500 SEO Tips: Essential Strategies To Bulldoze Through Google's Rankings, Increase Traffic and Go Viral
Chapter 8: Predictions For 2020
What will SEO look like in 2020? How can you start preparing for the change? Here are some predictions for what SEO will look like in 2020. It's only a few years away, so make sure to start preparing for it today! Keep in mind though that these predictions aren't 100% accurate. Take them with a pinch of salt. After all, I'm not psychic.
265. Semantic Search Will Take Hold
Today, semantic search is only at its infancy. It's nothing but a baby.
Wait until 2020 (or even better, 2050) and you'll see semantic search flexing its muscles for real.
Expect a lot more functionality from the Knowledge Graph, and scarily good responses to your searches. Semantic search will know everything about its users and I'd go so far to say that semantic search will understand your brain and personality better than anyone else.
266. Mobile Search Will Become More Dominant
Mobile search is going to become a lot more popular as the years go on. I would go as far to say that mobile search will almost take over desktop search in 2020, but not fully. Desktop search will still be used in the next few years, or even decades so don't let that worry you. However, I think that the use of mobile search is going to rapidly increase, exponentially.
267. Local Search Will Become More Important
People search Google for things like their nearest restaurant, phone numbers of local businesses or opening hours of shops. This is going to increase even more in 2020
268. Google Will Start Pulling Answers From Your Content
People don't want to scroll through a list of websites in search results. They don't want to click on a website link and wait for it load. They want the answer, there and then. Instantly.
That's why Google are "pulling" the answers from the schema markup of website content. For example, if you type in searches like "walt disney's birthday", "what is the sun", "what does serendipity mean", "what time is it", you get answers instantly straight from Google. They pull these answers from other websites and may provide attribution to the source.
But it's not just one word answers. You can now get full length answers for queries like "symptoms of stroke" or "how to stay healthy" which have entire paragraphs. Those paragraphs are pulled straight from other blogs. It's very unfair, and stops a lot of traffic from reaching the site.
This new product of Google is called the "Google Answer Box" (no surprises there). Expect it to become more and more intelligent. By 2020, it'll have answers to practically everything and anything.
269. Those That'll Translate Their Content Will Win
Most online content is in English, with very little actually being translated into other languages. This is saying something, since the two most spoken languages in the world are Mandarin and Spanish. Then, it's English.
With rising populations across the world, by 2020, the audience for your writing will be huge.
If you want more readers, it really helps to start translating content into those languages.
It's simple. Those that'll translate their content will get a huge increase in traffic over anyone else.
You need to invest in getting your content translated because by 2020, a lot more webmasters will be doing the same. You might even discover that a lot of your target audience is in other countries. Some of the most successful companies have the most users in South America and Asia.
It helps to get your content translated. So, start now. If you want to postpone it now, make sure you start translating in the next few years. It's got to be happen soon.
270. There'll Be More Rich Snippets
Rich snippets are hot and as they're working incredibly well, Google are going to keep on using them. By 2020, they are definitely going to create more rich snippets. I can't say what, but I know they're on the pipeline. Make sure to prepare for new rich snippets by using the rich snippets already available, and reading the latest news on SEO blogs (Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, Moz).
271. Google Panda Will Perform In Real-Time
Google actually have to refresh their Panda and Penguin algorithms regularly to keep the spam sites down and bring up the high quality sites. That means every few months, they have to hit a "refresh" button and release Panda and Penguin again.
However, one Google engineer hinted that Panda now performs in real-time, meaning it's working around the clock and no matter when, it'll always deliver high quality results. This statement was later dismissed as another Google engineer said it was not true. Panda may not be working in real-time today, but in the future it most certainly will.
By 2020, I'm certain that Panda and Penguin will both work simultaneously in real-time to deliver the best results no matter when. Even today, we've almost reached that near-intelligence and it doesn't seem to long away when these two algorithm updates will always run.
