SEO Trends to Watch Out For in 2018 With 2018 right around the corner, there are several SEO trends that are expected to dominate the landscape in the immediate future. If 2017 was a banner year in the world of search engines, 2018 is poised to possibly reinvent and restructure in ways never seen before. Several of these trends have made their presence known in the last few years and are rising in prominence among even the most casual users. As a complex science that is constantly undergoing change, it is more important now than ever before to know how to acclimate to the rules of the road. Search engines have been structured to maximize search result quality, with the following trends guaranteed to impact the upcoming year in a major way. The Comeuppance of SERP Features If you are of the opinion that a high organic ranking is the most efficient way to generate traffic, it is worth nothing that SERP features are continuing to catch the attention of web surfers and generate clicks from other organic listings. Google SERP has undergone a considerable evolution, which has allowed users to track ratings and monitor features showing up for keywords and rob you of precious traffic. With the Rank Tracker feature via SEO PowerSuite, users have the power to track 15 SERP features with rankings in green highlights. By using the SERP Analysis feature it is also possible to gauge SERP feature volatility on a daily basis to track the progress as deemed necessary. Structured Data With the assistance of structured data, it is possible to elevate and enhance search listings in many ways by formatting HTML using a specific vocabulary that can be displayed in SERPs. Utilizing rich snippets can potentially increase the CTR (click-through rate) of listings by up to 30%, and with more diversity and layers involved in current search results, it is all the more important to stand out from a crowded field of competition. Voice Search If you’ve been on the fence about how vital voice search will be to the future of technology, it can no longer be denied that its impact continues to rise exponentially. Currently, Google reports 40% of adults and 55% of teens are using voice search on a daily basis, with the ratio becoming the predominant way to search online. With voice search, it is necessary to use normal sentences instead of lingo and slang and it is transforming the way in which people communicate with one another and process information. The job market has seen a marked rise in digital assistants that are intricately changing the way search queries are executed, with 1 of 5 searches coming from voice queries. This dramatic change in the market is only the beginning, with more shifts and expansion expected in voice search in 2018. As an integral part of SEO strategy, voice search necessitates focusing on natural language that matches the conversational tone of the user. There are more people using their mobile devices for quick answers as accuracy continues to improve in digital assistants. Businesses will be able to access new data, with the expansion of voice search expected to expand more with integration in smart home hubs. Digital assistants have moved beyond smartphones and taken advantage of the market to produce content rich SEO and content that connects specific brands with interested users that is useful and relevant. The Importance of Linkless BacklinksAcross several years, links have been considered the most important trust signal when it comes to search engines, but those times are over as linkless mentions are on the verge of carrying just as much weight. There are already search engines that are utilizing unlinked mentions to produce rankings and determine the authority of a site. It is only a matter of time before Google is known for using the same methods for their own rankings.Artificial Intelligence Machine learning and artificial intelligence are transforming the way search results get ranked, with the ascent of digital assistants and voice search offering the perfect conditions to develop AI and endorse SEO strategies that stay atop of the latest trends. Both Google’s deep learning algorithm and RankBrain are predicted to dramatically affect search landscapes. While there are some search practices that are increasingly more relevant than others, currently there is no standardized way to optimize for RainBrain. What is crystal clear is the Google’s intentions to develop in this particular area as innovations loom in the near future, so expect to see even more changes in 2018 in the area of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The Innovation of Visual Search If voice search is emerging as a powerhouse trend, then visual search is just as exciting an area of technological innovation that takes searching to an entirely new level. With the internet becoming more of a visual medium, it is becoming that much more important to explore and elevate the power and potential of visual search. There are several major companies in the world of tech such as Pinterest, Bing, and Google that have made significant investments in the development of search engines that are powerful to fully capitalize on this current trend. The way in which visual content is consumed is one of the areas to be taken into consideration for SEO strategy in 2018. Visuals are richer and more engaging, with the utilization of innovation and neuroscience to produce a competitive market that remains interesting and appealing. Naturally, as competition continues to increase, companies are acknowledging the potential of what a visual search can be, with many brands focusing on the optimization of visual content for the purpose of SEO. Conclusion As an industry that thrives on change and reinvention, expect companies to continue using all of their expertise to use search engine results that are personalized and yield page speeds that are extremely fast. These current trends will force websites to become more web-friendly and filled with language that is conversational, normal, and word-rich.