2017 Trends in SEO and SEM

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Alchemy are really good at SEO – we stay up to date with this moving target because we have to. If you don’t keep the eye on the ball you can never score. Do you know the importance of AMP, 301 redirects or HTTPS? We do, and we’ve created a briefing document for our clients to keep them up to speed.

SEO

We think there are about 9 things to go through..

  1. Google's AMP
  2. 301
  3. HTTPS
  4. Citations for your local business
  5. Optimizing for voice search
  6. Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
  7. Video
  8. Images
  9. VR
Google AMP

Mobile and speed

Since Google first introduced the AMP project at the end of 2015, the importance of speed, particularly on mobile devices, has grown. Google has always known that slow load times hurt the user experience, which is why a one second delay results in a 7% reduction in conversions. With AMP, Google can amplify the importance of speed. AMP was initially created for news sites. The format strips away all the extras of a website, helping it load faster. According to Google, using AMP can improve loading speeds by 15 to 85%. More at www.AMPproject.org www.AMPByExample.com www.AMPproject.org/roadmap

301 redirects

Can prevent your pages from passing topical relevance. We’ve always known that you don't overdo redirects — they are a PageRank leak. However, two months ago, Google announced that redirects no longer result in losing PageRank and you are free to use any type of 3xx redirection without the fear to lose your rankings. Christoph C. Cemper of LinkResearchTools says that 301 redirects might actually harm your SEO by intervening in how pages pass their topical relevance via anchor texts – oh dear.

HTTPS

HTTPS is eating up your referral data

It's been two years since Google started its active campaign for Web security and announced HTTP to be a ranking factor in its algorithms. The Web blew up with the idea of switching to HTTPS to improve rankings. Could we still hope to see a ranking boost thanks to the switch? No. Truth is, it's highly unlikely that HTTPS can help you up with Google rankings. On the contrary, there are countless examples of how the switch can go terribly wrong.

Still building citations for your local business?

It turns out citation building might be the most overestimated factor for local SEO. A recent study from Andrew Shotland & Dan Leibson of Local SEO Guide showed that the strength and volume of local citations don't seem to matter much for local rankings. "Citation consistency can be a key factor to getting you into a local pack — so don't ignore them — but the "strength" or volume of citations just doesn't seem to matter as much." Looking at 3000 local searches, the Local SEO Guide team analysed what factors correlate with higher rankings in Google's local packs. And the surprising finding of the study was that citations showed much less correlation than other factors, while the unquestionable leaders are backlinks.

Google Voice
Google Voice

Voice Search

While Google may dominate the desktop and mobile search world, could Bing take over voice search? When iOS 7 arrived, Siri began using Bing as its default search engine, meaning that all iPhone and iPad users will have to specifically ask to search Google. Otherwise, their queries will go to Bing. And Cortana, obviously, will use Bing by default. But, according to the IDC’s latest findings, the 2016 Android market share (world-wide shipments) equals 83.7%, while the iOS share is only 15.3%. Thus, Android devices – powered by Google – are still winning.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Google already started evangelizing about PWA via its Webmaster blog and developer website, but Googlers are informally suggesting it in conferences and private chats. If you're an ecommerce site, don't have an app, or are reconsidering the opportunity of constantly maintaining two apps (iOS and Android) because of the need to rationalize costs, then Progressive Web Apps can be your best choice, as they allow a website to work as if it were an app (and offline, too).

Video

It seems every technological platform is so devoted to video and video live streaming right now (Instagram too). However, this trend in consuming videos online (and YouTube still is the most-used channel) is common to almost every age group of Internet users. Google needs to find new ways of monetizing videos... and YouTube is not enough anymore. If we think about our 2017 SEO and digital marketing strategy, video seems to be a channel that we should start exploring more seriously, if we did not consider it before and when it comes to digital PR, we should start considering online videos stars as much (if not more) influencers as any classic blogger.

Images

In 2017, for almost the same reasons explained above for video, we should expect a return in interest for images marketing, especially in Google search. It hasn't been useful in bringing traffic to our websites for many years and, for Google, it's not profitable. But Google bought Moodstock and invests so much intellectual and machine learning efforts in image recognition.. People do showrooming... They go into a store, take photos of products with their smartphone, and then search for online offers for those same products.

Google Daydream
Google Daydream View.
(Photo by Shaded0, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.)

VR

What is the last company did Google acquire? Eyefluence. What physical product did Google launch in October? The DayDream VR headset. What was the most exciting feature that YouTube (and other platforms) rolled out? 360. Maybe in 2017 VR will still be an "early adopters" technology, but keep it in mind.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the name given to activity that attempts to improve search engine rankings. Alchemy Interactive has a proven SEO and PPC offering that will help you gain that coveted page one position with Google and Bing. Use us and your business will start to fly. And then of course for the full service... we’re really good at websites and Social Media.

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