Websites and SEO- What’s their role in the future?

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Websites and SEO

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Will search engines still exist in the future? Say maybe after 20 years?

Isn’t this a strange question? But here’s why it’s worth mentioning. Remember times when SEO first emerged and the big names in search were like Yahoo? Change happens quickly in digital and no-one has the divine right to be around for the next decade (or two), be it monopolies like Apple, Facebook or even Google.

Predict the future- yes or no?

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Someone once asked Bill Gates who he’s scared of the most, and his response was the guy or girl in a garage waiting to unleash the next wave of disruptive innovation on the world. That really shows how fast technology is progressing. No one expected Instagram and Facebook to be the next “big” thing!

Google- Now

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That said, those interested in pre-empting the future of search marketing could always do worse than to look at whatever Google is currently planning. Whenever Google refine their algorithm it’s to achieve two things – to improve the relevancy of results for searchers and to make more money.

Looking at where Google has been focusing over the last year gives a lot of clues on where they are heading. Mobile-centric results across all devices, including desktop, has been an important theme and the range of featured snippets are expected to continue to rise in popularity.

For users-

They don’t have to click on a listing because Google shows them the answer they need within the results page.

For brands-

They need to think about how they can be in that featured snippet listing – optimizing more heavily for answer boxes, schema, local and more.

SEO today

However, if we look at where the focus of SEO now, it’s clear that while authority links are still important. There’s a whole lot more to consider in the pursuit of great SEO results moving forward. Ideas are the new currency and the goal is to make your content the best answer on the internet for a given question, across all devices and platforms.

Changing of times?

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Times have changed. Simple optimizing for desktop and mobile search is not enough. Everything is then something. Then, is it possible that in the future there will be no such thing as ‘websites’? But instead a place with “everything”? After all, Google’s features snippets of websites available for you to browse. But maybe, we already have the results we are looking for- which reduces the need to click for the answer.

Rise of mobile apps engagement

Recent research suggests that mobile users increasingly prefer to engage with brands via mobile apps rather than mobile browsing. This furthers the decline in importance of the traditional website.

The potential in voice search

What’s more, voice search is predicted to account for 50% of all search activity by 2020, with a staggering 56 million smart speakers expected to be shipped this year alone.

Virtual reality

Businesses such as estate agents and hotels are fighting to offer customers the chance to experience spaces in advance via virtual reality and augmented reality applications.

How and Now

Google already knows so much more about search and how to provide customer queries with the best answers. That is why it is important to think about your users first and foremost.

Tips and questions to consider

Who are you targeting? What do you want them to achieve? To win at SEO in 2018, you need to be the best result. This means providing great content for your users, across all devices – rather than simply having well optimized content for search engines. Most importantly, you’ll be engaging in the best way possible with your visitors.

And as a result, you will likely to be rewarded by Google for providing the best experience with your search rankings.