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SEO Trends 2017 – Where is the journey going?

How does SEO continue to evolve? What are new trends in 2017, what is flattening? Today comes my personal assessment for the next year: With concrete tips, but also with a lot of personal opinion on the subject. Where is the journey going?

# 1 onpage optimization and structure

My firm belief is: Onpage is more important today than ever before. At the same time, a paradoxical development is emerging on the horizon: technical on-page SEO is increasingly being neglected. Even though there are several really excellent tools for on-page optimization today, these are usually insufficient for professional optimization and can not replace an expert.

Mike King has written my personal “SEO Blogpost of the Year” so far, writing about a renaissance of technical SEO . Unfortunately, he is in English. A really great post, which, for example, also shows new possibilities that have only recently existed. You can find our latest checklist with 43 simple onpage tips here .

# 2 User Experience

UX will be even more important next year than ever before. With Google, in my estimation, making more and more artificial intelligence ranking , well-functioning shops are moving forward. For example, your navigation menu today no longer has to be SEO-optimized, but the user should also be able to recognize at first glance what is hidden behind a certain menu item.

Even otherwise: Everything that annoys you even at other shops often – whether the presentation of products or missing information about shipping – can indirectly affect your ranking negative. On the one hand by the negative user signals, which evaluates Google via browser, on the other hand, but also now (soon) directly via the AI ​​And by the way it is also so that your conversion rate increases, if you optimize the checkout process, for example .

# 3 Content (Marketing)

Yes, content will still be important in 2017 as well. Especially if you sell the same or similar products as your competitors, you have to stand out. This is mainly due to good content that transport your brand. Here are three examples .

However, just creating content is not enough. I always like to remember the blog post on “Content Shock”: Mark Schaefer drew a very bleak picture of the content marketing future in 2014 . It did not get that bad – but you can already see that in 2016, especially newly founded companies have focused on content marketing right from the start. If everyone is marketing content, then it’s nothing special anymore. Again, you have to stay on the ball and watch the development. Infographics, for example, are completely extinct in 2016 – YouTube has just picked up speed. What’s next?

# 4 Mobile

Do you have to mention that today? A mobile website is no longer “nice to have”, but an absolute must – in every industry. If you do not have a well-functioning mobile website, you will only notice the visibility of the mobile index. However, that’s bad enough, because this will soon be the only index that Google has – this was announced three weeks ago .

But that’s not all: AMP is on the rise and Google wants the distribution as soon as possible – for all websites. Google pushes with incredible violence and makes a lot of politics around AMP. Whether it prevails, remains to be seen. Not everything Google wants to do has to work – see Google+ or the authorship markup. AMP is very useful for news portals, but the complaints are already accumulating that advertising revenues are falling, Even so, it’s amazing how fast AMP is developing new features – but until an average online store is totally AMP based, the data transfer rate and technology will probably be so advanced that it’s not really worth it anymore.

# 5 Panda and Penguin: No big updates anymore

Now that Penguin has finally been updated and some dramatic ranking changes have resulted, that was perhaps the last major update. Already at the beginning of the year, the Pagerank was closed – even though it had long since ceased to be relevant. Likewise, the Panda Update is now part of the ominous core algorithm and is constantly updated, without major “flare”. Meanwhile, fewer and fewer real updates are announced by the Google spokespersons – and sometimes the effect of these is underrated or overestimated.

I think that the following will emerge in 2017:

  • If someone is affected by Panda or Penguin, then these are individual websites – which may not even notice. There will be no big discussions around the updates.
  • Linkabstrafungen will also take place “in the quiet little room”, even if it could be that Google organizes here again a big “witch hunt”, as in early 2014.
  • Rather, there will be continuous ranking changes – everything will happen “fluently”.

# 6 The development of the SEO scene 2017

In my opinion, there are currently three basic trends in the SEO scene:

  1. Those who want to stay ahead with SEO and linkbuilding alone. And that as a lone as well as an agency selling or practicing as a sole strategy.
  2. Those who are getting wider and more towards holistic online marketing. Above all, “young people” are the new stars who make their sales primarily through Amazon, Facebook and YouTube. SEO is still very important here, but all other channels as well.
  3. Those who strictly focus on technical SEO (consulting) and work exclusively there.

I think the second and third group have a great future, while the first group of 2017 will have a hard time. Anyone who keeps an eye on the “new” channels has almost infinite possibilities. Alone YouTube is already such a channel, in which so much is simple and possible – but which is still rarely used. The pure “techies”, however, are currently very rare and are desperately searched everywhere – whether as an in-house or as an agency. In principle, large websites can budget infinitely for technical SEO, because this service simply pays off very well.

# 7 Voice Search (?)

Meanwhile, my Amazon Fire TV and my PlaystationVR I often use voice commands and wonder how well that works. Amazon Echo, Google Voice Search and Siri are now being used more and more. However, I am not sure if a breakthrough is expected in 2017. And even if: Looking at the way you use Voice Search, you quickly realize that there are not really any searches that have commercial themes.

“Ok Google – Remember the training at 2 pm” – such requests are of course very handy – but as SEO, there’s usually not much that can be tweaked.

# 8 Artificial intelligence

THE 2017 theme could become artificial intelligence. Not just for the SEO section, but overall. When you see that now also smaller companies start with machine learning. For example, Searchmetrics (as Google’s “small company”)  uses self-built machine learning technology for its new Content Performance tool . The first CRM systems start with artificial intelligence. Facebook, Google, Apple and Windows are starting to get started right now. If you want to know more about it, it’s best to read my blog post about AI in Google Search .

Vertical search engines and traffic sources are becoming more important

Amazon, Youtube & Co. are now also arrived in the SEO scene. Karl has been preaching the topic of “alternative search systems” for eons, Since this year, the guides, PDFs, blog posts and courses on “Amazon SEO” but literally exploded. Strangely enough, hardly anyone talks about YouTube, even though that is the second largest search engine – even before Amazon. Not from an SEO perspective, but from an online marketers point of view, I have to mention that alternative traffic sources are generally more important – not just search engines. For example, Pinterest is now an absolutely high-quality traffic source for all online shops around the topic of design and furnishings. In addition, Facebook Ads is of course an absolutely high quality, targeted and comparatively cheap traffic source – here is still a lot of room for improvement!