SEO is a constantly changing and growing industry.No longer is search engine optimization seen as internet “black magic,” but it is now regarded as an essential part of any serious digital marketing strategy.We’ve come a long way as an industry — and from the looks of it, our best days are still ahead of us.The hardest thing in the world of search is predicting what will come next.As the major engines continue to update and refine their algorithms and SERP displays, we in the field shouldn’t just wait around to react.I believe we should be proactive and look at past trends to help guide us.In that spirit, I’m going to take a step out and make three predictions about the future of the SEO industry.

1.UX will play a larger role
In the past, SEO was seen as a job for the IT team.It was looked at more as a technical role than a creative position.While SEO has many technical elements to it, at its core it’s an art form.Today’s SEO professionals not only need to have a technical understanding of how to optimize websites and different types of content for search engines, they also need to understand how people interact with the web.But knowing is just half the battle.Understanding how to apply this information practically is what will continue to separate the “pros” from the “Joes.”Google is obsessed with the user — and you should be, too.As search results become more and more customized, user experience (UX) is going to play a larger role in search.If your content is not engaging your users,you will lose out, no matter how great your information is.To better position your site now, I would invest time in learning your users inside and out.Then, I would create content that not only helps them, but engages them as well.

2.AMP will be a ranking factor
We now live in a divided world.Traditionally, Google operated from a single index of documents when pulling search queries.Today, it’s in the process of creating two indexes, one for mobile and one for desktop, with mobile becoming the primary index.As far as we know at this point, AMP is not a ranking signal, but that doesn’t mean it has no impact on your search or website performance.AMP content is featured prominently in mobile search results, often above the organic listings.Wouldn’t you want your content to appear there?Additionally, if users are abandoning slow-loading sites on mobile devices, it makes sense to prioritize mobile page speed, even if you already have the top organic spot.Furthermore, if you wait for it to be an official ranking signal before you implement AMP, you’ll be too far behind to benefit from it when that happens.So start building AMP pages for your content now!Since enabling AMP on our company’s blog, we’ve seen a 12 percent increase in mobile search visits — and we’re not the only ones seeing results.

3.AI will run search
I think AI is a great thing for search.Over time, as the machines learn patterns and understand content, results will get more and more accurate.The other benefit to AI is that it will kill black-hat SEO, which I believe is great for the industry as a whole.So, how do you prepare yourself for the “age of the machine?”You do the work, the right way.While I think RankBrain (or some other new AI technology) will eventually run search 100 percent, I also think we are still quite far away from that day.So first, we can start doing a better job of creating content that’s both informative and engaging users. Then we can take the time to do the small things right, like on-page SEO.And finally, we can start thinking about search on an individual level.AI will make search more personal than ever, and this will force all of us in the marketing field to think about segments in a whole new way.While I do believe these three predictions will become reality, they also matter today.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.