At the beginning of 2019, I would like to discuss with you the current SEO trends and changes in the field of search engine optimization. After all, the Internet continues to evolve on a daily basis, and we have been experiencing a shift that is clearly moving towards speech and video recognition.
Nevertheless, classical content and high-quality texts have not lost their importance. A lot will change and existing content will have also to be changed in order to be able to survive in the future.
Content-quality become more important
The quality of content has become an important factor. But what is quality exactly?
Firstly, there are high-quality texts that are not simply well written but satisfy the intentions of the respective users in the best possible way. In the future, quality will mean, above all, really satisfying the users.
This also means that you no longer need to use stock photos but make your own recordings. Here are some videos, infographics and all possible handmade off the rack. Individuality becomes more important again. Nevertheless, your content is really future-proof only if it meets all visitor requests.
For me, this also means offering users all the possibilities. A high-quality text is for those who want to know it down to the smallest details. An audible version is for people who like podcasts or prefer to listen to performances in the evening in bed or in the car in the mornings. Finally, a much-shortened video is for the generation, who would like to know it briefly, concisely and directly.
In my view, it becomes more important that content is offered in many different forms. Everyone consumes differently and most people have own preferences. If you do not feel like reading, watch videos and listen; if you like to read articles, just do it. It is becoming more important to respond to such requests of your visitors.
Why? Because Google’s RankBrain already recognizes the wishes of the target groups pretty well and can reorder the search results based on user behavior. For example, in certain industries or for specific queries, the factors are weighted differently.
Apart from that, more and more people (also through YouTube) log in directly with their Google account. It means that Google search is no longer a neutral but highly individualized search for many. Optimizing will be difficult, the visitors will become more important.
Matching content for the smartphone
Have you ever heard of “snackable content”? The content nowadays should be “snackable”, also because most visitors come from a mobile device. 5,000 words may have meaning and value, but those who come with their smartphone need to find important information and answers at the top. If a person is interested, he may continue reading, but if the beginning does not answer any of his questions, he will not even see the rest of the content.
In addition, the behavior on the smartphone is clearly different. If you want to have a quick look, you will not be able to read 5,000 words. The reader consumes content like a snack – snackable content. An infographic here, an explanatory video there, descriptive pictures under each section.
In this regard, the loading time is also an issue. It is more important than ever before because for the first time it has real effects. Suddenly, the speed of a website also determines what Google’s ranking looks like. Not to forget, those who are rarely online have high speed. It is therefore important for the smartphone to deliver minimally and quickly instead of being playful and elaborately designed. No one needs an exaggerated design on the smartphone. It must be fast and easy to consume.
Three-star cuisine is not so “snackable” as the cheeseburger. So offer the tastiest burger in the city, rather than a three-star menu, the revenue of which does not cover the costs. After all, a cheeseburger can also be of high quality.
Reputation is becoming more important
Reputation is also a big buzzword that has been going through the SEO scene lately. Not least after the big Google update, in which it also met numerous small sites that were traveling in the medical or financial field. Suddenly, the big advertising companies are back on top in Google, even though some have a smaller presence delivering much better content.
Why is that? Because the small pages have no proven reputation. When it comes to medicine, Mr. Unknown is not as credible as a big pharmaceutical company with its own studies, research, and production. It is understandable, but there is a hidden danger that the little ones have no chance, and important information disappears in the background because the big ones exploit their power.
The problem is that so far it is completely unclear how Google actually rates the reputation and how its own reputation in one area can be proven. So here, it is true that big companies and brands have an edge, while others try to build “about me” pages that reflect their own personality, background, and experience. Whether this is sufficient for Google, the question remains open. I consider the rankings in this area currently very questionable. Some good info pages are suddenly far below the clearly commercial offers.
The only thing that is clear in the end is that the reputation for sensitive topics has meanwhile become important, and that it is essential to work on building up a certain image as an expert or, even better, to prove it. How and where … that will be in the coming year. Currently, many attempts have been made, but it remains unclear what Google really recognizes.
Technology is the basic requirement
The main change sounds like this: “To be perfect is no longer a goal, to be perfect is a prerequisite.”
The days when bad markup was somehow “okay” are gone. Who wants to rank today, cannot make mistakes. The technology has to be right, the meta-tags have to be optimized and there is hardly any room for negligence. If you are not perfect, overtake someone who is, it is that simple.
Smart lazy loading, thought-through reloading of certain content, awards in the code or robust hosting that delivers even at peak times – everything can be a prerequisite to succeed in the coming year. Technology and technical SEO have become basic building blocks for successful SEO optimization.
Voice search stays in the background
The voice search is certainly a big topic, which is getting more and more popular. Someone asks Google and Google gives the right answer. In the news section, there is the “speakable” award, which marks areas that can be read by Google.
Personally, I can easily imagine that Google will offer such tags for all websites in the future. It will mark sections of text that answer specific questions directly. They will be short, crisp statements that serve as an answer to a question asked by voice.
Currently, nobody really knows how strong the voice search actually is. Google gives, as far as I know, no official data about its practicality in everyday life. In my own little bubble, it is all pretty cool to question Google, Siri or Alexa here and there, but after the first fascination, it is already over. It is usually easier to search fast, especially because then I can also make an appropriate choice of my answer and do not have to trust Google blindly.
As long as there are no rules, standardized awards or data on voice search, it seems to be an SEO trend, but for me personally, it is still very much in the background. It will not be helpful for me as for the webmaster if Google reads my content directly, but no visitors come to my website. The voice search will be especially useful for common W-questions, which can be answered quickly.
The conclusion to the SEO-Trends 2019
One of the key SEO trends for 2019 is that Google is becoming very, really, very individual. Unbelievably many people now have a Google account and are therefore always logged in, that is why they see a completely customized search. This is true even for non-logged in users. On the other hand, the ranking factors are becoming more and more individual, depending on the sector and area. Google RankBrain then makes sure that the borders disappear completely.
SEO optimization does not exist anymore. What SEO used to be is standard today and has to be fulfilled and complied with by every website. Now more than ever before, it is about displaying its content to meet the users’ needs. Suddenly, it is all about click-throughs, dwell time, scrolling behavior, and content types. Everyone who visits your website needs to be satisfied. That is not easy, but it is the search engine optimization of the future.
The realization of the SEO trends this year is for me therefore without classic optimization. Moreover, the little ones have to work hard in the future to survive against the supposedly big ones. This is also difficult because Google reputation is increasingly important, but its existence in many areas is difficult to prove.