The web is evolving at a rapid pace. As speeds get faster, the requirement for information and answers is becoming more instant. Search engines are constantly adapting their algorithms to show the most relevant content to the user and with the recent developments in mobile and voice search, 2018 is set to be one of the biggest years for changing Search Engine Optimisation techniques.
Rise of Alexa
We already know that voice search is on the rise, and with more voice-search enabled devices. But we’re in an interesting position now: Amazon and Google famously don’t get on, and if the number of Alexa-enabled devices gain market share from Google Home then the number of voice searches on other search engines – such as Bing – have the potential to usurp Google as the number 1 engine for Voice Search.
Facebook will encroach on Google’s Ad Network
The Facebook Audience Network is fast becoming a popular alternative to Google’s Display Network. It’s deep integration with Instagram is already showing its success and the ability to use Facebook’s incredibly detailed audience targeting gives advertisers an unprecedented ability to target the users that are most relevant. Coupled with Facebook’s shift towards a more personal newsfeed, the ad platform should see an increase in the number of advertisers using it.
AI Will Get Smarter
The AI learning algorithms employed by Google and Bing are expected to play a part in SEO rankings at some point in the near future, with dramatically different ranking metrics becoming serious ranking factors. One such metric could be linkless mentions – Bing has confirmed they track unlinked brand mentions and Google have filed a patent that may be used for the same purpose. Will this see a resurgence in ‘keyword stuffing’? Hopefully the AI can differentiate between a meaningful mention and a ‘stuffed’ one.
Even Bigger Focus on Mobile
Google have already redesigned the mobile SERP to be more user-friendly, with improvements such as highlighting each individual result in a separate box. Desktop search has been lacking in updates recently and with mobile searches becoming more prevalent, it won’t be long before desktop becomes a footnote to mobile searches.