The digital landscape has definitely evolved from the time when the World Wide Web was born in 1989, and even more so after Google’s conception in 1998. The latter, which remains to be the search engine of choice by web users today, has played a significant role in changing how people find answers to their queries.
Google’s top contribution is, perhaps, allowing businesses to maximize the use of its platform through search engine optimization (SEO). This digital marketing strategy involves improving a website’s elements to acquire a favorable spot in the results pages and increase visibility.
It’s no secret that brands should start a blog and publish engaging content to reach their target audience. SEO is a tool that can help you position your pages at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Web users are the top priority of search engines. That’s why Google aims to deliver high-quality results for each query. With this, the platform adapts to the ever-changing needs and preferences of human readers, including making allowances for new technology that changes the way people search for solutions.
Here’s a list of technological developments that have improved SEO:
1. Machine Learning
Many SEO specialists have tried and failed to understand the inner workings of Google’s ranking system. There are hundreds of factors to consider, which makes it impossible to determine a singular foolproof formula to rise to the top. Plus, there’s the fact that the search engine utilizes machine learning for its algorithm.
This process entails creating computer programs that can access data and learn from it using artificial intelligence (AI). Gaining knowledge starts with observations or direct instruction. With this, the machine can then look for patterns in future data to make better decisions in the future.
A stellar example of how Google uses machine learning is through search predictions. You may have noticed how the platform has rolled out a feature that guesses the next word in your query sequence. It compares the data that it has gathered from millions of queries with your search history to provide a personalized experience by offering the most likely keyword or topic that you want to find solutions for.
Additionally, Google uses this technology to stay on track when you have a succession of queries about a particular topic. For instance, if you search, “What is liposuction?” and follow it up with, “What are its pros and cons?” the search engine can understand that the ‘it’ you’re referring to is the surgical procedure.
Machine learning is also valuable for spotting spelling mistakes to ensure that users can get accurate answers. This technology is used for Google’s image search and translation tools. Through this, computers can see, listen, and speak just like human beings.
2. Analytics Tools
Another technological advancement that has improved SEO is analytics tools. These software programs and peripherals enable site administrators to monitor the progress of their digital marketing campaigns. These make data more accessible so that blog owners can make informed decisions about their company’s direction in the future.
There are lots of digital tools on the market today. One example is for keyword research, which checks keyword difficulty and viability. Another must-have software program for SEO is traffic analytics. This can help you count the number of visitors and the level of engagement for your website. These tools provide support to site administrators to boost the quality of their content and pages. With this, the overall SEO of the entire platform would improve and deliver high-quality results to web users.
Google has two tools to help business owners with their digital marketing efforts. The first one is Google Analytics, which is a comprehensive program that publishes complete information on your site’s performance in terms of marketing, content, and even products and services. You can measure the progress of your campaigns through the amount of traffic it garners, and whether they’ve successfully led to conversions. The tool also allows for customizing the reports so that you can access and review the necessary data when you need it.
The second tool is Google Search Console. While you don’t need to use this app for your site to be indexed in the search engine’s database, it offers valuable support if you’re using the platform. The tool can verify whether Google’s bots can find and crawl your website. It can also help you fix indexing issues or process the re-indexing of updated content. Of course, it still provides data on your domain’s traffic, including information on the frequency that your site shows up on searches, the queries that display your pages, and click-through rates.
Recently, Search Console has been updated with a new crawl stats report. It can now give blog owners detailed information on host status as well as the total number of requests, which are categorized by response code, crawled file type, purpose, and Googlebot type. Additional features include URL examples to pinpoint where the requests occurred exactly, as well as a comprehensive summary and support for properties that have several hosts.
The best thing about these tools is that site administrators can use them for free. This makes a lot of sense since Google has always wanted to give users high-quality results, which can only be achieved if everyone in the community focuses on the same objective.
3. Mobile Devices
Before, computers and laptops were the only ways to search for things on the Internet. However, the process has become more accessible with the advent of smartphones and smart tablets.
Now, a majority of web users are tethered to their mobile devices, either scrolling through their social media feeds or typing their queries on Google’s search box. This inclination to use gadgets with smaller screens has called for changes in SEO.
The platform has incorporated a new ranking signal, which is mobile-friendliness, which means that the search engine prioritizes websites that look good regardless of the screen size that’s being used. With this, site administrators have to make sure that their site can accommodate the different devices that users have if they want to boost their SEO.
