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20 Dec, 2016

We often hear that “Changing often brings opportunities”, so what if it comes to SEO? If you want to power up your site on Search Engine, you have to keep updated how Search Engines are changing and adjust your content and SEO strategy before your competitors have chance to catch up. It looks like 2017 will be a promising year for SEO-ers with 7 following trends that might dominate arena.

1. The rise of accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) helps to ultimate user experience

Accelerated mobile pages are an open source protocol that allows web masters to create pages capable of loading almost instantly on mobile devices. Just simple structural changes can make your site load up to four times faster and use eight times less data (the medium load time is 0.7 seconds for AMP and 22 seconds for non-AMP pages).

 Also, Google is starting to favor sites that have switched over to AMPs. In 2017, it’s anticipated that we will see more favoritism of AMPs in search results with more brands taking advantages of this option.

2. Machine learning will change the way algorithm works.

Google RankBrain released last year allowed possibility of machine learning. Google Hummingbirds functions as a way to learn more about how users phrase conversational queries and update its algorithm automatically. Google will probably start releasing more machine learning updates as years go on, staring next year, and we may see machine learning in other areas, such as data interpretation or marketing automation, as well. 

3. The rise of dense content

It seems that readers are more interested in “dense” content, in other words, more content is provided with less space. Early marketing efforts were focused on producing as much bite-sized content as possible, but for the past few years “epic” content is surging.

4. HTTPs will eat up your referral date? Any way to fix that?

A the couple of years ago, Google inducted ‘https’ as a ranking factor in its algorithm. Since then many companies just ran to shift from HTTP to HTTPS. However, the problem is that HTTPS has been eating up a lot of referral data. Moreover, you need to restore referral data to your HTTP website coming from HTTPS websites. Also, you will need to make sure that your HTTPS website passes referral data to HTTP sites. All this increases the risk of losing out on ranking, going into 2017.

So while the Web is divided into HTTP and HTTPS websites, SEO-ers and marketers are facing two common problems with passing the referral data.

a. You need to restore referral data to your HTTP website from other HTTPS sites

A workaround to be in the know of how much traffic is coming from your specific advertising or marketing campaigns would be wider use of Google's UTM tracking. All you will have to do is tag the URLs you place on other websites with specific source/medium/campaign tags. And when someone clicks on a URL with UTM parameters, those tags are sent back to your Google Analytics for tracking.

b. You need to make sure your HTTPS website passes referral data to HTTP sites

Here you can try inserting the referrer by using an intermediate page, like Google+, Facebook and Twitter do.

To ensure the HTTP site gets their referral data in Google Analytics, the social networks implement an internal redirect — before sending a visitor to their final destination, they redirect them to a non-HTTPS page that creates its own referral data.

5. User experience optimization will blur the lines with SEO

User experience is always crucial to SEO. Google favors sites that are responsive and load quickly, and make users enjoy experience with prolonged time spent on pages. However, in 2017, we may see an increased emphasis on user experience, especially it relates to mobile devices as I mentioned. Let’s wait and see the way that Google will prefer sites that provide better user experience.

6. Get ready for voice search algorithm

Google voice search has been growing recently. Google’s experts have been working in reducing error rate of voice search plummets, and the speech recognition error rate has decreased from 25 to 8 percent now. Therefore, marketers will have to think beyond text-based queries in 2017, which may be one of the biggest change in search industry.

7. Cross channel marketing

The trend of using various channels to market your product has increased during last few months. Cross-channel marketing is an extension of multi-channel marketing. Its actual purpose is to create prominent brand presence between different devices and platforms so that user makes a purchase. Studies suggest that cross-channel marketing is still in its infancy stage, but its trend will continue to rise in 2017.

Have some thoughts to share, please shoot me a message in the comments

Well, in previous blog post, I presented trends of web design in 2017 and this time is SEO's turn. I don’t think it’s wrong to say that SEO has been evolving. It’s hard to say what Google and other search engines have in store for us in coming years, but these trends will be likely to develop in some meaningful way. The more aware you are of your surroundings and the better you are able to anticipate changes in the pipeline, the more likely you’ll be to stay on top of SEO game.

 

                                                                                

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7 comments

  • Thanks for this in-depth breakdown, it's a good reminder that we have to consider a lot this year.

    As for my tactics, we discussed one recently on Digital Olympus :D I still think that backlinks will rule.

    As for marketing strategy we'll be focusing on content mostly,

    And I agree, positions in Google are going crazy, when I compare data between Yandex and Google it looks like Google's new algorithm should be called Random Ranking, on some of my projects positions go like 13>31>49>47>1>96>7>OUT>44>19>OUT>2>3>OUT>95

    It's going to be a fun year.

  • Great year for SEO from my perspective, especially now Penguin is real-time which will (hopefully) eliminate some of the scrubs and their pesky link building tools. I beleive SEO is developing into a more technical role, as I work for a fairly large eCommerce company as an SEO Analyst, I don't find myself doing the day-to-day tasks as I would have done agency-side, instead I'm starting to become involved in the more technical stuff, crawls, log file analysis, using XPath extractions with Screaming frog etc.

    The mobile-first transition is also going to be a very interesting one, I'm hoping some industry experts will talk about this next year at conferences

  • Hey Hieu,

    Great post. I agree. The people who focus on user engagement will have the best online presence. This is the type of sites that will do in SEO. Thank you for the awesome tips!

    • posted by Dennis Jordan
    • Saturday, 29 April 2017 02:56
  • Phenomenal article. A lot of our clients that we currently do SEO services for our happy with lot of the content that we build out for them, because it is dense and provides their phones to ring off the hook. also, people love our writing style. I like the user experience bit. That is something I am looking forward to. I have not heard regarding voice search. That is amazing. Any advice on how that will relate to specific keywords being search or do you think they will remain the same. Should we start to add inflection points within our content?

    • posted by Selwa
    • Thursday, 05 January 2017 08:14
  • Phenomenal article. A lot of our clients that we currently do SEO services for our happy with lot of the content that we build out for them, because it is dense and provides their phones to ring off the hook. also, people love our writing style. I like the user experience bit. That is something I am looking forward to. I have not heard regarding voice search. That is amazing. Any advice on how that will relate to specific keywords being search or do you think they will remain the same. Should we start to add inflection points within our content?

    • posted by Selwa
    • Thursday, 05 January 2017 08:13

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