[Expert Advice] SEO trends for 2016 as seen by OVH
The way we search for information on the web is changing every day. In front of our computers, on smart phones or even watches, search is being shaped by these new means and a new relationship with screens. Facing these changes, SEO must adapt and broaden its scope to anticipate new search purposes, while relying on solid fundamentals. What can we expect in the upcoming year? David Looses, SEO specialist at OVH, shares some of the trends for 2016.
Mobile search is constantly changing
The year 2015 was marked by the announcement that mobile compatibility would be a ranking factor by Google. Although the announced revolution will not significantly shake up page results, SEO is expanding its traditional scope to include growing support for user experience. Technical optimization, focus on performance and mobile experience are additional factors to take into account when considering SEO.
This trend will be highlighted in 2016, especially with the deployment of project AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)* initiated by Google and taken into consideration by search engines since the beginning of the year. The goal is to offer an optimized and light-weight version of web content and to speed up loading times by storing pages directly on Google cache servers. With the gradual development of mobile search we can expect the deployment of AMP to bring some surprises this year. In addition, if this initiative seems limited to editorial content, it remains an opportunity for professionals to entice their targets at other stages of their conversion path.
A results page transforming more and more
By constantly losing ground to enhanced content on results pages, click rate differentials are widening more and more within search results. Local pack, rich snippets, and knowledge graph, are all features taken into account in the context of a user request, even if it means providing that user with a direct response. But it can also be an opportunity for companies to gain visibility by adapting their SEO strategy to the context of the internet user, especially in enhancing their pages with structured data. Diversity of rich results seems limited at the moment but will continue to play an increasingly important role in the future of search results. This fact is something that should be taken into account while considering an SEO strategy.
Applications also occupy a more and more predominant place among mobile search results with app streaming**. Following app indexing, introduced by Google in 2013, which shows the applications installed on a device within the search results, app streaming now extends this possibility to non-installed applications. A source of visibility for content, this new feature will be an advantage for developing a mobile strategy. But allowing access to an application’s content without having to download the actual application, may capture an audience but not necessarily gain audience loyalty.
Adapting to new search purposes
Beyond its role as a search engine, Google continues its response engine strategy by supporting users in everyday life. This is evident with personal assistants like Google Now, which provide more than ever, information even before users search for it. Order tracking and reservation reminders are other features that can now be used for building a strategy for customer loyalty and support.
In any event, 2016 should see SEO should extend more than ever beyond the traditional search results page.
* David Besbris, Introducing the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, for a faster, open mobile web
Official Google Blog, 7 octobre 2015,
** Jennifer Lin, New ways to find (and stream) app content in Google Search
Google Inside Search, 18 novembre 2015