Search engine optimization (SEO) is much bigger now than it was a decade ago. With each shift in Google’s algorithm, SEO has managed to grow and change.
With these rapid advancements, it is imperative to understand the different ways SEO will continue to change in 2017.
Below, I have listed a few noteworthy changes that will continue to happen in SEO as we proceed this year.
RankBrain and Machine Learning
What is Machine learning? Machine learning is a kind of artificial intelligence(AI) that enables computers to learn on their own without any form of explicit programming. Google’s RankBrain exactly reflects this.
When it comes to SEO, this directly or indirectly implies that Google’s algorithm is turning out more and more human. SEO predictions in 2017 insist that keywords won’t be adequate for rankings and that we must look beyond and focus on how SEO is benefited through machine learning as well.
Mobile First Content
According to Forbes, the majority of users stick to mobile phones for online activities. Therefore, it is vital to know that SEO will change in accordance with Mobile-first content in the near future. Recent reports from Forbes have shown that Google is rolling out a "mobile-first" version of its index instead of releasing updates to make the web a friendlier place! These means, present SEO content that displays on your mobile will take its priority in search engine creeping and SEO ranking.
Focuses On UX
After RankBrain, search engines have turned out to be more intelligent at deciding what makes a better search result. Out-dated keyword ranking factors are still popular, but SEO is changing in terms of UX (user experience) when it comes to search results. This change naturally means that Google's search engine will start rewarding sites that offer a great customer experience with a rapid load time.
In year 2017, SEO will change in a manner that over-optimized sites based on keywords will begin losing out to excellent UX.
Modifications to Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
There are three chief changes in search results pages : rich snippets, centered on intent signals, and character limits.
With growing trend in SERP's the key focus is now on Quick Answers - an SEO rich snippet which shows an answer to a particular question in a box at the top of the search results.
Focuses on Quality, Not Quantity
Unlike past years, search engines have started to focus more on the quality of content rather than the length.
This is at odds with what several experienced SEO specialists recommend, which is long form content with many words and loads of information. Though this was and to an extent, is still agreeable, the situation is now changing to the point where quality now holds importance more than how number of words you place.
SEO is making an effort to cut out all the filler and concentrate on the hard facts. For example, if the content is meaningful and can be explained in 500 words instead of 5000, then it is better to go with the former.
Long-tail keywords provides many benefits for your content than using a single terms.
In year 2017, SEO is adapting ways to use long-tail keywords to be displayed in searches and to convey meaningful information. (Any keyword phrase in SEO that’s at minimum three words can be regarded a long-tail variation.)
Such types of keywords are generally detailed and defined, drawing more audience to the website. This implies that SEO will now be targeting a much more attentive audience with them, and will also impact on competition.
Voice Search Algorithms
With the advent of virtual assistants such as Siri and Cortana, more users are becoming familiar to using their voice for search.
This will change SEO in a manner that it will focus on keywords and the targeting methods in terms of “natural language.” SEO will use terms that are usually defined as normal linguistic terms you use on a day to day basis. For example, instead of concentrating on keyword like “inspirational novels” SEO will develop a tactic to use phrases like “What are the best inspirational novels movies of 2017?”