SEO in 2019 – What Can We Expect?
What used to be standard practice to dominate search engine results page rankings will now get your page downgraded or blacklisted, invisible to potential visitors. This means you need to keep up with the changes in SEO. Trends like mobile friendliness have been underway for a while, though in 2019, not being mobile friendly will count against your website. With respect to SEO in 2019 – what can we expect?
The Growing Use of Word Vectors
Word vectors are an algorithm used by Google to find the relationship between words based on natural language usage. They’re determining these relationships by mining massive amounts of written text and conversations. One impact of this is that the AI behind the search engine can better determine the context of a piece of content by analysing all of it instead of relying on the keyword density.
Another result of this is the growing need to include latent semantic indexing (LSI) terms or secondary keywords that help the search engine properly classify your content relative to searches. Furthermore, the distance of the similar words determines how closely related they are thought to be by the AI. This affects how you’d want to structure keywords in the content. If you want the terms to be seen as related by search engines, or they are necessary to properly classify the content, the terms need to be right next to each other in the sentence. To make matters more difficult, the content has to flow in a natural manner or search engines will penalise your website as poorly written.
The Increasing Intelligence of Search Engines
The artificial intelligence behind the search engines is getting smarter. It can understand intentional or accidental misspellings. Your website can be penalised for many spelling and grammatical mistakes in addition to having content that is too close to something else already on the web, including your own content elsewhere on your website. Your site can be penalised for badly spun articles and poorly translated text, though the keyword density is otherwise perfect.They’re able to decipher abbreviations, though secondary keywords help the search engine determine the correct meaning of the acronyms and abbreviations on the page. You can improve the correct presentation of your content by listing acronyms and abbreviations that are important to your SEO by explicitly spelling them out near where they are initially used.
This intelligence means the AI can tell when you’re injecting unrelated keywords into the content to try to game the algorithm. They also track customer responses to the website, downgrading your content quickly if there is a high bounce rate of the page.
The New Position Zero
SEO has long meant fighting to be in the first few spots on the search engine results page. The new slot you want to claim is “position zero”. Position zero is the featured snippet or answer box. This spot is shown at the top of the search results,above the top ranked website. The featured snippet tends to pull from high authority sources like Wikipedia and WebMD. If you can write quality content that search engines trust, then they may feature your content in “position zero”. The challenge is crafting snippets that answer the person’s question while giving them a reason to continue on to your website.
Advances in the technology behind the search engine and how we run searches will have a major impact on search engine optimisation in 2019. Fail to keep up, and your website will disappear from view.