11 Industry Experts Reveal Everything! » SEO Predictions 2021

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- I have contacted more than 100 SEO experts to predict SEO for 2021. 

And I got 10 replies that I'm going to share with you. 

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Sit back, relax, and enjoy the experts talking.

#1: Kevin Indig, director of SEO at Shopify.

- Hey, this is Kevin Indig, director of SEO at Shopify. 

My SEO predictions for 2021 are the following. 

I think we'll definitely see a continuation of the trajectory that Google already has been on. 

There's no good reason that Google might pivot away from great content fantastic user experience and organic link building. Let's just put it that way. 

So I think things will still be relevant, right? 

Google is going to improve and upgrade its understanding of what good content actually means, it's understanding of relevant content. 

We, of course all know that Core Web Vitals will become a ranking factor. 

I don't think that they will have a huge impact, to be honest, I think it's similar to PageSpeed, where after a certain threshold, you won't see incremental gains but I think that some sites will definitely have to deal with that. 

I think that we'll just continue, right? We've seen that over the last couple of months, maybe years those are no news. 

I don't think that something like Apple search will be a real thing, but I do expect more competitors to Google. 

We have seen Neighbor which is yet to launch, we have view.com, which is set to launch, the time is right think for new Google competitor. 

At the same time I don't think that the next Google will look like Google today. I don't think that Apple will seriously go and try to grab Google's market share. 

I think their search efforts will be much more tied into the interfaces of their devices and maybe Siri but I don't think they will build something Google like you know, I think the broader market I think that the cost for content will continue to rise as more companies and people create content, and as higher quality content is hard to come by on the search landscape. 

It's going to be very interesting to watch whether travel related sites are gonna bounce back and start-ups are gonna bounce back.

Or if not, 

2021 is gonna be a fantastic year for the SEO job market. 

It's already been hot in 2020 because many companies have discovered the value of SEO. So these are my high-level of predictions and I wish you all a nice break and a happy new year, pretty soon.

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#2: Nathan Gotch, from Gotch SEO

- So here are three SEO predictions I have for 2021. So number one expect fewer clicks. SERP features, like Featured Snippets, Instant Answers and increase in ads will all reduce organic CTR. So the only option is to try to push your pages to the first spot or try to steal the featured snippet. And you can also try to occupy more SERP real estate by using Parasite SEO or ranking on YouTube. My second SEO prediction is that user experience becomes even more important. So Google has publicly stated that page experience will be a ranking factor in the coming future. So it's critical for your pages to be built to satisfy the intent of your target keywords and your pages should be lightning fast and have an awesome more experience. And the third and final SEO prediction is that you'll still need backlinks to rank. So getting quality backlinks is still critical for ranking for keywords, even with a moderate level of competition. And other factors like UX are becoming even more important but backlinks are by far still the biggest ranking factor. And you just need to focus on getting real editorial links on websites within your vertical, and you can accomplish that by creating linkable assets like in-depth data-driven content or even free tools. So that's all I have. If you wanna see some of my other SEO predictions, search Gotch SEO on YouTube, or go to gotchseo.com.

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#3: Cass Downton, Senior Analyst at Marie Haynes

- Hi, I'm Cass Downton and I'm a senior SEO analyst at Marie Haynes consulting. My prediction for 2021 is that optimizing for user experience is going to become more important than ever. So as Google gets better at understanding content and the types of results that people actually wanna see when they're searching for something. SEOs are gonna need to become adept at optimizing for intent. For example, if someone is searching for telescopes for stargazing, are they looking to purchase telescope? Are they looking for information on how to use it? Or maybe they're looking for things that they can look at with the telescope. Understanding which audience that you're trying to target with your content is going to be really important as Google gets better at understanding content in general and what content is going to be most likely to satisfy a searcher's intent as well. On top of that, Google also recently told us that come May page experience signals will begin rolling out as a ranking factor for mobile search. So these are going to attempt to give us a holistic look at someone's experience with a given page included in this are the Core Web Vitals, and the thresholds that Google is using for these metrics. It's not often that Google gives us defined thresholds that we can use an aim for. And so it's exciting, and I think that it indicates just how critical the user's experience is going to become in search. And it's gonna be really interesting, I think to see what impacts this have on the SERPs in the next year.

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#4: Morten Storgaard, from Passive Income Geek

- Hi, Simon, thank you for asking for my two cents here. What I think we'll have in Google in 2021 is that we will see more features to keep people in Google. So we will probably lose a bit more traffic to Google with new snippets, new features and new stuff going on at the top of the Google search result page. And to be honest, I don't think it matters. I mean, with all of these recent Google updates, we just lose a little bit of traffic, and then everything continues with business as usual. And I also think they might expand a little bit more on the YMYL stuff. I think with all the Congress hearings and stuff I think they are afraid to get some lawsuits and more legal stuff on their back, so I think we will see that expand a little bit more so not a lot of new, crazy ideas from me here but I think we'll see more of that more of wine well and a bit more features to keep more people inside Google.

