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SEO and Digital Trends in 2017

December 19, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By gfiorelli1

The shift from desktop-first to mobile-first

Until now, SEOs have considered mobile search to be one of the many specializations of SEO, on the same level as local search or international SEO.

That mentality did not change much when, back in 2015, Google announced AMP. Moreover, us SEOs considered AMP just another (often annoying) “added task” to our implementation checklist, and not as a signal of the real intentions of Google: Mobile search is all search.

With the announcement of mobile-first indexing, though, these intentions are now 100% clear, and somehow they represent a Copernican Revolution: After 18 years of prioritizing desktop, now we have to prioritize mobile.

The reason for this epochal change is evident if we look at the source of the search traffic (both organic and paid) for our sites:

Posted by gfiorelli1

Disclaimer: This post, as with every post that aims to predict the future, should be taken with a grain of salt — no matter how authoritative the author.

The main purpose of this post is to offer ideas and open a constructive discussion around the future of SEO and digital marketing over the next 12 months.

2016 is, finally, close to its end.

It was an intense year, especially when it came to SEO and Google in particular. Because I’m deeply convinced that we cannot attempt any preview of the future without considering what happened in the past, I invite you to look back at the events that have marked the evolution of Google in the past 10 months.

It is important to note that, contrary to more classic Google timelines, I prefer to see all Google-related events in the same place. I believe it’s the only way we can escape from a too-narrow vision of where Google is headed:

Click to view a larger image

Blue: Official Google Updates
Red: Businesses/companies acquired by Google/Alphabet
Green: Main posts in Google Webmaster Blog
Purple: Main Google patents published
Brown: Products Google launched in the market

What we can learn from this timeline?

This:

  1. Google is steadily moving to a mobile-only world. Mobile-first indexing seems like the inevitable consequence of a year (or more) almost exclusively dedicated to evangelizing and forcing a change of mindset from desktop to mobile.
  2. Albeit links are still essential for rankings (see Penguin 4.0), Google’s investigative efforts seem almost fully devoted to entity, predictive, and personalized search. Again, quite logical if we consider deeply personal devices like mobile and home assistants.
  3. For the same reason, voice search seems to be the next frontier of search, partly because Bing — using a different business strategy than Google — may represent a big competitor in this arena.
  4. Since John Giannandrea has become the Senior Vice President of Search at Google, machine and deep learning began to be used by default in every facet of Google Search. Thus, we should expect them to be used even more in 2017, perhaps with specific algorithms improving Hummingbird at every phase.
  5. In a mobile-only world, the relevance of local search is even higher. This seems to be the strategic reason both for an update like Possum and all the tests we see in local, and also of the acquisition of a company like Urban Engines, whose purpose is to analyze the “Internet of Moving Things.”
  6. The acquisition of startups like MoodStock and EyeFluence (but also Anvato and Famebit) seems to suggest that video/images and video/images marketing will be a central focus for Google, perhaps also because YouTube is struggling against Facebook (and not just Facebook) when it comes to videos/images and their monetization.

The shift from desktop-first to mobile-first

Until now, SEOs have considered mobile search to be one of the many specializations of SEO, on the same level as local search or international SEO.

That mentality did not change much when, back in 2015, Google announced AMP. Moreover, …read more

Source:: Moz Blog

      

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