2015 has seen much change for SEO industry people. There was the Mobilegeddon update which put pay to anyone who was lagging behind with mobile-optimisation, the local update which introduced the three pack, a quality algorithm for content and then a number of other updates, making small tweaks and edits to the rankings overall.
So at the back end of 2015, what does next year look like?
Written content is the standard online, even though there are lots of brands working with a whole range of formats. Regardless, the written word is the baseline, with video, infographics, images and other mediums existing on the peripheral. However, new technology is making video a more attractive option and 2016 will see video get much better reach than ever before. Google is expected to start experimenting with video ads in search results.
Mobile over Desktop
This trend has been growing and growing and in 2016, mobile optimisation will be considered more important than desktop optimisation. Google announced that mobile and desktop traffic reached a 50/50 state in 2015, so soon desktop could be considered obsolete.
With Cortana, Siri and Google Now handling our requests more and more, search is moving away from traditional queries into longer, more complex queries that utilise spoken language.
Aggregated Content Reducing the Power of News
Twitter is trialing Moments, with aggregated content pulled in from live events and also from unfolding news stories where users become their own newsmakers and content creators. This will mean that traditional content creators will move towards more evergreen content as well as opinion-based editorial instead.
Google searches will be augmented with tweets when looking for a news story. This move from Google is drawing more from social content, with social media sites becoming more heavily indexed and available to Google to show alongside search results.
Links in Apps
Google is predicting a move away from the traditional web and onto specially built apps. To keep up with this, search marketers need to ensure that they are creating apps with deep links, much like they do online. Every business will need its own app soon.
Local Local Local
With wearables becoming increasingly commonplace, the move to a highly specific local search will get more focused. Instead of honing down to cities or counties, search will be based around what is in your neighbourhood or just around the corner.
SEO moves in mysterious ways. Every year predictions are made, some of which happen and some of which take a little longer than expected. Either way, there’s no doubt that 2016 will be another interesting year search-wise – maybe we’ll even seen the much vaunted changes to Penguin – an update and becoming real-time.