Search engine optimisation is always evolving and at this time of year particularly has become a prevalent topic of discussion, as companies make plans for their digital marketing efforts for the coming year. Much has been researched, tried and proven to work as marketers continue to exploit search algorithms and how they work. As more businesses continue to enter the digital world, the use of keywords, links and social platforms becomes exhausted. The search algorithms are updated and will continue to do so as 2014 ends and 2015 begins, giving digital marketers more to do to keep their rankings through Google and the other search engines. Although we don’t have a crystal ball, there has been much speculation as to how best to plan SEO strategies for 2015, and here are some of the hot topics.
Google rankings will rely less on external links and organic listing
This can be easily seen and predicted. External links and organic listing have reached a point where they can be easily designed even for sites that have the least relevant information and still achieve top ranking. Since search engines have a sole purpose of ranking according to relevance and quality of information, new ways to determine this will be needed. The emergence of many SEO service providers has led to overuse of external links and algorithms can no longer meet their purpose based on these aspects of the sites. Google has indicated it will take aggressive moves to incorporate knowledge graphs, instant answers and visual ads.
The fall of information and content based optimisation
Google is expected to provide more answers in the future and this brings direct competition to businesses that thrive on content and answering questions. This may be bad news, but it gets worse, as a business that has spent time trying to prove its authority, you have already shared your valuable content with Google by answering your audience’s questions. Competing with Google on this front will be very difficult and other forms of optimisation will definitely be needed.
Super-specific location searches
With Bing maps and Apple Watch already available, future website optimisation will definitely include a series of new trends. Apple Watch marks the start of new location searches and trends that search engines will be interested in. Ownership of content, which is what Google and other engines look for when ranking, is heavily boosted by location precision.
Incorporation of user experience in ranking
Having relevant content and links to reputable sites will no longer be enough. Google is set to begin rewarding sites that improve user experience through incorporating technologies such as mobile optimisation. The top ranked sites must match user expectation in terms of content, ergonomics and experience. Page load speeds, mobile responsiveness and other semantics will also be used.
Learning will take over outsourcing
While this is likely to take time, more businesses are set acknowledge the impact of effective search engine optimisation and improving their business’ visibility. The best way to meet needs is often learning and perfecting skills. Although outsourcing will still happen, especially for the newcomers, more independent employment of SEO-literate IT specialists can be expected. The provision of SEO training courses and online certification uptake signifies that more businesses are looking at bringing SEO in house.
Search engine ranking algorithms have always adapted to new changes in order to maintain listing relevant sites at the top. This trend can only be expected to continue and new ranking techniques will be used. Relevant, high quality and authentic content from experts and businesses whose existence can be proven using geo-locators is already influencing rankings and this is only set to continue through 2015.