What’s Next in SEO? How to Prepare for Future SEO?
The history of SEO goes back to 1997, the time when Google and many other search engines did not even exist. During all these years, SEO has evolved and come a long way from what it was back then. SEO keeps evolving constantly and hence, subtle changes are inevitable in the future SEO.
So, what does the future hold for SEO? What changes can we expect in the upcoming years? Today, we will talk about anticipated changes that will SEO go through in the future and discuss how to prepare for it.
This guide will not only update you about the upcoming changes in the SEO world but also help you refine your SEO hiring process and find an SEO partner who is prepared for what’s to come in the next few years.
Let’s Unwind with What’s Next in SEO?
1. More Prevalent Search Intent Approach
In the beginning, professionals used to focus more on optimizing meta keywords and tags. They banked upon the approach of optimizing just one keyword for one page. However, at present, SEO is more about focusing on the intent of searchers.
SEO professionals are still learning to understand searchers and their intents these days, and there is a lot to learn in this area alone.
With the increasing importance of search intent, you can’t focus on just search volumes of keywords now. You need to work on identifying different intents for a keyword phrase that different searchers can have. Then, you have to incorporate and optimize your website, blogs, and all the content you post for the identified search intents. More or less, it relates to our next point in this blog.
As more experts will indulge in this area and share their deeper insights, the more refined the SEO strategy will be in the future. This trend will get fully mainstreamed.
As we are speaking, search engines are advancing their algorithms so that they can better serve their users by assessing the intent behind their searches. This will encourage the SEO professionals and content writers further to work harder on user search intent and form their strategies based on those search intents.
2. Quick Question-Answering via Machine Learning and BERT
Google has already been using machine learning, including Bidirectional Encoder Representations for Transformers (BERT). BERT is a language model designed to allow the search engine to better understand words and queries within the context of sentences.
Unsurprisingly, BERT has now become a major driving force behind Google Search as the purpose of its development is to fine-tune search results and grasp the overall meaning of a sentence or a query, instead of focusing on key words.
For a clear explanation, let’s assume two consumers have submitted two reviews for a skincare product company that sells body lotion:
“I am amazed by this body lotion. It really works. It keeps my skin smooth, moisturized, and soft all day long.”
Through BERT, Google Search can evaluate that it is a positive review.
“I am so disappointed with this brand’s body lotion. As soon as I applied it on my skin, it caused rashes on my skin.”
In the same way, BERT will help Google search engine understand that it is a negative review.
For software that works based only on the programming language instructions and a machine that knows only 0 and 1, it is a great breakthrough to be able to make search engines understand the overall context of a sentence or query.
When Google Search can actually understand what you are talking about, it will display only relevant results and filter out all those things that may contain words of your search query but have different contexts and meanings.
Apart from the BERT language model, Google has made another announcement about a patent that it has been granted in May this year. This patent is based on natural language processing (NLP) tasks.
Both BERT and the new NLP-based patent will help Google to continue their quest of implementing machine learning and provide more relevant results and answers to their users.
Since, with the advent of smart devices and voice searches, people have trained themselves to ask questions in the natural form directly from Google and assistant devices, both types of innovation will focus more on question and answering. We can even say that, in the future, the question-answer approach will take search engines and the SEO world by storm.
For SEO professionals, it means they will combine the approach of identifying a list of keyword phrases with a list of questions that targeted demographics are asking. In fact, this trend has begun now and is in its infancy stage.
3. More Emphasis on Local SEO
Local SEO has already made an appearance and proved its significance in terms of marketing and doing business. It will get even more important and prevalent in the upcoming years.
Even now, more people are searching for services and places locally. In response to that, Google is also serving them with more diligent local search results. Even I personally search for specialized doctors, laptop repairs, places to visit near me, and more. Google makes it more convenient for me by showing local results. This applies to people of all ages around the world.
In today’s time, customers are turning to their devices to find local services, products, markets, gardens, shopping malls, clinics, hospitals, and everything we can think of. Evidently, this changing consumer behavior translates to the fact that search engines are increasingly getting local searches, and the number will only increase in the future.
So, in addition to organic SEO, you will also need to put equal or even more effort, time, and resources into local SEO, assuming that you want to attract nearby potential customers.
4. Prominent Localization
When it comes to localization, SEO will evolve in one more aspect in the future.
Imagine you want to check out the best songs of the year, and you have typed “best songs of the year” on Google Search or any search engine query box. Let’s see what you will get.
Now, if you are an Indian, you probably mean the top Bollywood songs. So, it can be disappointing to see the results of all songs in English (or other languages) and you will have to type a more specific search query to get relevant results. The same thing goes for Americans, Spanish, and people from other countries.
Fortunately, professionals behind search engines are now working on this issue too. When search engines are making improvements in displaying more localized results, it also means that businesses and their SEO teams should also focus on bringing localized content to their audience and also focusing on topics that are more relevant for local people.
SEO is an ever-evolving practice, meaning it’s certain to see changes whether they are small or significant. Secondly, the practice of search engine optimization will continue to flourish as long as people will use search engines, and that’s not going to change at least for a long time. So, you must adopt a proactive approach and make future-proof decisions when it comes to SEO and finding SEO pros and agencies. By keeping all the things discussed above in mind, you can guide yourself on what to expect, who to work with, and how to be ready to grow your business with SEO in the future.