Introduction - SEO Predictions For 2018
SEO is an ever-changing industry and in the past few years, the search engine spectrum has evolved leaps and bounds. From a time to few hundreds of directory submissions to create a high-quality content, we have seen it all in the search industry. As the year 2017 ends, a lot of experts and industry specialists are already debating on SEO predictions in 2018.
If you are a blogger just like me, you will know the importance of SEO and every single blog will be affected by a slight change in SEO trends or search engine algorithms. With PBNs gaining popularity over the past year for backlinks, while content quality still holding its ground, the SEO industry has evolved a lot from the initial years of search engine marketing.
The success of any blog is most often anticipated by the amount of search engine traffic it attracts. If you are ignoring this ultimate source of natural and organic traffic, then you are missing out a lot in blogging.
Well, don’t worry just yet.
Here’s a roundup of 53 SEO specialists who are sharing their SEO predictions in 2018.
#Sergey Aliokhin - Ahrefs
The situation with SEO won't change dramatically. All core aspects that we can observe currently, will stay the same in an upcoming year
Pleasing the search engines is an art!
#1. Content is king, so more of high-quality content will appear on blogs; content will stay more for human but not only Google.
#2. Mobile optimization will be more in need.
#3. The great link-building game will remain the same (mostly, for high-authority sites.)
#4. Cases of Negative SEO won't disappear (sad but true)
#Zac Johnson - Blogging.Org
My prediction for SEO in 2018 is that more people will continue to focus on 'content creation', only to realize the most important aspect of SEO and ranking in Google is 'content promotion',
Yes, content creation is important, but you don't need to come out with a massive amount of content on a daily basis. Instead, site owners and bloggers should be focusing on creating better, more detailed and longer content. This not only provides more value, it also makes the process of promotion and link building much easier.
#Nathan Gotch - Gotchseo
My SEO predictions in 2018 haven’t changed much from the last year. The content quality is on the rise and will be valued much higher than the backlinks count in the 2018. The key to better rankings will rely upon the content quality whether it satisfies the user’s search intent along with the user experience you can deliver from your website.
As per my SEO predictions in 2018, Google will also focus on other media types like video. In the past few years, YouTube culture has picked up like anything and video is slowly gaining traction in the content industry as the best media to consume content.
In the midst of all these, we mustn’t ignore voice search feature which is becoming the next big in the search industry. However, I don’t see the results of traditional search and voice search to differ much and hence there’s no need to optimize your website separately for voice search.
If you can solve the search queries based on the user’s intent, you will gain better search engine rankings in both traditional and voice search metrics.
#Ryan Biddulph- Bloggingfromparadise
I see SEO getting cleaner and cleaner in 2018. Google and other search engines seem to be letting the cream rise to the top.
Bloggers are being rewarded for creating evergreen content, for building friendships that lead to guest posting opportunities and features, and for persistently creating and connecting to benefit people in their niche.
Going forward, the days of trying to game the Google system will vanish completely. You will reach page 1 if you persistently serve people and build relationships, meaning that you will need to earn the right to rank high on Google.
#Dave Schneider - Ninja Outreach
SEO tools are going to get more expensive, that's for sure.
But in all seriousness, advancements in AI - Machine Learning make me think SEO will become even more complex and volatile.
Google is already serving increasingly personalized results per user. The results that Google serve based on user intent are also getting better.
These are just some of the myriad of new factors that contribute to this phenomenon: If your page shows up #1 for a certain user, it won't necessarily show up top for another cohort, even if it's for the same query or keywords.
This is why I think topical modeling and intent analysis will play an even bigger role in SEO strategy in the year to come.
#Anil Agarwal - Bloggers Passion
Mobile Updates: More and more people are using mobiles to browse information and buy online. So if your site is not yet mobile responsive, give it your #1 focus and don't leave the traffic and money on the table.
Speed: Website Speed matters a lot. No one likes slow loading sites. Make sure to use a great hosting platform and focus on rendering your images and css files to speed up your site's performance.
Backlinks: Backlinks are always important. Google gives #1 priority to the sites with better and more backlinks. Always focus on finding ways to get as many backlinks as possible to your sites.
#Iftekhar Ahmed - Iftiseo
Backlinks will no doubt be a big factor but I guess Page Speed, SSL and AMP will play a vital role in 2018.
