Trying to predict the behaviour of Google from one day to the next is a bit like relying on a crystal ball to secure a lottery win. Some think they’ve got all the answers…or at least pretend they can see the future…but when put on the spot, they’re actually as clueless as the rest of us.
This is precisely why radical projections and OTT tales of impending doom and gloom are rarely worthy of putting any real faith in…especially where future-ready SEO is concerned. Instead, predicting the future of Google’s attitudes toward search rankings and site value should be based around what’s happening now, what’s been happening for some time and the various metrics we can already see heading in a new direction.
So rather than making outlandish predictions on what might be, here’s a quick look at six key SEO metrics guaranteed to play a crucial role in Google’s future:
1 – Time Spent on Site
First of all, the amount of time any given page chalks up by way of visitors on an hourly, daily and weekly basis will be taken into account with greater importance going forward. Sites that rake in thousands of hours will be given way more credit than those struggling to gain a few seconds here and there, which on the whole isn’t great news for those at the bottom looking to climb the ladder.
Where here’s a site that repels readers pretty much as quickly as it attracts them in the first place, this will be picked up on and not praised by the powers that be. Bounce rates aren’t just detrimental from a business perspective – big brother has his eye on you too!
3 – Site Loading Times
Also of greater importance going forward will be the time it takes for each page and element of any given site to load. The longer the loading time, the bigger the black mark awarded by Google.
4 – Content Freshness
Content quality and abundance are all well and good, but what Google really wants to see going forward is a commitment to constantly updated content. So even if you fill your site from top to bottom with pure gold, allowing it to slowly but surely gather dust will render it rather valueless.
5 – Mobile Friendliness
Just because a site can be accessed by mobile doesn’t make it mobile-friendly. Mobile-friendliness is all about delivering a flawless, desktop-quality experience to mobile users across the board no matter what device or browser they happen to be using.
6 – Factual Content
Last but not least, sooner or later Google is expected to begin checking not only the grammar and quality of language used to populate any given site, but also the factual accuracy of the information presented. It sounds terrifying and rather sinister to say the least…and indeed it is on both accounts. Either way, Google is building a database that’s programmed to learn everything there is to know about everything from everywhere ever, so when the time comes you’d better make sure you site isn’t littered with erroneous information.
Scary stuff, isn’t it?