In the last 10 years of SEO, we’ve seen keyword stuffing take a backseat to keyword research. We’ve seen walls of text content turn into formatted and organized press releases. We’ve also seen data take over the landscape of search engine optimization, via schema and rich snippets, adding more ways to rank and even a new rank position rank number 0. We’ve seen serving different website to mobile than desktop, change into Responsive webdesign and Google AMP pages. We’ve seen backlinks turn into one of the most weighted SEO ranking factors around. Most of all, we’ve seen technical SEO take an ever increasing front seat to any website marketing strategy.
The Next 10 Years In SEO Is Data Heavy
In the next year and beyond, a deeper need for data relevancy and user intent optimization. Mobile 1st indexing and page speed will continue to be important. As user intent takes a greater focus, keyword relevancy will as well, not just for intent but for voice searches. Image optimization will become even more important, since alt text and webpage content could steer image relevancy in an augmented reality world. GDPR will eventually make its way to the US, in some form. In an augmented reality near future, schema and rich snippets will play an even more important role, in geotagging keywords and datasets to physical locations for businesses and social media marketing.
How SEO Will Factor Into Data Privacy
SEOs already know a little something about how data can be affected by privacy. Just ask any SEO who enjoyed the search queries Google analytics used to display before https. It’s only reasonable then to assume that further GDPR standards could be adopted by other countries. How this will interact with search results could end up changing on page SEO ranking factors in general. If GDPR in the EU is any example, then world wide data privacy protection could impact SEO in two main ways.
- User Data – Users will be able to define how their data is collected, skewing metrics and possible remove whole datasets as users deny data recording.
- Website Data Collection – Any information collected from users, like emails for newsletters, contact forms, and so forth will need to also display data consent check boxes.
Schema Will Shape The VR and AR Landscape
Data makes our world turn, and soon will merged our digital world with our physical world, via schema and augmented reality. Already Google lens can detect shoes or other items that a user takes a picture of and displays where to purchase. Augmented reality will need the same datasets many SEOs use for websites already. However the amount and types of schema will increase in use, as more platforms find ever increasing ways to utilize said data. The landscape of search will change, and is moving towards a voice based query. But beyond the voice based query, what about no need to query?
Using datasets and schema, algorithms will be able to show a user exactly what they want and then some, with a few predetermined filters. By now the amount of information collected by search engines could collectively summarize humanity in such a way, that even more algorithms can be built using said information to arrive at a time when search results could be like living entities and evolve based on our interaction with content. The speculation is fun, but there are a lot of things to learn still before such a future can take place.
Competition Creates Better Search Results
Right now if you search online, it’s mainly going to be with Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo or Baidu. That is not going to stay the same, as Google grows, so does it’s competition. New contenders are always pushing to be the next best thing and will only be a matter of time before one hits on that ” new thing “. In a world ever controlled by algorithms, it would only take a more superior search algorithm to serve better search results. Then it’s a marketing game, unless the competitor who makes such a breakthrough is already in the top 5. While Google isn’t going anywhere in 2019, the same can’t be said for the next 5 to 10 years.