Moreover, Google will be focusing towards improving its knowledge graph which will obviously affect the bloggers.
So, yes, it will be quite tricky to survive and compete at the same time.
#Nirmala Santhakumar - My Magic Fundas
#1. Long Tail Keyword Research
#2. In-Depth Quality Content That Solves Readers' Problems
#3. Fast Loading Site With Eye-catching Design
#4. White Hat Link Building Methods like Guest Blogging & Outreach
#5. Dedicated IP + SSL
Out of all, how long the audience stays on our site is my Top SEO prediction 2018 that would help us to rank higher on SERPs.
#Akshay Hallur - Gobloggingtips
SEO will certainly change a lot while we move forward into 2018.
#1. Importance of targeting a single keyword in your blog post further declines. Optimizing your content around a specific topic gains importance.
Let alone keyword stuffing. The importance of using LSI keywords along with your article becomes important.
#2. Quality of content will slowly become the #1 ranking factor. Google RankBrain is becoming intelligent at an exponential pace and is becoming great at understanding intent behind the search queries.
When it exactly knows the intent behind search query, it will show only super-relevant results. This will result in fewer clicks to the top 3-10 results. So, the competition for top 3 positions will heat up!
#3. Backlink building will be the 2nd most important ranking factor only next to the quality content. At the moment, it's the number #1 factor or perhaps a tie between the quality content. Getting content-specific relevant backlinks will be more important.
#4. Google will likely crack down on PBNs. You may ask me, for Google it is impossible to detect PBNs. It can detect that you are hiding your links from crawlers like Ahrefs crawling your robots.txt, which is a big footprint. Moreover, Big Brother is watching you. If you are running a long term business, avoid PBNs at any cost.
#5. Importance of building authority sites will increase. The shallow affiliate sites will have a tough time. So I would have only 2 or 3 sites rather than a dozen of them or a single product site like abcproductcoupon[dot]com
Hope you loved my predictions.
#Mohan Raj - Bloggingio
#1. Shift towards Geo-specific pages: I'm watching this trend happening for many keywords in 2017, even a new country specific site directly outranks big authority sites.
#2. Personalized results: No site is guaranteed on featured snippet for long time. For example, our team analyzed few keywords like " best xx deals" "best xx for mens" from various IPs.
To my little surprise, the sites on featured snippet varies on most IPs. I can see this trend will continue in 2018. 3. Backlinks continues to be most important ranking factor still on 2017 and the same might continue for 2018.
#Pradeep Kumar - Hellboundbloggers
2018 is definitely going to be interesting. But I guess we should focus on two things - "Video" and "Voice". We all know about "Video", but "Voice"? I never thought I'll speak with my phone, we have Siri, Google Assistant, Bixby, Cortana, etc... we even have them on our laptops now.
I just click and speak with the AI instead of typing. We have to take a note of this seriously and implement all the possible strategies to match with SEO. Do a Google Voice Search and see how it impacts the results. Work on it.
#Santhosh Veer - Allwebtuts
#Swadhin Agrawal - DigitalGYD
I think SEO is going to see some visible changes in the way we present and consume content.
Videos will be the content format that will see a huge rise.
Search traffic will lower for everyone due to more cases of featured snippet, answer boxes and other direct display of content on the first page.
More focus on users: You have to consider rankbrain, dwell time and user experience to gain an upper hand in the search pages.
Search engines will now favor more faster content delivery, AMP will be preferable in the SERPs.
Voice search and mobile SEO will see a significant boost with more and more people using voice over written search queries.
#Anh Nguyen - Bloggingthing
In 2018, we can expect a shift to a mobile-first index, a growth in voice search and featured snippets, allowing users to find the answer they need without leaving their search engine, as well as a stronger emphasis on user experience from Google, site speed, click-through rates, and time on site will become more important than ever before.
Ultimately, Google is always striving to narrow down the best search results for their users with each new algorithm updates. This means user-fist SEO strategies will definitively thrive in the upcoming year(s).
#Rafi Chowdhury - Rafichowdhury
Facebook video ads will become a huge factor. I am not sure if this is related to "SEO" but it will become huge. You need to be writing all content in "how to" and "list" format so that google knowledge cards can find and present your content as answer to queries.
