Okay, so they all know what Google is up to. They all know what the Penguin 2.0 update is gonna bring. The future of Search Engine Optimization is as clear as daylight to them. But, you know what… even you can predict how SEO will shape up in the near future, if you keep track of the latest of the search engine world. It’s simple: you know what Google wants, and predict the future of SEO based on that.
What Google Wants
Google wants great user experience / convenience. If you don’t care about SEO, don’t have a website, then you don’t care about people like Charles Floate outranking Rand Fishkin’s original sites for the term ‘Rand Fishkin’, demonstrating that quality content or authoritative content isn’t enough for ranking in Google and that search algorithms still rely heavily on links. You would be more happy to find Rand’s blog, or Rand’s page on the Moz site first, instead of that black hat case study by Charles; but you wouldn’t be too sad because you found what you were looking for.
Google wants to deliver brilliant user experience to all its users. It wants every single user of it (including lazy asses) to simply love using it. The end result:
- Tons of algorithm updates, dedicated to increasing the exposure of quality content.
- Knowledge Graph. Introductions, Short Brand Infos, Definitions, in-built Unit Converters, etc.
- Images, Videos, Maps in normal SERPs.
- Authorship, Author Pictures, Author Reputation.
- Rich Snippets, Schema.org Markup. Review Stars, Post Date, Last Updated Time, Price of Product, Stores at which the Product is Available for Purchase, Dynamic Descriptions, etc.
And probably a lot of other things that I don’t remember right now.
Predicting the future!
As a white hat SEO, you just have to analyse and understand how Google wants to better the quality of searches. And then even you can predict things like:
- Focus on quality content. Content is the king! Why? Because Google wants it to be the king. Why? Because Google wants to improve its own user experience. How is that related? Because the actual users love great content.
- Stop generating low-quality backlinks. Why? Low-quality backlinks are generally used to push low-quality content up in the SERPs. So? People don’t like low-quality content, so Google also hates them.
- No. of social shares doesn’t matter. What matters is who shared the content. When influential people with thousands of followers share your posts, your posts must be of good quality. Why? Influential people generally don’t share random crap. So, it just makes the job a hell lot easier for Google to determine which piece of content is of high-quality and which one is pure junk.
- Concept of AuthorRank. Content posted by people with high AuthorRank will have an extra edge in SERPs regardless of the site they’re posted on. Why? Those authors have a consistent track record of posting high quality content. Otherwise they won’t bear a high AuthorScore in the first place. It, again, helps Google distinguish quality content from a heap of garbage.
- Leverage Google+ connections. In personalized search results (i.e. when you’re signed in Google while performing a Google search), Google shows you pages that your Google+ friends have found to be good (hence +1’d or shared). Why? Well, there are (even if slight) chances that you’ll like the stuff that your friends like. Why? Because the majority of people generally don’t be friends with people having a completely different set of likes/interests.
And that’s not all… These are merely a few basic things. You can dig deeper into each subject (for example: link building) and predict which state that’s gonna be in the near future. The only requirement, as you can predict, is a working human brain.