Help your company increase website traffic this New Year by considering the following three SEO predictions for 2017. Many take the “safe route” when discussing SEO predictions for the next year, such as “Mobile will take precedence.” Rather than sticking to the safe side of the SEO landscape, think about the following bold predictions to determine if any are applicable to your marketing campaign:
Biggest Shift in Rankings in Google’s History
Significant algorithmic changes—the biggest in the search engine juggernaut’s history—could occur in 2017. One reason stems from machine-learning, specifically RankBrain. The machine-learning system from Google is the latest search results improvement tool designed to interpret shiny-new, previously-not-searched-for queries. It assists Google in selecting and prioritizing the signals it uses to rank pages. The search engine has essentially created its own detector, one that rewards the pages consumers are visiting with higher search rankings.
Featured Snippets and Organic Listings Merge
The featured snippet that sits atop Google’s first page often has little or nothing to do with the top organic listing. However, this could change in 2017. Why? It just makes logical sense. Perhaps featured snippets were a test, or a way to experiment with user engagement signals. Rather than leaving them to float on Google’s first page for no reason, the search engine could combine snippets with organic listings.
It’s the End of Local SEO as We Know It
Local SEO could undergo a serious transformation in 2017—one brought on by Google’s plan to make $5 billion in local search revenue this year. For example, Google Maps is poised to become ad revenue gold. The search engine has been working hard on creating ads within Maps that increase website traffic by encouraging consumers to visit nearby restaurants, gas stations, retail stores featuring the products they need, etc. Google is “unlocking” its Maps ad revenue potential, according to those who work for the department, which would equal marketing opportunities for local businesses across the U.S. and the world. It would also mean Maps is in serious competition with Groupon, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, and GrubHub. The addition of Maps as an ad source would be a big game-changer for local SEO.
Keep in mind these predictions are just that—predictions. Yet, there is no way the changes Google is undergoing won’t have a significant impact on the SEO world. The trick is simply to remain aware of these changes and be among the first to use them to the company advantage. The desire to increase web traffic will not change—just the how and why of making it happen.