Other than that, just write really good content of 5k words or more. Target many long tail keywords and build high quality editorial links. Blog posts which are in outline format and answer how to questions will rank well. Blog posts need to be thorough step by step guides of at least 5,000 words or more. Also, adding videos within blog posts will help them rank even higher. That is about it! 🙂 Happy blogging!
#Theodore Nwangene - Imviews
#1. Voice Search Will Take Over The Internet
It’s getting louder and clearer. Voice search is a faster, hands-free option where you use regular spoken English word to ask a question, and then get instant feedback from Goodle.
According to the Northstar Research, “41% percent of adults and 55% of teenagers are already using voice search on daily basis”, and the figures are predicted to increase in the future. This something to think about.
#2. Short, half-baked content will no longer have a place on the internet. The time has gone when publishing a 1000 words content or less will pull weight in a Search engine results page in a matter of days. Today, the longer the post, the more chance of it ranking high in the SERPs. Again, longer form content gets shared more on social sites. It is, therefore, very important to start focusing on long, in-depth content come 2018.
#Saurabh Chauhan - Blog Bing
For 2018, I strongly believe that people with good budget, team work and networking abilities are gonna win. People will always use Black Hat SEO, but Google is gonna be more active in stopping them. So, It'll be surely difficult for outdated peoples in Black Hat SEO. Regarding Traffic, Google is gonna kill your traffic same like Facebook Organic, by integration multiple things in Search Engine itself with help of their huge crawled data.
So, Bloggers will be required to find other ways to get traffic except Google and Facebook. For Events and Micro niche blogs, I am not seeing bright future yet.
Focus on Backlinks will be same, but yes Comment Backlinks, Footer Backlinks will surely loss their ranking abilities a bit. Also i am hoping for some solution from Google, for injected backlinks in website by Malicious codes. So, people can recover their websites in matter of SEO more easily.
With more focus on Voice based searches, I am seeing huge scope for Long tail Keywords, as well as Question-Answer based Blogs & Forums. Also some startups are working on technology to develop Voice Search Technology for Regional Languages, so be prepared for opportunities.
In Monetization, I can clearly see alternative of Advertisements as Browser based crypto-mining. So, I am sure some giant player will enter in that very soon, by more better algorithms and methods for Happy-Happy situation on both the sides.
Regarding Adsense, Introduction of Inbuilt Adblock by Google Chrome will be huge step for Bloggers to increase their profit.
#Tim Bourquin- Afteroffers
I believe we are going to see some swift action from Google and how they continue to penalize sites for unethical link building methods. This could be anything from spammy methods, to using PBNs and also buying link placements on sites with obvious anchor text.
I also predict that we are going to see a lot of movement and advancements in Google local search results. Google is getting much better at this, and it will definitely shake up the search results landscape in the process.
#Lorraine Reguly - Wordingwell
SEO in 2018 is going to be more value-focused. Length of blog posts is not going to really matter, if the information presented is accurate.
Storytelling will be used more, because Google will continue to love originality.
Keywords will still matter, but they must be used with authenticity.
Rankings will continue to include OBLs and IBLs. Backlinks to your site will matter ONLY IF they come from high-authority sites.
Videos will be included in more blog posts, too.
As always, responsive sites will rank higher, as will those with SSL certificates on them.
And SEO will continue to change as technology and AI (Artificial Intelligence) evolves.
#Chris Lee- Ablogonblogging
In 2018, I think SEO will be more intent-focused than ever. Users will be able to write one keyword and have the next "potential" keyword they will write already included in the search results.
Also, as we have seen in the past years, Google AMP will become more of a social factor and something that will destroy a lot of websites if not acted upon asap.
#Ravi Chahar - Blogging Love
Every time you read about SEO, you may dream about something magical. Well, if you're into something legit then you should understand that ranking your website isn't a one day job.
In 2018, the important factor will be the consistency. As you know, more and people are joining this blogosphere and Google needs to distinguish.
Linking building, social signals and all the other things you always hear matter a lot. But from my own experience, Google is going to take a step to motivate the people who really work hard.
So, pull your sleeves up and start writing more and more.
#Abhishek Jain - Rustyblogger
In 2018 SEO is going to change a lot in terms of acquiring backlinks and content marketing. Though the rules of the on page SEO will be the same but we need to experiment on page changes so as to get the best result.
The best thing we will see is to promote the content in different forms such as video, audio, text, visual, infographics, podcasts and many more.
