It’s January, which means you’ve probably read about 200 expert predictions on the future of SEO in 2017 by now. But if you stick with me, I promise this post won’t be like any of the other SEO predictions posts you’ve seen so far. You know…
When it comes to making SEO predictions, a lot of experts take the safe route. We all know mobile SEO is going to be increasingly important. Talking about the obvious is always safe.
If you’re anything like me, the SEO predictions for 2017 have let you feeling underwhelmed. No one has been sticking their neck out this year.
Mobile will be big?
UX will matter?
Really?! You don’t say!
I think it’s time for a few more bold predictions – nine of them in fact. These SEO predictions will be a bit more out there – maybe you could even call them a little crazy.
Just don’t blame me if/when these predictions become reality. I’m just the prognosticator, basing my predictions on the things I’ve seen lately – and where I believe Google is heading next.
1. We’ll Experience the Biggest Rankings Shift in the History of Google…
Major algorithmic changes are always a big deal – from old school classics like Florida and Caffeine to more modern algorithmic updates like Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and RankBrain.
So here’s my first SEO prediction for 2017: We’ll see the biggest shift in rankings in the history of Google.
Machine learning and AI was an undeniable force in 2016. And I expect machine learning signals to become a bigger and bigger piece of the pie. In case you’re unfamiliar with RankBrain, here’s a simplified diagram that breaks it down:
RankBrain helps Google select and prioritize the signals it uses for ranking. Engagement is one of the very important signals Google looks at for ranking.
It’s been my theory that RankBrain (and/or other machine-learning elements within Google’s core algorithm) are increasingly rewarding pages that have high user engagement. In other words: Google has built its own ultimate unicorn detector to ensure that the pages people are clicking on and engaging with the most are rewarded with better search positions.
2. …But Nobody Will Notice Anything!
Remember how, for a few months before RankBrain was officially announced in that Bloomberg article, everyone in the SEO industry knew a big algorithm update was brewing? Remember all the discussion on Twitter, Facebook, and the top search industry publications?
Yeah, me neither because it absolutely didn’t happen!