Google Search Relations Discusses The Future Of SEO
Google’s Search Relations team gathered in a Search Off the Record podcast episode to discuss the future of SEO, which could possibly affect SEO strategies. The podcast invited Google’s John Mueller, Martin Splitt, and Gary Illyes to talk about the changes they have noticed in the past decade and predict what will happen next to the SEO industry.
The three Google veterans went through the following aspects of SEO and made predictions on their importance within the next several years:
According to Mueller, SEOs will not need to learn HTML in the future since content management systems (CMSs) are becoming increasingly competent at handling a website’s technical aspects. For instance, if one has a rich editor with lots of features and capabilities, they can just type things in there, get their text formatted correctly, and add links. This does not require HTML.
Illyes disagreed, saying that there is more to SEO than just writing content. For instance, there are significant SEO elements, such as title tags, meta tags, and title elements, requiring a thorough understanding of HTML, and that fact won’t change in the future. Therefore, SEOs should learn how to control how their snippets and titles appear in the search results.
Afterwards, they all came to the conclusion that HTML isn’t going anywhere with SEO.
But it’s possible that all these applications will have to factor in SEO in general. For instance, they must consider what they want to be visible on the Internet because they were only apps in the past.
Mueller discussed URLs and whether they might be phased out in favour of IP addresses or entities. According to Illyes, URLs will not be phased out anytime soon.
Just like the IP addresses and domain names can’t go away, URLs are still that relevant. They are still widely used to communicate addresses on the Internet today. At least not in the near future because without them, the Internet would simply be not the Internet.
Mueller asked if there would be more meta tags in the future, but Splitt quickly rejected the idea, arguing that there’s seldom a compelling reason to introduce new meta tags.
Splitt believes they would not be adding more meta tags. There were internal threads about this matter, though, because some search teams want to introduce a new meta tag. In these conversations, Splitt shared that he usually jumps in and argues against it alongside Mueller.
In the podcast, it was whether or not there would be a point when Google would not need structure data to understand a page’s context. Splitt ensured that Google has almost reached that point; however, structured data is still useful and highly recommended.
According to Splitt, Google can understand things like what product a page is talking about. The search engine can identify a product’s name, price, and product image. Nevertheless, it is still nice to rely on explicit machine-readable information where SEOs can tell Google that they want it to specifically think of an item as a product. That’s what one would call a glorified meta tag.
Mueller next raised the topic of text-generation algorithms and whether or not SEOs will need human writers in the future. Illyes wants to share so many insights on this topic that he thinks it should have its own podcast episode.
According to him, machine-generated content has potential and may even be indistinguishable from content that humans have manually written at times. However, he commented that Google is strict about the kind of content that they allow in their index.
Illyes acknowledged that some tools could automatically generate smart content, but it would still need humans to review it before publishing; otherwise, Google would not index it.
Splitt commented that voice search is unlikely to be a major SEO trend in the near future, so SEOs shouldn’t get too worked up about it. He remembered that many years ago, people were confident that they would stop using keyboards and use voice search features, but it never happened and will probably never happen in the future. Splitt added that voice search changes how queries are phrased, as well as the input modality, but not the fundamental use of natural language to get information from the web.
It’s critical for SEOs to plan roadmaps for attaining business objectives, such as ranking high in the search engine results pages, increasing organic traffic, or improving organic income. To do this, having an effective SEO strategy is important.
Questions like these might be addressed by a good SEO strategy:
- What is the website’s current status?
- What is the goal?
- How to achieve that goal?
There are also aspects of the strategy that one needs to consider:
A great SEO strategy is all about giving searchers the most relevant and valuable information possible. Moreover, it protects one’s brand name, executives, and products from negative searches. The Search Off the Record podcast covered all the important factors one should consider for their SEO’s future.
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