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May 23, 2016

SEO Forecast: How Google Will Alter Algorithms

SEO Targeting
Photo Credit: Augur Marketing via flickr

“It is not the job of search engine optimization to make a pig fly. It is the job of the SEO to genetically re-engineer the website so that it becomes an eagle.” Bruce Clay

SEO is a never-ending battle. Some relish the ebb and flow and have learned to ride the wave of change in immaculate form; ending up on the cutting edge of tactics and in one of the top seats on the SERPs. Others, however, feel that SEO is the bane of their existence as every new update to search algorithms brings fear, anxiety, and often a drop in rankings. SEO is not for those who resist change. If you’re settled in to the current state of things, get ready for more curveballs.

Google makes a variety of updates to its algorithms each year. Google algorithms were altered seven times in 2015. As of May 2016, only two changes have been recorded. Since there are clearly many changes on the horizon, let’s take an educated guess as to how the search engines will modify their algorithms and, in the process, shakeup SEO tactics everywhere.

Watch Time Based Rankings

Video is taking over the Internet like a Kardashian. By 2019, it will all but dominate traffic streams. This immersion into video is already taking place — YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine, live streaming websites are all the rage, and nearly every social media website has incorporated a live streaming element of its own; including YouTube. But Google’s new YouTube feature is not the only way the engine is covering this trend.

In August 2015, Google acquired a patent related to how it ranks its results. The license seems to focus on ranking sites based on how long a page is watched after a user arrives, whether the page contains video or not. It may just display images and audio resources. The patent states, “One of the methods includes identifying one or more sessions for a query and associating watch times of the respective resources watched in the sessions with the query.”

This update would certainly cater to Google’s YouTube property and various social media websites because the patent is intended to potentially provide a “score” to video and page content. The longer a video or page is watched, the higher the score and vice versa for those with shorter watch times. The watch time score could potentially be used as a way to rank pages in the SERPs.

This should come as no surprise considering how prominent video is positioned to become. If this does come to fruition this year, expect to see a lot more websites apply an auto-play feature to try to boost their numbers.

UX Will Reach Its Peak Priority

Google has been on a serious mobile-friendly binge as of late. The company understands that mobile plays a massive, if not dominating, role in the future of the Internet. The destiny of mobile ubiquity has brought about the events of Mobilgeddon, Google’s AMP Project, the soon to be seen Mobilegeddon 2, and a slew of other initiatives. All of this points to the importance of mobile-friendly everything and it also places monumental emphasis on usability. In the end, that’s what all of the mobile hullabaloo over at Google has been about; prime UX.

According to many experts, an epic user experience is the very future of SEO, and while Google has not said these exact words, it’s heavily implied through many actions. Later this year, we will see the second stage of Mobilegeddon commence and are likely to witness even more changes and amplified importance placed on UX.

Mobile Text Ads

While this may not be a direct change to ranking algorithms, it nonetheless impacts SEO in a significant way. For many, acquiring leads, earning traffic and making conversions is in some part dependent on AdWords. As these metrics directly affect your seat in the SERPs, it is vital to deliver the most compelling and relevant ads possible.

In yet another mobile-first push by Google, the search giant acquired a patent back in January of this year that would allow for Web-based text ads to be converted into mobile-friendly ones. There is a catch to this, however — Google will implement a scanning system to scour the landing pages served by ads to determine which are optimized for mobile and which are not. Ultimately, those that are friendly for smaller screens will receive preferential treatment and priority over those that are not. Once again, mobile responsiveness is a must-have for SEO prosperity.

Social Signals Confirmed

As it currently stands, many feel that social signals play a larger role in rankings than just causation, yet this has never truly been confirmed. Some have argued that social media is too massive of a force online to ignore the happenings within their digital walls. Others disagree and point to the fact that incorporating such data would lead Google to become reliant on third-party resources.

All of this may soon be a non-issue. Rumors surfaced last year that Google is a potential candidate for acquiring the now fledgling Twitter. Could 2016 finally be the year that social signals are officially incorporated into ranking algorithms and Google finally leaves behind the debacle that is Google+?

While these are just predictions, we know for sure that Google will shakeup SEO in a major way this year, as it has done with every year before it. The best thing you can do to prepare for the inevitable permutation is to optimize every property you have for mobile responsiveness. If you focus nowhere else, place your sights on mobile.

What are your predictions for this year’s changes to SEO? How do you think video will ultimately impact the rankings in the years to come?


Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

39 Responses to “SEO Forecast: How Google Will Alter Algorithms

    avatar Haider says:

    Nice article.Thanks for sharing


    Google SEO definately is a never ending chore!

    avatar Rahul says:

    Hi Tina!
    Nice SEO forecast so far.
    UX will be one of best factor undoubtedly.

    avatar Kevin Conlon says:

    Good information Nice article

    avatar Nhick says:

    No doubt about it, mobile users will multiple in the upcoming years.

    Nice forecast.

    This is really an amazing post given here which is nice.

    avatar vipagence says:

    The backlinks are still super important.
    no link yet we advance not much in the google rankings.


    Excellent article with great information. It’s definitely true that having mobile friendly pages will be a much bigger factor in the years to come as more and more users utilize mobile instead of desktop or laptop gear. Thanks again for the great article.

    avatar HS says:

    Thanks for sharing this valuable article, For sure mobile friendly website is going to be a big factor in very near future. As well as the regular ranking updates is a must to check the position we owned and to check whether we are doing it right

    Hello dear,
    First nice quote really inspiring and awesome details.
    Sagar Ganatra

    avatar Aventura12 says:

    Thanks for sharing a great article..

    avatar Alberto says:

    Very intersting. Thanks!

    avatar Andy says:

    This article was interesting and enlighting

    avatar ChrisM says:

    I spend way too much tome doing local SEO. I am just a Mom and Pop Income Tax person. My problem right now is to move up on a sister city ranking.

    Owner CEL Financial Services
    Income Tax Preparation Santa Paula

    Very informative article about seo forecast. Keep sharing.


    Whmcs Smarters

    avatar Rahul Gupta says:

    Hi Tina!
    Nice SEO forecast so far.
    UX will be one of best factor undoubtedly.

    Hi Tina,
    Really good content , well researched, keep posting content like this . i am really looking foreword to more of your new articles.

    avatar Xaif says:

    Hey brother, it was really nice forecast. I really love it.

    avatar Jay says:

    Hi Tina,

    It was really very great reading this article.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    avatar Shubham habib says:

    A great piece of work. Really well researched and well written. Waiting for more articles like this 🙂

    Thanks for this awesome article.Google makes a variety of updates to its algorithms each year. Google algorithms were altered seven times in 2015. As of May 2016, only two changes have been recorded. Since there are clearly many changes on the horizon, let’s take an educated guess as to how the search engines will modify their algorithms and, in the process, shakeup SEO tactics everywhere.

    avatar Easy VB Apps says:

    Hi Tina,
    This post was really a great help. I was searching for some SEO articles, and landed on this page. Really informative one.


    SEO really helped my fast payments / credit website to have some real good trafic, thank you for this article.

    Nice article, but you don’t speak about local SEO.

    avatar Ajay kumar says:

    Thanks for posting this article, Nice SEO forecast so far.
    UX will be one of best factor undoubtedly.:)

    avatar Nurdin says:

    Such a really nice article… I learn really a lot.

    Thanks for sharing this informative article about the google algorithm. I have a niche blog where I use SEO techniques and this content is so useful for me. I think I do the things right.

    With Best Regards,
    Esquecer Amor

    avatar pankaj says:

    nice prediction man,now i can predict about google algorithms in future

    avatar Bright Joe says:

    That’s a pretty good prediction and a bit of case study, mate. Thanks for sharing! 😀

    avatar Keiko says:

    Thanks for sharing this epic forecast. Keep up the great work!

    avatar Aayush says:

    Thanx For this informative Article,got to learn something new 🙂 Waiting For more Articles like this

    avatar Roshan Singh says:

    Hi Tina!
    Nice article on SEO Benefits. Thanks for sharing..

    avatar Adam says:

    hello Tina, thanks for sharing. these points are amazing.

    avatar Roya says:

    Omg! This is what we need. Very good article. your points are really positive and this will be good for us to know about Google algorithms.

    avatar Lasith Waqas says:

    Amazing stuff. Love to read this article

    Yes, Google SEO is a never ending process. Nice and informative post shared. Thanks!!

    avatar CrackEdge says:

    thanks a ton for such an informative guide!

    Worth reading article, I had no idea about such algorithm changes by Google, Nice job admin..

    avatar Sub Tricks says:

    Thanks for posting this article, Nice SEO forecast so far.
    UX will be one of best factor undoubtedly.:)

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