Technology and web practices are constantly changing, and this is in no way any different for SEO. SEO has become increasingly sophisticated and nuance, and the way users search is constantly changing, leading to an ever expanding world of SEO. Various trends have emerged within the last decade, with the forerunners being social media, mobile as well as voice search. These trends indicate that searches have moved beyond search engines themselves, no longer limited to the confines of web browsers. In order to get a glimpse into the future of SEO, marketers first need to understand the biggest factors that will influence the development of SEO.

Mobile

This should come as no surprise that the trajectory for searches is pointing in every way to mobile. Already, over half the searches being conducted are done through a mobile device. Interestingly, when talking about mobile activity, the bulk of this is spent within apps. This means that in many ways, the Apple and Android app stores have become the new place for searches where users find apps as well as content.

Another interesting aspect of mobile is the growth of the Spotlight search available to iPhone users. Spotlight can not only search the web for your queries, but it also searches within apps to look for answers.

It seems very likely that these two particular aspects of mobile searches will have a significant impact on the future of SEO.

Social search

Remember when Facebook announced that you could search content on top of Facebook users and pages? This has been a growing component of the social media platform. As well as that, you will have noticed that Facebook has incorporated a trending ticker on the side of its page so users can easily access trending global stories.

Many social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have also worked very hard at keeping users in their apps or sites. Facebook for example has just rolled out instant articles – articles that pop up within the Facebook app, rather than redirecting to your mobile browser.

Considering the trajectory of these social channels, SEO must be adapted to the decentralisation of content away from their original site.

Voice search

Perhaps you’re already acquainted with your pocket assistance. Whether it’s Cortana or Siri, voice-activated searches has allowed users to search even when they’re not necessarily touching their phones or devices. You can say, for example while you’re driving, “Hey Siri, what’s the weather like today?” and get a detailed weather report without typing a single search query. Beyond searches, you can ask them to perform other tasks – from sending a text to a contact to setting your alarm for the next day. Voice-activated assistants are also particularly helpful because they combine your search history as well as context (time, traffic conditions, location) to get you the answers most relevant to you.

The combination of these changes means a new era of SEO strategy. While it’s not exactly clear how SEO will change to adapt to these trends, one thing is clear: the world of search engine optimisation is certainly growing.

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