“Why not wait a couple of months, observe how SEO changes in 2017, then write about it?”, asked Suzana, one of our colleagues.
SEO in 2017: Our Predictions
#1 Say Yes to Mobile!
I’m willing to bet that any post that predicts SEO-related changes in 2017 has the word ‘mobile’ in it, somewhere. It seems like the easiest answer to the question. Kind of the most obvious one too.
But hey, why don’t we see whether that’s really true?
Take a look at the comparison of our website’s analytics data between Jan-Feb 2016 and Jan-Feb 2017.
It’s quite evident. People are increasingly using mobile devices to see what’s happening on the interwebz. Moving on to the more important question.
Now that I know that people are using mobiles for searches, what do I do about it?
I got three words for you. Accelerated Mobile Pages. Check it out.
#2 Okay, Google Now!
Look at us.
Months spent optimizing our keywords based on how people Google things, going to waste because the guy who was once searching:
‘california pizza best where?‘
is now saying:
“Hey Siri, can you tell me where I can find some great pizza near me?”
“Hey Cortana, I feel like eating pizza now!”
Tsk tsk. Not cool, personal assistants. But hey, that’s how 2017 is gonna be. People like talking to the little digitized voice on their phone. Mostly because they don’t have any real friends. But let’s talk about that later.
Power Digital Marketing has promised us that they’ll keep a close eye on whether voice search trends will continue to rise in this article here. Mainstreethost wrote about this way earlier (midway through 2016), saying that voice search “is starting to significantly alter the SEO landscape”. Which leads us to:
Question: How can I capitalize on the surge in voice searches?
Answer: Talk to your PPC guy and re-optimize your Google AdWords campaign – targeting voice search keywords.
Not everybody is gonna spend the time doing this, so the faster you make your keywords campaign more suited to voice search, the better your chances are of stealing somebody else’s potential clients.
Unclear? Let’s take a basic example.
Imagine X searching for a pizza place near him. Pizza Place A and Pizza Place B both have their ad campaign optimized for targeted keywords.
However, Pizza Place A realized that since people are using voice searches a li’l bit too much these days, they might as well spend some money making their ads show up for keywords optimized for voice search as well.
So when X searches for pizza places near him, and uses his shiny new smartphone’s voice activated personal assistant to figure out where he’s gonna dine tonight, who’s gonna show up on top, Pizza Place A or Pizza Place B?
Take a wild guess.
#3 Progressing with PWAs
Progressive Web Apps(PWAs) have made it extremely easy for users to feel as if they’re using a mobile app – only, they aren’t.
To be brief, PWAs, first introduced in 2015, allow you to design a web app that will replace the need to download a mobile app. It even stores data in its cache and works offline, and sends out push notifications. What more do you even need?! PWAs are like the X-Men of mobile websites.
Read more in detail about PWAs here, if you are as amazed by them as I was when I first read about them.
Which means, no hassle of trying downloading the app on your phone, discovering that your phone doesn’t have a lot of free space left (looking at you, 16GB phone users), then clearing space, installing the app, bah, you know the drill. I’m growing tired just writing about it.
The Google Chrome mobile browser even allows you to pin the PWA to your phone’s home screen, which makes it seem all the more like an app. Read more about that here.
What I’m trying to say here is, if you own a website, it’s gonna help you A LOT if you make sure that the mobile version of your website is a PWA.
Why are PWAs going to matter in 2017? Smashing Magazine’s article answers this based on a study:
So yes. Switch to P-W-As. A-S-A-P.
#4 Bing Bang
Here’s a fun fact. Yahoo’s web search is powered by Bing. Which means anybody who’s searching for something on Yahoo is (almost) practically searching on Bing.
Bing, as in, not Google.
Link-Assistant.Com came up with a great article on how SEO could be done beyond Google, last year. And when speaking about Yahoo + Bing, the stated that “optimizing for one will also work for the other”.
Pulling another stat out of that great post, this means that one out of three searches ever made comes from Bing(21.4% from Bing + 12.2% from Yahoo = 33.6%). Let that sink in. If SEO companies capitalize on this opportunity, then it won’t take long before trends focussing on SEO for Bing reach an all-time high.
Over the past couple of years, several companies have ditched Google for Bing, SEOchat writes. Apart from AOL and Mozilla moving to being powered by Bing as of January 2016, Apple is rumoured to consider changing its default search engine on its browser (Safari) as well. They already provide users with the option to change their search engine, so who’s to say that they won’t decide to make Bing their default browser soon?(It’s also rumoured that Google is paying Apple a huge sum to make them stick with Google as Safari’s default browser).
As of now, we’re going to stick to reality and not base our predictions on rumours. However, it does seem like Bing’s share of the search engine market is expanding slowly, but steadily. It looks like it is once again at a tipping point where a huge tecSEOtonic shift (yeah, I just made that term up) might happen in favour of Bing. And if this happens, then it’s going to be Bing Bang for sure in the SEO world.
#5 Momma Google Wants More Money
It’s common knowledge that Google is now focussing on squeezing in ads wherever they can. Now, we can’t hold anything against Google because they’re thinking of monetizing a little more. Google has given us more than what we have asked, and for that, we are forever grateful. And to be fair to them, they have a revenue model that is heavily dependant on their ad revenue.
Since completely monetizing Google Shopping in 2012, Google has constantly been figuring out ways to effectively place ads on its services, from placing ads above the top search result to introducing ads on local packs.
A staggering 89.5% of Google’s revenue is said to to have come from ads in 2014, according to this report by revenuesandprofits.com. Google’s total ad revenue has increased from $67.39 bn to $79.38 bn, statista.com reports. And Google’s ad revenue has never decreased in the subsequent years.
So I think that it’s safe to predict that Google will continue to experiment and
make ads show up more often on our SERPs and feeds, and make a lot of money while doing that.
So, that’s about it! Here are our 5 predictions for SEO in 2017. We hope that our prophecy for 2017 proves to be accurate. But hey, I guess only time will tell!