Part of the ‘game’ in SEO, and for all the ‘SEO experts’ out there supply optimisation services, is to be one step ahead of your competition. To take initiatives before others and get that ranking benefit.
So what is coming in 2017?
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)
This is an initiative to get your pages loading faster on mobile devices, and as I have said before anything that enhances the user experience is picked up by Google and adds a ranking benefit.
The promise is a 4x faster loading time, achieving as little as half a second loading time compared to more normal 3 second times.
Google says 40% of users will leave a site if it takes more than 3 secs to load, and already is starting to favour sites that have switched over to AMP. You can see then on results showing a small lightning bolt.
Get your developers to look in to this but essentially it’s about stripping out unnecessary code. Here’s a useful link they can use.
Google’s AI division Rank Brain signals the development of machine learning for ranking. We already see how when you search Google tries to guess your search term, well things will be advancing a whole lot more in 2017 and beyond. Not sure what we need to do but sit tight and keep a watch for developments.
SEO experts are talking about Personal branding on sites as away to optimise ranking. In case you haven’t heard about this, this is where content is centred around individuals rather than the organisation. It builds more user trust and in turn increases user experience measures. Facebook has already refined its algorithms to favour personal posts over branded.
Increased emphasis on user experience
Well I have been talking about this for a while now but in 2017 it will become even more important as a ranking factor. The above mentioned AMPs are one sign of this. UX or User Experience Optimisation (UEO) to add another 3 letter abbreviation to our marketplace will take an even more important place as a ranking factor. Put link building to one side and get your UX metrics in shape.
Apps will become more important
Google is expected to favour apps more in its search functions. According to Emily Grossman on Search Engine Land SEO experts who are not paying attention to Apps are missing a large chunk of the mobile SEO picture. Now 27% of people find apps though web searches, up from 3% in 2014.
PDAs will become more important
Personal Digital Assistants like Siri have increased the number of search variants used. In 2017 we’ll see more development from PDA services, opening the door for more conversational type queries to target. So in turn more ranking opportunities to go for.