January 2020 – SEO and marketing news

Jan 24, 2020 by
January 2020 – SEO and marketing news

We’ve finally made it to the roaring twenties and there is nary a jazz band in sight. Yes, a fresh decade is upon us but in the world of SEO, very little has changed. At least immediately. This month, we cast an eye towards the trends that are going to shape the next 12 months and at the stories that have been making waves in the first fortnight of the ‘20s.

Google rolls out 2020 core update

Google announced on Monday morning (13/01/2020) that it is rolling out a new core update — the first of 2020. Google generally now rolls out these algorithmic updates every few months. The update went live on Monday afternoon and will be rolling out to all data centres in the coming days. The last major update was in September 2019 and that update had very little impact on most. It remains to be seen how significant an impact the 2020 update will have on search results but I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about it (both the good and the bad) in the coming days.

DuckDuckGo beats Bing in default Android search war

Google announced this week that DuckDuckGo and info.com will feature alongside Google as default search options in all EU territories on its android devices. Bing, however, has been left by the wayside. From March 1 onwards, Android users will have a choice of providers depending on their region. These providers were selected using an auction method in which Google accepted bids on how much each provider was willing to pay per user to have their search engine selected as the default. The auctions were conducted on a per-country basis, using a “fourth-price” system, where the three winners pay Google the amount of the fourth-highest bid. There have been protestations that the auction is unfair, of course, but for my money, the choices appear to make sense. At least on paper.

Voice navigation comes to iOS Bing app

Whilst it will never reach the same dizzying heights as its greatest competitors, Bing continues to keep on keeping on. This month, Microsoft added direct navigation via voice alongside a brand new design aesthetic. The Bing Search app navigation bar, which includes a carousel of categories such as “near me,” “news,” “movies,” “images,” and more, is also a relatively new UI feature that makes some of the most common verticals accessible as soon as the user opens the app. Small steps, granted, but at least they are still in the fight, so to speak.

Conductor launches SEO services marketplace for Searchlight users

SEO technology firm Conductor has launched a new marketplace within its Searchlight platform. The goal is to help alleviate some of the work for SEOs and make SEO tasks more accessible for marketers juggling SEO as just one of the many plates they are being asked to keep spinning. With the new Marketplace solution, marketers can request analyses, educational materials, content briefs and more from Conductor’s team of success managers. Conductor has more than 60 SEO specialists trained on the platform who are also available to help customers with SEO strategies. The service is built into Conductor’s existing pricing structure. Silver-level customers can make up to four Marketplace requests in a month; Gold-level can make eight, and so on.

SEO trends – 2020

Usually, this would be where I close out with another Google story. However, as we sit poised on the cusp of a brand new decade, I thought I’d instead take you through a few of the trends predicted to hit the world of SEO in 2020 and perhaps even beyond:-

Voice search – The rise of voice search will be a major trend in 2020 and will have a major impact on SEO. Search queries are going to be more conversational and long-tail keywords will be more valuable than ever before. In 2019, half of all searches were carried out using voice search and logic dictates that number will continue to rise in the next 12 months.

BERT Google’s BERT update in 2019 was launched to help search engines understand natural human speech. In 2020, more marketers will start optimising for BERT, at least if they want to take their online presence seriously.

Local search – Google already released an algorithm update in November last year specifically catered towards making local searches more relevant, so expect them to become more popular in 2020. Indeed, research has found that 4 out of 5 searches are for services or products nearby and 50% of the searches will result in an action to either visit the physical location or make an order.

AI – Search and social looks set to be completely reformed by artificial intelligence. Whilst marketers who genuinely enjoy the often monotonous processes associated with SEO might shed a tear, the rest of us will relish the fact that AI frees us up to spend more time being creative.

Customer-centricity – Being able to truly understand the user intent behind a search query is the holy grail of SEO. In 2020, more marketers will attempt to claim this golden chalice by listening more to their customers and understanding what their pain points are. There’s going to be a greater push towards not only tracking consumer action but tracking consumer intent and for analytics teams, these two things are quite closely entwined.

To check out what was big in the world of SEO, digital marketing and the digital realm in general last month, click here for more news.