When it comes to making SEO predictions, plenty of "experts" take the safe choice. We as a whole know mobile SEO will be increasingly important. Talking about the obvious is always the safe choice.
If you're anything like us, the SEO expectations for 2017 have let you feeling disappointed. Nobody has been sticking their neck out this year.
Mobile will be huge?
UX will matter?
Really? You don't say!
I think it's our opportunity to state a couple of more strong forecasts. These SEO forecasts will be a bit more out there – maybe you could even call them a little insane.
Don't point the finger at us if/when these expectations become reality. We're just the prognosticator, basing our expectations on the things we've seen lately – and where we believe Google is heading next.
Major algorithmic changes are always a major ordeal – from old fashioned classics like Florida and Caffeine to more present day algorithmic updates like Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and RankBrain.
So here's my first SEO expectation for 2017: We'll see the greatest shift in rankings in the history of Google.
Machine learning and AI was an unquestionable force in 2016. What's more, I anticipate that machine learning signs will become a greater and greater bit of the pie. In case you're new to RankBrain, here's a simplified outline that separates it:
RankBrain googles select and prioritize the signs it uses for ranking. Engagement is one of the important signs Google takes a gander at for ranking.
It's been my hypothesis that RankBrain (or potentially other machine-learning components within Google's center algorithm) are increasingly rewarding pages that have high user engagement. As it were: Google has manufactured its own particular ultimate unicorn detector to guarantee that the pages individuals are clicking on and engaging with the most are compensated with better search positions.
Remember how, for a couple of months before RankBrain was officially reported in that Bloomberg article, everybody in the SEO industry knew a major algorithm update was brewing? Remember all the discussion on Twitter, Facebook, and the top search industry publications?
No doubt, me neither because it totally didn't occur!
So here's my second SEO forecast for 2017: Even however we're about to see the greatest shift in the history of Google rankings, no one will see anything.
RankBrain is more inconspicuous than updates like Panda and Penguin, where up to 90 percent of your natural traffic vanished instantly overnight. It was easy to see such a ridiculously tremendous traffic drop, that happened on a specific date, in your examination.
But with RankBrain, the rankings shift is happening each day, bit by bit, rather than at the same time in one major update. Google is shifting traffic away from your donkeys (pages with average or below average engagement) and toward your unicorns (pages that have 5-10x higher engagement measurements than typical).
Whatever SEO rank-checking tools or weather reports you're looking at aren't set up to see these small and gradual sorts of changes. They just lose all sense of direction in the clamor.
Why is Google's featured piece so often different from its top-ranked natural listing? Basically, Google is as of now saying to its users: "Our first listing isn't really the right reply, so use this other reply instead."
Huh? Why isn't the principal listing basically "the reply" instead?
My third SEO forecast for 2017: Google's featured bits and natural listing will meet.
Here's my hypothesis. Bits were just a sandbox/testing environment where they could experiment with user engagement motions in search and whatever is left of the rankings didn't use them. Now that they've become tied up with this thought, they can consolidate the two ideas.
Subsequently of new user-engagement signs being used in search rankings, less and less individuals are clicking on results in lower positions, while clicks on the top positions are trending higher. Look at this surprising click bend Busy With SEO set up together:
(Take note of: This data was obtained from the Google Search Console, tracking a similar arrangement of keywords in the Internet marketing niche for three separate 30-day time frames)
This diagram really illustrates the possibility of an unpretentious change, as discussed in my second forecast.
What's it all mean? That it's the ideal opportunity for my next SEO forecast: Google will eliminate the bottom portion of search results in 2017. (Bonus forecast: SEOs will blow a gasket BIG TIME!)
Therefore of machine learning, I believe Google will conclude that it no longer needs to show positions 6-10. The cleaned up SERP will be populated with more ads (which will generate higher CTRs than the natural listings they supplanted).
Think it can't occur? Give me a chance to remind you of that time waay back in mid 2016 when Google killed right-side content ads on the desktop. But when you took a gander at the data, it made sense why Google did it: just 14.6 percent of desktop clicks originated from the correct ads.
What occurred after Google eliminated right-side ads? CTRs increased and traffic remained steady.
I imagine a similar will be true when Google eliminates the bottom portion of search results. The real effect for most websites should be minimal because most individuals aren't clicking on those natural listings now anyway.
Google Shopping (a.k.a. Product Search) used to be great. At that point Google changed the amusement and Google Shopping became a 100 percent pay-to-play system.
The neighborhood SEO train has continued for way too long. These are 100 percent business inquiries and Google's next huge land get.
There's no easy way to cushion the blow for my fifth SEO forecast for 2017, so I'll just say it: nearby SEO as we've known it will pass on.
Google arrangements to make $5 billion from neighborhood search. So that implies a certain something: farewell neighborhood natural packs.
Google already has a truly extensive rundown of strategies that are against its Webmaster Guidelines. All things considered, anticipate that that rundown will grow in (or after) 2017.
One thing we've been talking a ton about so far in this post is the importance of engagement measurements and how this can affect your SEO achievement.
All things considered, you know how it goes. At whatever time some individual sees some accomplishment with a SEO strategy, then everybody begins doing it. But a chosen few who can't make that strategy work legitimately will make sense of a way to fake it.
This is precisely how the whole link buying issue began 10 years back. Individuals knew links increased rankings, so individuals went insane buying links, not worrying about quality, just quantity.
Which brings us to SEO forecast number six: CTR and engagement hacks will become the new black hat SEO.
Search for tremendous spammer innovation again SEOs finally begin realizing that improving CTR and abide time additionally can enhance rankings in today's machine-learning world. The black hat upheaval won't be broadcast, but individuals in the know will know about it.
Why does Google have a TOS (terms of service) and not enforce it?
Along these lines, my seventh SEO expectation is that Google will pronounce war on tool providers that violate their TOS.
Why should Google think more about this now? Likely because rank checkers botch CTR and bob calculations.
If Google needed to be really mean about it, they could devise a kind of punishment where if they found that you were doing exorbitant rank checking of your domain, they could infer you were violating the TOS.
Following on the previous expectation, and different factors, here's my next SEO forecast for 2017: one or more major SEO vendors or service organizations will be sold off.
Google now and again "makes a case" of a small organization they believe is behaving badly by publicly punishing them so badly that they have to close.
Despite the fact that quite a bit of this post may appear like doom and despair, one thing's for certain: SEO won't pass on. (In spite of the fact that it's an amazingly sure thing the whole routine of SEO will be proclaimed dead or potentially dying at least a couple times this year!)
Despite the greater part of its difficulties (and the numerous more not too far off), SEO will be a considerably more significant marketing channel to the fortunate winners in 2017 and beyond.
My final SEO expectation for 2017: Fewer and fewer winners will win bigger and bigger jackpots.
What do you think?