Happy New Year everybody! It’s a new year and that means a fresh start. 2014 was a good year, but here at Mobius, we are thinking about the future. As a note, these SEO predictions include some things which are not directly SEO related, but due to the ever expanding domain of the “SEO umbrella” and what we consider SEO, we have decided to include them as they will indirectly influence search. So here are our Top 5 SEO Predictions for 2015.
Google to lose impression share, but not that much
Google has been the dominant force in search for a long time. It has dispatched its rivals one after another and has grown into more than just a search engine. Google has the power to take on governments, as we saw with Spanish newspapers in 2014. However, recently Google has lost some of its search market share. This came when the popular Firefox browser switched its default search engine to Yahoo . This has caused Google’s US search market share to fall from 77.5% to 75.3%. While this seems a relatively small percentage drop this is a big win for Yahoo, who have seen their market share increase from 8% to 10%. We believe that we will see further minor drops in Google’s market share as popular platforms look to alternative search engines. Large platforms like Amazon and ebay could be key players if they choose to integrate and partner with a smaller search engine like Bing or Yahoo.
Twitter will grow significantly and will see greater indexation
Currently, Twitter’s page indexing has a lot to be desired. Results from Twitter do not feature heavily in search engine results pages. This is can be seen in the below screen shot. When searching for people, it is common to find a Twitter page in the results, but this is often buried in amongst several Linkedin, Facebook and Google Plus pages. In the example below, we see three Linkedin pages, one Twitter page and two Facebook pages. We predict that Twitter will be actively trying to improve their ability to become a more prominent force in search results.
Google will tighten its regulations on content
Content marketing is huge. Like, really huge. There isn’t a respectable SEO strategy around that does not utilise content marketing. It’s popularity has soared since its rise to fame as an effective method of earning links and as a result, the quality of the content being produced can vary greatly. The purpose of Google Panda was to address low quality content. We believe that Google will make significant changes to Panda in 2015 as a result of the huge amounts of content being produced for the purpose of earning links. Specific examples include altering best practice guidelines to regulate anchor links when using infographics. Infographics have become the poster child of content marketing in recent years and are often used shamelessly to earn links.
EU regulations will come to loggerheads with search engines
As mentioned earlier, this has already happened in 2014. Spain wanted Google to pay royalties to Spanish publishers when using their content. This lead to a stand-off between the two which most would agree that Google won. Google has repeatedly come under fire in the EU for unfairly prioritising its own products and services. Thus far this has come to nothing, however the European political climate is heating up and becoming increasingly anti privacy and anti-corporation . Calls for the removal of private internet services Darknet and Tor have been common of late. Recently, UK Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his intentions to ban encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp or iCloud. It seems that legislators and Search are inevitably going to clash soon.
We will lose data through privacy encryption
This will likely be a response to government and legislative actions against search engines. It has been the de facto response from Google in the past. The encryption of search data by Google reared its head in the form of the (Not Provided) issue of recent years. (Not Provided) now accounts for more than 80% of Search data after a recent drop in encryption. Although it has not been directly commented on by Google, many agree that one of the reasons for the mass encryption of search data was to prevent groups like the NSA from spying on user data. Facebook now allows users to access it’s services via Darknet so that they can browse the site privately.
For marketers this means less data. With the likelihood of mobile data switching to improved SSL encryption soon, marketing data will be increasingly hard to come by. Paid services from the platform holders themselves will likely offer an alternative, at a healthy profit.
That’s if for our top 5 predictions. What do you think 2015 has in store for us?