CMO Update: SEO Updates and Insights for the Rest of 2017

By Ellen Gomes

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Google launched more than 1,600 changes to their algorithm last year. At that rate, it’s possible that 800 have already been implemented in the first half of 2017.

Of course, that doesn’t mean there are 800 potential impacts to your SEO strategy. Really, only ten of the changes that have been noticed this year have clear implications on the future of SEO. But those ten changes have major implications.

If you haven’t had time to keep up with the endless cycle of SEO news and Google changes, there’s no need to worry. Here’s a quick guide to the important things you might have missed, and what they mean for your SEO strategy in 2017 and beyond.

1. Google Is Claiming More Clicks, so Build Your Audience Now

So far this year, Google has launched a number of new features designed to make search results more user-friendly—and to claim more clicks for themselves:

  • Search Carousels—In February, new carousels popped up above search results for a variety of B2B queries. While similar carousels have displayed for B2Cs in the past, these new carousels display for searches like “project management software” and “best marketing software.”
  • Mobile Shortcuts—In March, Google added tappable shortcuts below the search bar on mobile. Clicking on shortcuts often takes users to either a Google property or displays AMP publisher results. While most of the shortcuts are currently for B2C industries, B2Bs should be preparing for the inevitable invasion of their verticals as well.
  • Ads Get Less Obvious—In April, Google changed how ads display in search results, removing the solid green background from the “Ad” label and replacing it with a thin green outline. While Google reports that users were still able to easily identify ads after the design change, a recent report from Merkle suggests that Google’s changes to drive ad growth have harmed organic search growth.
google ad changes

Image source: Search Engine Land

  • Job Search Engine—In late April, users began reporting signs that Google is testing a job search engine. While Google has not confirmed its intention to release a job search engine, it’s proof that the company is considering ways to convert traffic from a strong B2B vertical into its own.
google job search engine

Image source: Search Engine Land

What this means for the future:
Google is never going to back off trying to keep users on their own pages, and B2B industries are not exempt.

First, make sure your SEO strategy is converting searchers into customers and brand advocates. SEO will always be important, but the best SEO programs are paired with email marketing, social media marketing, and other initiatives that enable reaching audiences directly.

Second, don’t brush off SERP updates that seem to only apply to B2C keywords or industries. Those queries might offer the most immediate or easiest results for Google, but they will expand into Go to the full article.

Source:: Marketo

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