Search engines in recent years have indeed come a long way. While the first websites indexed were a maze of links that could or could not provide information that is relevant to your query, today’s search landscape fully understands your intent on demand and in some cases can even deliver results before you ask for them. As the numbers of search queries continue to grow, numerous changes have been introduced to improve the user experience. For those who practice SEO however, such changes are often frustrating, game changing and confounding to say the least. Still, it goes unsaid that the best and most successful players in the SEO market will work to anticipate the newest changes and respond to them accordingly. With the ever-changing field of SEO, here are the top trends to watch out for in 2015:

1. Social Media and SEO
It is no secret that social media, especially Google plus, plays an integrated role with Search Engine Optimization and how effective it is. With Google heavily relying on human signals in the form of likes and shares on social media to help vet sites, 2015 calls for a strong social media presence. However, even as social media takes a stronger position in Google, there is need to mention that it is going to be more about how a user interacts with a brand; that is, what they are searching, when, wh ere they are searching and how they interact with the site after the click. Keep in mind that social media is all about connecting with users in a meaningful way; how they perceive of you through that scenario shapes how they talk about you, share you and link to you.

2. The Shift Towards Mobile Devices
According to a recent local search study, it was revealed that the number of U.S searchers using mobile devices had increased from 90.1 million to 113 million searchers between March and December 2012 (a whopping 26% increase!). What do these statistics mean for SEO in 2015? Since computers are no longer encased in desktop and laptop coverings, search is not only limited to 1024×768 screens. Thus, expect search engines to start heavily weighting responsive and proper mobile sites while sites with low quality, unresponsive and incomprehensive mobile solutions scramble. Conclusively, SEO and associated content that is optimized for the mobile platform and connects to other applications through open API’s will continue to be the biggest SEO trends for 2015. This shows that the Humming Bird upd ate was just but the tip of the mobile iceberg.

3. Increased Authority For Evaluated Sites
While a number of experts within the SEO industry are suggesting that guest blogging is se t to become obsolete in 2015, this is but a misleading opinion. Low quality guest posts and publication of irrelevant material is likely to be sanctioned, but this only means that the marketers who strive to create compelling and informative content will earn greater success this year. This can be attributed to the rising prominence of Google authorship, which means that higher quality content will become increasingly credible. On the same line, search algorithms have evolved to better understand the relationship between content, the question being asked and the person asking, creating the ultimate user experience.

4. Long Vs. Short Content
This year, the volume of content required to earn and keep attention will skyrocket as more brands creating more content produce more brands creating even more content, which ends up being an endless cycle. With this in mind, mobile friendly and short form content will be the newest strategic sharing with options like SnapChat, Vine, Instagram and a host of other applications leading the way. On the other end of the scale however, there is need to consider who is creating the content, who it is intended for and what it is about. For instance, if you are reading about something that you are only moderately interested in on a mobile device, chances are you wouldn’t want to scroll through 2,000 words on your iPhone. Therein emerges the challenge, creating content that is long enough to cover the relevant bases but short enough to keep the users scrolling.

5. Increase Of Translated Content
2015 marks the end of national search with increased translated content. As more searchers continue to translate content in to more languages, it is becoming impossible to reach the international market with an English only strategy. On top of that, Google wants users to communicate with the search engines the same way they would communicate with anyone else. Thus, in the bid to improve communication, the emphasis on keywords will fade in lieu of a keyword theme approach to the creation of content. Simply put, great content created around the hub of the keyword theme will gain more importance compared to 1k-keyword variations theme.

6. Content; Less Is More

SEO is much more than just getting traffic – instead, it’s about you wanting to attain targeted and relevant traffic. How do you achieve this? Through having great content. Content is key simply because it is how your site creates an online experience. And although you may term content as anything that creates a compelling experience, there is need to mention that it can be so much more. Not only do you need to know what type of content your market needs, but you also have to understand them, their needs, desires and intent. It is only in gaining an understanding of such factors that you can create informing keyword research, relevant content ideas and a backdrop of the searcher’s persona. While it is expected for companies to rush in to content this year in the bid to seize the privileges that quality content has to offer, choose to stand from the crowd by providing high quality, relevant and captivating experiences to an audience that you really understand.

So whether you are revamping your SEO plan or just dusting up your skill set, keep in mind that all these trends call for two things; balance and integration. Therefore, invest into all the key areas with the understanding that they all play an important role in the success of your SEO campaign.
SEO is no longer a game of outsmarting algorithms, this year looks to focus on valuable sustainable strategies instead, rather than just links and tricks.