Future of SEO in 2022 Explain By Google

Google’s search team will meet to discuss the future of SEO in the latest episode of the Search Off the Record podcast.

Google’s team of John Mueller, Gary Illyes, and Martin Splitt talk about the changes they’ve seen over the last decade and look forward to the next evolution of SEO.

Specifically, three Google veterans will work on the following aspects of SEO and predict how important SEO will be in the coming years.

  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • URLs
  • Meta tags
  • Structured data
  • Content
  • Voice search
  • And more

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The Future Of HTML In SEO

Mueller suggests that SEO will not need to learn HTML in the future as content management systems (CMS) become more proficient in handling the technical aspects of websites.

“Well, I mean it’s like if you just have a a rich editor and you just type things in and then you format your text properly and you add some links. What do you need to do with HTML?”

Illyes disagrees that SEO is more than just writing content.

There are important elements of SEO that require some understanding of HTML, and this is unlikely to change in the future.

“But SEO is also about link tags and meta tags and title elements and all those weird things in the head section of the HTML that you can put there.

So you kind of want to know about them to control how your snippets look like or how your titles show up in search results and the rel canonical tag to control what will be the– or what should be the canonical version of a URL. You kind of want to know that.”

At the end of the conversation, everyone agrees that HTML does not go anywhere in terms of SEO.

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The Future Of JavaScript In SEO

JavaScript may become more important to SEO in the future, but it will be more important on the Progressive Web Apps (PWA) side compared to traditional websites.

Mueller states:

“I think the user is kind of expecting to be able to use any app that they have in any platform, any device that they use. And it feels like that kind of work is going to continue as well. And probably, that means things like understanding JavaScript will become more and more important for SEOs as well…

But it probably also means that a lot of these apps suddenly have to think about SEO in general. Like what do they actually want to have findable on the web, because in the past, they were just apps.”

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The Future Of URLs In SEO

Mueller raises the issue of URLs and whether the URL disappears in preference to the entity or IP address.

Illyes says the URL won’t disappear immediately:

“Fortunately, URLs cannot go away… At least not in the foreseeable future, because the URLs they are the
standard way to communicate addresses on the Internet. And without that the Internet is just not the Internet.

The same way domain names cannot go away because of how the Internet is built or IP addresses cannot go away because of how the Internet is built. The same way URLs cannot go away.”

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The Future Of Meta Tags In SEO

Mueller asks if more meta tags may be introduced in the future.

Splitt quickly rejected the idea, saying there was no little good reason to introduce a new meta tag:

“I hope that we are not introducing more meta tags. And usually, when you see internal threads about, like, this search team wants to introduce a new meta tag. Then usually both John and I jump on that thread and we are pushing back quite aggressively because there’s very rarely a good reason to introduce a new meta tag.”

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The Future Of Structured Data In SEO

Is there a time in the future when Google will not need structural data to understand the content of the page?

According to Splitt, Google is just around the corner, but structured data is still useful and recommended.

“I’m pretty sure we can understand: Oh, this is a product, and the product’s name is this and the product’s price is that and this is a product image.

But it is kind of nice to have this explicit machine-readable information where you can say: “Oh, so they specifically want us to think of it as a product.” It’s basically a glorified meta tag…”

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The Future Of Content In SEO

Mueller also raises the question of text generation algorithms and whether SEO will require human writers in the future.

Illyes says so much about this topic that he thinks he should have his own podcast episode.

In short, Illyes sees the potential of machine-generated content and sometimes says it’s indistinguishable from artificial content.

However, Google does not want to rank machine-generated content in search unless it has been reviewed by humans.

“I think that could be a topic on its own for a future podcast episode because we can see the pros and the cons of machine-generated content, and we are quite strict about what we allow in our index.

But on the flip side, you can also see very good and smart machine-generated—I don’t know if smart is a good word, but very intelligent machine-generated content…

Right now, our stance on machine-generated content is that if it’s without human supervision, then we don’t want it in search. If someone reviews it before putting it up for the public then it’s fine.”

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The Future Of Voice Search In SEO

Voice search is probably not the next big thing in SEO, so don’t worry too much about learning how to optimize for voice search.

When asked about voice search, Split said:

“Oh God, the future that never will be. I think no, because if we learn anything—I remember a bunch of years ago, people were like: Oh, we’ll stop using keyboards and just do voice.

And I think that has been a recurring theme from the 90s. But I think in the future, it won’t change and will naturally or magically become the number one thing that we need to worry about, simply because it changes the input modality, and it changes probably how queries are phrased, but it doesn’t change the fundamental use of natural language to retrieve information from the Internet.

So I think you don’t have to worry too much about it, to be honest, but that’s maybe just me.”

SourceSearch Off The Record

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