What to expect from SEO in 2021?

  • 30-second summary: The speed of technological advances and progress in the SEO sector isn’t decreasing, and you ought to expect significant changes and updates in 2021.
  • Google has actually already revealed two algorithm updates slated for March and May 2021.
  • There are different patterns for SEO in 2020 like UX SEO and feature bits which appear to become more prominent in the approaching year.

From the simple starts of the Internet and online marketing, we’ve reached an age where the Internet is an important communication tool, and online advertising is valued at more than 400 billion dollars a year, more popular than even the TELEVISION ad market. The international pandemic just accelerated this trend and pushed more business online. What can we anticipate out of SEO in 2021? Which patterns should we be anticipating? Which changes will affect the industry? In this post, we’ll talk about the primary trends we anticipate to have an effect and change the direction of SEO in the coming year.

Direct changes to online search engine

SEO is entirely depending on the significant search engines, primarily Google. Any modifications to Google’s method operandi, algorithm, and top priorities will have direct, extensive effect on SEO in 2021. These modifications cause losses in billions of dollars for some services while resulting in gains of billions of dollars for others. It is necessary to be aware of the approaching modifications and how to best prepare for them.

# 1 Page experience as a ranking aspect on Google [May 2021]

As of May 2021, you must expect what Google calls as “page experience signals” to be a ranking aspect. The page experience describes the method the visitors feel as they communicate with the websites. It is identified by a plethora of attributes from mobile-friendliness, safe surfing, HTTPS, and the others. These were currently ranking elements formerly, however they’ve been more institutionalized and work within the “page experience” structure. Furthermore, Google is introducing Core Web Vitals as part of ‘page experience’. They’re thought about to be user-centric metrics that try to figure out the quality of the user experience. These user-centric metrics will determine the filling speed (Largest Contentful Paint), interactivity (First Input Delay), and visual stability (Cumulative Layout Shift). The first two items that go into Core Web Vitals appear rather self-evident, so it doesn’t appear like an excellent idea to invest more time explaining them in this post.

Although, the third product might puzzle some people. Visual stability refers to how much the layout shifts and jumps around. Picture if a button tracks your mouse and jumps around whenever you get close to it, this is quite a self-evidently bad user experience, and this variable goals to capture this. The self-advertised function of adding a specific page experience ranking factor is so that Google can offer higher-quality, more interesting material to its users. Considering the variables that it takes account of, a website with a high page experience score will load quicker, be more interactive, more stable, more secure, more mobile-friendly, and a lot more. These all integrated, undoubtedly, will lead to a superior experience.

Get included in top stories without AMP

Another purpose of the intro of the brand-new page experience ranking framework is to make non-AMP content eligible to appear in the Top Stories function for cellphones. It is one of the primary methods websites drive traffic to their content from mobile, so this might be a substantial modification that would disrupt the rankings of lots of sites on mobile. This change will also roll out in May of 2021, which makes May a hell of a busy month for SEO experts.

We require to be prepared for all the drastic changes this modification in the algorithm can bring. We can’t possibly ascertain its effect at this phase.

# 2 Mobile-first indexing for all websites on Google [March 2021]

Mobile-first indexing is certainly not new, Google has been utilizing it for more than a number of years. It was initially introduced as a response to a prevalent problem: more and more individuals are using their phones to search for stuff and browse the net. The problem is that the mobile and desktop versions of sites do not constantly match up in material, and Google usually only indexes one variation, which typically was the PC variation. This creates a mismatch between the rankings on mobile and the content on these pages. To ease this inequality as it was becoming a growing problem due to the increasing popularity of mobile, Google decided to execute mobile-first indexing. Mobile-first indexing describes the practice of indexing the mobile variation of the site first in Google’s databases instead of the desktop variation. This would precisely assess the quantity of content on mobile websites and their relevance prior to displaying the results.

Going from a completely desktop-first indexing scheme to a completely mobile-first one would’ve been a huge action, nevertheless, and this is why Google has actually been taking years implementing this change. It started by allowing the option to webmasters to change their website indexing to mobile-first. It was followed by making mobile-first the default choice for crawling brand-new websites. When Google will begin making mobile-first indexing the default choice for all sites, the last and most current update is going to come in March 2021. This indicates that the method your site is indexed and the material that’s thought about may alter in March. It is tough to figure out how huge of an impact this will make beforehand, however you must anticipate some instability.

Thankfully, Google has published a fundamental guideline to ensuring the shift to mobile-first indexing goes efficiently on your website:

  • Make sure the material of your website is visible to Google bots and spiders.
  • Ensure you submit all the appropriate meta tags on both the mobile and the desktop

variations of your landing pages.