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#5: Paul Shapiro, Global Director of Technical SEO at CondeNast

- There, my name is Paul Shapiro. I lead technical SEO for Conde Nast and all of their publications currently, and my SEO prediction for 2021 is operational in nature. I predict that in the near future, we're gonna see more and more large enterprise businesses treating SEO as part of product management. This is not unheard of today. We see it a lot of the times with tech companies, startups, et cetera, but some of the old school companies are a little bit further behind and they don't necessarily see SEO as part of product. And I think there's a lot of good reasons to think of SEO in that manner. And we're gonna start to see that change in the near future. 2021, start looking for large enterprise companies treating SEO as part of product management.

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#6: Courtney Harrington, Head of Marketing at WooRank

- Hi guys, Courtney from WooRank here with our 2021 SEO predictions. Now, first and foremost, we think that actually some of the bigger sites are gonna take a really big hit, I think like Amazon or any other big e-commerce site. And we think that because Google might actually try to be leveling the playing field for anybody who took a huge hit during the pandemic. So really, you know, David's and Goliath of the world. David's we think that your moment is coming. Number two, we think that there might be some significant increase in the YMYL search results and featured snippets. When we say YMYL, we really mean your money, your life. So think anything having to do with health and fitness or mental wellbeing, meditation, financial health anything that really can combat these four years that really wasn't all that positive. We think we might see a trend in the different direction. And the third is gonna be huge changes to UX and design of websites. And we think this because GA4 the property GA4 is now focusing a lot more on how your users are behaving. You know, what is their intent? What are they trying to achieve? What is resonating the most with them? So it's not going to be as much about bounce rates or click through rates, it's going to be more about the actual user and Google is now smart enough to understand how users are behaving and are probably gonna use that to that advantage. We think that really you're gonna seeing a lot of changes with UX and with design. That's our predictions, and if you need any help in 2021 then you know where to come, come over to WooRank and we can help you out.

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#7: Christopher Hofman, Lead SEO Consultant at Impact Extend

- Hi, my SEO prediction for 2021 is that UX is going to be huge. Now we already know that the pace experience factor is going to be implemented in the algorithm from May, 2021 but it's also just an indicator that this is the way that Google will continue to work. And we know that when they introduced BERT back in 2019 at the end of 2019, we could see that there was a huge increase in the quality of offer results. Now what's really important here I think is really understanding user intent and making sure to match it with the right content not only just the ultimate guide, but actually a format which is really sharp and really hits home what the user is searching for, and you will in the end be rewarded. So focus in 2021 on creating better user experience. I think that's the way forward in order to win on Google this year.

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#8: Kristina Azarenko, Founder of Marketing Syrup and SEO Pro Extension

- Hey everyone, this is Kristina Azarenko, an eCommerce and Technical SEO Consultant and founder of MarketingSyrup. I was asked to come up with some predictions for SEO for 2021. And every time I think about that, I go to my crystal ball and it tells me what's going to happen with SEO specifically in 2021. So first of all mobile is going to become even more important than today which is hard to measure. But still mobile-first indexing is going to be rolled out 100%, carrying about mobile is even more critical than it has ever been. We should also think about speed. Google Core Web Vitals are going to be critical as well, even though like landing page experience is going to be an official ranking factor from May, 2021. I think the importance of this factor will be increasing over time because most of the websites are still not ready for this type of ranking factor with Core Web Vitals. The Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console will become even more informative. It might have suggestions not only showing what's wrong, but also in what have more tangible suggestions of what can be improved for each page of the website which is suffering from low scores. One more thing is AI and machine learning will also become more important. I think that you have already noticed, personally I have noticed it many times websites are ranking not only because keywords but also because of changeable topical relevancy. And this is a tendency we as SEOs need to accept, this is going to be more important in 2021. My crystal balls also tells me that organic search results will be pushed a little bit more from the first page of Google. You've already seen it happening for a long time when ads started taking more space in the search results, new Google features, and all this top is appearing, and Google is still testing many of those features. So I think organic search results could be pushed a little bit but it doesn't mean that they are not important. It still means that SEO is important. Also my personal it's not a prediction but my personal wish Google Search Console rolls out regular expression support. That would be so much, so much better. That would be like Christmas. These were my predictions and hope we are all going to have a very amazing year in 2021, thank you.

