It’s that time of the year. When our Digital Marketing course instructors look into their crystal balls and make predictions on what SEO managers could and should expect in 2016. Below are 6 SEO changes we believe Google will be making in 2016:
1. Real Time Penguin Updates
Google’s George Illyes announced in a recent blog post that real-time Google Penguin updates could be coming in the year 2016. Google Penguin was first unveiled in April, 2012 to analyze the quality of websites and whether or not they were meeting Google Webmaster guidelines. If Google does act upon its threats, the SEO world will become much more competitive in 2016.
2. Link Building
Backlinks will remain important in the New Year. However, there will be more emphasis on high-quality backlinks. That is, the only backlinks that will matter in 2016 are those that search engine users will want to click on. If you go out and attempt to do old school back-linking, you may be hit by the Google Panda.
3. Mobile Marketing
The number of searches done on mobile devices is already outnumbering the number of desktop inquiries. In a post published in May, 2015, Google stated, “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” As well, Google this year saw over 100 billion searches being inputted every month. And according to Amit Singhal, the head of search, that number reflects only those searches done on devices which have displays smaller than 6 inches. This trend will continue and if you don’t have a mobile website complete already, there’s no time like the present to check off your new year’s resolutions early. Note: Google now penalizes rankings if a website is not mobile responsive.
4. Content Will Remain King
Having great content online will also remain of importance in 2016 and for good reason. Content, when well written, helps consumers to decide if the products and services they’re browsing online are right for them. The only thing that will change is the type of content. You will no longer be required to write articles with bulky paragraphs. Instead, your web pages should contain answers to consumer questions in a clear, concise manner. Listicles and AMAs (i.e. Quora and Reddit) will thereby flourish in 2016. Also note that longer articles, between 1,200 to 1,500 words, perform better in search queries. In the past 300 words was the norm. Longer articles are getting higher traffic and better rankings. Many believe this is in line with Google’s strategy of rewarding longer engagement times on a web page. The bottom line is that it is all about the user experience now.
5. Rise of Video and Images
Continuing on the subject of content, videos and images will become more prominent in 2016. Facebook recently introduced new tools to help bring your videos to life and it has become easier to create a YouTube account now that Google changed their terms and conditions. You no longer have to have a Google+ account to upload on YouTube. Your audience would probably prefer to see an eye-catching image or watch an entertaining video than read straight text. Remember, it is all about rewarding you for the enhanced user experience.
6. Creativity & Originality
Getting noticed on the worldwide web used to be easy to do. Write something, post it on your website, share it on social media and your fans will gobble it up. Unfortunately, the internet is now flooded with too much content, both good and bad. In 2016, the only content that will resonate and stay on the first pages of SERPs will be original and creative ones.
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