  • Ensure that your mobile site loads quickly by making it possible for lazy loading.
  • Ensure that you are not obstructing any relevant mobile-specific URLs in your robots.txt file.
  • Although it is difficult to make sure similar content, you should try to have at least similar primary content on both variations.
  • Check the alt tags of both image and video embeds.

Wider SEO trends

Aside from specific updates to algorithms, we have previous info about, some larger patterns in the sector that are going to change how we engage with SEO. A few of these patterns have been going on for many years and only just accelerating and others are brand-new. Below, we’ll cover the most prominent ones.

# 1 Voice search is ending up being more and more prominent

Voice search was essentially non-existent simply 5 years ago. Still, the advancement and proliferation of Alexa, Google Assistant, and a wide range of other voice assistants over the last couple of years have actually promoted voice search beyond our wildest dreams. According to information, voice search income will more than quadruple from 2017 to 2022 from just 2 billion to 40 billion dollars. This surge in appeal presents difficulties and opportunities to traditional SEO techniques. Simply as an example, in voice searches, getting the first position is a lot more crucial than it remains in traditional text searches. That’s why you require different methods to capitalize on this brand-new, emerging SEO arena totally.

# 2 Feature bits and microdata

Google is trying to present more and more types of highlighted snippets to its web page. These range from recipes to news and tutorials. These bits aim to make browsing faster for users and keep traffic on Google’s site. It is nevertheless advantageous for websites to implement it since you have a chance to be included, which would drive a great deal of traffic to your website.

Naturally, getting featured doesn’t constantly indicate you’ll see exponential growth in traffic, but data from Ahrefs shows it matters a lot! Typically, getting featured means you’ll get, on average, around 8,6% CTR while the leading ‘natural result’ will get 19,6% of the traffic. This is incredibly outstanding and shows that the included snippet steals a substantial quantity of clicks from the top position, which would navigate 26% CTR in SERPs without a highlighted snippet. Although, you need to be careful about how Google includes you. You should monitor your ranking and adjust your snippet and optimize it for more clicks.

# 3 Non-textual content

As we move into the next year, we’re seeing an Internet saturated with blog sites and landing pages. and it is ending up being progressively challenging to rank for noteworthy keywords with decent traffic. That’s why lots of SEO companies are trying to expand their reach by diversifying the kind of content they produce and publish. Infographics are one of the simpler methods to develop engagement and rank greater. Although, even they’ve been excessive used over the last few years. A far more promising frontier for 2021 appears to be videos. These might be uploaded to Youtube as standalone content or embedded in your site too. It’ll assist you get more traffic from Youtube views, which appears way less saturated than Google’s conventional online search engine currently. This does not mean it is any less important. YouTube generates 15 billion dollars for Google each year. It is a platform you can’t manage to disregard.

It is also worth pointing out that there specify video snippets on SERPs that you can just rank for through video content, and these video bits are really popular on search questions starting with “how-to”, requesting tutorials, and other types of instructional content. They are prime real estate that you can potentially rank for with a reasonably produced video.

# 4 UX SEO

The days where SEO was just about titles and meta-tags have actually long gone. Nowadays, SEO is a detailed topic that integrates competence from many different fields from marketing to software engineering and innovative writing to attain the very best result. A current trend in SEO that is acquiring more and more stream is the UX SEO framework.

UX SEO refers to the practice of optimizing the user experience of a website to achieve better conversion rates and engagement. It isn’t just important that your site gets routine visitors, however it is likewise equally essential to ensure that these visitors engage with your site. UX redesign success stories are practically endless, for example, ESPN learnt that simply a homepage redesign increased their profits by 35%. There is no reason why UX optimization might not be an integral part of your SEO strategy, and UX SEO provides you a structure to accomplish this.


Each year, Google presents more than 3600 little modifications to their algorithms, and each year, patterns emerge in this unstable sector that nobody has been able to anticipate. You need to continuously stay up to date with the news to be on top of your SEO game, checking out a post on the patterns in the approaching year isn’t enough. I tried to make this short article as extensive as possible, and you need to be moderately prepared for the challenges ahead if you pay attention to all the trends that I’ve included here.

Adrian Kempiak is CTO at Neadoo Digital– SEO company. Adrian is a tech lover, in the SEO industry for over 9 years. Assessments and audits for companies from numerous markets. Accountable for running both worldwide SEO projects for ecommerce shops and local SEO for businesses worldwide (UK, USA, Australia, Spain, and a lot more).