With each passing year, search engine optimization or SEO only becomes more and more important. (Despite many claims to the contrary.)
Search engines are serving hundreds of millions of users each day to help them find the content they need, and if you’re in a highly competitive marketing especially, ranking your website high enough in the search engine rankings so that potentially interested people can even find it is a major challenge.
This is why you need to follow good SEO practices so your website will rank as highly as possible when people are searching for relevant keywords, and to do this, you need to be aware of the current major trends that exist in regards to SEO so you can stay ahead of your competitors:
Trend #1 – AI Powered Search Queries Are Making Keyword Optimization Less Important
The first major trend is that today artificial intelligence is handling literally billions of different search queries.
Two years ago, Google introduced RankBrain, a machine learning artificial intelligence system that helps to process search results.
At the time, RankBrain only processed a small fraction of the search queries. Today, it handles all of them.
Then there’s Google’s Cloud Vision API, another AI system that can recognize thousands of different objects in online images to then classify those images into categories. Examples of what Cloud Vision API can be used for include building metadata for your image catalog, using image sentiment analysis to develop new marketing strategies, and moderating content that may be deemed offensive.
Now what does all of this mean for you?
It means that self-teaching AI algorithms have changed the way SEO works in contrast to how it was before. Today, SEO is significantly more abstract in comparison to how it was in years previously, and this makes it more difficult to rank highly and generate conversions.
In other words, keyword optimization is simply becoming less important as AI technologies learn how to better match queries to concepts in order to rank pages.
Trend #2 – Including Images and Videos Will Improve Your Rankings
The next major SEO trend is that including images and videos in your content can be one of the best things you can do to improve your website rankings.
The simple reason for this is because people in general have a much greater desire to engage with online videos and images in contrast to previous years. This can no doubt be attributed to the growth of video and image based social media outlets.
Furthermore, the days of where videos and images would slow down internet speeds are sunsetting if they haven’t already entirely. And since Google uses site speed to help rank its pages, you no longer have to fear uploading videos or images for this reason either.
Just be sure that you carefully review and select a fast web host as well, which will allocate a certain amount of bandwidth to each server on the network, or else your site speed will be slowed down.
As a result of this trend, Google has acquired startups such has Eyefluence and Moodstocks that can accurately recognize the visual components inside online images and videos and then correlate those components with a search query.
To put this into perspective, this means that if you can include relevant images and videos in your content, Google will recognize that and rank you higher as a result.
Trend #3 – Quality Matters More Than Quality
The third and final major SEO trend that we will discuss today is how quality matters more than quantity. Many people new to SEO are of the mindset that they need to create bulk content, include popular keywords in that content, and then publish it out there for the world to see.
This strategy may have worked previously, because before search engines were only capable of determining the quantity of a website’s properties (such as the number of keywords, for example).
But today, this strategy is largely outdated because Google is utilizing new search algorithms that can also determine the quality of content in addition to its quantitative properties.
Content that does not read well, that contains spelling or grammar errors, or that is not original will be picked up by Google’s algorithms, and will cause your site rankings to take a significant hit.
Fortunately, by eliminating any and all spelling/grammar errors and by creating content that is easy-to-read and truly original, Google will take notice of you and rank you higher.
In conclusion, it’s safe to say that the old methods of SEO rankings are becoming obsolete.
Today, Google is focusing more on correlating search queries to content that creates a more overall positive user experience than they are are on correlating search queries with a content’s keywords or quantitative properties.
Being aware of these trends and staying ahead of them will mean pulling more organic traffic to your website and generating more conversions, which in the long term, will enable you to develop a strong connection with your visitors to grow your business.