The world of SEO is changing rapidly. With each passing year, we get to see newer SEO trends rubbing shoulders with the older ones. The competition on the web has become tougher with more and more brands using every tip and tricks in the book to drive traffic to their site. Quite naturally, older SEO techniques have become obsolete due to their overuse and this has given way to the newer SEO trends.
SEO still has its prominence and it is likely to go even stronger in 2017 and beyond. SEO captures 27.88% prominence than any other technique for most brands and businesses vying to drive traffic, generate leads and boost conversions.
After a careful research of what SEO trends are professionals experimenting with in order to drive torrents of traffic their way this 2017, we have come out with 7 carefully handpicked SEO trends that are sure to dominate the web space in 2017 and beyond. So without wasting any more time, let’s dive deeper into these forward-looking SEO trends of tomorrow.
1. Content is The New SEO
Content marketing is already a buzzword for marketers. It helps marketers drive traffic more than any other technique. Because of the growing importance of content marketing, SEO will now be more and more about content marketing. Remember, Google has clearly revealed ‘Content’ is the second most important ranking factor.
This means that your business must have a strong content plan in place to compete in your niche market and merely focusing on the SEO part of your content will not work for you this 2017 and beyond. Therefore, invest your time building high-quality of content and focus on its effective distribution to increase the search engine visibility of your business on Google and other search engines.
2. Mobile Usability as Search Ranking Factor
– This is perhaps the most important of all SEO trends on the this list. More than 65% people now use mobile phones to access the Internet globally. In addition, mobile devices account for 51.3% of internet usage today. Google is already penalizing websites that aren’t mobile-friendly by dropping their SERP rankings.
Due to the ever-so-growing emphasis on the SEO for mobile users, long-tail keywords are set to gain prominence in 2017 and beyond. In addition, searches will be more based upon users’ habits and buying intent. For example, voice search may, at some point, start dominating the search ecosystem due to its growing popularity amongst users. Get ready to experience a significant drop in your search rankings, if you aren’t ready to comply to mobile users’ new search needs.
3. Emphasis will be on Implied Links
‘Implied Links’ are the links that refer to or mention a website or a brand without providing a contextual link to the site. This is in quite opposite to what’s popular today – ‘Express Links’, links that are plain, simple URLs linking to a brand or a website. The ever-increasing abuse of Express Links by marketers and brands for link-building and gaining prominent SERP ranking has already forced Google to rethink about it. If experts are to be believed Google may soon start giving more search prominence of Implied Links over Express Links.
Yet another trend that is set to rock the world of search optimization is the prominence of ‘No-follow’ links. Soon, ‘No-follow’ links will also become an important ranking factor like ‘’Do-follow’ links. In fact, a large number of sites have already started taking this trend seriously. One of the best examples of such websites is Entrepreneur.com. This popular site has stopped offering ‘’o-follow’ links in its articles. Though the web media giant has officially not confirmed this news, the site is now emphasizing more on ‘Implied Links’. This is one amongst the winning SEO trends for 2017 and beyond.
4.Twitter and Facebook Will Decide Search Rankings
– After Google announced the end of its ‘Authorship Program’, the search titan is likely to place more emphasis on signals from ‘Twitter’ and ‘Facebook’ for search rankings. Google had to close ‘Authorship Program’ because a large number of SEO experts did not find it much helpful. In fact, many marketers and brands have already started exploring possibilities of social media in search engine rankings.
We have already started seeing this trend rise. Though Google has not yet confirmed this, it is already using signals from these social sites for assigning search engine ranking to websites. Be prepared and get on with social media marketing as social signals are surely going to be a major factor for SERP ranking this 2017 and beyond.
5. SEO as a Way to Personalize & Build Relationships
– As businesses keep on building and publishing huge chunk of content on an everyday basis, users have become bored of branded content. The strategy of publishing content after content is not that effective anymore as it used to be once. In addition, due to the overload of content on the web, SERPs have become picky and have started paying heed to the number of views, shares and comments generated by a particular piece of content to rank it.
Here, personalizing and humanizing branded content has come to the rescue of marketers and companies in the niche markets. Users now demand brands to create content that gets them involved. Yet another trend that has started to rise, since the start of 2017, is influencer connections. People now look to read content endorsed by influencers. So in the years to come, businesses will need to focus more on connecting with influencers and launching blogger outreach campaigns in order to get their content and SERP ranking a much desired boost.
6. Hazards of Spammy Links
– Negative/Black Hat SEO such as building of thousands of spammy links will continue to be a threat for genuine/White Hat SEO. Experts have hinted that a large number of companies have started the trend of building thousands of spammy links and pointing them towards competition websites with an intention to damage their credibility and SERP ranks.
In 2017 and beyond, webmasters will be constantly faced with this serious threat. Companies and marketers will constantly need to discover easy techniques to find out spammy links pointing to their websites. In the first quarter of 2017, a lot of sites including ours, fell prey to such spammy links. Experts are hopeful that Google will soon find out a way to eliminate such malpractices by the end of 2017.
7. SEO will Blend Seamlessly in the Marketing Mix
– Another development that we can see emerging in the years to come is the seamless blend of SEO with marketing including social media and content marketing. All of these will need to be entirely put together in the marketing mix of a brand to gain better exposure, visibility and search rankings.
We predict that in 2017 and beyond, businesses will depend less on dedicated SEO consultants. Instead, they will hire experts who know about mixing online and offline marketing strategies. Already, a large number of reputed brands have started this shift from hiring dedicated SEO experts to hiring brand marketing strategists who can get them better results both offline and online.
Food for Thought!
These trends do not mean that SEO is going to become irrelevant. These emerging trends are indicative of the direction SEO industry in the years to come. Businesses should pay attention to these emerging trends to prove their mettle on the ever-so-crowded and ever-so-chaotic web space. In fact, many marketers and brands have already started implementing these new SEO strategies and have started reaping its benefits… and ‘Now it’s Your Turn’.
Try incorporating a few (or all!) of them into your marketing mix to get batter rankings.
Let me know which trends have you already been using, and which ones have been an eye-opener for you in the comments section below.
Best of luck!