SEO

What’s Next for the Google Algorithm? 9 SEO Experts Share their Predictions

Amanda Thomas

Written by Amanda Thomas

Managing Partner @ Konstruct

Google. 

The little search engine that could… And does pretty much everything. Google is a beast, to put it lightly. It’s no surprise that Google’s search engine dominates the industry and holds 92% of the market share

But why is Google the search engine of choice for billions of people across the globe? 

The short answer is that Google is constantly innovating and updating its algorithms to become more adaptive, responsive, and intelligent, giving people more relevant and reliable information based on their search queries. Google cares about retrieving the right data from its search index to deliver the best results possible to users. In order to do so, Google makes thousands of changes to its algorithms every year. 

Trying to stay on top of Google’s algorithm updates is one of the best ways to ensure that your business doesn’t fall behind in search rankings while your competitors get ahead. However, with Google algorithms constantly evolving, it can be tricky to stay ahead on all the latest updates and ranking signals.

So, what does the future hold for Google’s algorithms? How will future Google search algorithm updates change how strategists approach SEO?

 We’ve asked nine experts to share their Google algorithm predictions. So, let’s find out what they predict new Google algorithm changes will bring. 

Branding Coming in Strong

A body builder wearing a shirt that says "BRAND" lifting weights that say "RANKINGS"

“Google is clearly favouring sites which act more like a brand than just another site. The December 2020 update proved that good content and links ain’t enough. You need to have real people associated with the site. You need to have engagement on your site. You need to cover a topic from all angles and create hubs that establish expertise in your industry.

Google will keep adding signals that convey trust, and you won’t be able to “game” it. It’s very difficult to emulate user engagement signals on your site, and each year user engagement signals become more and more important. 

Moreover, links will become less important, as has been the trend over the years. This is kinda good because links constitute a big part of any SEO budget. More importance will be given to well-researched content produced by real experts.”

Shaurya Jain, Attention Always

“I think Google’s algorithm will become more complex as they work to improve search performance and quality. The ultimate question is, how can Google get better at ranking the most relevant content to match any given search. To do this, the algorithms will continue to increase in complexity as they introduce new ranking factors in order to better analyze and rank content for users. 

In my opinion, this will include things like for authors and brands to consider an omnipresence approach. For example, how does their brand look outside of Google’s environment? Do you have strong social media profiles? How active are you on these platforms? How strong is your brand? Do people talk about your brand online, and how many? Are you active and featured on niche-specific online communities?

Additionally, SEO professionals will have to think about taking a big picture approach to SEO and how it fits into the overall marketing, not as an individualized service. The demand for high-quality SEO professionals will dramatically increase to keep up with the new changes.”

Kat Solukova, Engine Scout

Serving Up Unique Content that Users can E-A-T

A man sitting at a restaurant table with a menu that says "CONTENT MENU"

“I have 2 predictions for Google’s Algorithm for the next couple years:

Prediction #1 – “Uniqueness” as a ranking factor.

With the advent of NLP and GPT-3 SEO tools, we’re starting to see a lot of “sameness” of results – particularly in top 10 rankings. I believe Google is going to start rewarding content that is not only very comprehensive but which also includes originality or original research.

Prediction #2 – The Return of Long-Tail to Health Searches

With Google’s emphasis on E-A-T combined with the issues behind prediction #1 above, users are having a more challenging time getting their long-tail search queries answered. Very specific health questions are often triggering very general content.

I expect, in this area, we might begin to see UGC (user-generated content) emerge again, at least in the mix. Or perhaps the rewarding of content where medical experts answer specific user queries and questions.”

Amanda Thomas, Konstruct Digital

“I believe Google will take a stronger stance on ensuring accurate information from reliable sources. This would mean that affiliate sites will once again be in Google’s crosshairs. Websites will need to make sure that any strong claims are backed by experts.”

Isaac Hammelburger, Search Pros

“Having a pulse on the direction the search landscape is heading can give you an idea of how you can adapt your SEO strategy for the long term. Google tweaks their algorithm thousands of times per year and looks at a wide variety of ranking signals that constantly change. This makes it extremely difficult for SEO professionals to reverse engineer all of the factors in play.

We know that content quality, backlinks and title tags all play a role where your site ends up in search results, but these are ultimately just pieces of the puzzle. While it’s important to avoid focusing too much on any single ranking factor without having the data or results to back it up, there are a few key concepts that shouldn’t be ignored going forward:

Search Intent: Google uses search intent to predict what people are looking for and provide them with relevant, useful results. Search intent is something Google has stated is a critical aspect of search. As their understanding of user intent continues to evolve, the more important it will be to provide value to your target audience by making sure your content aligns with their search intent.

