It’s already the start of the year, which means you’ve probably read about expert predictions on the future of SEO in 2017 by now. After seeing a lot of my SEO predictions last year, I decided to make it more of a tradition moving forward. But please don’t blame me if my predictions become true. Besides, I’m only basing my foresights on the things I’ve seen lately – and where I believe Google is heading next.
So what is really in store for 2017? Here is what my crystal ball tells me. The webmasters, marketers and SEOs, should think as early as now about their SEO efforts as these may significantly change in a way that they may like or not.
So here are my top 8 predictions for SEO in 2017
- Voice search will play a major role in upcoming SEO. It is perhaps the most underappreciated piece of this overall mobile search puzzle, but it should not be. Although voice search won’t actually cannibalize desktop or typed mobile searches, it will instead add on top of it.
- Google will remain the top referrer of website traffic by 5X+. We’ll experience the biggest rankings shift in the history of Google. Google will be building its own ultimate unicorn detector to ensure that the pages people are clicking on and engaging with the most are rewarded with better search positions. I foresee that Google will continue to dominate over Facebook, Snapchat or Amazon or anyone else making inroads to the overall traffic pie.
- The Marketing Technology space will not have much consolidation, meaning fewer exits and acquisitions, compared to 2015 or 2016, but there will be IPO or one major exit among the major SEO software providers. Adoption rates are remaining low for the time being and the number of marketing technology companies is expected to increase. Also, marketing technology needs to reach a tipping point. That tipping point will most probably reached in 2017 as the supply of marketing technology hits its peak. I believe we’ll see very little acquisition or IPO activity from martech players in 2017. I also think that some major software players will have a major exit.
- Google will offer paid search ads in featured snippets, knowledge graph, and/or carousels. Merkle/RKG data matches nicely to our own clickstream analyses, showing that 1.5%-2.5% of all search queries will be in a click on a paid ad.
- By the end of year, Amazon search will have 4% or more of Google’s web search volume by end of year. My prediction is that Amazon will become the top product-based search engine. It will be really fun to see and wait who wins the battle between Amazon Echo and Google Home in 2017. Well of course, when it comes to product searches, Amazon will definitely win.
- Twitter will retain its spot as the most valuable and popular network for publishers and influencers. It will be acquired as early as 2017 and will be a potential acquisition target. It is inevitable that Twitter will succeed if current trends continue, and this may happen as early as 2017.
- The top ten mobile apps will remain nearly stable for the year ahead. Some may change and some may be added on the list that is why mobile publishers must develop for new revenue streams and increase the profits they’re seeing from existing ones.
- In 2017, Google will admit publicly that they use an engagement data as an input to their ranking listings, not only for training or learning. I am proud of Google of its works for the previous years when it comes to ranking systems to be generally less misleading on how their search engine works. I just hope this extends into the realm of engagement data because it will surely have a real and positive impact on how many publishers, brands, and content creators of any kind on the web think about what they create.
So now, what do you think of my predictions about SEO and search marketing for the year 2017? Where do you think I’m right or wrong? Now it’s your turn to make predictions on this topic and don’t forget to share it. Kudos!