Inability to keep with the fast changing SEO landscape will put you out of the race. Staying abreast of the latest Google updates is the way to survive in the SEO space. Analyzing the impact of the updates on the SEO campaign with the help of some reputable Las Vegas SEO company and taking corrective actions, if needed, can drive the campaign in the right direction without affecting its momentum. It will also help perform better in the search results by aligning your SEO strategies with the latest changes that can directly or indirectly impact the ranking prospects.
All Google updates might not be relevant for your website, yet you must be aware of what is happening around that can bear hints about how things are likely to unfold in the near future. Staying proactive is the way to strengthen the SEO campaign by protecting it from the ill effects of some updates that affect websites adversely.
Taking a cue from various Google updates in the recent past, we are listing the SEO trends that are likely to dominate in 2021.
Zero click searches will keep growing
Google’s continuous efforts to improve user experience led to the advent of zero-click searches since 2016, and in the next three years, it rose from 43.9% to 49% in 2019. On looking at the SERP, it will become clear that Google is now presenting the answers to search queries directly within the SERP features that do away with the need to click a result because the answer is there right in front of you. In addition, the growth of the Knowledge Graph will propel the growth of zero-click searches as Google gets better at extracting answers from the web pages to present them in the featured snippets.
Keep in mind the aspect of zero-click searches when doing keyword research so that the chosen keywords invite clicks that boost the ranking prospects. Although zero-clock searches do not help in ranking, it has some other benefits: increasing brand awareness, improving brand perception, and reaching more people.
The increasing popularity of voice searches
The growing popularity of smart speakers that are likely to reach 55% of US homes by 2022 will undoubtedly push up voice searches that keep growing steadily. As Google sharpens its ability to deal with natural language by investing in technologies like BERT, RankBrain, and Knowledge Graph, it is a clear indicator of the rising number of voice searches that rely on natural language. BERT and RankBrain help Google understand the meaning of searches, and the Knowledge Graph helps to understand the relationships between people, things, and places. If you don’t know how to make one, try using a graph maker.
To optimize for voice search, create a profile on Google My Business, ensure fast loading pages, add schema markup, get more quality backlinks and answer questions that people ask. Use some tools to understand the questions that people are now asking.
More emphasis on bettering user experience
Google wants to provide content that ensures a good user experience and serves many other purposes, but there can be no compromise on user experience. Therefore, if your page passes the Core Web Vitals assessments, Google will select it for display in search results by considering the time it takes to load the largest element above, which should be under 2.5 seconds. The other factor is the response time of the page after user interaction which must be under 100ms. The last factor is the amount of movement that occurs during loading, which must be under 0.1.
By using Pagespeed Insights, you can check these metrics.
Mobile-friendliness of the website is critical
For years Google has been focusing on mobile friendly websites that became a ranking factor in 2015, and in July 2019, Google switched over to mobile-first indexing. Mobile-first indexing underlines the criticality of mobile friendly websites even more because Google considers the mobile version of the content first for indexing and ranking. Google had set a target of ensuring mobile-first indexing of 100% website by March 2021.
Check if your website comes under mobile-first indexing and if you are yet to join the bandwagon, stay well prepared for it by choosing a responsive design for your website that takes care of all aspects of mobile friendliness.
Better evaluation of EAT by Google
Expertise (E), Authoritativeness (A), and Trustworthiness (T) explain the acronym EAT that acquires utmost importance because Google is paying more attention to it. EAT is especially important for search quality rating undertaken by humans to assess the quality of Google search results. Although EAT is not a direct ranking factor, it does have an indirect effect on it. The EAT findings are significant for Google because it forms the basis of changing the algorithms.
All SEO professionals are aware of EAT and its implications as it has been in place for years. However, to maintain the proper EAT standard, you must fact-check the content to ensure its authenticity, update the content regularly, stay within your knowledge domain without going astray, get more links and mentions and get more reviews.
More traffic will emanate from Google Discover
Google Discover is a mobile feed personalized for users to showcase content that is interesting to you. Google compiles information gathered from other Google products like YouTube, searches, etc., topics you follow, and location data. The user base of Google Discover is quite large because way back in 2018, Google declared that there were 800 million users, which by now should be much higher.
Google Discover directs considerable traffic to your website and to get the most from it. You must have a mobile friendly website with speedy opening times and ensure that your content complies with the policies of Google Discover. Publish content about popular topics and use compelling titles that quickly associates viewers with the content. Use large and vivid images with due optimization as these will appear in Google Discover feeds. Keep demonstrating EAT as Google emphasizes it in the context of Discover.
The better you know about the search landscape and where it is heading, you can capture the bigger picture that helps to optimize with long term goals.