Page experience: Google has added a variety of user experience criteria such as page speed and mobile-friendliness as ranking factors in search results – but last year, they made it official with the announcement of Core Web Vitals, a set of metrics that measure speed, responsiveness and visual stability. While these metrics are being introduced as a ranking signal, they can also be used as a tool to help site owners improve their user experience on the web.

E-A-T: Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. While this isn’t a new concept to SEO, Google describes in their Search Quality Rater guidelines, how raters evaluate a page based on this to measure the quality of search results.”

Steven Orechow

Content Will Forever Be KING

A king wearing a shirt that says "CONTENT"

“Quality will become more important than ever in the next year. Over time, history shows us that content quality grows increasingly more important with every algorithm update. For those websites that feature thin, scraped, spun, or generally low-quality content – life will become more difficult. For websites featuring high-quality original content, they will only be rewarded going forward. Now is a better time than ever to assess your content and make sure what you’re serving to website visitors is high quality and helpful. Invest in creating content that helps others and makes the world a better place, and you will be rewarded.”

Matthew Kay

“There is a major Google algorithm update about once a quarter. For the past 3 years, almost every algorithm update has to do with content. I don’t see that changing any time soon. 

As Google’s NLP technology improves, it gets better at understanding topical relevance and authority. So the winners will be those who know how to create content that both pleases users and fleshes out a site’s topical authority. 

Most site owners are afraid of algorithm updates, but I love them. My clients’ sites often get massive traffic increases during algorithm updates, because they give Google the semantic relevance that it needs.”

Garit Boothe, Garit Boothe Digital

Emphasizing Accessibility 

“I think Google will be making a few changes to how they prioritize websites and content in their algorithm. 

One we know that is coming is their focus on core website vitals, so businesses will need to place more importance on making sure they have a site that loads quickly and is technically sound. 

“I also believe Google will continue to put more of an emphasis on accessibility. Making sure your site is friendly for those with disabilities will become more and more important as we move forward, and I believe this will start to impact search rankings more significantly.

I think we will continue to head towards content that covers related topics and offers depth being rewarded over content focused on keyword usage. Gone will be the days of writing long-form content just to make sure you include all related keywords pointed out in tools like ClearScope or SEMRush. Instead, well-structured content with SEO-focused outlines and topics will become the new focus.” 

Joel Messner, Konstruct Digital

Still Chuggin’ Down the User Experience Track

A train with the Google logo on it, on a track with a sign that says "User Experience"

“It is hard to accurately predict how Google is going to shake up the search landscape with the new algorithm updates. However, we do know that search engines are “built to serve people.” People change, and their behaviour changes too. This means that search engines need to evolve to meet our changing requirements. 

By looking at the history of the updates and with the content being the main focus for so long, the next big algorithm update will be more likely to address user experience.

Core web vitals and the quality of user experience on your website will be used to determine the ranking of your site compared to similar websites in organic search results. Now, the question is which metrics will be used to determine user experience going forward. 

I’m looking forward to seeing how Google will excite us and shake up our SEO strategies this year.” 

Sahil Gumber, Konstruct Digital

Are You on Track with the Google Algorithm Updates? 

Well, there you have it! According to the experts, it seems the future of Google’s algorithms will involve key aspects like user-focused content, user experience, and E-A-T. Now more than ever, it’s essential to ensure that you’re producing content that has credibility and value and that your site is optimized to provide the best experience possible for users.  

As mentioned earlier, staying on top of Google’s search algorithm and optimizing your site accordingly is one of the most lucrative ways to increase awareness of your business as well as traffic, leads and sales. Google is an authority when it comes to connecting users with the information they need. This is why understanding Google’s algorithm updates is crucial in order to better optimize your site to crush it on SERPs. 

At Konstruct Digital, we want to ensure that our clients have a smooth ride on their way to growth and success. This is why we stay up to date on upcoming Google algorithm updates to help our clients find the right strategies to reach their goals. 

At this point, we feel pretty confident in assuming you have an interest in improving your SEO strategies. So, let’s talk! Contact us to find out how our SEO experts can help your search visibility, traffic, and sales skyrocket with our award-winning SEO services

Updated: May 31, 2021

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