The search algorithm is updated by Google numerous times each year.
Most of these updates are too small to consider, even though there are still a few major ones.
The search rules constantly change, making the optimization of content for search engines a bit of a backbreaker.
However, if you are aware of Google’s update patterns, you are likely to know they are implementing relatively consistent SEO trends.
Google is getting better at identifying relevant content little by little. This means exploiting Google with black-hat SEO strategies is becoming harder. Making content a true heir to the throne.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the best digital marketing techniques for reaching the target market and attracting them to your website.
And because SEO is constantly evolving, it can be a struggle to keep up with the latest SEO trends. It’s worth the effort, though.
The goal of succeeding in SEO demands constant attention on various metrics, including traffic, inbound links, quality content and more.
This guide will walk you through some of the most relevant and timely Search Engine Optimization trends expected for 2021.
You can plan your SEO strategy for the coming year accordingly. Let’s get started with top 7 latest SEO trends to watch for in 2021:
Top 7 SEO Trends 2021
New user experience metrics from Google will impact rankings
Google Page Experience update is all set to be released in May 2021 and is the latest addition to Google’s official web page ranking factors.
The update will consider the user experience of a website to determine the rank of a webpage on the SERP.
To identify search results with a good (UX), Google suggests adding visual markers that are not so different from how AMP pages are labeled with a lightning bolt icon.
As a result, users would be able to detect fast pages in search results and possibly prefer them over sluggish pages.
This update will offer insights on different factors such as how quickly the page loads, the mobile-friendliness of the site, if it runs on HTTPS or not, has distracting graphic overlays, and if the content jumps around after the page loads.
Google update for Core Web Vitals has three new benchmarks in the already complicated method of evaluating user experience. Almost all three factors seem to be about the apparent page speed of the website:
- The time it takes the website to load,
- The time it takes the website to interact with the visitor
- And it’s stability after loading
The new page experience will be officially declared as a ranking signal in May 2021. Once that happens, these metrics will be given more importance than other ranking factors.
For instance, if there are two web pages with similar content and almost equal domain authority, these user experience metrics determine which web page will rank higher in the Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
You can measure your website’s page experience using various tools such as
- PageSpeed Insights
- Chrome UX Report
- Search Console
- Chrome DevTools
- Web Vitals Chrome Extension
Additionally, these tools would also suggest actionable steps to improve each metric and ensure that you get a high-quality score.
Artificial Intelligent will play a major role
Google made a big jump in using AI for evaluating search queries and search results, beginning with RankBrain in 2015 and peaking with BERT in 2019.
In only one year, BERT has leaped from being used in 10% of all English language queries to almost 100%.
BERT has been remarkably successful in determining the precise meaning of the query. It will overcome lexical uncertainty, learn new phrases, fix misspellings, locate synonyms, and compensate for formerly overlooked stop words.
The algorithm responsible for so-called passage indexing is BERT as well. What it does is that it will extract relevant passages from a mostly meaningless page.
AI also allows Google to locate relevant bits of video and recognize musical tracks from seemingly useless things.
Now that BERT has a strong knowledge of the natural language, the content we’re publishing doesn’t require too much backing from SEO.
Following SEO best practices, instead of just thinking about how this content will help search engines, we should think about how it will help real people, which means no poorly placed keywords, no need to use close keyword combinations, and more flexibility to practice healthy writing like me.
Mobile-first indexing will be forced in all sites
Google implemented its Mobile-first Index all the way back in 2016. This means that the website is rated based on its mobile interface instead of just the desktop website.
It’s been a very long phase so far. Google is reviewing every website on the Internet to check whether it is mobile friendly and only made a move if the website met the requirements.
Also, all recently published websites by default are indexed under mobile-first.
The phase is almost complete four years later; however, there are still many old websites that are stuck in their ways and have not managed to climb the mobile bandwagon.
Google claims they have given enough time and levy to these websites and will now be pushed into mobile-first indexing whether they are equipped or not. The move is officially planned for March 2021.
This shift makes sense, provided that by 2025, almost 73 percent of internet users will only navigate the internet through mobile devices.
With Google’s free, mobile-friendly test, you can check how and if your business website is mobile-friendly or not. Don’t forget to look at the Google Search Console “mobile usability” report for more details.
You need to make sure that Google can crawl your URLs to make sure your website is user-friendly. For that, you need to ensure that you don’t have a “disallow directive” in effect.
You need to remember that Google’s bot is a little picky and won’t load content if that involves user interactions, such as clicking or swiping, for example, your Call to Action(CTA) buttons.
You have to make sure all of this lazy-loaded content can be viewed by Google. Finally, make sure that you are using the same meta robot tags on web and mobile pages.
Check out Google’s mobile-first checklist, which has everything you need to plan for your website’s mobile optimization. The majority of these elements can be taken care of by merely moving to a responsive theme.
Local SEO will play a major role in SEO Strategy
While most people see the Internet as the entire world accessed from their mobile tiny digital devices, in reality, most individuals use search engines to discover local products and services.
For instance, they may be looking for a nearby cafe or pet store.
Not long ago, Google used to recommend nearby establishments based on the distance to the searcher.
However, with the latest Google SEO trends, we’re now seeing Google step away from the distance aspect and steadily grow its focus on content quality and relevance, giving businesses a fair chance to influence local rankings.
The best part is, Google is providing free tools such as Google My Business (GMB), which is continually introducing new features as well.
Businesses can now publish posts from their GMB listings, respond to questions, insert information about the goods and services offered, give reservations, and more.
In addition, with the surge in zero-click searches where the user’s question is answered through the SERP itself, the listings are now so advanced that searchers hardly need to visit individual websites.
If you didn’t get it earlier, now you know that the best thing you can do to improve your local SEO is to optimize your GMB listing.
E.A.T factors will play a bigger role
Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT) variables are a contested subject in the SEO world. While some claim that EAT is a ranking factor, others assert that Google can’t calculate EAT with its algorithm.
To be honest, Google will not be able to answer all of the EAT questions explicitly. It cannot verify whether the material is technically correct or whether the writer is indeed a specialist.
Yet Google can search for indirect EAT signs, such as if the page references all the correct individuals associated with the subject, then it’s probably true.
If the author’s name is well known on the web and is affiliated with other conceptually related sites and accounts, the author is pretty knowledgeable.
Moreover, with the help of AI and Machine Learning, these skills are developing regularly. It’s fair to say that Google will soon be able to consider EAT with more conviction than now. This is problematic as spam popularity, conspiracy theories, and false news are becoming more significant.
There is no need to worry because entities and AI aren’t everything. You are already familiar with many indirect EAT signs.
Old school links remain an authoritative factor. A stable protocol and good user experience vouch for your website’s trustworthiness.
Structure Data will be essential for SEO
While structured data is not really a new entry in the SEO trends, it has not been given the importance it deserves for years.
As we talk about future SEO trends or SEO for 2021, we would be remiss if we don’t talk about the importance of structured data in SEO strategy.
The use of structured data for local SEO will be another important application of this latest SEO Trend of 2021. It is possible to mark your business’s main points, your address, and your contact information in a type of schema called “local business.”
Once a local schema is applied to the website, it notifies Google where the organization is and makes it better for you to be able to feature in a local search.
Finally, you can establish identities by using structured data. Although Google can now retrieve unstructured data from entities, you can accelerate the processes by using structured data to mark important areas, individuals, and businesses.
Don’t panic just because the task of structured data seems too complicated; it is really quite straightforward.
Throw in some easily available HTML codes to your content, and you are good to go. For example, my FAQ Schema generator creates a structured data snippet to display the FAQs from your website page.
You can easily do this manually, or you can use the help for formal data markup. You can also use one of the free rich result testing tools by Google which will help you verify if everything is working fine.
Google will optimize algorithm more towards Searcher’s Intent
One of the most important SEO Trends of 2021 will be Google’s attention towards satisfying Search Intent. With the introduction of BERT, Google will browse websites and analyze each and every page on it to serve exactly what the searcher is looking for.
For example, Google brings up the same paragraph to address my query if I want to understand if a meteor will collide in 2021 without reading the full article or even visiting the website.
Additionally, as a part of the future SEO trends, Google will be able to provide rich answers, knowledge graph panels, lists, and tables, which would result in more and more search queries being answered on the ground zero or first page of the SERP.
This process could further be accelerated once BERT is being given complete access to search results.
In order to ensure your website is ready for the advanced User Intent friendly algorithm, make sure that you optimize your content for a featured snippet.
Use the headings’ parallel syntax, which will be converted to lists by Google. Add FAQ schema to your pages; Google will display it on SERP if it makes sense. Making the most of your YouTube videos — Google can view smaller portions of your video to meet exact criteria.
How to optimize your website for latest SEO Trends of 2021
- Page experience and User Experience being the biggest website ranking factors, creating quality content that bodes well for the end-user is a great place to start to optimize your website for the latest SEO Trends of 2021.
- Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly to make the most of Mobile-First Indexing
- One of the best ways you can be ready for the SEO 2021 trends is to focus on local SEO
- Google will soon be able to calculate EAT with more conviction than now. Keep that in mind while creating your SEO and content strategy for 2021
- Use structured data to mark important products/services offered by your business, market your star rating, your business reviews and more to build domain authority and get more traffic.
- The most important thing you need to ask yourself while creating content is ‘Is this content satisfying user intent?’. If the answer is no or not sure, you need to relook your web content from a user intent perspective.
While talking about the Latest SEO Trends 2021, it seems that the old and worn SEO tactics such as keywords stuffing will be taking a backseat as page ranking factors authority, trust, and user experience will be taking the wheel of SEO in 2021.
Today, you certainly have to have excellent content before doing SEO to ensure that Google sees you.
This function will become increasingly complex in the future, especially as rich elements become increasingly prevalent in SERP. It becomes more critical to be featured than ranked by Google.
But, to rank higher, you just need to optimize your website for humans(Your users).
That’s all folks, let me know in the comments what you think of these latest SEO Trends and how you will use them to build your SEO strategy in 2021.