With the advent of assistants baked into mobile devices, as well as other devices such as Amazon’s Alexa, the Google Assistant (built into Android phones, and also available on Google Home / Nest devices), Microsoft’s Cortana, built into Windows 10, Samsung Bixby, and more, it is clear that Voice enabled devices continued to be popular. Some estimates suggest that ½ of mobile users used voice search at least once in 2019. Estimates put the growth of voice search at as many as ½ of ALL searches will be done by voice in 2020. While I think that number is too high, it does illustrate that voice search continues to grow.
This prediction was partly true
This should come as no surprise, but there was a greater emphasis on ranking mobile sites. And, in fact, Google switched to what they call “Mobile First” indexing starting July 1, 2019. What that means is they began to use a mobile optimized browser to index websites, as opposed to their traditional desktop-based crawler. Even with advanced warning from Google and others, however, many site owners still hadn’t considered their mobile strategy until it was thrust upon them when their site was switched to mobile first indexing. Now, thought, mobile is becoming a main consideration for many site owners.
This prediction was 100% correct
This should have been, and continues to be, a major issue for many site owners. The speed of a website, even as a small ranking factor, is still considered a ranking factor. That means that your site needs to be as fast as possible. When combined with mobile first indexing, site speed becomes even more important.
This prediction was partly true. Site speed continues to be important, but it’s not the “be-all end-all” ranking factor many SEOs will lead you to believe.
Shortly following the switch to Mobile first indexing, Google rolled out a broad core algorithm update focusing on quality. This August 1 update soon became to be known as the EAT algorithm in some circles. EAT stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness. In short – how important is your brand? Is your brand associated with high quality content and a great user experience? Or is it optimized for search only and therefore perhaps not as trustworthy?
I’d consider this to be 100% correct.
Tied to brand, this was an obvious prediction. After all, how can you improve your brand without considering the social and video aspects of it? And while we didn’t see social signals play a huge part in improving rankings, we did see an increased reliance on video in search rankings in 2019.
This was partly accurate. While many businesses embraced social and video, there’s still a huge opportunity.
For a long time, SEO’s optimized for search engines. Our goal was to get visitors to the site. But that has now morphed into helping ensure when users land on your client’s website, their positive experience is carried throughout their interaction with that site. This ties back into the brand aspect and EAT.
This is 100% accurate.
Local search grew tremendously in 2019. Early in the year Google made adjustments to show local map listings in more search results, while later in the year they applied many of the same ranking algorithms to local results. Therefore, things like EAT, and brand become more important than just the number of reviews or how close you were to the searcher’s location.
This is 100% accurate
Structured data – data that wasn’t visible to searchers, but important to search engines did indeed become more important and led to the rise of what’s been known as “zero click searches”. That means searchers didn’t have to click off the search results to get the info they needed.
This is 100% accurate.
This one didn’t really come true. While more sites are beginning to embrace PWA, most are not yet taking advantage of this simple way to capture site visitors and keep them coming back. However, Google did make huge inroads in advancing PWA.
This was mostly accurate.