Penguins, PR, video mentions and Google data mining – 15 SEO predictions for 2015…

2014 served up another great year within the SEO industry, just check out my top digital marketing tweets from 2014 here to read some of the highlights.

2015 is sure to be another big year for SEOs around the world and below are my 15 SEO predictions.

1. A more aggressive Penguin

Penguin will continue to target poor backlink profiles and the tolerance of poor links that are accepted within these profiles will be become smaller.

2. Brand name over anchor text will rule

Businesses will chase more brand name links, these will typically fall under the local SEO strategy and mentions from such activities as product or content outreach.

3. PR will rise again

PR has had some stick over the past 2 years and has been compared to content marketing *cough* content spinning. 2015 will see the rise of digital PR again which focuses on the user and brand exposure.

4. Bing and Yahoo it…

More and more businesses will start to realise that Bing and Yahoo have a place when it comes to traffic generation, enquiries and ecommerce sales. From experience Bing and Yahoo can contribute anywhere between 10% – 30% extra traffic into a website. Also remember with more and more portable devices available, Bing and Yahoo are the defaults much like IE is to Windows.

5. Answering queries will rule

Answering user queries instead of focusing on keyword rich phrases will need to be more widely adopted, for example, voice search is becoming more commonly used and users are starting to search by asking questions – ‘where can I find the cheapest {keyword phrase}’.

6. Creative and data lead content growth

A content marketing shift will happen, less ‘top 10′ and ‘how to’ pieces of content will be created and more user focused and creative pieces aiming at smaller demographics will grow – this also connects to the above point about answer specific questions.

7. I’ll give that 5 out of 5

User reviews and rating will play more of a role in natural search, Google will want to promote popular products and services which then aids the users experience within Google search results.

8. Google data mining to improve results

Google in particular will start using even more of its own data to analysis the quality of results, for example, interactions between search results focusing on time differences, related searches and the like. What this will do is push back on websites that don’t deliver a good user experience.

9. Websites that work on everything will conque

Multi device or responsive websites will rule search results as these cater for all users retrospective of there device – again user focused.

10. Wearable tech will need focus

Businesses will need to consider other marketing channels such as wearable tech as a way to market there business. I’m a big believe that we’ll be able to walk down the highstreet and as you walk past a shop, an ad will be served promoting an offer.

11. Technical SEO with the user in mind

Technical SEO (or advanced on-page SEO) will play more of a role, this considers best practice for responsive sites, website speed, UX and so on.

12. Video and in-video mentions

Video will play more of a role for businesses and overall marketing strategies, I’d suspect Google will be able to attribute brand mentions in videos, (for example if Zoella mentions a specific makeup brand) as another form of authority linking.

13. A new breed of algorithm

Google will continue with Penguins, Pandas, Pigeons and Hummingbirds – but we’ll see a new algorithm update that focuses on consumer manipulation, for example, buying Facebook likes, fake video views and the like.

14. Security will take another step forward

Google will add more weight to HTTPS as a ranking signal and will also start to push website owners to keep CMS platforms and plugins up-to-date – whilst they already do this to a point, more focus will be attributed to this.

15. The base rate cost of SEO services will increase

The cost of SEO services from agencies and freelancers will need to increase for businesses to stay ahead and keep up with Google changes, Econsultancy referenced £200pcm as a starting figure some time ago, I’d suggest this will be more like £500pcm.

Credit: Bench image from Pixabay

This post was written by , Dave is a digital marketer specialising in SEO and PPC, and can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

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