Is SEO still relevant in 2020

The only two SEO trends 2020 that you need to know

Above the search in English, with active BERT and correct answer, below the alternative without BERT. Google has to deliver quality, especially in connection with voice searches using assistants. BERT is an approach to understanding a human question and providing the correct answer, but it doesn't actually change the way SEOs work.

The secret trend in 2019 are zero-click searches

What will change the work, however, is a development that is largely going under the radar: the immensely growing proportion of zero-click searches.

Meanwhile, more than half of all searches do not result in a click and stay directly with Google. For the first time in history, Google is forwarding fewer requests. Google provides immediate answers to search queries relating to jobs, sports results, hotels or flights. And the SEOs also help Google by enriching the pages with structured data and delivering featured snippets - a win-win situation: for Google and the user. The content provider could usually go away empty-handed.


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SEO trend 2020 # 1: click potential beats search volume

Where are you travelling to? Voice Search? Rankbrain? Click potential! The trend of enriching search results with verticals will continue in 2020. If you still want to get traffic from the search engine, you have to approach SEO strategically.

The search volume alone will not be decisive, but the click potential. We will have to deal much more closely with the structure of the search results in order not only to become a content provider, but also to receive valuable traffic from the search. Let's compare the searches for "beer" and "buy beer online":

The generic, information-related term beer is crammed in the visible area with the Local Pack and informative sites like Wikipedia. The only shop on this results page is in position 6 and no longer matched the screenshot. With “buy beer online”, on the other hand, the whole page is full of shops, no verticals, no snippets, only the best organic search results. And the term is much wider in the customer journey at conversions like beer.

Ergo, SEOs will have to compare strategic interests with the cost-effectiveness of the effort in the future. The structure of the SERPs will be more important than the pure search volume. Our work will develop in such a way that we have to carefully weigh up which terms are worth optimizing at all. Possibly there is far more potential to leverage in the niche than with the high-volume search terms, because little, but specific traffic is better than none at all.

SEO Trend 2020 # 2: Zero-Click Searches

Who needs visits? The social networks are leading the way and have been trying to keep the user with them for years. Google is just a copycat in this regard. On Facebook and LinkedIn there are lead ads, a form of advertising to generate an inquiry right away in the network. Actually quite smart, because the user does not have to enter any contact data - because the network fills them out. And what is Google doing about it? The Local Pack!

Let's make a virtue out of necessity. Who says that searchers even have to visit a website? Let's look at the example of a pizzeria:

Searching for a pizzeria in Munich quickly brings the searcher to the Google Maps results. A restaurant wants customers, not visits. Then why should the customer even go to the website? The data on Google is enough, you either call or make the reservation directly via OpenTable. A visit to the website is no longer necessary, because the goal of the restaurant is certainly not website clicks, but customers on site.

Conclusion

Google still has problems evaluating content qualitatively and correctly classifying “real” sentences. In addition, 50 percent of all searches are so-called zero click searches and stay with Google, i.e. do not deliver any traffic. The work in SEO will depend far more on the structure of the search result than on bare numbers, so the click potential beats the search volume. And we have to learn to take advantage of zero-click searches, e.g. through local SEO or featured snippets. In other words, we have to learn to use the verticals for ourselves and thus get the traffic back. Then SEO will still be fun in 2020.