#Sanu Siddharth - Onlyloudest
Featured snippets and answer boxes can decrease lot of search traffic of websites in upcoming days of 2018. so right now we can see lot of queries's answer we can see on the top of search result so no need to visit any webpage.
Because of intent result people those who were using Bing or yahoo search engine they will also make use of google , in other words more users to search queries on Google .
according to my views Google is improving user experice, they are ignoring bulk backlink juice.
In 2018 bloggers need to focus on these few points :
#Schema and Structured Markup
#Social Media (because now google can access social posts)
#Proper content research
#Quality content (Always)
#Ali Raza - Aliraza
Hello Sathish for another great roundup. I won't be predicting something unexpected but yes i have few more observations.
Google recently started doing comparison on there own search engine, so if you just have a comparison site, you need to work more on content.
Google will also give more impact on how many visitors are visiting a particular site through other traffic acquisition channels before you are given a good place from google search.
Time spent on website, number of pages you browse and how well you are interlinking your posts will have a huge impact in 2018. Good luck to those who are going to do SEO in 2018.
#MC Naveen- Bloglikepru
Trend got changed nowadays, Guys are into PBNs, Web 2.0 and much more blackhat techniques. In Short, They need to rank and bank anyhow. In that case, Few of them are legit. Most of the Content fails. Always remember. "Your Content is your king".
Thanks to Google Algorithm updates. It makes the SERP spam free and providing importance to legit and valuable content.
Google has already implemented Machine Learning into their search engine. I Hope it'll make SERP more powerful and user focused.
First of all, We should be honest in our work. As I have already mentioned above. Content is king. To be a king we need to fight over with other in a legit way. If SEO is a Battle field. We should not use Blackhat methods such as PBN blah blah blah stuffs. Social signals is getting more Important these days. Everyone should focus on that also.
#Gaurav Kumar- Easkme
Growth in voice search:
Growth in voice search is clearly visible now. It is predicted that voice search with be increased by 50%. Google also understands this and that is why it is dedicated to continuously improving voice search queries.
It is the need of every business that they should focus more on making its content voice search friendly. It will make the content look more user friendly and good to rank.
Expansion on Importance of mobile:
Smartphone are booming. Now smartphone in the reach of ever common man. Internet is spreading like water. Apps are the necessary part of every single business these days. It helps to boost traffic and user engagement. Mobile friendliness is the must feature that every website and will be improving in coming days. Business should focus on mobile optimization.
Businesses are focusing more on artificial intelligence to filter the Spam and bring the best results. We will see Al advancements in every phase of Internet.
#Lilach Bullock - Lilachbullock
Google have historically tried to keep the user in mind whenever they made any changes to their algorithm.
In 2018 and beyond, Google will likely continue to put even more importance on user experience. We need to use all the tools we have available to learn about our audiences and our traffic and use that information to make the best possible experience for them - Google will love us for it.
#Nikhil Ganotra - Universal Blogging Tips
What I believe is that SEO will be there forever. When I started blogging 5 years back, there was a hoax that SEO is going to be dead now but nothing happened.
Still so many big companies and small companies still rely on SEO. There is no other alternative to SEO. Once you rank and maintain rankings, your business drives leads and sales for a very long time and for free. You can also run PPC ads but once your budget gets exhausted, it's done.
All that could be done would be the improvement in Google ranking algorithms. Still I see websites are maintaining stable rankings even by building spammy backlinks from classified websites etc. Those websites might experience a fall in rankings in 2018. All that I can predict is that SEO is going to improve in the coming years instead of being dead.
#Himanshu Gupta - Blogrags
#Kristel Staci - Marketing Infographics
I predict there will be one or two new and creative methods for better content creation and link building in 2018.
A few examples of this in previous years have been skyscraper content and expert roundups. These methods are now being used all over the place. I expect to see something similar in 2018, but more advanced and less often used.
#Umar Farooq - UrduTube
Well, as a YouTuber, I see tons of changes in their ranking factors, their way of growing a YouTube Channel, and stuff...
So, I believe, Google is going to make some of these changes to its Web-based search algorithm, too.
I think, value of Backlink(s) is going to drop, somehow, directly or indirectly. This could happen in 2018,19 or even 2020.
Just like there's almost ZERO value of a Backlink, if you wanna rank a YouTube Video. It's all about User Engagement over on YouTube.
