- Google will continue to introduce its own valuable resources for searchers, similar to home services ads and product listing ads, and as a result, the amount of free space on the coveted first page will shrink. Realistically, only the first four organic results will even be seen—possibly even less on mobile.
- Speaking to the above 2016 SEO prediction, high quality backlinks have never been more important. You have to spend the time to build relationships and earn these important pathways to your site to show Google you deserve a spot on the first page of the SERPs.
- Internet users are getting pickier. With technology improving, they won’t settle for poor design and blah content. In 2016, the user experience will be the key to success, which means creating an interactive website and adding video content to your site.
- Another 2016 SEO factor we see gaining momentum is social networking. Not only do we believe that Google will finally admit they consider social signals (shares more than likes) when ranking your site, we think more social networking sites, like Facebook, will partner with the search engine for greater outcomes.
- We wouldn’t be surprised if Google decides to cut back on the penalties in 2016. Instead of punishing sites for bad links—which has resulted in a lot of negative press and large companies being squashed—they will simply ignore these negative SEO factors. They won’t do any good, but they won’t be bad either. (Remember, this is just a 2016 prediction, keep disavowing links for now.)
- 2016 will be another year for mobile. Now that most websites know they need to be mobile-friendly, we believe Google will begin to restrict the amount of advertisements marketers are allowed to show before displaying the content. It is frustrating for users to click on a link in Google only to have to “X” out of several ads before getting to the goods, and Google want to keep their searchers happy. 2016 SEO comes down to user experience.
- Google will continue to crack down on duplicate content in 2016. While their Panda algorithm has made great strides in the past year, there are still way too many people publishing the same articles, and we all agree it needs to stop.
- Content writing will become more important as 2016 progresses, but we especially think long-form content will gain popularity. While you should still focus on regular, high-quality content, it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a post that exceeds the 2,000-word mark every few weeks.
- Now that Panda is part of Google’s core algorithm, we have a feeling that updates coming directly from Google will all but disappear. Luckily, we have the above eight 2016 SEO predictions to focus on, so we can stay on top of the SERPs with or without Google leading the way.
There you have it: Our top 2016 SEO predictions. What would you add to the list? Contact us.