How SEO is going to Change In 2019

SEO is constantly changing and it primarily impacts two things – ranking and visibility. It is the process of improving the volume and quality associated with traffic to a website through search engines via organic or even search engine results.

Having a strong SEO means that your website ranks well and drives traffic. To be relevant in this fast-paced game, SEO specialists need to not only be hawk-eyed but must also be able to foresee while being a visionary.

Google CEO, SundarPichai, in one of his keynote speeches revealed that 20% of mobile queries are voice searches.

If you are you a marketer, webmaster or business owner, it is important to pitch for and invest in SEO to reap the benefits of online exposure in 2019. This may very well be a revolutionary year for SEO.

1. Voice Search

Voice Search

According to experts’ prediction of SEO trends in 2019, between virtual reality and augmented reality, or blockchain and artificial intelligence, Voice search is the biggest trend. Nicole Bermack, editor at Edwardsturm.com and SEO Manager at Sturm Media LLC. has coined the word “voice search optimization” and goes on to explain that the three main pillars of Search Engine Optimization; content, links and site architecture will remain for years to come, but, voice search will be the game changer and will re-shape the way websites are optimized. According to one estimate, about 40% of adults currently use voice search at least once a day, and by 2020, voice search will account for about 50% of total searches. Marketers need to pay attention to how they want to capture this traffic. Voice search is going to be one of the main areas of focus for SEO in 2019 and beyond.

It is also going to have an impact on keyword research. Since voice requests are not the same as normal queries, keyword research will change accordingly.

Amazon Search – Kent Lewis, President and Founder of the Portland-based performance firm, Anvil, predicts that both Amazon search and voice search will be the trends to watch out in 2019. He predicts that since most of the searches will be around products, so Amazon searches would even inch over voice search in the popularity charts. In fact, according to Kenshoo study, Amazon will shortly topple Google as the prime search engine. Experts rate Amazon Search Optimization (AMSO) to be another trend of 2019 to watch out for.

2. Artificial Intelligence (Ai) Revolution

The future of SEO will involve artificial intelligence with tech giants investing in the technology. Search engines are adapting and beginning to favour natural, user-specific content to keep up with the trend. As Nicole Bermack goes on to explain – “I think savvy SEOs are going to utilize Ai content generation (text and images especially) in 2019 to create a whole new type of search algorithm gaming, that may almost be viewed as black hat. Be on the lookout for this one.” Google is more inclined towards user satisfaction, relevance and learning about local queries gradually. Currently, Google’s Home device relies heavily on featured snippets to provide answers. Businesses will need to react to this by tailoring their content to fit these queries and appear in the featured snippets.

Jana Garanko, head of PR at the legendary marketing tool, SEMrush, believes that Ai will change our keyword research practices, and rankings will depend on private demographic data.

3. The Rise of Mobile-First Index

Mobiles are ubiquitous. While around 60% of Google searches are made from mobile devices, the percentage for local searches peaks at around 95%. People are looking for all types of details on their mobile devices and local searches are on the rise.

Hence, Google is working accordingly to optimize results and has rolled out mobile-first indexing and is all set to make the web more mobile-friendly in the future. Businesses need to ensure that their website has a responsive design or alternately see that both mobile and desktop versions have equivalent content.

48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine –but 33% go directly to the site they want.

This trend will continue in 2019 and focusing on making your website mobile-friendly as well as optimizing your content for voice search will give you an edge over competitors.

4. AMP is Already a Big Thing..and Will Continue To Be

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is an open source project by Google that helps webmasters create lightning-fast mobile web pages. Currently, AMP results are only displayed on Google for publishers and news sites. But according to Dave Besbris, Vice President of Engineering, Google, “We are going to be rolling out AMP elsewhere, including in search.” It’s “an important time to get your feet wet” for all other industries as well. Google is looking to solve 2 major problems with AMP:

  1. The poor user experience on mobile due to slow loading pages
  2. The increasing use of adblockers on mobile devices.

Besides AMP, there are new quick SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) features in place for better results. Searches will get more personalized and will take into account users’ interests, hobbies, location, search history, and gender.

5. Content Richness

Meanwhile, search engine algorithms will continue to become more sophisticated. In 2019, providing quality content will be the most important factor for businesses ranking in search.

According to experts, by 2019, content marketing is set to become an industry worth $300 billion.

This will have a huge impact on search engine optimization across the board, as content and SEO go hand in hand. High-quality content equipped with proper keyword usage in the website helps to grab the attention of the viewers and also enables the website to obtain traffic easily.

Components that impacts content are length, quality, term frequency, and its structure. For better user experience, a website needs content that engages them, and a site that loads lightning fast to keep the visitors from hitting the back button.

SEO of the future will be more content and consumer-focused, aimed at humans as much as search engines. Moreover, in order to remain viable, brands will become more experimental with the content they share and the partnerships they strike up with influencers. Social media doubles up as the SEO of the future since users utilize these platforms as search engine themselves. Remember, YouTube is already the second largest search engine and other social channels will continue to integrate with search as a whole, both in terms of more content being indexed and ranked by that search engine. To achieve top lookup engine rankings, as an SEO, you need to raise the bar of content quality and links.

6. Excellent User Experience

Excellent User Experience

People always engage with websites that offer good user experience. In 2018-19, UX has assumed an even more important aspect of SEO. Google has already signalled user-experience as one of the ranking signals. All the visitors must be offered smooth user experience in 2019 as well.

As per one study, 53% of the users abandon sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load. In 2019, it is important to have a site that is lighting fast. Content can be made more conversational by using shorter sentences and long-tail keywords to match user’s search.

People engagement can be easily increased by including professional, high-quality images (photos, graphs) throughout your content. Images also break the monotony of the text.

Video content is not to be overlooked either. It will take around 80% of all online traffic by 2021 according to research giant, CISCO. Therefore, it is worthwhile to also focus on YouTube SEO, that is, SEO optimized videos, to push your website onto the first page on Google and get traffic from YouTube as well.

7. Importance of VR/AR and Blockchain

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are promising technologies for search engine marketing (both paid and organic). By 2019, these new technologies will definitely change the way we build links, engage users, and generate leads through content marketing thereby changing the way search engine marketing process itself. While VR and AR will get their own sections in organic search, Blockchain will create more focus on technical SEO. This may change Google’s organic search algorithms as it already favours mobile-friendly websites. AR/VR can replace infographics in SEO. As for Blockchain, the impact will be determined on the basis of the scale of adoption. In 2019, Google will be more intelligent, and promotion of websites will be even more difficult. Therefore, it will be useful to not forget about basic on-page SEO like duplicate content or missing Title and description Meta tags while keeping track of the latest trends.

8. Link Building

Seasoned experts still believe about the importance of linkbuilding as one of the utmost important signals for ranking pages in Google. Even content around the hyperlinked text will hold importance.

But here is the new thing; link building will not be the same in 2019. The latest SEO trend is termed as Linkless backlinks. So what exactly are these Linkless backlinks and how do they affect SEO? Search engines use Linkless backlinks to associate mention with brands and use them to determine a site’s authority. Duane Forrester, formerly Sr. Product Manager at Bing, points out that unlinked mentions can be just as strong a signal as regular links, confirming that search engines can easily identify mentions, associate them with brands and products, and use those as a signal in determining a site’s quality and authority.

 

These SEO trends may have begun their journey in late 2017 or early 2018, but their benefits will truly be reaped in 2019 and beyond. Be prepared!

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