BTW, if you're a YouTuber, and are a Hindi or Urdu Speaker, you can get in touch with me, for YouTube Growth Tips and Tricks.
#Aakash Patel - Betterinfoview
What I see the changes in Google algorithms is increasing day by day and Google focuses more on user experience nowadays.
So In 2018, I think user experience like page loading time, the responsiveness of website, easy navigation and much more things would be one of the major factors for deciding which site gets the first page rankings.
Along with user experience, the high-quality content, relevant backlinks, & social signals will be considerable factors in changes to Google's algorithms. So I think In 2018, we should focus more on improving user experience and getting high-quality niche relevant backlinks with social signals.
#Bhanu Pratap Kaushik - Thetechswag
#Aquif Shaikh - Bloggingocean
According to me, the year 2018 will change the way we perceive SEO. It will bring along with it a lot of major changes.
#1. The most obvious update I am expecting is the Google Mobile First Indexing which will probably start rolling out in the first half of 2018 as hinted by Gary Illyes.
#2. With the smartphones actually getting smart and all the major cell phone brands along with Google itself investing heavily on developing their own version of virtual assistant, I am expecting Voice based search to grow exponentially. So SEO's and bloggers will have to adjust their strategy to take that into account.
#3. Voice based search will have a greater impact on Local SEO as most people use voice assistant for local search; for example finding nearby restaurants.
#4. Google will start using featured snippets for more keywords. So you can expect reduced CTR for the top positions in Google SERP.
#5. Comment backlinks might be further diluted as a ranking factor to prevent abuse.
To sum it up, it would be harder to manipulate Google rankings. So, quality content alone will rule the SERP.
#Ashley Faulkes - Madlemmings
SEO is not changing as much as people think, but the trends are pushing a few important things forward in the next year.
First, you have to think more about writing the best content on a given topic instead of focusing on one keyword.
This has become more and more important since the introduction of Hummingbird, but you will see this influence results even more in 2018. Make your content the best answer to a given question.
Next, be aware of the context of the query/keywords you are trying to rank for. Google is only ranking results that match the user's expectations. This is not always easy to 100% understand, but by looking at what kinds of results are ranking at the moment, it will give you a big clue as to what you should be creating and including in your page/post.
Last, there is a big trend to show even more snippets in the SERPs. Your job is to figure out what kinds of results are being shown in your niche and how you can get yours up there instead of your competitors. This is not a simple task and you already need to be in the top 10 or so results to achieve it. But, you don't have to be number 1 and that is where this is so awesome. So, put that on your todo list next year for sure!
#Savita Singh- Computergeekblog
In-Depth detailed content to rank better in 2018. Web pages that has comprehensive content which also includes rich media like images & videos will do better in SERP. Google will continue to give importance to meta tags and header tags, but avoid keyword-stuffed content.
Moreover, voice search will also play a hedge role in 2018. Smartphone users will opt for voice search which will lead to more search on long tail keywords because of user will ask for direct questions.
#Srish Agrawal- Logodesignteam
To win the game of SEO in 2018, it's all about analyzing your competition and creating better content. For this to happen, we need to use a wide range of SEO tools and ranking reports -- not just for our own sites, but also to keep an eye on the competition.
In 2018, I also predict that Google will be looking at PBNs and taking action in a more swift and large scale approach. Many PBNs think they are smarter and above Google, but only time will tell.
#Justin Morgan- Dentalmarketingguy
I believe RankBrain will begin to take account of click through traffic on links. This process will naturally create some black hat opportunities to enlist paid "clickers," but I doubt the system will easily be gamed.
Google will take into account the geographic location of the searchers, and see how they interact with your website.
The primary key to victory for SEO in 2018 will be to have noteworthy, helpful content. Things like keyword stuffing and prolix, dragged out paragraphs for the purpose of "SEO" will go the way of the dinosaur.
This includes the industry standard (cookie-cutter) admonition that you need 500 words for Google to rank you. RankBrain will do away with this in 2018.
#Jagdish Kashyap - 50 Shades of Blogging
Above all, Search Engines like Google is unpredictable but still we can take an estimate. I personally think, SEO soon will be dead and there will only Marketing left. But it will take time.
In 2018 Content will take over the first page of Google and Viral Stuffs without being proper ON Page SEO.
