Your approach to search engine optimization (SEO) should never grow stale. Innovations and disruptions in the SEO landscape take place constantly, creating new opportunities for maximizing your efforts and increasing your traffic.
But staying up-to-date with these changes can be difficult. After all, SEO is a broad field with many moving parts. However, a comprehensive understanding of SEO progress can help you generate active growth for your business.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the latest trending innovations and disruptions in SEO across all industries.
For any business, creating a culture of innovation should be a priority. U.S. industries alone have spent nearly $500 billion on research and development as they seek to innovate products and strategies and disrupt the status quo.
A great example of this was when Netflix challenged Blockbuster Video’s hold on the market with its mail-in movies and later streaming service. In SEO, the same kind of innovation and disruption occurs all the time, giving rise to effective ideas for better marketing and search results.
Modern SEO has been redefined by these innovations. Here are some of the biggest changes to search engine optimization that you should be aware of:
When Google unleashed RankBrain in 2015, it meant big changes to the way we search. Suddenly, results shifted from keyword matching alone to an interpretive model that built in and understood context. This meant that pages could be ranked by usefulness, website reputation and semantic associations more comprehensively than ever before.
And RankBrain is getting better all the time at distinguishing quality over the old SEO signals. In light of these changes, adaptive SEO professionals need to stay up-to-date on how any Google updates affect their own page metrics. Keep an eye on performance insights to stay relevant.
The modern age has brought with it immense improvements to artificial intelligence processes. Among these, the ability for search engines to process queries naturally has exploded into a new realm of usability.
Natural Language Processing (NLP), or the ability of a computational system to recognize and categorize language, requires SEO that clearly defines itself. To adapt to the improved semantic abilities of modern search, optimizers must now focus on structured data markup that helps a search engine recognize your content for what it is and align with Google’s BERT, the neural network-based technique for understanding NLP.
As smartphones, tablets and all kinds of devices connected on the Internet of Things (IoT) take off in popularity, so too does the need for web developers to hone their SEO for device accessibility.
When mobile usability became a ranking metric in 2015, it disrupted many SEO strategies and sent search experts back to the drawing board. Similar innovations will continue to disrupt your approach without built-in accessibility. For now, this means optimizing for voice search, digital assistants and smart home systems.
These major changes in tech and processes have shifted the way we approach SEO. Now, we must consider all kinds of contexts, keywords, search methods and devices to truly craft a competitive SEO approach. And these developments themselves are changing and improving over time.
Effective optimizers will consider these innovations as well as how SEO can be disrupted by new and emerging practices in the near future.
Even with the right tech on your side, SEO is only as good as it is relevant. To maintain an effective and competitive approach to maximizing your search results, companies need to understand the trends and how innovative thinking is disrupting the status quo.
These disruptions mean a necessary shift in SEO efforts, from marketing to backlinking. Here’s what you should know:
Content marketing is still effective, and the better the content the higher your search rankings. However, the modern trend towards omnichannel content marketing is disrupting traditional approaches.
Modern SEO requires embracing a range of content over multiple mediums like video, applications, social media and more. Build your brand across channels with consistency and high-quality content and watch your rankings climb.
Slow page speeds, while a consistent ranking metric, can be adversely impacted by a multimedia feed. Failing to optimize for speed is one of the most common mistakes any SEO strategist can make. Modern trends require a re-evaluation of all content to maximize performance.
There are a few different ways optimizers can go about this. One is to run speed tests and optimize accordingly. Another is to use a content delivery network (CDN) to decentralize usability through cloud servers.
With the changing economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, your approach to backlinking should take on a quality-over-quantity directive. While it may seem simpler to spread links far and wide, a slower and more targeted effort can help generate buyer interest and increase your conversion rates.
Focus on understanding your audience through data and feedback, then generate quality content to meet their needs. Backlinking can then be more minimalistic, as long as you’re targeting higher-quality publications for your links.
As you adjust your SEO strategy to accommodate the changing norms, be aware of these disruptions and more. Like all things, search algorithms are constantly in flux, as are the creative ways innovators find to maximize their success. Even the slightest tweak in the way Google ranks pages, for example, can mean a world of difference for your SERPs.
SEO, then, must be handled with care, delicacy and awareness.
Tip: Be aware of how you manage your staff and their access to website tools, social media platforms and search engine analytics – you don’t want a disgruntled employee sabotaging your efforts. If anything (or anyone) upends your optimization efforts resulting in poor SEO, you will find it very difficult to get back to where you were.
Innovation and disruption happen in every industry. For search engine optimizers, however, these changes can make all the difference in the success of your approach. From the slightest contextual changes to the broader ways companies build and maximize their content, the constantly changing SEO landscape requires analysis and innovation.
Keep a close eye on your metrics as well as updates from Google and other search engines. Follow up on the successes or failures of your competitors. Explore your own methods of maximizing the SEO power of your content.
With innovation and disruption bringing continuous change to SEO, your keyword is understanding. Use what you’ve gained to build the best possible search results for your platform.