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#9: Karsten Madsen, Founder of Morningscore

- Hey, SEO notch this is my 2021 predictions for SEO. First of all, Google Search Console went through a lot of upgrades in 2020. I think this will continue. I think Google is trying to push out the third party SEO tools like myself Google Core Web Vitals, which will go live in May, 2021 will be part of that. So they wanna make themselves really important in this space. And I think that's both a good and a bad thing. I think the SERPs, you know, the Google result page when you search something, will get a big upgrade in 2021. It's been a small while now, and I think it's time for it. I mean, they usually do that on a yeah, not on an annual basis, but where they will maybe also include the Core Web Vitals, a small icon of how well optimized the page is that's been part of their discussion that they might do that, and I think they will. Another thing is that brand and trust becomes more important. I think this is maybe one of the self-explanatory ones but I think they've gotten a lot better at looking at reviews from other websites, looking at the general trust of the brand of the company behind, making sure your contact information, your company information, your About Us page is very good because the real people who also go through the SERPs to help Google optimize their results they will also look for this kind of stuff. I hope this is a hope for 2021. I'm not sure I predict it, but this is the hope. I hope that long content, personal vendetta of mine I do not like long content just for the sake of it being long, but actually lame. So an example is that you write a huge long blog post about horses, but you keep writing about the same thing over and over but just change it a bit and then you rank higher on Google because, oh it's a great long post with a big table of content, and there's a lot of stuff going on, but actually it's very very bad content and very long long content that doesn't give you much. So I hope that Google will start improving in a way that they can see what is quality but also that you can basically write quality in a very small amount of content. I don't believe that you can make a 100 word learning page and then ranked number one, but I believe and I hope that Google will start looking into quality instead of quantity when it comes to amount of words on a page. So that's my hope for 2021, thanks.

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#10: Jono Alderson, Digital Strategist at Yoast

- Hey, this is Jonathan from Yoast, and I am predicting some SEO stuff for 2021. Let's see how wrong we can be. Some tactical things first. I think that schema and structured data will continue to be more and more important, but beyond just new types of rich results and chasing those tactically. I think integrated structured data will become much more important while we describe the relationships between our products and our services and our businesses and our authors and all of those things rather than just having discrete blobs of information. In fact, I think we need to think about how our websites aren't just built for humans but also now a database of information about our businesses, our products, our services which external systems like Google will increasingly consume as the primary version of the truth. And don't forget that Google isn't the only consumer here. We're also looking at things like Facebook automatically updating your product information based on your pages schema. That's pretty cool. I also think performance is going to become more important. We see Core Web Vitals continuing to change and improve and get more and more sophisticated. Your website will have to be instant, responsive, available regardless of network or territory or internet connection, delightful, smooth transitions animations, high quality imagery, et cetera, and all of that will need to be maintained. Not necessarily because it's going to be a huge ranking factor but because consumer's expectations are always in line with the best experiences they have. You don't want those to be your competitors. That's all tactical. Let's talk a strategy. I think you still have to build a brand. Yeah, but what does that mean? Well, you have to be associated as the solution to an audience's problem or problems. When people search for that problems, either they have questions that at the very beginning of a search journey you have to provide the best answer. And that doesn't mean having a keyword stuffed page for the keyword your CEO demands that you should be ranking for. It means seeking out and solving the problems of your audience, including people you will never sell to, people who live in countries your product doesn't ship to, because that's how you get to those lucrative rankings. You become the resource that people use and site to solve their problems. More importantly, it's a way to demonstrate to an omnipotent AI, that your website should be a candidate for consumer consideration sets when they are in the buying cycle. If you can't prove that, then you never show up. Obviously you have to do all of this on a perfect website which means using WordPress now 40% of the web and that's only going to increase. It's the best possible chance to amplify your good work and to avoid common technical SEO pitfalls. The gap between WordPress and other platforms in terms of quality and capability is only going to get wider. WordPress otherwise this stuff is still hard. So one last tip, if you want a helping hand achieving all of these ambitious goals, AMP is going to continue to be the best framework for achieving and maintaining those scores. It's a contentious point, there's a lot of history around them, but I urge you to go and revisit it, look at it and learn about what it is today and where it's going. You may be surprised on just how easy it will make your life. As the web gets harder, it's going to get harder to meet these challenges, use the tools at hand.

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#11: My very own predictions for SEO 2021

- The video is not done yet. 

I also have a prediction of my own. I predict that Google will share less and less real state for organic SEO optimizers. 

We will get less room for organic results and there will be more room for ad space in the future. And I hope, I so much hope that 2021 will be the year where Google finally get some real competition. 

The only one to compete with Google would be Apple. 

Apple could do the privacy play and make a search engine just like DuckDuckGo without any tracking. 

Apple is already doing privacy play in order to sell their devices and then it could do this even more. 

They could do a completely ad free search engine. 

Antitrust lawsuits, especially in the EU tries to break up the deal between Google and Apple. 

So in the future, I sincerely just hope that Google will finally get a real competitor in search. 

We all deserve this. If you've watched all of the video then you are a true hero. 

Please subscribe and leave a comment, I will see you in the next video. Thank you for being here.

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