As Channel 4 invariably trots out 17 hour programmes dedicated to the minutiae of 2014 with the year drawing to a close, we look forward to SEO in 2015 and what we expect will come to be.
Mobile Based Searching to Overtake Desktop Searches
“It was Earth all along!” screams the desktop computer as it realises the alien planet with mobile device overlords is its home planet in 2015.
Next year looks set to be the year that mobile device browsing overtakes desktop activity as more and more people take to the net on-the-move. Responsive web design is helping to optimise the customer journey on mobile devices – making it easier for users to satisfy all their browsing needs.
Google to Scale Back Data
Like a proud father teaching his son to ride a bike without stabilisers for the first time, it is anticipated 2015 could be the year Google lets go and lets SEOs venture unsupported for the first time. By scaling back the data provided to business and SEO agencies, Google will judge websites and content on merit rather than the ability to tick off search metric-approved checklists.
Google+ Will Die
This rather sombre prediction comes from one of our top SEO guys, Joe, who believes Google will pull the plug on the social media platform which has failed to lure users away from Facebook. Although user numbers increased due to Google’s insistence on YouTube (and other Google-owned ventures) users to comment on content using a Google+ account, activity has not seen a significant organic increase.
Google’s heavy-handed approach with Google+ has not been popular with users, including YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim.
SEO and Content Marketing will Merge
Google’s love affair with good quality content (hence my position as arguable Banc Media’s most beloved (and handsome) employee) shows no signs of slowing down. The importance of creating unique, attention-grabbing content will only increase throughout 2015 as browsing habits continue to evolve.
As Google continues to penalise many of the standard SEO techniques, the impetus upon the creation of top quality content is higher than ever.
Negative SEO will Increase
As Google gets stricter with its rules and penalties for black hat SEO tactics, the Dick Dastadlys of online marketing will have more villainous tools at their disposal.
Negative SEO incorporates the implementation of black hat SEO strategies on behalf of competitors without their consent or knowledge, thus increasing the chances they will be penalised by the search engines and suffer from a drop in visibility. Essentially it is the online marketing equivalent of mean teenage schoolgirls spreading rumours that one of their peers stuffs her bra to ensure the school heartthrob does not ask her to the end of year disco.
Yahoo Search Use to Increase
The recent deal between Yahoo and Firefox which includes the implementation of Yahoo search as the search engine of choice on Firefox browsers could lead to a significant increase in usage.
As of August 2014, Firefox was the third most used web browser after Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, with 17.5% of web users utilising the service – making this a significant coup for Yahoo.
This will mean that savvy businesses will start investing more money into Yahoo SEO to ensure they capture the anticipated increase of traffic going through Yahoo.
Penguin to Start Rolling out Monthly
The latest Google Penguin update was rolled out in October 2014, a year after its predecessor was launched. Implementing changes more fluidly, it is anticipated by many that Google will start rolling out Penguin updates on a monthly basis. This will allow Google to react quicker to trends, being more proactive in their treatment of search algorithms.
Matt Cutts to Change Focus
Our head of SEO, Colin, believes 2015 will see the head of Google’s Webspam team leave his post as the de facto Gandalf of SEOs. Matt Cutts has provided plenty of assistance to online marketers over the years, leading them from disaster with breadcrumbs of information.
Colin anticipates a potential move to join or invest in a new start-up, lending his substantial expertise and reputation to the venture.
New Technologies to Aid Search
Whilst traditional typing will still be the main search method for people using Google and competitors, alternative search methods may be implemented over the coming year. Drag and drop image search has already been utilised by Google and this search discipline may soon be joined by technologies akin to Oculus Rift to aid searching.
Search marketers will be required to consider the activity and patterns of searchers using images and voice recognition to optimise their websites.
Bing and Yahoo to Incorporate Shopping Platform
In their constant battle to match Google for services and popularity, Bing and Yahoo could implement similar shopping platforms. Emulating Google, these platforms could make it easier for consumers to find and buy products – making the customer journey more intuitive.
As ever, if you want help with your SEO in 2015 – just give Banc Media a ring on 0845 459 0558 and we’ll have a chat about how we can improve your online fortunes.