With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, it can be quite hard to predict about its future, however, you are required to do it all the time in SEO, where it can be vital to take cognizance of and react to emerging trends. There have been a number of updates released by Google that tend to favor particular niches or at least to some extent specific business types. For example, the Panda update favored sites with strong and quality content, while the Pigeon update enabled local businesses and directories of local businesses to rank better in the search results page. Based on the current trends and the general anticipation of the industry, it is expected that Google will continue to drive in changes that will give small businesses and entrepreneurs enhanced visibility in the SERPs. Some top reasons why this may be so:
1. Local Search
In the coming years, it is expected that local searches will become more significant, better and much larger because of the inclination of web users to extract more useful and relevant search results that they can act immediately upon. In the last few years, Google has already devoted a lot of attention to producing superior local search results, first with the Pigeon update in 2014 to the swift change to the local 3-pack from the local 7-pack that has benefited local online internet marketing companies. With mobile users submitting their location by default, their search results are automatically more localized than for users using desktop devices.
With local search getting more prominence, many businesses like Salterra Web Design in Scottsdale will try to take advantage of this new opportunity. The existing mobile technology will become more fluid with a host of wearable and portable devices arriving in the market and users will increasingly tend to favor search results that can meet their requirements quickly from local resources. Due to this paradigm shift, most local businesses that had earlier found it difficult to harness the power of the internet will become increasingly more viable and attractive.
2. Digital Assistants and Customization
With digital assistants like Siri and Cortana becoming cleverer, an increasing number of web searchers will be voicing their queries in a manner that could be quite different from inputting with the keyboard. With voice commands taking over, it is expected that an increasing number of users will be actively looking for local and personalized content. This is made possible because digital assistants are able to gather a lot more relevant user behavior information than what was possible earlier. The ability to factor in user behavior and location is likely to favor local businesses that are small and nimble enough to cater to the emerging demand. It is extremely conceivable that searches will be more “near me”; yielding local results unless the user is specifically hunting for national brands.
3. Social Signals
Currently, SEO practitioners do not really understand the concept of social signals very well, as far as its impact on page rankings is concerned. While the mere sharing of webpage content is unlikely to drive up it page rank, it does indicate that it is relevant, useful, and cause it to become more popular, which in turn can result in more back-links being generated. The number and the quality of backlinks can help the site to rise up the rankings. However, it is quite likely that in the future social signals may be a significant factor in SEO as Google is already trying to integrate social media into its SERPs, and users too are relying increasingly on social media for useful content. Search engines are expected to commence populating their results based more on the interests expressed by social contacts. This development is expected to benefit small businesses as they are better poised to develop superior relationships with their clients on the basis of narrow niches.
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