The search engine optimization industry is constantly making innovations. New technologies regularly emerge to help developers streamline content creation to achieve better organic results. To ensure that your brand stays relevant in search engine results, you’ll need to adapt to these fast-changing technologies and the latest trends.
Don’t get left behind. Learn to scale your SEO process and generate high-quality results by implementing these seven innovations in search engine optimization.
1. Mobile-First Indexing for Improved SEO Ranking
Did you know that 50.81% of total global website traffic comes from mobile devices? Smartphone proliferation has grown by leaps and bounds. More and more users are switching to mobile search rather than using desktops, laptops, or other devices.
In response to the dramatic increase in mobile search, Google introduced the approach of mobile-first indexing. This approach uses the mobile version of a website to index and rank it in search engine result pages (SERPs). This year, Google plans to roll out its mobile-first indexing for every website. That being so, optimizing websites to be mobile-friendly and cross-device compatible has become more pertinent for businesses than ever.
Google is steadily moving toward indexing only mobile versions of websites rather than desktop versions. If your website is still focused primarily on its desktop index and not optimized for mobile viewing, then it is likely that Google may not index it at all. Obviously, this is likely to significantly affect your search engine rankings and ROI.
The need of the hour is to switch to responsive website design with Google mobile-first indexing, fast loading time, and improved user-friendliness. Optimize dynamic website content and images to deliver enhanced mobile experiences. Mobile-first indexing can help boost your page rankings and organic traffic using a mobile-optimized version of your site.
2. Natural Language Processing: Producing Effective Short-Form Content
Ever since Google rolled out its 2019 Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) algorithm update, Natural Language Processing (NLP) has emerged as an innovative technology powering the SEO industry.
Using NLP, the Google algorithm looks at the context of a word as it appears within a sentence to understand its meaning. This means that Google will no longer rely on particular search terms and phrases to provide the most relevant answers. Rather, they will look into the intent behind the search.
Leveraging BERT, the Google algorithm now understands the context behind every search and then provides appropriate information.
“By trying to understand the ‘context’ of search queries, and by mining the relationship between stop-words with other words in the query, Google’s BERT algorithm pushes the limits of how a traditional search engine understands a user’s needs. With Google weighing in on NLP to gain a deeper understanding of user queries, it implies that content-makers who get more specific, relevant, and descriptive with their content and information — including links — in their pages tend to rank higher.”
Data Scientist, Deep Learning and NLP Specialist
From the perspective of SEO, NLP is important because creating high-quality, informational content will help make it most relevant to a searcher’s intent and not the keywords they are using.
3. SSL Certificate Labeling for Strengthening Customer Trust
While often overlooked, SSL certificate (HTTPS) labeling is an important SEO trend that businesses must consider. HTTPS is a crucial ranking factor for Google as it secures improved trust with your target audience. Ongoing innovations in search engine optimization have only reinforced this requirement.
Websites that hold an SSL certificate are labeled as “HTTPS” by Google. This indicates that the site offers high-level security and integrity. The security of user data is a vital factor that can help boost your search engine rankings and drive increased traffic.
A site that does not hold SSL certification or is a non-HTTPS site will be labeled as “Not Secure” by Google. This can significantly affect search engine rankings. Additionally, end-users will be reluctant to visit any site that is not safe.
The implications are clear. To boost search engine rankings and offer a secure browsing experience, websites must obtain a basic SSL certificate. It’s now an integral element of any SEO strategy.
4. Automated Content Curation Using GPT-3
If you are looking for true innovations within the SEO industry, the Generative Pre-Trained Transformer Number 3 (GPT-3) is worth your attention. One of the most prominent examples of its application is a 2020 story published by The Guardian on its website — written entirely by a robot.
Using a broad pool of datasets, GPT-3 technology is trained to mimic the way humans write. Some of the datasets it uses come from Wikipedia, Common Crawl Dataset, historical books, etc. When you input a writing prompt into GPT-3, it will read the relevant information on the internet and predict what will follow next.
As such, the GPT-3 API is a revolutionary content curation tool you can use across different SEO applications such as writing emails or creating the first draft of a report. All you need to do is feed the API some bullet points as an outline and the robot will write it automatically.
5. On-Page Automated SEO Optimization for Enhanced Search Experience
Google has been continuously updating its algorithm to offer an improved search experience to users. As a part of its algorithm update, the search engine giant now considers long-form content as a vital ranking factor. Long-form content ideally takes a more in-depth approach to the topic and, as such, tends to meet the searcher’s intent.
However, writing high-quality and relevant long-form content is not easy. It involves considering a wide range of factors such as competitor research, keyword discovery, topic selection, creating engaging headings and subheadings, providing valuable insights, and much more. Continuously creating unique content that is of value to your readers is one of the more challenging innovations in search engine optimization.
“One of the first places I turn for new article ideas is the ‘Top Content’ area found within my Google Analytics account. There, I’m able to access a quick list of the posts on my site that have been viewed the most often, providing me with some interesting insight into the subject matter that my audience finds most interesting.”
“Easy Market Research: Leveraging Your Existing Data for Content Creation”
Normally, the next step would be to spend several hours editing and optimizing each piece of long-form content. This is where on-page automated content optimization comes into the picture.
Tools such as Content Harmony or Frase AI streamline the process of content research or checking top-ranking pages. They provide useful data developers can use to curate high-quality content.
Content Harmony helps design content briefs automatically, helping meet a searcher’s intent in a shorter amount of time. Writers only need to provide a keyword/keywords and the software will analyze SERPs automatically based on various data points. The generated results help the author create content briefs.
6. Optimizing A/B Testing for SEO with Augmented User Interaction
Most SEO professionals tend to focus on end-user A/B testing rather than SEO A/B testing. The former involves picking website visitors randomly and assigning them to various versions of a web page. Based on the user’s interaction with the pages, SEO pros can gauge overall performance.
However, SEO A/B testing adds Google bots assigned to analyze the same version of any page. In essence, you are showing different elements of any page to Google to test their SEO-friendliness. These include meta description, title tags, H1, schema markup, anchor text, etc. SEO A/B testing helps clarify what works well for the page and what does not. Optimizing a page based on these results will help boost its search rankings and visibility.
7. Innovations in SEO Do Not Negate the Need for Non-Text Content
The purpose of using non-text content factors in SEO is to offer an improved user experience on your website. Text alone lacks the engagement factor that keeps audiences interested, especially in long-form content. Adding non-text content factors such as images, graphs, infographics, videos, animations, audio clips, slideshows, PDFs, etc. will help improve the quality of your content and make it more relevant and engaging.
With modern technology developments making their way into the industry, it is evident that SEO optimization is definitely not dead. On the contrary, custom SEO has never been more important as Google constantly changes its approach to how websites are ranked in SERPs. If you want to leverage the potential of SEO to boost your search engine visibility, drive organic traffic, and improve ROI, then you must commit to staying current on these technologies and implement regular modifications to achieve quality results.
If you would like to connect with an SEO strategist to speak more about implementing innovative strategies, contact one here!
This article was updated 3-23-22.