Welcome to part two of our podcast from BrightonSEO, where we speak to the attendees about what they perceive to be the biggest current SEO trends. Not only do we uncover what the people on the ground, working in the industry think, we also grabbed an interview with speakers from the day, about what they consider to be important for strategies this year. And finally, we speak to John Mueller, about what voice search means for the wider industry. You can listen to the full podcast below, and keep reading for the transcript.
Hello, it's Ellie and Carris here from the content team at Zazzle Media, and welcome back to our BrightonSEO podcast series.
We are back from the conference now and reflecting on the SEO trends and challenges that we discovered on the day. First let’s hear from the attendees about what they consider to be recent SEO trends...
"Traffic going down! I’m joking of course, but one thing I’ve noticed is our clients had traffic losses from the March 12th update, and it seems to be that Google is targeting ad heavy sites, or sites with heavy ad pressure, so it will be more and more difficult for the publishing industry to generate money via advertising, and via SEO for the future."
"It’s not a new trend, per se, but I think keyword intent is becoming increasingly popular. As Google increasingly has sought out personalised searches, having an idea of total opportunity presented by certain searches, is something that we’re always looking at and refining. This needs to be as tight as possible, as a lot of the main tools in the space haven’t mastered that yet, so extract the data and filter the data, as it’s not always 100% accurate - I think this will get bigger over the next few years as well, with mobile search increasing, personalised search increasing, localised search - all different kinds of searches!"
"Really focusing sites from an indexation standpoint - if you have a big loaded site, and all your search results pages in, all random pages in, people who are focusing on cutting out a lot of the garbage by blocking them, those are the sites that are getting along better, through these big algorithm updates."
There’s lots to explore in this topic, so we caught up with some of the speakers from the event, and what they thought of the latest SEO trends.
Nils de Moor, CTO and Co-founder of WooRank
"So from my own experience, it’s not a trend yet, but there is growing interest in SEO at CDM level - Edge SEO, as it’s now known. Which will allow companies to separate SEO change requests and improvements from the technical team, bringing it closer to the marketeers and away from developers who are technically more on the technical stuff and are less aware of SEO changes!"
Carris: Do you think that will overcome general SEO challenges, or are there other SEO challenges that have yet to be resolved?
"There’s a couple of challenges it will overcome, performance is one, as it will help companies move faster in getting SEO changes implemented. I saw on the Moz blog that they asked how long does it take to get change requests live, but around 60% plus said it was 6 months or longer (you can find this result here, where 58% don’t anticipate seeing that change live for at least another 6 months), and so this will help get SEO changes actually in production very quickly."
Razvan Gavrilas, Founder of cognitiveSEO
"Scaling organic growth in an exponential way by doing correct content gap analysis and content optimisation. It’s something that a lot of people forget and only focus on gap analysis, about competitor rankings, but that is an incomplete answer. Both are important, you need to do both the content re-optimisation which is much easier for higher rankings instead of creating new content to rank. And creating new content obviously by doing proper keyword research and identifying correct opportunities and securing them by matching the search intent. Put yourself in the shoes of the searcher, think as the searcher, and then create content for that searcher, it’s very important to remember what the searcher needs."
Carris: Do you think that snippet content is able to capture all of that?
"I cover in my talk that there are 4 search intents, informational (to learn something quickly), navigational (to reach somewhere on a site), transactional (when you are buying) and quick knowledge (quickly problem solving) - Google tries to fulfil the necessity of the searcher and provides these snippets. In the quick intent one, a snippet is enough because you don’t need to go to the site to find out the time, you just want to know the time in London for example. If you want to go in depth then you will go in depth, in reality, very few go for this, but there are many many other answer boxes that will provide this information and then you will go in that [answer box] to find out more, and that’s your informational intent instead of quick."
We found voice search cropped up a lot, here are some opinions...
Ellie: With snippets, do you think voice is going to become bigger and grow?
"Yeah I think voice is a huge area of interest, the user behaviour is new behaviour, not a migration of old user behaviour, which is I think a subtle difference that clients haven’t realised yet. It’s an exciting area, it’s not like we’ll immediately lose existing behaviour. I saw a study that said rich snippets weren’t actually that important for voice search - I don’t think that’s right, I just think they aren’t any more important than other types of organic search, and it’s still a continued area of importance as part of the overall mix."
"I think a lot of people are distracted by voice search right now - it’s a big shiny object and that people are focusing too much time on it, when many people still have basic SEO stuff wrong with their site."
We managed to catch up with the keynote speaker at BrightonSEO, who gave us his thoughts on voice…
John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst
"I think one trend is around voice search, I think people are just very curious to see what is happening and I think it’s one of those areas where you have to try it out for yourself, try to interact with these devices, using your voice with these devices, to see where you could fit in and where maybe you don’t need to worry and say this is not the thing for my website, and focus on other things in the meantime."
Carris: We’ve been hearing a lot more about voice coming through, some people say its a phase, ignore it, and some people are saying no, focus your whole SEO strategy on creating snippet content for it. What’s your take on that?
"I think it depends quite a bit on the website. If you have content you can refine into these voice snippets, and you know people are searching for these snippets, then that makes sense! If you have content where people need to read a long article to understand more detailed information, then maybe voice is not the primary focus area for you."
Look out for our next podcast, where we catch up with Zazzle’s very on Head of Search and Strategy, Stuart Shaw, where he gives us an insight to his BrightonSEO training session on Long Tail Keyword Research.
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