SEO has changed dramatically over the past few years. I could have said that statement every year since 1999 and it would have been equally as true.
Where is SEO going next? Well, nobody knows for sure. But top SEO experts have made their predictions for the state of SEO in 2015. Here’s what they predict will happen to SEO in 2015 – and we’ll tell you how your business can take advantage of these changes:
5) Google will get smarter about context clues
Back in the early days of Google, you had to talk to the search engine like you were talking to a computer. You typed in queries like “NFL+Scores” to find football scores.
Over the years, the way we talk to Google has changed. And in 2015, Google will get really good at communicating with us like we communicate with normal human beings:
Google’s recent Hummingbird update was the start of that. Over the next year, Google should get better at understanding our confusing queries and providing relevant information about those queries.
If you take a look at the example above, you’ll see that the search term doesn’t really appear on the two relevant results (the IMDB pages). Nevertheless, Google has taken the obscure query and directed you towards relevant information.
4) Smaller companies and websites may have a fighting chance against larger competitors
“SEO is dead” is one phrase that gets tossed around a lot.
But over the past few years, “SEO is dead” has seemed like an increasingly accurate way to describe the state of the industry. Smaller websites and companies are being edged out by larger competitors who can simply afford larger, more expansive online presences and have greater authority in the industry.
That’s made it difficult for the “little guy” to compete. Fortunately, many are predicting that Google will be friendlier towards the little guy in 2015. Some of its friendly policies could include:
-Increased local presence in search results, which means local businesses should notice a positive increase in rankings
-The continued addition of more than just backlink signals, which means things like social media interactions, local relevancy, and branding will play a key role in catering search results around you
-Increased search context will help Google serve up more accurate search results which “meet the context of the user”. Larger brands with more sprawling online presence may not have the specific answer the searcher is looking for, which means smaller brands can rise to serve that answer.
3) Your website will have to offer real value online (for real this time)
There are a bajillion low-quality websites on the internet today. Few of these sites offer real value to users. Instead, they feature low-quality content written by people who don’t speak English as a first language and copied content en masse from Wikipedia.
We’ve all seen websites like this appear in search rankings.
But Google is getting smarter. And that means sites that don’t deserve to be at the top of search rankings are increasingly disappearing from search rankings.
Does your site offer real value online? You’ll have to ask yourself some hard questions to determine the answer:
-Why does your company exist?
-Why do you deserve higher search rankings in Google?
-How are you different from your competitors?
-If Google erased you from the search rankings today, would anybody care? Would it affect anybody’s lives?
-What kind of value do visitors get out of your website?
-Why would someone link to your website?
Google isn’t running a charity. Google is a multi-billion dollar company that has built an entire business around connecting people with what they need online. In the past years, it may have been easy to sneak onto the first page with low-quality, irrelevant content. But in 2015, that’s going to be harder than ever before.
2) A renewed focus on marketing for users – not for search engines
For years, online marketing revolved around marketing to search engines – not to users. Over the past few years, inbound marketing has become the norm, and marketers have had to balance between marketing to users (via social media and inbound marketing tactics) and marketing to search engines (via traditional SEO and linkbuilding).
In 2015, those paths will continue to converge. Marketers will find that marketing to users will in turn have a positive impact on search engine rankings.
Google is getting smarter about taking social signals – like retweets, likes, and shares – into account when compiling rankings.
Ultimately, marketers will discover they can “kill two birds with one stone” and earn a greater ROI by focusing on marketing to users – and then letting Google recognize the site has value to users.
1) Anchor text will become less and less relevant
As we saw in the Memento example above, Google doesn’t necessarily need specific keywords to bring up a search ranking. Google is getting smarter about understanding the context of your language. And that means keyword-rich anchor text will continue to play a diminished role in compiling search engine rankings.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the death of anchor text is how long it took. Fitting in anchor text has always been awkward. And many websites don’t even use anchor text with exact match keywords. Some people even believe that the only people who actively care about anchor text are SEOs.
Ultimately, that means you should stop worrying as much about keyword-heavy anchor text and focus on the overall value and relevancy of your webpage to searchers – and by extension, Google.
Take full advantage of these SEO changes with a Renew Marketing SEO package
Renew Marketing offers competitively-priced SEO packages designed to catapult your website to the top of search engine rankings for relevant keywords.
With our help, your business’s website can dominate search rankings in 2015 and capitalize on trends before your competitors.
Google is getting smarter. You should be getting smarter too. Call us today for a free consultation and we’ll tell you exactly how your company can improve its online presence in 2015.