A practical solution to this is by implementing a responsive web design. This approach involves developing a site that responds to a user’s behavior and environment. It takes into account the screen size, platform, and orientation that the reader is viewing from.
It consists of a combination of flexible grids and layouts. The practice also maximizes the use of images and CSS media queries. This way, when a user switches from viewing your site from a computer to their mobile phone, your domain must be able to automatically shift as well to make way for resolution, image size, and scripting abilities.
Aside from having a responsive web design, these are other factors that can improve the mobile-friendliness of your domain:
- Page Speed – The process of browsing on mobile has accustomed web users to receiving information instantaneously. With this, the rate at which your page’s elements load can make or break your SEO success. Practice techniques like caching and compressing to improve your page speed.
- Site Structure – Another user experience (UX) factor that affects mobile-friendliness is the site structure. As mentioned above, you have to allow people to view your website properly even on smaller screens. This might entail having different layouts for the PC and mobile versions of your domain.
- Banners And Pop-Ups – These promotional materials work well when viewed on a computer or laptop because you have a lot of space to work with. However, these can be annoying when they cover up the information that you want to read on a mobile device. Try looking for alternatives or use them sparingly for the mobile version.
- Navigation Bar – Most sites adopt a collapsible style for their navigation bar on mobile. This way, web users can focus on the content that they’re looking for, but still have the option to explore other pages for additional information.
Devices like Google Assistant and Amazon Echo have paved the way for a spike in voice searches. Experts predict that this query method will continue to rise next year.
In traditional search, people typically use shortcuts when typing keywords. For instance, if they want to learn more SEO strategies that they can apply for their business, they may type in ‘SEO strategies for business.’ Sometimes, they may even forgo the preposition and just type ‘SEO strategies business’ since this would be faster.
For voice search, on the other hand, the keywords would be more natural and conversational. People would opt to use complete sentences. Going back to the example above, users may search for, “What are effective SEO strategies for businesses?” or, “How to create an effective SEO campaign to promote my business?”
With the anticipated rise of this type of query, site administrators have to incorporate long-tail keywords in their content to ensure that they accommodate users who prefer doing voice searches. Intensive keyword research would be required so that you can include all relevant terms and phrases in your posts.
5. 8K Video
Aside from links, content continues to be a crucial ranking factor. Text remains to be a primary medium, but you should enhance your blog posts with visuals, like images and videos. The latter, in particular, has quickly become a favorite way of web users to digest information.
Video technology has also evolved in terms of resolution. Now, digital platforms have begun rolling out 8K support, although content with this resolution is still very limited.
Keeping up with updates for this technology can improve how people perceive your brand. It shows that you care about the segment of the market that prefers to watch high-resolution videos. Even if you don’t have equipment for 8K videos, you can invest in 4K or ultra-high-definition (UHD), at the very least, so that you can churn out visually appealing content.
Here are some ways to optimize your video for search:
- Select the best platform for your goals – While you can definitely publish your video right on your website, it’ll be better for you to host it on a dedicated video hosting platform and just embed it on your page. This way, you take advantage of the channel’s servers and avoid slowing down your domain with bulky content.
- Create a transcript – This might seem like too much work, but it’s an excellent way to ensure that your videos are visible to search engine bots. Even though these crawlers are powered by AI, it still doesn’t hurt to help them find your content easily.
- Choose an eye-catching thumbnail – Entice web users to click on your videos by selecting a thumbnail that will pique their interest. Experiment on the layouts and designs that work for your target audience. Make sure that the image you choose can’t be ignored by potential subscribers.
- Maximize your title and description – The title and description do more than providing viewers with an idea of what they can expect from your video. It can also be helpful for your SEO efforts. Make sure to include your target keywords so that search engine bots can discover and add them to their database.
6. Virtual reality (VR)
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are slowly gaining traction in the mainstream market. These technologies may play a significant role in the future of digital marketing, which may include SEO.
A lot of brands have incorporated AR into their marketing strategies through filters. Sony recently published a filter that displayed their PlayStation 5 on users’ screens. This tactic ramped up the hype surrounding their upcoming console just in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Although it’s still unclear how this technology can be used for SEO, Google has started to use it for Google Lens. This implies that site administrators must stay updated on how AR will affect search engine rankings.
Technology and SEO have long been intertwined since both are utilized and dependent on web users’ needs and preferences, respectively. Site administrators have to keep tabs on digital marketing updates to stay ahead of competitors and remain at the top spot for their target keywords.
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