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In 2011, Panda and Penguin filters shocked the SEO world. Quickly mastered and bypassed by referencers, these developments are only a glimpse of the major changes of the coming years. Here is a tour of the storms that are happening, and how to prepare for it.
Google: a decomplexed advertising engine In February 2016, Google changed the design of its results pages by removing advertisements on the right, in favor of a fourth link at the top of the page. This is not an insignificant evolution of design, but a symbol of the new orientation of the search engine.
On most screens, the natural results are now below the waterline, in favor of advertising. The four advertising links reduce the number of placements available for auctions, and naturally inflate the advertiser's Costs per Click.
These latest developments indicate a hunt for advertising, which is detrimental to the quality of research results. Users grind teeth, but with its 90% share of search market, Google still seems untouchable in France.
As a result, aggressive strategies to make sponsored links increasingly visible, while 51% of Internet users struggle to understand the difference between paid and natural results, the click-through rate on natural results is likely to decline gradually over time of the next few years. Positioning ourselves in the first results of research will therefore be all the more important, in order to continue capturing natural traffic.
And so will you tell me?
Well, the problem with artificial intelligence is that it becomes impossible to know exactly how the algorithm ranking results. The machine is able to constantly evolve the algorithm according to the behavior of the users against the proposed results. It becomes more and more difficult to "manipulate" Google without taking into account the user experience and the content strategy as a whole.
Direct consequence: SEO will therefore have to better take into account the quality of the contents offered and the user experience to ensure a good positioning in the search results. A well-optimized content strategy and site will be increasingly important factors to ensure visibility.
Invisible consumer routes Until now, websites were essential to access accurate and up-to-date information. Internet sites were therefore crucial steps in consumers' shopping paths when they inquired about a product, service or made a purchase.
Things may change in the coming months. In 2016, Facebook opened the race for conversational robots. These robots are artificial intelligence programs that can read messages and respond to them autonomously. If the technology is still poorly distributed and optimized, new uses appear, such as finding a professional, a product, contacting a customer service department, managing its finances or purchasing ... So many cases for which a visit to a website company will no longer be indispensable.
The Big Data Sequins Big Data, Real Time Bidding, Data Management Platform ... The trend of the moment is on buying traffic. Nothing is more rewarding for a marketing manager than communicating about the millions of views purchased in his latest YouTube campaign. Why break your head to create original and sought after content just paying to ensure the visibility of any advertising?
However, between Adblock, false traffic, bad impressions on targets, redirection errors ... the results in terms of skilled traffic remain very disappointing, not to mention the clicks rates on the standard formats that have virtually become non-existent. Still, this is the trend of the moment, and that SEO and content production budgets suffer.
Direct consequence: Investments are deployed on new media technologies and the purchase of space at the expense of site optimization and content creation. Yet with the inflation of costs per click charged by the boards, natural traffic has never been more beneficial, and generating sustainable growth.
Despite future developments, SEO will remain the most effective tool to position itself vis-à-vis active consumers during their information or product search phases. The reflex to go through a search engine is now anchored in the daily habits of consumers and will not change significantly in the next few years.
2. Because your consumers always have problems to solve, and need your help
Your consumers always have needs or problems. Responding to them with well-positioned content will remain an undeniable competitive advantage. Therefore, SEO should no longer be seen only as a tool for visibility and acquisition of traffic, but as a way to answer questions and queries from your consumers.
3. Because it is to build a digital heritage
All SEO actions capitalize over time and elevate the authority of your domain and your audience. Gradually, you create your own traffic so that you do not have to pay every click to media outlets, while rates go up.