How to win the 2018 SEO predictions game
It’s that time of year again, where anyone who is anyone in SEO (or at least, who think they are) take it upon themselves to prove how on the ball they are by predicting what’s coming next year, as well as giving themselves a bit of a pat on the back by reviewing their predictions from last year.
Now, we’re not saying that we’re anti predictions per se, we like to anticipate future trends as much as the next person. It’s just that we’ve noticed that the majority of these predictions have become a lot less genius and a lot more generic in recent years.
So if you’re aiming for click bait and don’t want to take real risks or put any time into your future forecast, you might be interested in our brand new, totally foolproof guide to making completely accurate predictions for 2018.
For maximum impact you’ll need to make your predictions now and review in a years time. Then, as your audience realise that you got almost all your predictions bang on, your reputation as an SEO genius will increase exponentially.
The Yard step by step guide to perfect predictions
Start off with some really obvious stuff that you’re 100% sure can’t possibly end up wrong. Keep the language vague too though, just in case.
Google will continue to clamp down on unnatural links, improve natural language understanding and will reward good mobile experiences.
That’s your baseline taken care of. Remember, when you come to review next year, people won’t bother reading the whole article. So you want to make sure your first few predictions are surefire hits and they’ll come away thinking that you’re really, really clever.
Foretell something vague that is guaranteed to happen to some extent but which can be twisted and spun next year to make it sound like you knew exactly what you were talking about. Think along the lines of horoscopes and their ‘this month you will hear from an old friend’ shtick.
I predict a major acquisition by a big advertising player of a large digital agency.
Big companies buy smaller ones, that’s what they do. So, some will definitely do that next year, guaranteed. By dropping in words like “major” and “large” which are pretty relative, there’s no way to lose this one.
Guarantee that something that hasn’t changed in a long time…still won’t change.
Bing and other search engines will not make any major inroads into Google’s dominance. Google’s main source of income will continue to be advertising.
Maybe I’ll go even further and predict that the amount of space in SERPs taken up by paid results will increase too. Pure genius.
Predict an increase in a meaningless statistic which is likely to increase anyway but will sound to some like evidence of a shift in the industry.
Voice search will continue to rise in popularity as judged by search volume on Google Trends.
Bonus points if this just so happens to be something that you’ve been pushing recently.
Think of some areas of SEO which most SEOs don’t partake in (for good reason) and predict no growth in this area.
There will be no growth in optimising for Myspace/Blekko/Digg search.
Well, you’re not wrong.
Find an area of innovation that major social networks have all included recently and predict more of it. Make it something difficult enough to prove either way that no-one will ever actually bother.
2018 will bring better and increased use of video features on social networks for smartphone users.
Video features are always improving and there’s still a long way to go. Pretty much a no-brainer when you’ve kept it this vague.
Check what Google’s been doing over the last few years, and then speculate that they’ll keep doing more of that:
Increased focus on trying to understand data from webpages. This will include encouraging webmasters to use more structured data.
Google will provide more answers on its results page while providing less traffic to the actual sites. Sites will become more annoyed by this.
The second sentence of the second prediction here is the real added bonus. Think about it, who wouldn’t be annoyed when a search engine takes your content, uses it to answer their users’ questions and generates advertising dollars while offering nothing in return?
Pick a technology which has become more commonplace and predict that this will be its ‘year’.
2018 will be the year of the ‘internet of things’.
Maybe, maybe not. What’s guaranteed is that next year you’ll definitely be able to find enough evidence that you can claim at least a partial win. (Plus you’re 8 points in now, so chances are most people have stopped reading anyway.)
Finally, why not just repeat what you have seen everyone else has been predicting for months.
I predict that 3 second videos are going to be huge in online marketing.
If you’re right, great! If not, well at least you’re not sticking your neck out alone. Plus, hey, you got all your other predictions right, didn’t you!
Evaluating your predictions in December 2018
Are you coming back to this article a year on in order to help review last year’s predictions? Well, you’re onto a winner because you already know that you totally stacked the cards in your favour.
All that’s left is for you to go through your points and give yourself lots of big tick marks. Drop in a few “I got a bit lucky with this one…” and “I won’t take full credit for this because…” type comments just to make it seem as though you’re as surprised as anyone else at how many you got right in the end.
Well done, you’re now well on your way to becoming a true Rockstar SEO Guru/Search Ninja/Digital Clairvoyant.
Make sure you credit us on your LinkedIn when you update your job title!