Future Trends in SEO - How Google Alogrithm can effect SEO by 2020
Engines, an audience that remains essential
In recent years, many articles have announced the end of SEO as the first source of audience, dethroned by social networks. Yes but now, whatever we say, the rules of the game of SEO Google are relatively stable for 20 years, while Facebook does not stop reshuffling the cards according to the changes in its algorithm, and they never go in. the sense of an increase in the organic audience.
Google also regularly evolves its algorithm, but for the little that we practice a "sustainable" SEO, there is no need to see his audience drop drastically overnight.
In an attempt to escape the virtual monopoly of the giant Mountain View, publishers have bet on social networks in the hope of gaining a more faithful community audience, the famous "fans". It must be said that the main problem of the engine audience is that it is necessary to seek the readers again every day and that it is difficult to pass from a volatile audience to a faithful audience. For example, a reader from Google News will consume an average of only 1.2 to 1.6 page views per visit.
With the recent changes in Facebook newsfeed and the regular reversals of social media strategies in general, the most sustainable source of organic audience remains definitely SEO. Next shake to predict from my point of view: the sharp fall of LinkedIn traffic, the latter wishing, like other networks, to keep the maximum user on its media to monetize it than to return to the supports of publishers. And that's not to say if LinkedIn traffic has become a particularly interesting audience source for many media.
SEO evolutions to take into account in 2018
The fundamentals of desktop SEO have not really changed. The major change is the disappearance of the technical "tips and tricks" that SEOs could use to hide elements related to functional or graphic choices, in order to get the site the "SEO friendly" possible without touching the wishes editors.
This time is over. It is no longer possible today to design a navigation or a new model without integrating the referencer from the origins of the project, on pain of a loss of very sensitive audience, especially on Google News. The mode of the burger menu on desktop causes from this point of view many problems.
On mobile, the situation is different both because of the specificity "Google AMP" but also additional criteria. Indeed, on mobile, Google takes into account ergonomics criteria in its algorithm. It also takes into account the speed of page display. With the index "mobile first" whose deployment begins (a specific and different ranking for the page in desktop view and for the page in mobile view), this criterion will gain weight: Google has just announced that the speed of loading will be a mobile ranking criterion from next summer. Google is also devaluing the visibility of sites that use intrusive advertising formats such as interstitial on mobile.
Finally, there is the specific Google AMP format, which now accounts for between 20 and 60% of the total audience of a mobile site, and up to 80% of the audience of the search engine channel. Those who have benefited the most are the sites that were struggling to emerge on Google News. AMP is a defensive solution for leading sites (switching audience on these new pages with a fairly small gain between 3 and 10%) and offensive for challengers, who can win up to several dozen points additional hearing.
AMP is absolutely essential for a media today. In fact, more than 85% of newsrequests in France now include at least one AMP result, and since last summer, Le Figaro has been out of the top 10 media in Google visibility on mobile. Le Monde, meanwhile, oscillates between 9th and 11th place.
A profound change: the direct answers
What seems to prefigure the future of the research are the direct answers or "quick answers", ie answers directly presented in the result pages of Google.
It extracts content from a page listed in the first 10 results to display it at the top of the page. The click rate on this result is very strongly increased, making it difficult for other pages to generate audience on the query. Beyond that, we note that, during a voice search, these direct responses are used.
There is therefore a risk that we will end up with the strengthening of voice search in a situation where a smaller variety of sites will generate a lot more audience, and in which the most powerful sites in SEO will share a large part of the pie.
This may upset the brand hierarchy in terms of engine audiences. Not only for the media but for all sectors.
It seems that SEO is considered less strategic in the media than in other sectors, such as e-Commerce, where it is at the heart of projects and decisions taken. There is however a strong additional audience to seek by investing a larger portion of the marketing budget on SEO and taking into account the needs of SEO more priority than some graphic or functional choices during redesigns.
It is also a channel on which it seems to me that one could convert much better by studying thoroughly the specificities of this particular readership. For example by setting up a personalized experience and a dedicated ergonomic work.
Voice search and direct responses will reshuffle the cards. If the fundamentals do not change, there will be fewer elected and only the first position will really generate audience on new devices. You have to get ready now by working on technical optimization as well as a strategy of cold content.
Beyond Google there are also other search channels to dig: the internal search engines of Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, not to mention Apple News. Each of them has their own criteria and we will have to adapt the strategies.