Friday, December 18, 2015

What Will SEO Be Like in 2016? Weekly Forum Update

seochat-wmw-cre8asite-threadwatch-roundupThis week in our communities, users are recounting the changes we saw in 2015 and speculating about what lies ahead.

SEO is a wild world, and each year seems to bring new challenges and changes.

On WebmasterWorld, users are debating the split between mobile, desktop, and app traffic.

On SEO Chat, users are wondering if link building is finally dead or dying. News updates from Threadwatch indicate that mobile page speed could, someday, become a ranking factor.

Everywhere you look, user experience seems to be gaining in importance. What does the future hold? No one knows for sure, but our community members have some ideas! Take a look:

Google Takes Steps Over Digital Certificate Security

If you have a Class 3 Public Primary CA from Symantec Corporation, you’ll want to look into this one. Google says that they’ll be “moving to distrust” those certificates “across Chrome, Android, and Google products.”

The reason? Symantec has informed Google that those certificates will “no longer comply with the CA/Browser Forum’s Baseline Requirements” as of December 1st, 2015.

Symantec maintains that its customers will not be impacted by this change – but if Google decides an impact should be felt, it’s hard to argue with them.

Mobile Page Speed May Provide a Ranking Boost

Mobile usability has been a huge focus for Google this year. It looks like it will continue to be that way at least for the beginning of 2016.

In February of next year, Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Project will be integrated into their search engine. You can read more sources in this Threadwatch update, including the official announcement and analysis from Search Engine Land.

Google said in their announcement that pages that use AMP could receive a small ranking boost, and they might be labeled as “fast” in mobile SERPs. That label will be similar to the “mobile-friendly” label that was the talk of the town during Mobilegeddon.

Are We Done With Link Building?

Are We Done With Link Building?Click To Tweet

Will 2016 be the year that Webmasters wash their hands of link building? Some users on SEO Chat say “maybe.” At the least, they believe that user experience will be Google’s focus in the coming year.

“Theories say that Google needed to use links as part of a bigger plan – to understand/get a good idea of the good and bad out there,” writes user HappyJackJunior.

ThomasHarvey comments that he “truly hopes” that link building is fading as a practice. He believes that in the future, Google will rank sites based on user experience and content.

“I also do not believe we are that far off [from] this.”

User Chedders adds that

“Personalised results, I feel, was the beginning of the end. Although I doubt we will ever get away from some links affecting rankings…”

What do you think? Links have been declared dead before – as has SEO as a whole – but here they are still. Will the new year bring great changes?

Publisher Blocking: How the Web Was Lost

A certain amount of exhaustion comes with working in SEO. Google’s focus on apps and mobile-friendliness has left a bad taste in the mouths of some professionals. They claim that Google is closing the web, making data harder to access, and overall making it easier for the already established brands to completely dominate their fields.

Users on Cre8asiteforums are discussing an article from SEO Book that talks about those themes. User iamlost writes that Google, while massive, isn’t the only option:

“The great webdev fallacy is that without Google there is no online success. You’ve heard of the dark web? …that cesspool of internet commerce (including bake sales) survives, nay prospers, without a single referrer from Google et al.”

User EGOL writes “I think that there is still opportunities in local search that can be picked for a very small price if you are a small business in a small city in the right niche. Opportunities in national retail are getting bleak…”

Join the discussion and share your thoughts!

2016: Emerging Trends on Search; What Are You Predicting?

Emerging Trends on Search; What Are You Predicting?Click To Tweet

Join the users of WebmasterWorld to see what the pros are predicting for next year! Like on SEO Chat, there’s a lot of talk that user experience will become increasingly important. But how will Google determine what constitutes a good user experience?

Classical definitions may not be sufficient for the modern web.

There’s been a lot of talk about how important mobile traffic is, but martinibuster has some news for you:

“People are spending less time on the mobile Internet and more time on their mobile apps. Desktop/laptop Internet browsing is declining and the difference is not being made up by mobile Internet traffic. It’s a net decline in web browsing.”

Will 2016 Be the Year of the App?

You’ve seen them mentioned several times in this post – apps are becoming a hotter news item by the week. Some speculate that Google’s mobile-friendly updates were only the precursor to a massive move towards app indexing, searchability and, of course, advertising.

If 2016 is the “Year of the App,” will that trend continue through the foreseeable future? Or is this just a fad on the rise?

Google Caching Foreign URLs

We see this problem a lot on SEO Chat – especially over the last week. Users are rolling in and reporting that Google is either caching a totally different website than their own, or that they’re using the wrong country extension (.ca instead of .com, for example).

What gives? One of our senior members looked more deeply into this particular case and found that it could have something to do with hacking. Have you ever had the unpleasant experience of Google caching the wrong URL for your site? Share with us so that we can put this issue to bed!

Want to Make a Video? Try These Tips!

Here’s a thread from Cre8asiteforums which is about more than just video marketing. Users provide tips for what equipment you’ll need, how to set it up, when to hire out, and more! Dig into this thread to answer your technical woes.

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