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Back at the end of 2020, my colleague, Lauren, put together her predictions on how things would change in SEO in 2021. So now, at the end of 2021, let’s see how those Predictions for SEO Trends for 2021 Fared…..

To recap, Lauren’s 12 SEO predictions for 2021 were as follows:-

  • Create E-A-T content for ranking success
  • Focus on search intent
  • Consider changes to the SERP
  • Prioritise long-form content
  • Optimise for Local SEO
  • Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
  • Gain quick wins by capturing featured snippets
  • Prioritise user-friendly design
  • Develop your video marketing strategy
  • Don’t ignore titles and meta descriptions
  • Understand Google’s RankBrain
  • Get to grips with Core Web Vitals reports

So How Did Lauren’s SEO Predictions Do?

Well, I think she has been, pretty much, bang on with all of these. E-A-T has become ever more important and, has become a factor in more and more queries/SERPs. Possibly, by correlation, Long-Form content has become increasingly important and we are seeing more long form content appearing in a larger number of queries/SERPs. Search Intent now drives all search results, although the intent behind every query, and its resulting SERP, is constantly evolving, so, must be constantly monitored. Just as the intent is constantly evolving, so are SERPs, as Google is modifying its pages to reflect how, it believes, people need their information. As Google’s intelligence behind intent develops, so do the queries Google regards as requiring local results and, so, local SEO is becoming ever more important. Pretty much of all of this is powered by RankBrain and all SEO’s have had to understand how much machine learning is helping Google better understand what users want.

Mobile-friendliness has become ever more important, as the volume of mobile search and mobile internet use increases, and Google’s, Mobile Focused, Page Experience, and Core Web Vitals metrics have underlined this. There has been a lot of change in Featured Snippets with, again, constant evolution in what Google believes its users want, however they are still key and should remain a vital element of your search strategy.

Not only is Video taking up increasing prominence in SERPs but YouTube is becoming even more important as a platform, media channel and search engine in its own right, not to mention the increasing prominence of video across social, so Video is becoming or should become an ever more vital element of your Marketing Strategy.

Finally, little old Meta Titles and Descriptions are still vitally important, and well developed and optimised titles and descriptions are even more important as Google revealed it is rewriting an increasing amount of titles to reflect what Google thinks the pages is about.

So, all in all, a rather accurate prediction, even if some didn’t quite play out the way originally anticipated. I think, however, that this just does highlight the fact that, whilst trying to predict the impact technology and external factors will have on events, and the changes that will bring, is extremely difficult, fundamentally the core concepts and values of SEO and satisfying people’s requirements for information remain much the same.

So, what’s going to happen in 2022?