272. Social Media Will Become A Ranking Signal
Sometime, somewhere down the line – social media signals will have to become a ranking factor. They are already part of the ranking algorithm, but aren't considered important. Google have tried incorporating Facebook and Twitter signals into their algorithm, but it was a disaster.
However, I wouldn't be surprised if they were still working on it. After all, social media and Google are now intertwined. If something is popular on social media, it has to be popular on Google.
273. Trust Will Become More Important
As Google learned their lessons from websites that manipulated them, they have put more emphasis on the trust with the website. Things like comments on content, subscribers, and high quality links all build trust. Building trust is one of the most difficult things to do in SEO, because there are no tricks or quick hacks that you can use to get there.
The only way you can build trust is by creating awesome content that people enjoy, providing an excellent user experience and getting links and mentions from reputable websites. Getting and becoming all that is difficult, no doubt, but is achievable in the years to come.
Of course, when you build trust, Google may even rank you higher in the future, just because they recognise your brand and know you will do a great job for their searchers. Expect trust to become even more powerful than it is today.
274. Online Identity Will Continue To Become Stronger – Just like trust, online identity will prove to be big. Do you know why Mashable, Buzzfeed, Forbes and The Huffington Post continue to rank extremely well for competitive keywords? They've earned Google's trust and became an online identity.
Whilst it's unlikely that your website will become a massive empire like theirs, you can still build a strong online identity in your niche through powerful link building, content marketing and providing value to searchers.
Don’t think you need a massive advertising team worth millions of dollars to build an identity either. Take Brian Dean's SEO blog, Backlinko which was built 12 months ago and has 24 blog posts. That's it. This blog is now one of the most popular and reputable SEO blogs on the web, and it was all made possible by one person. All he did was provide insane value to his readers, build powerful backlinks and create content which Google took a shine to.
275. HTTPS Will Be Essential To Any Business Driven Website – Google have already started to push for "HTTPS" websites (not just your regular http:// website but one that's extra secure and is called https:// instead). In 2015, it has become a ranking factor and I will suspect that for commerce and sites that involve monetary transactions, getting a HTTPS site will be a big deal. By 2020, it will be almost compulsory for most sites to have a HTTPS site. However, for purely informational sites that involve no monetary transactions, getting a HTTPS site won't be so important.
276. Google+ Will Die – I'm sorry, but I had to say it.
Google take +1's from their own social network very seriously, and so if you have a lot of +1's on your content, you may get an ever so tiny boost in the rankings. However, their failed attempt at Google+ is going to come to an end someday. They mightn't "end" Google+ officially, but they will turn it from a product to a platform. They will get rid of any ties that Google+ has with either paid search or organic search results.
The ingenious products that are available on Google+ such as Hangouts will continue, but maybe not in the social network that we know of today.
277. Search Results Will Contain Specific Content, Not Broad Content – Search queries on Google are getting longer, with lots of queries reaching up to eight and nine words. It's inevitable that search results will get even more specific as time goes on. So rather than ranking search results that provide a broad overview of the topic, Google will put more emphasis on sites that answer the search query directly and specifically.
278. Google Will Continue To Remove Data From Analytics – Ever since Google took out the keywords that people used to find your site from Google Analytics, and replaced them with [not provided], there was out roar among SEOs.
It's still debatable on why Google removed this feature. Maybe because they wanted to protect their searcher's privacy (which is more than likely). Or some of the pessimists say that Google don't want SEOs to succeed. By removing the feature, SEOs couldn't discover which keywords were sending them traffic and hence, optimize their site for those keywords even more.
Google have taken keywords from Google Webmasters which means that for a lot of the keywords in Google Webmaster Tools, they will show up as "not provided". This is not good news for any webmaster, and it's only going to get worse in the future.
Google don't want SEOs succeeding, because to them, SEO is a form of manipulation. Yes, I agree.
SEO can be a form of manipulation, but only if your website provides no value to your readers. SEO will continue to be the number one form of marketing, and there's no way that Google can stop it. They'll keep picking away at SEOs though, so by 2020, expect to have some of your favourite SEO features removed.