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SEO is arguably the fastest-changing industry of all, and it only seems to be growing. There are a variety of reasons for this, but one main factor that has changed SEO as we know it today from what was possible 8-10 years ago is how Google ranks webpages in their search engine results page (SERP). Nowadays there aren’t any shortcuts or simple ways to rank your website higher on SERPs – you either need good content + user engagement/interaction or else nothing will happen at all.
SEO may have been easy 10+ years ago when keyword stuffing could get websites into the top ten slots; however, now such tactics no longer work, they can actually do more harm than help with rankings.
Modern Google search algorithms take into account many little things: from the quality and uniqueness of content to adaptation for mobile versions and voice search. In this article, we’ll discuss the top 8 SEO trends of 2021.
Trend # 1: Google’s Page Experience Update
2021 saw the emergence of a new ranking algorithm from Google. The main idea behind the Page Experience Update focuses on evaluating websites based on user experience. In simple terms, if a resource is safe, convenient, and attractive to people, it gets high positions in the search results.
User experience will be measured using Core Web Vitals metrics. These indicators include:
- LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) – analyzes the loading speed of a web resource, that is, the time it takes for the main block of content (text, images, and videos) to be displayed. This is an important indicator. If the site takes a long time to load, this negatively affects the visitor’s reaction. The optimal value is loading the main content in 2.5 seconds.
- FID (First Input Delay) – an assessment of the site’s interactivity. Determines the time between the time visitor entered the web resource and began to interact with the content, and how the website reacted to the action. The optimal FID is up to 100 ms.
- CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) – visual stability analysis. The indicator calculates unexpected “jumps” of the content block during the display of a web page. The optimal CLS is less than 0.1 (i.e., 0 to 1 hop).
Trend # 2: Mobile Friendly
In early 2021, Google began to use another important indicator for ranking web resources – Mobile Friendly. This is due to the fact that a significant part of search queries is done using smartphones. Therefore, all website owners should prepare their high-quality mobile versions. It is important that they not only exist but also have a stylish design, load quickly and work stably.
You can evaluate the mobile version of the site in Google Search Console by assessing the quality of resource optimization.
After the test, you can view the report and recommendations for improving the mobile version of your website.
Trend # 3: Safety
To get into the TOP ranking of search engines, a resource must be not only beautiful, convenient, and interesting. It is important to take care of its safety. Web developers and SEOs should pay attention to:
- the presence of a secure HTTPS protocol. Every day we read the news about the leakage of personal data of Internet users. For this, it is important to correctly configure the HTTPS protocol;
- lack of malware and unsafe content. The presence of viruses is often evidenced by the pessimization of the web resource, warnings from hosting providers, and user complaints. You should regularly use Site status check from Yandex and Safe Browsing from Google;
- banners and pop-ups. Such elements not only annoy visitors but also slow down the page loading speed.
Trend # 4: EAT
EAT is an acronym that has been one of the most important ranking factors since 2018. It stands for:
This metric is not important for all sites. For example, if the resource is dedicated to the most beautiful representatives of K-POP, then E-AT will not be important, since the likability of a particular singer is a subjective indicator. But if the site is devoted to medical or financial topics, the E-A-T factor will play one of the determining roles in the ranking.
How is EAT assessed?
1. Expertise: For YMYL (Your money or Your Life) topics (finance, health, jurisprudence), the author’s expertise is important. That is, an article on the selection of contraceptives will clearly be more useful for an Internet user if it is written by a certified gynecologist.
Nevertheless, expertise can also be referred to in everyday topics. To confirm the author’s expertise, the page must contain information about him. Just a photo and a surname are not enough. It is important to make markup that confirms the identity of the author. On his page should be placed information that will prove the expertise: diplomas of higher education, certificates, etc. In this case, the author’s regalia must correspond to the subject in which he works. If he writes about medicines, a pharmacist or medical diploma does not hurt.
2. Authority: The company or person who runs the page must be respected by industry experts or opinion leaders. This factor is assessed by Google assessors. They look for information about authority on the Internet.
3. Credibility: It is understood that the texts on the pages will be truthful and accurate. Assessors check this factor by paying attention to the authors of the content, the credibility, and the authority of the sources.
To improve performance for EAT, the analyst Search Quality Manager Gary Ils advises that it is worth using references to authoritative sources. It’s important to keep track of the relevance of the data and check the facts. It will also be useful to provide more information about the authors, which will confirm their expertise.
Trend # 5: Long Tailed Key Phrases
Long-tail search terms are key phrases of 5 or more words. They are not high-frequency, but they are capable of generating about 50-70% of organic traffic. Longtails help users find information faster.
Trend # 6: A large number of traffic sources
Search engines respond well to resources that attract traffic from different places. This signals that the website is popular and interesting to different audiences. The SEO trend is certainly not new, but in 2021 it continues to gain momentum.
Developers, optimizers, and business owners need to pay attention to the development of such areas to attract users:
- video hosting sites – YouTube, Daily Motion;
- social networks – Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc .;
- messengers – Telegram, WhatsApp, Viber.
Don’t forget about forums, directories, display and contextual advertising, blogs, and so on.
Trend # 7: Local SEO
There is a trend towards an increase in the number of search queries, which are accompanied by the phrases “close”, “close”, “near”, etc. For example, people often search: “A pharmacy near me.”
Do not neglect the registration of the company on maps and directories. If a person is looking for a pharmacy, restaurant, or gym, the search engine will first show them the websites of places that are close to the user.
Following the precepts of EAT, we dealt with the latest trends in search engine promotion. A lot has changed, but the basic things have remained unshakable: in order to be at the top of the rankings, it is important to work on the usability of the site, solve technical problems in a timely manner and generate quality content.
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