I'm seeing lots of parasite sites on first page of SERP, people are spamming the web 2.0 and using them as a traffic source. Interesting stuff, I hope Google will do something about it.
We will see traffic drop in 2018 due to Google Help Graph, Google is extracting data from Site and showing instant Results without being landed on site. Comparison Table, Quick Answer, Lyrics etc. I hope soon we will find a way to manipulate that 😉
I don't know, let's see together...
#Marcus Miller - Bowler Hat
There are two key predictions running into 2018.
The first is the mobile first index which could have some interesting repercussions. Especially for those B2B businesses that are still holding onto their mobile unfriendly websites of old.
Often, where we see these kinds of businesses and the client is often based on a desktop computer, there has been a hesitance. It will be interesting to see how these kinds of businesses are impacted by the mobile first index and whether they finally relent and build that mobile friendly site.
The second is a continued evolution of the organic search results and more SERP features like the featured snippet answer boxes and people also ask results will become more prominent.
This will serve to keep people on the search engine longer than ever before. And when combined with ever more aggressive competition from advert placement may further degrade organic traffic for the majority of sites.
Like every problem, the smart marketer sees these as opportunities rather than threats and looks how to leverage the situation to their advantage.
As ever, it's important to get the basics in place in 2018 as it was in 2008 and even 1998.
#James Reynolds - Seo Sherpa
Google will continue to expand the set of queries for which it displays featured snippets, answer boxes and other SERP features. The result will be less and less traffic going to the traditional top-ten.
I also expect to see more developments in AMP making it easier for Webmasters to implement leading to wider adoption across the web.
#Ben Brausen - Benbrausen.Com
Location will continue to grow in importance as search engines look to give people the most relevant results based on where they're searching from.
Quality will remain key. Informative content created for people (not for search engines) will continue to see ranking benefits as heavily SEO'd content, that provides little value, falls away.
Structured data and schema will become more important, as we help search engines better understand the pages and content of our sites.
Those who focus on the website visitor will continue to see the best results. It doesn't matter if you rank at position #1 for every keyword, if people get to your site and it's not what they needed or too hard for them to consume, it's just as bad as not even being ranked.
Build your site and your content for visitors first, second, third, and foremost. SEO doesn't take priority.
#Louie Luc - Income Prodigy
Google is changing to offer its users the answers they are looking for without even leaving Google (as opposed to sending traffic to websites they don’t own), and the advances in Artificial Intelligence will play a major role in obtaining that goal.
Semantic Web is growing in importance which translates to number 1 ranking spots being even more difficult to secure since we will be competing with an increasing number of Featured Snippets, Featured Videos, Answer Boxes and other kinds of SERP snippets.
At the same time, full mobile-ready websites will be ranked over non-mobile websites and Voice Search will be the new highlight in search technology in the near future.
SEOs will need to adapt their strategies to all these novelties.
#Sean Si - Seo Hacker
I believe that one of the top ranking factors will increase in importance and that’s Rankbrain. The overall content quality of all the sites in the first page shall be better than ever, and the results that the search engine presents to the users shall be of better quality when compared to the ones shown before.
I predicted all these changes all because of one, important ranking factor, and that's Rankbrain. Also, this is not the only thing that will happen in 2018, but it sure will be one of the major events of SEO in 2018.
#Gareth Daine - Garethdaine
I see 3 major trends becoming super-important in 2018.
They're pretty essential now, but I can only see them becoming more so as the year progresses.
1. User Experience Signals
Since the introduction of RankBrian, user experience signals have become even more important.
In fact, Google has indicated that RankBrain (a machine learning algorithm introduced to help sort search results) is one of its 3 most important ranking signals.
The critical components of RankBrian rely heavily on 2 key user experience signals.
Dwell time and clickthrough rate.
We've known for a while how important click-through rate is for ranking purposes.
Rand Fishkin ran a test via Twitter in 2014 to see just how clickthrough rate affected the SERPs.
Turns out, it affected them a lot.
RankBrain puts even more emphasis on this metric.
Lastly, dwell time tells Google how valuable the result is.
Great, you can get the user to click through, but can you get them to stay and read the content.
If a user clicks through and bounces straight back, this is a bad sign.
if enough users do this, Google will demote you in the SERPs.
Of course, the opposite also applies. If enough users click through and stay on the page for a sufficiently long time, Google believes that the content is valuable and will promote you in the SERPs.
