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What Will be the Most Important Factor in SEO in 2016?

Published: December 28, 2015

Author: 3Q/DEPT

SEO was just as important as ever in 2015, and we don’t see that changing at all in 2016. We asked our SEO experts at 3Q Digital to give their insights on what to expect for SEO in 2016.
Director of SEO Colin Guidi:

Trust. In two areas. Trust that Google has in your sites content and messaging being correct, and trust that users have with your website – which could very well be a direct correlation with the trust Google puts in it. People tend to find the top search results to be more trust worthy than that of pages 2 and beyond. Brands must gain Googles trust, in order to gain visibility for grabbing the users trust. How will brands gain Google’s trust? Likely from a multitude of ways, involving aspects from back-end technical setup all the way to content promotion; ideally being viewed as a thought leader and subject matter expert in your brands vertical.  

Senior SEO Manager David Portney:

There won’t be a “most important” factor in organic search in 2016, or ever. That’s just wishful thinking – there is no magic fairy dust you can sprinkle on a web property and turn on an avalanche of ranking, traffic, and conversions. Relevance and authority factors will continue to be the important factors (and all the myriad aspects & related factors). That said, something people should get their heads around is “usefulness”. Look at the top websites (Facebook, Amazon, Google) – they’re sites where you do something useful to you. Businesses are often very concerned about driving more more more organic traffic, and that’s fine, but it’s important to think from the viewpoint of the people who will land on your website and ask yourself “how useful is this (page, tool, video, white paper, article/post”, etc. – including the site in general). The more useful you are, the more likely people are to like, believe, and trust you – and the more likely you are to achieve your online marketing goals.

SEO Account Manager Prateek Maitra:

In 2016 organic search will be dominated by sites that offer unique services, that can not be easily replicated. Sites that provide a product or service that add significant value over any knowledge graph answers. As Google’s knowledge graph consistently becomes better at answering questions, even questions of the longer tail variety, we will see a shift in the types of sites that begin to rank well. Users are increasingly becoming more trained to look for knowledge graph results. Since Google is the quintessential “trusted site”, the information it provides is taken at face value (which results in decreasing organic entries to the actual site supplying the knowledge graph content). 
Therefore, unless Google begins sharing data on knowledge graph impressions — the traffic can’t be attributed as organic traffic. Ultimately, the existing hierarchy will shift allowing for new products and services (both digital, and offline) to come to market, while certain older more well-known informational sites may slowly flicker out.

Account Coordinator Maty Rice:

I think anything you can do to optimize user experience for mobile devices will pay huge dividends. After all, Google announced that mobile searches have officially begun to surpass desktop for the first time. Plus, now that Google is allowing app indexing and deep linking for iOS Safari users, AND over 100 billion deep links have been indexed already, your mobile app content needs to be up to par as well.

SEO Coordinator Annie Ye:

This is a difficult question to answer because there’s no “one true factor” in SEO. Having top-notch content is always important because each search query seeks an answer. In order to bid for that click, you need to build content relevant to the user’s request, and that’s where having quality content comes into play. But because I believe in a holistic approach, I want to add that mobile is where the future is. If you’re not on mobile, you need to get on it because the world has been shifting to mobile and if you don’t, you won’t stay relevant.

What are your predictions for the year ahead? Leave a comment!

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