We can’t talk about digital trends for 2017 without taking a good look at Google. The giant search engine always gives signs about the direction it’s planning on moving. These trends are usually determined by the changes and update implemented in the previous year.
So, what do we see when looking back over 2016?
Google is steadily moving to a mobile-only world. Do check your analytics and you’ll see the most visitors no longer come from desktops, but mobile devices.
Almost all 2016 has been about Google promoting and forcing a shift from desktop to mobile. So, 2017 could be about mobile-first indexing. It’s a big change for SEOs. After about 18 years of prioritizing desktop search, they now have to prioritize mobile.
Yet, the situation is rather off, since only about 40% of all websites have a mobile-friendly version. However, Google clearly stated if you don’t have a mobile version – or you’re not interested in mobile traffic – it will only index the desktop version.
To find the digital trends which could shape 2017, we need to take a look at Google’s efforts. They seem almost fully devoted to predictive and personalized search.
It’s no surprise either, especially if you take a look at highly personal devices like smartphones and home assistants. Additionally, we can already see voice search gaining in popularity. It happens partly because Bing is competing with Google in this segment.
Machine and deep learning were implemented to Google Search a while back. It is safe to expect them to be used even more in 2017 – for example, specific algorithms improving the Hummingbird update.
Local search has gained a lot of relevance because of the mobile-only world we live in. Fortunately, we’ve seen many local businesses learning about this opportunity with determination and implementing it.
Video content has gained more and more popularity over the few years. It’s really easy to understand why, since almost anyone can vlog using their smartphone cameras. However, Google sees things a bit differently.
Google acquired two startups – MoodStock and EyeFluence. This move seems to suggest video/images and video/images marketing will be a central focus for Google in 2017.
The motivation comes from the fact YouTube is struggling against Facebook, especially when it comes to videos/images and their monetization.
Each year, experts speculate on what will be the new norm and which digital trends are most likely to gain momentum.
Virtual reality could be one of them, especially if we take a look at Google’s acquisition of Eyefluence. Many feel it will be used to ‘power’ Google’s DayDream VR headset.
Users and marketers will thus be able to take advantage of YouTube’s – and other platforms – 360 videos. Granted, 2017 may still be an early adopters’ year, but it’s food for thought. The opportunities are there. So, to take advantage of them, you’ll have to prepare yourself and your clients.
Take with a grain of salt, especially when preparing your digital marketing strategy for 2017. These digital trends may or may not become reality. Furthermore, technology is advancing at a steady – quite fast – pace, so next month we could be talking about completely different aspects.