The ways in which Search Engine Optimisation changes each year means that the strategy that is used needs to be changed too. Years back, when SEO was much simpler, keyword spamming and as many backlinks as possible linking to your site would quickly jump you up the rankings but everything has changed. This year, we here at Harvest Digital are trying to predict what we think will be the biggest factors in producing great SEO results. We’ll be back next year to review our predictions, to see what we were right on or how far off we were on some of them.
Schema Will Play a Bigger Part in SEO
I think the use of schema will become even more important for SEO in 2015. Schema helps search engines to understand what the content on your page is about. Schema, also known as semantic markup, is microdata inserted into HTML to classify content on your site for example Person, Product, Review and many others.
Schema combines tags associated with specific vocabularies to offer the search engines information on:
- The content author
- The theme of the content
- The structure of a web page
- Who published the information
- Insights on multimedia items such as video, images, etc.
Schema markup is also used to display rich snippets in the SERPs which although not a ranking factor (currently) can improve click through rates to the site; CTR is something which correlates with higher rankings.
Static Content Gets Punished
I believe that Google will start to penalise websites that do not update their website regularly. Content that is static can become outdated and not act as a resource for visitors.
Google should give the website owner a certain amount of time or indexations to update/change their website.
For instance, 2 scenarios
- A website gets indexed on the 4th of January 2015 and within a certain time period, say 6 months, if this content is the same and has not been updated, it will be start to lose rankings.
- A website gets indexed on the 4th of January 2015 and will get a certain number of indexations, say 10 times, if this content is the same and has not been updated, it will be start to lose rankings. Some websites get indexed daily, weekly or some even monthly so this may not be the best approach, as to the time scale above.
Location evolves from an extension into an integral part of search results
My guess would be that in 2015 Organic traffic analysis will catch up with the mobile aspects of paid search and content creation and will be more location and context aware.
Marketers are already trying to get their foot in the door ahead of competitor bids for local searches (eg ‘tapas restaurant holborn’), but for SEO results are heavily based on Maps/G+ integration and page optimisation is usually generic.
This could be the year that Google turns this upside down and presents unified organic results with Maps listings as well as downplaying domain authority in favour of user location context, leading to page content focusing more on locale-specific information.
With social sharing sites now adding video to their sharing options, video continues to be an important platform for content.
Video content is predicted to outperform all other forms of content on social, and Facebook will overtake YouTube in the terms of video uploads and plays. Instead of searching for videos on YouTube users will rely on being shown posts through shared content from influential users of platforms.
There’s now more ways than ever to reach potential consumers with mobile device usage increasing. eMarketer has predicting 77% of tablet users will view videos on at least a monthly basis.
This ever increasing consumption of video places emphasis on the need to optimise videos for search and ensure your content is found.
B2B Social Marketing
B2B Social Marketing will increase and more businesses will find success in the social world. Most of us have social media for a personal use down. However, 2015 will be the year that businesses crack into the social world and use it correctly to create brand awareness, connect with influencers and build a buzz around their company.
B2B Social Marketing
I anticipate in 2015 Google will be able to detect and penalise sites hosting paid guest posts and place less weight on the destination sites.
Guest posts across multiple sites typically exhibit clustered publishing dates and use identical assets, something Google is likely to pick up on soon. I would suggest that if you absolutely have to guest post then spread out publishing dates naturally and get creative by using unique assets per site.
Check your backlink profile regularly using tools such as Moz or AHREFs; if a series of articles looks like quick rewrite from the same person during the same week using the same set of infographics, photographs or PR collateral then it’s time to add them to your disavow file.
Mike’s 4 Predictions
- Good page design becomes an important factor in the search algorithm. In a way it already is – it’s hard to see how a manual review couldn’t be influenced by beautiful design.
- Facebook blocks Google from indexing any page on its site. That data is much more valuable to Mark Zuckerberg, and they are the one site that doesn’t need traffic from Google.
- Apple drops Google as the default search engine on Safari and replaces it with its own search engine. OK, so Google pays Apple over $1billion for the search traffic – but that’s small change to Apple, and the prize of becoming the dominant force in mobile search is a big one.
- The EU talks tough on restricting Google’s monopolistic position, but achieves nothing in 2015. The EU has more serious problems on its plate – and Google has a LOT of lawyers and lobbyists on its payroll.