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Why traditional SEO is dead: The 7 New SEO Trends in 2020 that will affect your business website

Search Engine Robot

Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash


Search engines go through modifications every day, rendering some well-known SEO traditions such as paid links, null and void. As a result, you may be wondering, are the old SEO strategies becoming obsolete? Is it even worthwhile to keep up with the top SEO trends and techniques?

Truth be told, businesses have no choice but to keep up with the constantly changing SEO trends. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing traffic to their competitors.

Infographic by Neil Patel

A few years ago, using keywords and links means you already have a good understanding of SEO trends and techniques. However, the technologies that power search engines like Google have evolved in a bid to satisfy users’ intent when making a search query.

Search engines (read Google) have become so advanced and effective that most users rarely go to the next page when searching for information.

Moreover, most users prefer organic results to pay-per-click (PPC) ads. So even if it’s usually displayed first on SERPs, users would still choose to scroll down and find websites that have organic content instead of paid ads.

To remain competitive, it’s vital for business owners to understand how the search engine updates affect them, and one way to do that is to know how to use Google Trends for SEO. They can also hire an agency that offers SEO services to assist them with strategies and action plans.

In this article, we will look at some of the significant developments in 2020 and in recent years that gave rise to new SEO trends.

7 SEO trends in 2020 to watch out for:

1. Link building has shifted from quantity to quality and relevance

Infographic by Moz

Gone are the days when organizations went all-in on link building.

Don’t get us wrong; link building still is an essential SEO practice and remains one of the top SEO trends out there. However, random spamming of links that might have worked before won’t do anymore.

Search engines are well advanced and can detect irrelevant links that initially caused some websites to rank higher. Today, the quality of links adds more value to your web page than sheer quantity.

Therefore, the most effective link-building SEO strategy in 2020 is to create authoritative content that allows you to link internally and externally.  Good content will make it easier for you to reach out to other authorities in your field who share relevant content to your business. By securing backlinks from them, you improve the quality of links to your articles.

2. SEO trends that optimize for click-through rate

The Click-through rate represents the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the total number of users who view the link on your website, email, or ad. The Click-through rate measures the effectiveness of an online marketing campaign. In short, you do not want visitors to merely view your content, but to interact with it and move further along the sales funnel.

For instance, PPC advertisements initially worked effectively. However, users now prefer to scroll down to reach more organic search results. With this in mind, you must design your tags, URLs, and meta descriptions with much care to make users want to click them and find out more.

Considering the current setup of a typical Google page, claiming your business in Google My Business is crucial if you hope to increase your click-through rate.

By completing your Google my business profile, your business will start to appear in the box that comes right after the ads, commonly known as the Google local pack. Google’s local pack gives the user results relevant to their geographical locations.

3. The evolution of Artificial Intelligence in SEO

Artificial intelligence is the new frontier in technology and is changing SEO in unprecedented ways.

For instance, the size of your website used to matter a while back when the AI employed in search engines was still primitive. But now, the quality and relevance of content per page are what drives the search engine to prioritize your web pages over others.

Search engines have become incredibly efficient in analyzing user’s intent when they search for anything. Google has made profound algorithm changes since 2010, and the most significant of these is the launch of Rankbrain. This incredible AI tool assists Google search engines to analyze and prioritize results based on what the user wants.

4. Voice search is here to stay

Infographic by

Voice searches are becoming more common today, and for good reasons. Research suggests that in 2020 up to 50% of Google searches will be voice searches. Besides being fast, voice is more personalized thanks to the development of AI-powered voice assistants like Siri and Alexa.

Google made changes to its voice search core algorithm with an update known as the Hummingbird. The new technology allows users to use semantic search, which improves accuracy by understanding the searcher’s intent.

Updates on voice search enable search engines to understand the contextual meaning of terms giving users much better results for their queries. This means that Google takes into account the goals of the searcher and local information when presenting the user with the search results.

With SEO trends becoming more beneficial to local searches, small businesses are given better opportunities to rank in the results. Here are a couple of ways you can optimize your site for voice search.

5. Past SEO trends produced over-optimization

There is truth in the adage that too much of something becomes detrimental. And this also applies to SEO. Over-optimizing your site will significantly affect your position in the SERP.

Among the top SEO trends of the past, keyword stuffing was the culprit with regards to over-optimization. The repetition of one keyword sounded so simple so it was what most SEO services set out to do.

However, there are many other ways your site could be over-optimized, these include:

  • Overusing keyword-rich anchors for internal links
  • Using keywords that are irrelevant to your site
  • Using multiple H1s on a page
  • Linking to low-quality sites
  • Using keyword-dense URLs and leaving out your brand

Today, search engines are so discerning when it comes to the quality of web pages, and most shortcuts are simply not the ways to go.

6. SEO trends in response to changes in Google Search Engine Page Results (SERPs) Design

Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

In recent months, Google has redesigned its search result page (SERP) to help users find quality and relevant content quickly and easily. The number one search engine just keeps learning the fine details of how people search and consume information to make its services better.

Today, Google has incorporated ads, then local packs in its SERP, which leaves very little room for organic results on the first page. It is also important to realize that, today, Google SERP for desktops is quite similar to that of mobile devices. Here is an image of a standard Google SERP today.

7.  SEO trends evolved off-page

In the past, most companies spent 30% of their time and effort on off-page SEO and 70% on on-site optimization. Nowadays, doing the reverse will more likely generate more organic traffic to your website.

Off-page SEO refers to the strategies that are applied away from the website and it’s a more integral part of SEO compared to on-site optimization. The work may include setting up business profiles on Google My Business, social media management, and guest post outreach.

Keep in mind that if valuable links are pointing to your page, it is expected that Google will refer searchers to your site.

This requires a fair amount of effort and is one of the top SEO trends that has been here for a while now because it produces results. If you are working with an SEO services agency, make sure that they also have an off-page SEO plan for you.


Clearly, SEO is not dead; instead, it is continually evolving to meet users’ needs even better. The new face of SEO continues to guarantee that only quality and relevant content reaches the average searcher. Even SEO services now cover a wide range of action plans both on and off your website pages.

To stay competitive moving forward, it is essential for business owners to understand the top SEO trends and make the necessary adjustments to your SEO and content marketing strategies. You can look into various analytics tools, and learn how to use Google Trends for SEO, for example. All these allow you to continue winning in the search rankings game.

If you would like to plan your SEO strategy for your business, get in touch with us so we can discuss further.

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