Many more user experience signals will also come into play in the future, such as pages per session, engagement and interaction, conversion ratios, site speed, bounce rate, mobile optimisation, and social.
2. Reduced Real Estate and the Knowledge Graph
I believe that we're going to see a further reduction of organic search real estate.
The Knowledge Graph, rich snippets, answer boxes, and the like are going to get a lot more emphasis.
Users are now used to getting an immediate answer to their questions directly in search.
The competition for this type of real estate will intensify even more through 2018.
3. Voice Search & AI
I've included these two together, as voice search relies heavily on AI and machine learning, as well as structured data.
With the introduction of devices such as Amazon Echo, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Home, we're going to see a rapid increase in voice search usage and voice search capable devices.
SEOs and businesses are going to have to adapt to the unique challenges this trend brings.
This fits nicely with my prediction on the knowledge graph which relies heavily on structured data markup. Something that is heavily used for voice search.
AI will continue to grow at an exponential rate.
The applications are almost limitless, and we're going to see significant and dramatic changes across all industries, including marketing and SEO.
I believe we're in the midst of unbelievable explosions in innovation in this area and that this will change the landscape of search dramatically
#Bill Gassett - Max Realestate Exposure
SEO is going to continue to trend in the direction of user experience. Google wants to deliver results that provide answers people are looking for with the best experience possible. This means the quality of your content better be better than everyone else and your site better load quickly.
Quality of content and the quality of inbound links will continue to be weighed heavily in Google's algorithm. Content creators need to continue to improve upon the information they are delivering their readership.
#Susan Dolan - SEO Web Marketing
Social media is going to thrive better in the search results as per my SEO predictions in 2018. For example, Twitter updates can offer you the leverage to get higher listings on search engines by strengthening your backlink portfolio.
If you are good with words and can drive engagement on Twitter with a clever tweet, you can expect a lot of incoming traffic flow to your website.”
#David Krauter - Websites That Sell
Links will continue to be the No.1 Driver for rankings (don't care what people say... links are a core aspect of the ranking algorithm and they'll continue to drive rankings).
However, the kind of links will become more and more important in terms of ranking power.
Links that are easy to get - non-relevant, non-authoritative on sites with zero metrics will become less and less powerful.
The best links that will drive traffic in 2018 are relevant (theme & Geo graphical) with good metrics (good DA, PA, TF & Traffic stats).
These links aren't easy to get... anyone can go out shoot a video and post it on youtube - but the days where you can rank from just video, article or even social bookmarking links are over.
High Quality, theme relevant links on good metric domains will rule in 2018.
#Christoph Trappe - ChristophTrappe.com
In 2018, content marketers will use the tools to predict what topics are about to take off even more.
Today, many still respond after something took off, but in 2018 sophisticated listening, anticipation and then execution will mature.
#David Leonhardt - SEOWriter.Ca
It's all about mobile. As Google's mobile first index matures, non-responsive are going to get left behind…even in Google’s desktop index. The reason for this is simple: if one person finds something in Google and then shares it to a mobile device, Google wants the end user to be able to read it comfortably.
We are already seeing the traffic shift, as fewer leads come I on our non-responsive sites and more come in on our responsive sites.
Besides, more than half of website visits are now on mobile, so it’s time to get responsive.
#Jacob Cass - Just Creative
Feature snippets will have more priority and the typical rankings will have less prominence, meaning even less clicks for the lower rankings. This also means less people will be clicking away from Google’s search results, as the answer has already been displayed.
Video will also gain more value, as well as localized search, especially when it comes to voice search and integrating with ‘smart’ products & services such as Amazon’s Alexa.
#James Norquay - Prosperity Media
#1 - We will see a larger use of voice search will be more popular. Google is pushing Home heavily in our market Australia.
#2 - We will see more Google owned properties in search results. Such as Google Jobs and Google Travel.
#3 - We may even see a resurgence of Google Author images for large websites. Google has been running tests in this area on mobile showing image snippets in search.
#4 - Increased use of markups and schema in search.
As per the experts, SEO strategies aren’t going to change much when compared to the previous year. However, it is highly predicted that the value backlinks will go down and the quality of content is going to be the decider when it comes to higher SERPs.
Different content types such as video will play a decisive role in 2018 and social media triggers will be the key to justify the quality of your overall content.