05 Nov SEO Trends – The Short and Long-Tail of it All!
Now, we’re all looking to 2016. The new year should prove to offer a few major shifts in search technology — for the most part, the following are what I feel will be the main things to stay focused on:
- Video Content Will Overcome Written Content for return on investment for business to consumer websites. It is a fact that YouTube.com is the #2 search engine behind Google – not Bing or Yahoo. Today, written content is considered the “standard,” even by the majority of us who continually insist that including various formats of content is still a better approach. Yet, written content is the baseline for most brands, with infographics, videos, pics, and other mediums serving as peripheral additions. In 2016, a short list of new technologies and the continuation of years-long trends will switch, and video will likely leap over written content in terms of reach, interest, boldness, and overall ROI. Snapchat, Vine, and other video apps are partially responsible for this, setting users’ expectations toward a more visually engaging meat and potatoes kind of content, but the real message will come from the king of content – Google, which is now experimenting with video ads in search results. B2C brands without regular feeds of video will sooner or later be considered behind the times. B2B brands will follow suit, but it won’t likely happen in 2016 (I’m guessing it will more likely be around 2018 or sooner).
- Mobile-Optimization Will Become More Important than Desktop Optimization. For the past two decades, desktop has been a standard form of search day-in and day-out, with mobile users growing in numbers. In the first part of this year, mobile searches surpassed desktop for the very first time, and along with Mobilegeddon, Google announced to the world that mobile and desktop traffic were on relatively equal ground. However, starting now, and continuing into 2016, this force will continue and will eventually make mobile traffic by far the most important, with desktop fading into the distance over the next 3-4 years. Google is already claiming that a desktop-specific site isn’t necessary, and their change to a local 3-pack reflects their commitment to a “mobile” experience across all types of devices.
- Digital Assistants Will Change the Way We Think About Search Queries. Modern search engines are receiving more and more queries from digital assistants, which are adding a new layer to the complexity of search (think of Siri and Google). Spoken language queries tend to be much different than typed queries, meaning a whole new type of long-tail keyword queries – particularly those that mimic the spoken dialogue – will emerge. This trend could reward pages that contain colloquial, conversational content.
- Aggregated Content Will Curtail the Power of News and Event Coverage. Twitter is experimenting with a new feature called Moments, which will aggregate posts, images, and videos from live events and unfolding news stories into a single channel for people to see. In a sense, users become the content creators, and other users can see events unfolding firsthand. Of course, Twitter isn’t the only platform to be experimenting with such a live feed, and advanced algorithms are already able to compile news stories from various pieces of pre-existing information. As a result, in 2016, the power of a news article that isn’t automatically sourced will begin to diminish, narrowing the field of content marketing for everyone. Evergreen, opinion-editorial, and tutorial content, as a result, will rise in importance for search visibility.
- Social Media Content Will be Indexed More Often. Google has deals in place with Facebook and Twitter already—search for a news item, and you’ll probably see a tweet or two appear in your mobile search results. In 2016, more platforms will become more heavily indexed in the vaults available to Google and other search engines. Social posts will carry a value and a consideration similar to any independent web page, and the separation of “web” and “social media” will begin to blur even further from an SEO perspective.
- Deep Links in Apps Will Really Change Things. Google has been indexing apps for a long time now. As part of the shift toward focusing on mobile users, Google is anticipating a future where apps may overtake traditional websites in popularity and functionality. Search marketers can benefit from anticipating this change as well. Starting in 2016, “deep links” to apps (meaning links that point toward a specific page or section of a specific app) will start to carry more meaning, akin to deep links on the web. App optimization in general, for that matter, will also grow in importance. If your medium-sized or larger business doesn’t yet have an app, now’s the time to create one. If you still don’t think it makes sense for your business, at least get your business listed on as many other apps as possible.