelevant in upcoming years. SEO will be based more upon convincing people in future. In search engines, publishers are dependent upon a single entity but in social media it depends upon every human being.
All the news and updates are now available on social media. According to a recent study, a person at an average dedicates more of its time on social media as compared to websites. Social media is now becoming a major driving force. For e.g. If any news is published, the first contact for that content is generally found from the social media.
The internet world is transforming in to a multimedia world. Mobile apps, gaming apps and virtual reality are all going to stay for long. In future, some new techniques will emerge which will help in using the content on social media for improving rankings on organic search results. Social media will be playing a key role in SEO in the years to come as it has large number of users who are constantly making it an engaging platform.
Role of Content:
Content is the king in SEO! Content has and will always be playing a major role in SEO. Google is now giving more preference to good content when it comes to ranking on the SERP. In earlier days, black hat strategies were used in which the search engine was tricked through improper methods and good quality content didn’t matter but now it’s completely different. Without proper content, rankings can’t be improved. Mobile users are increasing and that also presents a challenge for content. Content now needs to be more mobile friendly. In future, factors like accelerated mobile pages and artificial intelligence will be taken into consideration. Content will required to be of the highest quality irrespective of the platform it is being published.
In order to create high quality content, the first and foremost thing which should be kept in mind is the purpose for which the content is being made. Every website has a different objective and accordingly the content should be created. You also need to ensure that the content is tailored for the right audience. Lots of hard work is required to make good content. Proper research is needed for this. The content needs to be long with a proper language that catches the eye of the audience.
At present there are certain SEO myths about it being of no use in coming years but the truth is that it has a splendid future. There are certain challenges lying ahead which can be easily tackled. Technology is a thing which keeps on improving and we have already discussed about the major changes which are going to be seen in the world of Search Engine Optimization. We can also view it as an exciting change which can prove to be a turning point for everyone whether it’s the user, advertiser or a website owner. It is also going to be very helpful for small business owners. Artificial intelligence will definitely play a huge role and it will handle all the SEO work automatically. Overall, it looks like a positive transformation will happen which might well prove to be a game changer for SEO.