SEO has been the most favorite strategy of all digital marketers for many years. It has gone through metamorphosis and has changed the way people use the internet. In the past, SEO started as a trick to manipulate Google’s search engine.
This blackhat SEO was wiped out by Google with Penguin and Panda updates. Nowadays, ranking is based upon many factors besides keyword optimization. However, there are still many sites that are still working to insert keywords even if the algorithm is mature enough to detect such tricks.
It seems that there are still many webmasters who have not been able to move on from previous changes. It is time to look forward to the future and it’s important to be prepared for many surprises and here are seven SEO predictions were likely to see.
- Biggest Ranking Shift
We have witnessed several updates like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird. Now, Google has created another update called RankBrain. This new update is done for the purpose of determining which site needs to be pushed to the top of SERP and which one needs to be pushed further down.
With RankBrain, sites that already have higher engagement will be selected to be ranked further, and sites with less or no engagement will be forgotten.
- RankBrain Update Will Not Be Noticeable
In recent years; Panda and Penguin updates literally wiped out the traffic of affected sites in an instant. With RankBrain, the effect will likely become gradual. This means that webmasters will see their sites with less engagement gradually falling in ranking as the engagement becomes lesser and lesser.
- Google Will Remove 6 to 10 Positions in SERP
Google obviously favors queries with more clicks. Since most clicks come from positions 1 to 5, there is a probability that Google will remove rank 6 to 10. Therefore, we may only see half of the page in the long run.
- Fake Engagement Will Increase
The SEO community is always aware of every update made by Google. RankBrain updates are not beyond the knowledge of desperate SEO specialists. Consequently, blackhat SEO guys will find their way to play this system.
If RankBrain awards only those sites with higher engagement, expect that blackhat SEO will produce fake engagement to fool RankBrain. So example let’s say a SEO company is trying to rank a website like this for the keyword “NJ exterminator“. They can build links to that page with either black hat or white hat means, but chances are the black hat methods won’t last.
- Crackdown on Tool Providers
Tool providers are those that offer several platforms for SEO. These platforms are rank checkers, search bots, and other analytics services.
This is because rank checkers mess up with CTR and cause artificial bounce rates. Moreover, automated queries are against the Terms of Service of Google.
- Many SEO Companies Will Run out of Business
2017 could be the end of many SEO companies, especially those that still live in the memory of keyword optimization. Keywords are no longer the name of the game as it’s about user engagement now.
Nevertheless, some SEO companies will still adapt to such changes. Youth Noise, an SEO company in Charlotte, says it’s been preparing to overhaul its entire operation to account for the new algorithm, even if it’s not yet fully understood.
- SEO Will Become More Respected Than Ever
SEO must be respected and not tricked. This is what Google clearly wants to emphasize. Reputable agencies have turned their sights to focusing on quality like offering guest posting services like this. They rank only sites that they respect. This implies that the SEO profession will become more professionalized than ever before.
SEO has gone through a lot of changes, and it will continue to change in the future. Nonetheless, SEO will never die. It will still remain to be the most popular strategy, but this strategy may become much different from what it used to be. For as long as there are search engines, SEO will always be there evolving with the updates.
Carl is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. He frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses his efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.