The world of SEO is notorious for fast-moving changes; a quick update here and a big algorithm roll-out there. However, 2016 has seen more dramatic changes than previous years. From a full overhaul of local SEO all the way through to the big Penguin 4.0 update, which was first rolled out on 23rd September of this year.
We, therefore, thought it was important, that we cover the latest SEO trends and give you a sneaky peak of what may come in 2017, so your law firm is up-to-date on the latest updates that could be affecting your firm!
Penguin was a major Google update designed to penalise sites deemed to be spamming its search results with unsavoury tactics, such as buying links and was originally released in 2012. The Penguin 4.0 update early this year was its fourth major release. Towards the end of September 2016, this new update went live across all languages. Previously, any changes a webmaster made to their website would not affect its presence straight away; Penguin would have to refresh before it took into account these changes. Now, with this new update, any changes will be visible much faster.
If you think your firm could have been affected by this update, contact us today!
Local SEO and Pidgeon
2016 also witnessed a big change to the arrangement of local SEO. The main changes involved making it easier for mobile users to search locally. According to a study released by Google in May 2016, 50% of its traffic is now on mobile and 30% of those searches are local. The biggest and most visible change in this included lowering the number of local business that made it into the highlighted pack. Previously, you would get seven in the pack but now there are only three.
If your firm is struggling with visibility in the local SEO listings, contact us today – we’ll make you visible.
Google has been making it clear, for some time now, that it wants websites to become mobile-friendly. Statistics across the board show that users are increasingly using mobile to search and access websites. This led to Google announcing their mobile update dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon’, which was first rolled out in April 2015; the update can impact your search engine rankings if your website is not mobile-friendly.
Coming up in 2017…
With 2017 just around the corner here are our predictions for the top trends of 2017:
Schema: this is all about text-based organisation of data. It typically uses the Schema.org vocabulary—an open community effort to promote standard structured data in a variety of online applications. Most experts think this will become ever more important.
Changes in SERPS: Search Engine Results Page or SERPS is the snippet displayed by the search engine in response to a search query. Google has been experimenting with this of late and has increased the number of characters allowed in some meta descriptions. This has yet to be fully rolled out.
Voice search: with the increasing use of virtual assistants, content writers and SEO professionals will need to adapt to voice search. This trend will ultimately change the way keywords are used – due to the simple fact that there is a difference between the way people speak and write. Voice searchers tend to use more questions and full sentences.