The biggest SEO change in 2019. Experts share their opinion
Did you know that there are over 500 million blogs out there?
That's a very competitive industry.
On top of that, Google constantly updates its algorithms.
With all these changes, how do you remain competitive? What should you expect from SEO in 2019?
We've reached out to SEO experts in order to help us prepare for the upcoming changes.
So here is the question that we asked:
What will be the biggest change in SEO in 2019?
We didn't get one definitive answer.
Everyone shared their predictions that I think will be very valuable and we need to pay attention to them.
Schema is extensible, which means that it is intended to be updated over time. Since Schema.org is independent of the search engines that joined together to found it (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex), they will each have their own way of implementing things such as rich results. Schema will be updated to cover more industries and more features/approaches, such as speakable markup, howto markup, FAQ markup, knows about attributes, etc.
It's worth keeping an eye out for how different schema vocabulary is suggested to be implemented by each of the search engines, and sites such as Pinterest.
Schema is the easiest to point out important areas where there will be growth in SEO.
I think that as time goes on, links will become less reliable from smaller sites. It's going to require real topical and link authority to pass significant ranking signals and this is the trend we've massively been seeing in 2019.
There are several ways around this though - Using tier 2 links, building link assets, building out your supporting content and keeping tabs on competitor and SERP analysis.
Probably the biggest change that we will see in 2019 will be SEO's starting to create intent-based content, based on the actual Google SERP.
For a long time we have been trying to categorize queries in the typical "informational, navigational, transactional" when Google is well ahead on understanding the intent of the terms, so now that there are tools out there to analyze the SERP based on the components that Google uses, we will be able to tailor content & intent much better, which at the end of the day is what Google has been focused for the last two or so years with the continuous updates: Query syntax, Query intent, classes of queries, etc.
I actually published a post sharing the way digital marketing will change in 2019. Included in the post, is the way SEO will change in 2019. Here are my predictions: https://www.mostlyblogging.com/marketing-strategy-plan/.
Long-tail keywords will become even more important due to voice search. Consumers speak their queries and use long-tail keywords when they do. For this reason, many long-tail keywords will be questions starting with "how to" since search engine users ask search engines questions starting with these words. Also, marketers' focus on search volume will start to decrease. Since the numbers add up, marketers will be happy with the content that ranks on Page 1 even if the search volume is smaller.
Nothing. Over the past 20 years or so, SEO really hasn’t changed. It’s all about creating great content on a properly built website that naturally attracts links from other relevant websites. While Google may highlight certain areas (mobile, site speed, voice, etc.), these are all things you should have been doing anyway because you own a website and that’s what your audience is doing.
SEO is a tactical checklist, not a strategy. If you want to be better at SEO, become a better marketer.
1. Searcher task accomplishment: The biggest thing I would say that'll change in SEO is importance for quality content that satisfies the intent of the user. In other words, content that helps users accomplish their tasks will gain importance. It's also called as search task accomplishment, I've written a big guide on this before."The goal of the blog posts should be to help searchers accomplish their tasks in a quick and effective way. If your blog post helps people do that, Google will reward you with high rankings." I would say that it makes sense for Google to consider this ultimate objective of online content provided it can track the behavior of the searchers and determine whether they are satisfied with the content.
2. Topical optimization: Another thing I'm noticing is the prevalence of topical optimization over old-school keyword optimization. The importance of you optimizing the article for a specific topic instead of a specific keyword will be of more importance. You need to focus on content breadth and depth. That means, your content coverage should be wide enough to discuss a topic in all angles and as well as it should be in-depth in solving all the queries of the users. It should be the end point for the users with all the answers they ever look for regarding the topic.
3. Authority backlinks: Needless to say, no matter how much machine-learning algorithms evolve, the importance of authority backlinks remain the same - and they help the algorithms to validate the quality of the content. If you get backlinks from relevant authority sites, you'll get a ranking boost.
4. Visual content: The users need easily consumable content for cognitive ease, that's why they prefer videos and infographics for content consumption. If your content has only text content, the user engagement will suffer and thus SEO too. You may consider embedding YouTube videos, repurpose content to your own videos, podcasts, infographics and perhaps slides to use it on your website. By this, you cater to the needs of the audience who would like to consume content in different formats according to their nature - visual or auditory.
5. Mobile SEO: The importance of fast loading websites will continue. As most of the people use their smartphones to browse content online, your website should be mobile responsive; especially with mobile-first indexing in place.
The year 2019 is the year of expedited SEO evolution but no revolution.
User queries will continue to evolve and to become increasingly conversational. At the same time Google will without a doubt increase their efforts to provide spot-on answers, if possible within their SERPs and with no need for the user to actually visit the website. Consequently the look and feel of SERPs will change at an ever increasing rate.
