This article from Google, https://blog.google/products/search/improving-search-next-20-years/ talks about updates being implemented by Google on its 20th anniversary.
Many of these updates are leveraging the look, feel, and functionality of social media in terms of favoring video, images and “stories.” And, as always when Google announces changes, people in the industry question the impact on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices and even if this the end of SEO as we know it.
To quote Monte Python, SEO is “not dead yet.” In fact, a number of these changes are likely to actually reward continuing to adhere to SEO basics – keyword research, content strategy, tagging and link building –to enhance relevance and user experience.
Everyone knows Google has been changing the presentation of information on its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) over the years to offer more varied results to meet the “intent” of the searcher. The Featured Snippet (or Position Zero as we optimizers refer to it), the Knowledge Graph, the Local Pack (with map), Images, Videos, Shopping, etc. were all designed to provide multiple options to help the searcher find what they are looking for as quickly, directly, and seamlessly as possible.
The Google updates take this approach to the next level and try to more literally link intent with relevant content. The updates leverage Google’s AI ability to personalize results based on previous searches and present the SERP in ways designed to improve engagement. And, make no mistake, Google’s ultimate goal is to continue to be your go-to source for information and get you to click on its monetized results (paid ads, shopping results, etc.) as much as possible.
So, what are the next steps for search marketers to succeed in this new SERP-world? First, don’t panic and abandon SEO best practices. Start add more video and visual content to your website—you probably have a number of elements being used on your social channels that you can repurpose for the website. Be sure to add keywords to the images (alt text) and video description tags and use your social posts to create links to this new content, again with keywords in the links.
And continue to stay abreast of these and other changes with DBE.