How Will Search Engines Evolve in the Coming Years

More than 53% of all trackable traffic on the internet comes from organic search and roughly 15% comes through paid search on search engines. These estimates only take trackable traffic into consideration. It is safe to say that search engines such as Google, YouTube, and social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter account for most of the traffic on the internet, especially in the USA.

With Google having the lion’s share of traffic in the search engine market, as well as the lion’s share in the browser industry, it is safe to say that the search engine has deep insights as well as all the data pertaining to what people search for, what websites they browse, how much time they spent on said websites, the pages they visit and more. With access to so much data, Google is constantly changing its algorithm to personalize everyone’s experience and improve its ability to predict your searches.

To do that, you have millions of crawlers gathering data online and millions of lines of code sorting that data, processing it, turning it into useful information. In short, the search results you get and the search recommendations you get as you start typing in your search phrase are all being personalized to your preferences based on your past actions. Search engines such as Google and YouTube are arguably turning into AIs. They are using machine learning algorithms (Rank Brain) in processing user data. They are scary correct in predicting what you are searching for and recommending your topics of interest to you. So what does the future look like for Google as machine learning and self-learning technologies evolve further. Here are our predictions:

Google updates will become much more frequent and unannounced

So far Google announces any major algorithm updates and all SEOs keep a close eye on their rankings and traffic when an update is rolled out. Usually, such updates are announced well in advance. However, in January, Google rolled out an update and announced it at the last minute.

Google SearchLiaison@searchliaison

Later today, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the January 2020 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this blog post for more about that:https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2019/08/core-updates.html …What webmasters should know about Google’s core updatesOfficial news on crawling and indexing sites for the Google indexwebmasters.googleblog.com1,7416:01 PM – Jan 13, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy1,525 people are talking about this

Since then, the world has been busy with Coronavirus but there have been hushed whispers on Reddit and similar communities about major drops or increases in people’s rankings, with enough cases to rule it out as isolated incidents. Google has also been experimenting with how search results appear. And quickly going back to the older way of doing things if the new experiment doesn’t work out. This means that their capacity of doing quick, small scale experiments as well as rolling out massive updates is increasing thanks to Rank Brain, and soon we can expect monthly and even weekly updates to how personalization works.

This means major changes in search rankings and big fluctuations in traffic for many websites in the days to come.

E-A-T will become automated and create online celebrities in industries that do not have celebrities

E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) is currently used by Google’s Quality Raters to rate the authenticity of healthcare and finance content. These quality raters are human, but as this responsibility is handed over to AI, soon, EAT will become a major ranking factor. It may be even a bigger ranking factor than backlinks. So an article by Dr. Fauci, published on his personal blog, about coronavirus, will get a lot more traction on google and will rank higher without getting any backlinks, as opposed to an article on the same topic by a professional content writer with tons of backlinks.

When EAT becomes a major ranking factor, it will give birth to online celebrities in all industries, and subject matter experts will finally have an edge over professional content writers.

There will be schemas for everything

Currently we have the FAQ schema for the FAQ page, the recipe schema if you have a cooking blog, the news article schema, the game schema, and so on. It seems as if we are heading into a schema heavy territory where everything from a review, a tutorial, a testimonial, an ad, pretty much everything you publish online will have to follow a specific schema if you want to give it a chance to rank for your keywords. 

Video Results and search results will become one and the same

Video consumption all over the world is at an all-time high. I mean given the choice between reading an article about ‘how to change a tire’ vs watching a video about ‘how to change a tire’ what would you rather do? Right now, when you search for something, video results either show up in featured snippets or they show up in a separate section called videos. We predict that in the next few years, google will get rid of the section called videos and all video content on YouTube will be up against all currently ranking text based content on Google. We also predict that AIs will become more acquainted with videos, and will develop a greater capacity to categorize and rank videos based on content type and quality. Since videos usually have better user consumption, they will occupy most of the real estate on SERPs.

This is it for our predictions on how search engines, especially Google, will evolve over the years to come. What do you think will happen? Let us know in the comments.


Andrew Wilson is an SEO analyst at Rank Genie. He loves to watch movies, listen to podcasts, and plan about launching his own podcast. He has helped the Rank Genie team shape their rank tracker and make it one of the most easy-to-use and SEO friendly tracker out there. You can find his blogs on www.RankGenie.com.

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