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8 Predictions for SEO in 2017

January 10, 2017

By randfish

Posted by randfish

It’s that time again, friends… That time where I grade my 2016 predictions to see whether I’ve got the clout and foresight to get another shot in 2017. This year is gonna be really close, as I was more aggressive last year than in prior ones, so let’s see where we end up, and what I’ve got to say for te next 12 months.

As always, my predictions will be graded on the following scale:

  • Nailed It (+2) – When a prediction is right on the money and the primary criteria are fulfilled
  • Partially Accurate (+1) – Predictions that are in the area, but are somewhat different than reality
  • Not Completely Wrong (-1) – Those that landed near the truth, but couldn’t be called “correct” in any real sense
  • Way Off (-2) – Guesses which didn’t come close

If I’m at breakeven or above, you can have more trust for what I’ll posit for the year ahead. If not… Doom! Well, OK, maybe not doom. But at least shame and embarrassment and what I hope are lots of hilarious tweets at my expense.

Grading Rand’s 2016 Predictions

#1: Data will reveal Google organic results to have <70% CTR

+2 – I won big with this one, though it was one of my more conservative projects. According to our clickstream data gathered in the summer, approximately 40% of Google searches do not garner any clicks at all. Granted, some of those are probably Google autocompleting a query before the searcher has finished typing, but given the threshold of 70%, I’ve got plenty of room to spare.

#2: Mobile will barely cut in to desktop’s usage and its growth rate in developed countries will slow

+1 – I’m giving myself a conservative point here because while Google’s mobile growth has appeared to have slightly more of a plateauing impact (data via SimilarWeb Pro, which shows Google on desktop at ~51% in 2015, down to ~49% in 2016, with mobile the reverse) on desktop search volume in the US, I have been unable to find data on the growth of mobile/desktop in developing countries. If someone has a source to help me better refine this prediction, please leave it in the comments.

BTW — I’ll grant that SimilarWeb’s data on Google usage probably isn’t perfect, but they have enough of a sample set that the shift in mix from desktop to mobile is likely statistically significant and thus, the trend’s probably accurate.

#3: Twitter will figure out how to grow again

-1 – While Twitter did indeed grow monthly active users in 2016 (from 305mm to 317mm) compared to 2015 (when they only grew from 302–305mm), that was a very low bar. Growth is growth, but I don’t think Twitter has truly “figured out” how to grow yet. Maybe they’ll take a page from Hunter Walk or Anil Dash.

#4: Social content engines will become a force

-1 – This is a tough one… SimilarWeb shows Pocket down in the overall app rankings but up …read more

Source:: Moz Blog