All the owners of more or less popular Internet sites are monitoring what is happening in the field of search engine optimization. Changes in this area are almost constant – at least in 2017, SEO specialists had to change some of their methods of promoting sites in search results.
Predicting what can happen in 2017 is difficult, but I’ll try in this article to collect everything that is already known or that can supposedly change.
The trend of 2017 is the provision of high-quality, competent and unique information that should help the user to solve his problem or answer his question. Visitors should be interested in your site, and then they will spend more time on it, and this behavioral factor will have a positive effect on the position of your site in the SERP.
There are certain requirements for articles that you need to have on your resource. They should be:
- Written absolutely competently;
- Unique (the higher the uniqueness, the better);
- From 2.5 to 20 thousand characters (while research shows that the larger the content, the better, but do not go too far, focus on about 1,5 thousand words);
- Clearly structured, have paragraphs and subheadings;
- Are not oversaturated with keywords: proceed from the fact that there are 1-2 keywords for 1 thousand characters.
Google has already announced that sites running a secure protocol will be shown above those using the http protocol. In practice, while the benefits of this are not very noticeable – many note the fall in their positions in search engines after switching to the https protocol (but in the future the positions are restored).
However, it is already officially announced that in 2017 all sites that work with user data but do not have an installed certificate will be labeled as unsafe (if you watch them in the Google Chrome browser).
Therefore, if you are still using http-protocol, it’s time to think about switching to https.
Already in 2015, the number of mobile searches in search engines exceeded the number of desktop requests in a number of countries, including the United States and Great Britain. That’s why Google is starting to use the mobile-first index. This means that when ranking your site in the first place, its mobile version will be evaluated and only then the desktop version. Therefore, you need to pay special attention to the mobile version of your site.
If you have an adaptive design, you do not need to change anything, but if you have different sites for different devices, then you will need to check the following items:
- Mobile version of the site should be available for indexing by Google-bot (check whether everything is in order, you can in this service Google);
- In both versions of the site should be used structured markup and multivalued micro-markup (you can check in the Google service “Verification of structured data”);
- The mobile version must be verified in Google Search Console.
- Those who do not have a mobile version of the site should not worry – the index will still have a desktop version of the site, but it will rank lower than other sites that have both versions. Mobile version should be sent for indexing only when it is completely ready.
By the way, if you can not decide which version of the mobile site to choose, choose an adaptive design – it is advised by Google, because with adaptive design the content of your site will be the same.
Content optimized for mobile devices will stand higher in search results. But there is a small condition – the site should not be overloaded with advertising. Namely: no full-screen banners and pop-up windows that cover a large part of the page or which you need to close yourself. If your site is overloaded with intrusive advertising, then it may fall in the issue.
After talking about mobile versions of sites, you need to say a few words about AMP. The abbreviation stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and denotes mobile pages with accelerated downloads. This project should speed up the download of text materials from various sites on mobile devices. It should remove the difference between mobile sites of different quality and facilitate the development of mobile versions of sites in the future.
Images and videos
The number of users viewing video – both on desktops and on mobile devices, is constantly growing. Therefore, the video channel in 2017 can be an excellent tool for promoting its resource.
As for the images, it is primarily about the markup Schema.org/Product: now in the mobile version of the search for pictures appeared extended snippets (if you click on the product image in the issue). This is true for the owners of online stores.
Official documentation is available at: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/products
The layout scheme will help search engines to understand your site faster, which means that it will be displayed correctly in the search. This is primarily about snippets, which are displayed when showing recipes, music, movies, etc. In order to properly format the pages of your site, you can use the semantic micro-markup that appeared in HTML 5. More details about it can be found in the article “Schema.org” . Alternatively, you can use the RDF – Resource Description Framework, a resource description environment – that was designed specifically to provide metadata. The official documentation can be viewed at: https://www.w3.org/standards/techs/rdf#w3c_all
Another way to mark up your site is JSON-LD. This method of transferring related data uses the JSON text format. JSON-LD was added as a recommendation for Schema.org in 2013.
In order to determine and familiarize yourself with each of these types of markup, I advise you to read this article: https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/07/19/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-schema-org- Markup-2 /
In addition to introducing micro-markup, you can get into snippets by:
- Creating pages that can be a response to a user’s question (for example, “how to cook soup”);
- Optimization of existing pages, the text of which can be slightly processed so that they contain a short answer to any question;
- Adding a corresponding image to the material.
- At the same time, you need to understand that while the user can read the answer to his question already in the issue of Google, and it will not make sense to go to your resource. Therefore, in order to still attract visitors to your page, leave some more important information that will only be on your site.
Social networks play an increasingly important role in promoting. Materials that are massively liked and reposted are more actively indexed by search bots. In particular, Google prefers those sites that have been added to Google+ and puts them above other resources. In addition, social networks – this is yet another, now an extremely important tool for promoting resources and services in the global network. Therefore, in 2017, you should not disregard promotion in social networks.
By the way, social activity should also be encouraged on your site – it is known that if many comments from other users appear on your site, your site will be displayed higher in the search result. Therefore, try to involve your visitors in the discussion of articles.
The RankBrain system was introduced by Google in 2015 and was actively used in 2016, so in 2017, do not forget about its impact on the ranking. Thanks to machine training RankBrain allows you to find the most relevant pages on the Internet.
As for the optimization of content for the requests of RankBrain, then there are no surprises – on your site there should simply be materials written in natural human language. Avoid automatically generated, machine texts.
While some trends in search engine optimization appear, other factors, on the contrary, are becoming a thing of the past. For example, the role of the reference mass is not as great as it used to be, and many prefer to refuse to buy the backlinks in favor of more correct and legal ways of promotion: natural links and organic references in the network.
Spam, cheating behavioral factor and black SEO in general – these are the directions, the popularity of which is falling, so it is worth looking in the direction of other ways of promotion.
At the moment, 2017 does not carry any global changes in the field of SEO. The main tips that were relevant for the past years: create quality content, optimize your site – and watch your competitors. And then do better than them.