Mere 10 snippets with titles and descriptions are remnants of a bygone era. They are still important, however SERP real-estate is being carved up anew with more one-boxes, carousels and rich snippets providing a much more informative experience. For the SEO industry this means it will be all about managing user expectations, delivering on a unique selling proposition and maximizing site performance in the process.
In short fast sites which are at the same time popular with users will be the likely winners. The fierce fight for rankings -especially in the most competitive niches- will be fueled by tremendous volumes of SEO relevant data. Top market players will allocate substantial resources towards data gathering and analysis. The alternative means to surrender their previously superior positions to competitors.
This applies in particular to embracing and utilizing server logs for SEO purposes. For a long time considered a luxury, using server logs is becoming a critical factor fast.
I believe more marketers need to stop writing content for the search engines and instead write more for human beings to read! If you can make your content genuine and interesting, without trying to game the search engines then your content will stand the test of any Google updates. Writing long form content is best because Google looks at retention and ranks based on that (along with other factors too).
Content marketing is going to play a key role in SEO. It doesn't matter what industry you are in, make sure to create "long form of content" by keeping your target audience in mind. Don't forget the importance of keyword research as it can make or break your SEO success. The key here is to create content which should cover A to Z information and here's where most bloggers fail as they create generic contents or create multiple posts on similar topics.
Once you start creating long form of contents by optimizing for the right keywords, you'll start attracting more traffic from search engines. Do it consistently and you'll make a decent income from your site.
Great SEO is a multifaceted discipline where clear Copywriting, User Experience, and technical aspects are strongly connected and aim at one goal only: to address your user's search intent.
In 2019, I'll anticipate we'll see a deeper, much stronger focus on content density as opposed to length. Longer pages could rank your website for more keywords, sure. However, with search intent becoming more important every day, it's to what degree your content satisfies it and provides the user with the right type of information they were looking for. That's your best bet to outperform your competition not adding more words on a page.
I am not really a believer in BIG change in SEO. Almost 20 years of experience in this industry shows me changes in search are more evolution than revolution.
If you twisted my arm I would say the biggest change is difficulty. Even more traditional industries that have been slow to adopt SEO are now stepping up, so for new businesses it can take more time, effort and investment to get results.
The biggest takeaway I can give folks is that to do well in search you have to invest in organic search now and accept this is not always the fastest of marketing tactics but it is crucially important. Be realistic about what organic search can do for your business and get started - the longer you leave it the harder it is going to get to carve out your SEO space.
And remember - it is always better to focus on where search (Google) is going than on any specific tactics or workarounds - and Google is always aiming for quality. Aim to be the best at what you do and tell folks about it - and sprinkle a little SEO smarts over that and you will be okay.
One of the biggest changes will see during this year are related to voice search and snippets based search results.
The content development and optimization process should include keywords based on user intent, which means how people talk rather than how people type a search query.
Mobile users are continually increasing the use of voice search when looking for information on-the-go, which demands long-form content on websites looking to target these users.
Also, with the RankBrain update, click-through-rates and bounce-rates are becoming more important to increase and maintain rankings. and being able to add rich snippets to your search results can make a big difference.
From displaying product prices or reviews to winning Google's answer box, when visitors get their questions answered they don't see the need to search further and will make your page results more relevant to the user's searches.
The biggest changes in 2019 for SEO involve measurement adjustments. Moz just recently updated their domain authority (DA) measuring system for the first time in years. It really exposes websites that were part of Private Blog Networks (PBN) and those with other spammy backlink profiles. While domain authority doesn't affect Google PageRank, it is still a very influential industry measurement.
Just a couple weeks later, Google rolled out another core update. Speculation still abounds but it seems to be focused specifically on user intent. It also seems to reverse some of the damage done to millions of pages after their August 2018 core update.
These two measurement adjustments will have a profound impact throughout 2019 and into 2020.
I think one of the biggest things that will change in 2019 is the focus and relevancy in voice search. With the increased use of voice commands (whether on your phone or a device like Alexa, Google Home, etc.), more and more people will be relying on voice. And as we know not everyone types a search query like we would speak when asking a question. This will result in more longer tails search query opportunities as well as increased opportunity for position 0 spots in Google search.
Some people may be wondering about reciprocal link building. Is it worth it?
Check out this video to find out more about this topic.
The main thing that I learned from all the experts above is that Google and other search engines have 1 common goal - serve their users as good as they possibly can.
This means showing the best and most relevant content and providing the optimal user experience.
That's why writing the most engaging and informative content should be at the core of your SEO strategy.
With that said, you should not underestimate other important pieces of SEO like on-page optimizations and link building.
If you'd like to learn more about building links - take a look at this article by Matthew Woodward.
I really hope this article was helpful.
But before you go, I have a special quiz for you that will help you determine if you know how to run your business online: