[Expert Advice] SEO trends for 2016 as seen by OVH
The way we browse the web is changing every day. In front of our desktops, smartphones and even our smart watches, our search techniques are being shaped by new habits and a changing relationship with the screen. Faced with these changes, SEO must adapt and broaden its horizons by anticipating our new browsing habits while still staying true to the basics. What does this year have in store for us? David Looses, SEO specialist at OVH, shares some of the trends for 2016.
Ever-evolving mobile browsing
2015 was the year that Google announced that they would use mobile-friendliness to determine a website's ranking in search engine results. This announcement might not have had a significant impact on results pages but it suggests that SEO is moving further away from its traditional remit and focusing more and more on user experience. Thus, the mobile experience, including technical optimisation and a greater emphasis on performance, is an another aspect to consider in today's SEO.
A big indication of this trend in 2016 is Google's AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project* which has been a search engine consideration since the start of 2016. The project aims to provide optimised and light-weight web content and to accelerate loading times by storing pages directly on Google's cache servers. With the gradual development of mobile browsing, there are sure to be some surprises from the AMP format this year.
Moreover, although this initiative appears limited to editorial content, it also represents a unique opportunity for professionals to target their customers at other stages of the conversion path.
The ever changing nature of the Google SERP
As we see an increase in rich content on the search engine results page the gap between different click through rates is widening. Local pack, rich snippets, and knowledge graph, are some features which take into account the context of the user's request in order to provide a relevant response. But they also represent a good oportunity for companies to gain visibility by adapting their SEO strategy to the web user, especially by enhancing their pages with structured data. Although it is not very visible at the moment, the increased and varied presence of rich content in search results is definitely an element that any SEO strategy must bear in mind.
Applications will also play an increasingly important role in mobile search results thanks to App streaming**. In building off of the indexing of apps, introduced by Google in 2013, Google has taken results a step further by not only presenting information from apps installed on a device in your search results but by including information from an application even if you haven't installed it. This new feature will be an essential tool in mobile strategies as it makes content visible. However by allowing users to access an application's content without having to download it there is a risk that this new tool will help gain an audience without gaining their loyalty.
Adapting to new browsing habits
Beyond its search engine function, Google is also pursuing a response engine strategy by supporting users in everyday life. This strategy is highlighted by personal assistants such as Google Now, who are providing users with information before they have even looked for it. Order tracking and reservation reminders are other features that can now be used for building a strategy for customer loyalty and support.
In any event, in 2016, SEO is sure to extend beyond the traditional search results page more than ever before.
* David Besbris, Introducing the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, for a faster, open mobile web
Official Google Blog, 7 octobre 2015,
** Jennifer Lin, New ways to find (and stream) app content in Google Search
Google Inside Search, 18 novembre 2015 [url="http://insidesearch.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/new-ways-to-find-and-stream-app-content.html"]http://insidesearch.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11