2015 was exceptionally remarkable for search. This is due to many reasons, but we have selected 10 biggest trends and events that had maximum impact on search. This year will be known for the ‘Mobilegeddon’. Major search engines almost made it mandatory to have a mobile friendly website due to the enormous increase in mobile-only usage. Let’s have a look at some major changes and events that took place in 2015 & we’ll also shine a light on what may come to be in 2016.
Google overcame its shyness!
Google overcame its shyness and started sharing more about its algorithms as compared to the previous year. For instance, it was for the first time that Google revealed about the deployment of RankBrain through Bloomberg. Earlier, Google had not even bothered to tell us about one of its biggest updates, Hummingbird. The sudden publicization of algorithms indicates a “paradigm shift” in the business of search engine optimization.
Introduction of Artificial Intelligence
Google introduced RankBrain which is an artificial intelligence system designed to provide more accurate search results. Within a few days of its launch they announced that RankBrain has now become the 3rd most important signal in search results; it came as a no surprise since RankBrain has made interpretation of new search queries a lot easier.
Google has made it clear that they are going to invest heavily on mobile, through their aggressive mobile updates. It was also an unambiguous instruction to all website owners to get on board. If a site is found to be providing bad mobile experience in 2015, then it will be left behind.
This major shift was absolutely necessary because intent and behaviour of both Mobile & Desktop searchers are immensely different.
Google releases Search Quality Guidelines
Google released 160 pages of search quality guidelines. These guidelines provide invaluable insight about the decision-making process at Google. Everyone was especially interested in seeing the content section because almost every marketer and website owner was eager to know which type of content is considered to be low-quality content by Google.
Google started indexing App Only content as well, and now searchers can decide whether they want to see the content on the website or via app. Also, one of the biggest advantages was that it opened a source of immense data which was hidden behind walls until now. It made almost entire online content and data searchable! This way a user will get more content and website owners and Google will get real-time data of the users, which will help Google in targeting more relevant ads & be helpful in providing better search results.
Google added a brand new feature “Customer Match” to PPC. This was the biggest feature added in 2015 because it enabled advertisers to target their ads based on email addresses. Advertisers with a huge email database were bursting with joy because they can now show highly targeted ads to leads or existing customers at specific moments.
Change in Content Consumption
The way in which content is distributed and consumed has changed drastically. Due to the increase in content consumption from mobile and revolution of bloggers, the whole scenario changed swiftly in 2015. Nowadays, just hosting content with bloggers isn’t enough, you will require a rock solid content distribution plan.
Terror of Knowledge Graph
We all know how much time, money & resources one has to invest in order to create quality content. But due to knowledge graph that content is now being displayed in the SERP itself and this reduces the need of clicking and entering a website. So maybe it’s good for the users, but it’s highly discouraging from a site owner’s perspective. And the worst part about it is that Google will continue to expand the knowledge graph.
Seamless Marketing Experience
Publishers are trying their level best to provide seamless marketing experience. Major publishers have already improved their technology and targeting strategies in order to provide highest possible ROI to the advertisers. Many experts are expecting that maybe publishers will allow to re-target based on DMP data. If that happens then it will be the biggest turning point in the search.
Google Became Less ‘Withholding’
Google enabled downloading of keyword data via search console API, which they previously concealed. This keyword data provided us with the ability to match referring keywords to web pages & harvest the traffic data with ease.
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