Before we do a lot of predictions about what will happen in 2015 for eCommerce or mobile commerce. All of them are based on previous development. In order to predict SEO trends for 2015, we also need to have a review about what happen before.
1. Content determines ranking
Month ago, Google announced a new algorithm called “Penguins 3.0”. Based on that, some low quality pages and black hat SEO will be punished. Moreover, once punished or kicked by this new algorithm, it is hard to recover.
Sadly, some companies hire unprofessional SEO providers. Too much spam and low quality link building make the ranking or traffic dropping a lot. Fortunately, webmasters can negociate with Google, which can avoid to be punished in some ways.
2. Be mobile and be fast… or don’t be
We already talked about that Google are keen on websites who are optimized for mobile. To back us up on this one, Google released two revolutionary aspects of a mobile user experience.
The first one is a new Webmaster Tools feature that allows you to track the mobile UX of your site. Understanding that mobile is growing at an amazing pace, Google now lets you witness the visual errors that might have occurred for users browsing your site on the go — everything from small fonts to “touch” elements being too close.
The search giant continued to emphasize the importance of mobile by adding a “beware” symbol to the mobile search result pages, alerting potential visitors that a result isn’t mobile-friendly.
Now, looking ahead to 2015
Now, seeing that our previous predictions came true in the form of major Google updates, it’s time to look into the near future and estimate what SEO is going to look like in 2015. Here are three important trends to look forward to.
1. Earning links rather than building links
Through all of the updates and algorithm changes over the years one thing remains the same: inbound links are the most influential signal of trust and authority. This isn’t going to change — not in 2015 or anytime soon.
The days of building links on irrelevant blogs and chasing large quantities of links to game the search results are over. Earning a single link on a high-quality relevant website is valuable for multiple reasons including SEO, attracting referral traffic, leads, sales and branding exposure. Look for traditional PR and SEO to work closer together in 2015.
2. Website Security
Google announced that they are going to rank https as a ranking signal. Although many SEO authorities such SearchMetrics and SEO theory as well as others declared that wasn’t a ranking factor yet so SEOs shouldn’t worry about it, but I respectfully disagree. I believe they are referring to their own data and experience but from a few of my clients I have already seen slight improvements since we moved over to https and made our site more secure. Of course that could have been due to many other reasons but we decided to align our goals with Google to stay proactive since Google itself claimed HTTPS is a ranking signal, one must be naive to rule it out as an influencing factor!
3. Social Media Integration
Because Google search algorithms are becoming pretty much the closest thing to artificial intelligence, it only makes sense that human signals will play a more important role on the future of SEO. If you don’t have a strong presence and strategy that allows for people to find and share your content, you’re doing it wrong! Social media is clearly not going away. Understanding your target market and delivering quality content is essential.
Every time a major change happens with Google search, the question “is SEO dead?” always arises. In my opinion, it’s the strategy that dies and not SEO itself. As a marketer or web developer, it’s your responsibility to evolve and change your strategy on the fly. Thinking in terms of “optimizing” may be on the way out. Instead, thing of it as SEM (or Search Engine Marketing) as just another branch off the marketing tree.