Semalt Tells What To Expect From SEO In 2021

Table Of Contents

  1. Page Experience Coming To Google Search
  2. Mobile-First Indexing On Google
  3. Non-Textual Content To Become More Valuable
  4. Brand Power To Overpower Rivals
  5. Voice Searches To Increase
  6. SEO Tips And Tactics For 2021
  7. Conclusion 
The mission to provide enhanced user experience, continuous improvements in search engine algorithms, and inconsistent behavior of searchers are some of the primary reasons why SEO approaches change over time.

Achieving SEO goals was quite simple in the past. Infusion of keywords into Content, Title, Meta Description, Alt Text, Headings, and others was usually enough to bring desired results. But it changed with time, and in 2021, dealing with SEO means successful completion of several challenging tasks.

Today, if website owners / businesses / bloggers and others are rushing towards Digital Marketing Agencies or SEO experts, it's because they find doing SEO more challenging now than before.

However, Semalt Experts believe that if you are aware of the latest and expected SEO developments, all your fears regarding SEO will vanish. That's why we created this article containing information about SEO expectations in 2021.

With the knowledge of potential SEO developments in 2021, you can prepare in advance for upcoming changes. Also, achieving SEO goals will become easy, and you might not feel the need to hire an SEO expert.

Let's see what all you can expect from SEO in 2021:

Page Experience Coming to Google Search

We know page experience as the set of signals to measure the user experience on a webpage beyond its informative value. In May 2021 update, Google announced that page experience metrics will now be one of the search ranking factors. At present, the global rollout of this update is in progress and can finish by the end of August 2021.

The basis of this update is Core Web Vitals that enhance web experiences by focusing on metrics like page responsiveness, page load speed, interactivity, etc. You can also expect Google to give preference to web pages containing high-quality links.

To prepare for this SEO change, the first thing you should do is a website audit. It will help you find where your website lacks. Now, you can act to fix the identified issues.

For example, you can improve the load speed and decrease the bounce rate of your web pages. Also, if any of your web pages are experiencing issues like any unanticipated layout shifts, you should get rid of them.

Mobile-first Indexing on Google

The concept of mobile-first indexing is not new to Google, but it'll be in full flow from 2021. Smartphone users and the purposes they use their devices for are consistently increasing all over the world. Instead of initiating searches on desktops, most people now use mobile devices to get their queries resolved. 

Previously, Google used to index the PC version of websites. It works on PCs but doesn't provide relevant results on mobiles, which leads to mismatches between rankings on mobile and desktop devices.

To resolve this mismatching issue, Google came up with the concept of mobile-first indexing. Instead of the desktop version, now the mobile version of websites is indexed first in the database of Google.

Google has taken several years to make mobile-first indexing the default instead of desktop-first indexing. As per the latest update, Google is going to make it the default option.

Here are a few points you can consider to benefit the most from mobile-first indexing:
  • Make sure Google bots and crawlers can easily access the content on your website.
  • Check whether your mobile site is loading quickly or not. Note that lazy loading increases the load speed of a webpage/website significantly.
  • Fill in all relevant meta tags on mobile as well as the desktop site.
  • If possible, make sure the primary content on your desktop site is different from that on the mobile site.
  • Recheck the robots.txt file and make sure all mobile-specific URLs are intact (not blocked).

Non-Textual Content to Become More Valuable 

As the internet world evolves, more and more high-quality landing pages, blogs, and articles occupy search engines. It is complex than ever to rank keywords higher and attract decent traffic via them.

Most SEO and Digital Marketing agencies see infographics and videos as an easy way to get a higher rank and attract traffic. Many web pages that once had only textual content with strategic placement of keywords are now modified, and infographics or / and relevant videos are added.

Though infographics have been overused in the last few years, they still bring better results than texts. However, fewer videos appear on SERPs, so you can say that videos can help you rank higher.

Today, you can't ignore YouTube videos because these videos embedded into content attracts traffic. Moreover, YouTube alone adds 15 billion dollars to Google's kitty every year. If you are serious about enhancing your site's rank, get serious about YouTube.

While creating YouTube videos, make sure you aim for video snippets on SERPs. You can benefit the most by creating video tutorials or videos with answers to "how-to" queries. 

Brand Power to Overpower Rivals 

In addition to the page experience metrics, Google will also consider your brand's strength from 2021. It first started in 2018 when Google introduced E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness). Since then, branding is one of the crucial ranking factors. Therefore you can expect this factor to be in full flow from the current year.

You might be wondering how E-A-T, your brand, and SEO are related. It's simple as after evaluating your brand's association with E-A-T sources, Google will decide whether your web pages should rank higher or not.

To measure the strength of your brand, Google looks at your website and considers its image amongst others. Therefore, the more your website / webpage is discussed or mentioned on other web pages, the higher rank it will get.

If you want your site to appear on the first page of SERPs, you need to focus on branding and strengthen your brand. In addition, you must make sure to get links from high-quality sources. This work will fall into the Off-Page SEO category and might require professional help.

Voice Searches to Increase

Google launched the voice search feature some time back, but it became an essential SEO factor after the launch of the BERT algorithm in 2019. Now, voice searches are at an all-time high, and they'll undoubtedly increase in the future.

Voice searches show technological advancement, and Google leveraged it well by architecting its SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) accordingly. When searchers use voice search to learn about something, Google usually displays short answers on the screen. The answers voice searchers get are primarily in the form of Answer Boxes and Featured Snippets.

In the past few years, people using the voice search feature have increased significantly. Instead of using fingers to type a query, more and more people ask search engines the same thing verbally.

You, too, can make the best use of the voice search feature and gain the proper exposure. You can evaluate your existing content and find if it contains short answers to the voice queries of your audience.

You can also do keyword research and find which of your keywords can fit in short answers. Remember, searchers' queries usually start with how-to, where, when, what, why, etc. If you face any difficulty setting your content for short answers, get in touch with reliable digital marketing experts.

SEO Tips and Tactics for 2021

Here are a few SEO tips and tactics you can look forward to in 2021:
  1. Add "Research Content" to your site because the bounce rate of pages with stats, surveys, charts, and other datasets is often low compared to simple web pages having only text.
  2. Make sure your pages get high-quality backlinks. If you can succeed in getting backlinks from media / news sites, Google will give you preference.
  3. Focus on publishing Content Hubs as they make you trustworthy and bring more visitors to your site. Right now, very few websites have "content hubs." So, if you add it to your site, you'll undoubtedly stand out.
  4. Create YouTube videos relevant to your content and embed them into web pages. It'd be better if your YouTube videos are tutorials or answers to "how-to" queries.
  5. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. It should provide a better user experience on all kinds of mobile devices.
  6. Keep distance from intrusive advertising because this practice deteriorates the load speed of a website and frustrates users. The result is often a high bounce rate and punishment from Google.
  7. Think like search engines and act to satisfy them. Go through and adjust according to all major and minor algorithm updates launched from time to time.


With a zest to enhance user experience at its peak, the expectations from SEO are high in 2021. Now, search engines have become more intelligent and will reward every content that serves audiences better.

If you want to succeed in 2021 and beyond, invest in your content and take measures to enhance your audience's experience when they interact with you / your brand online. You can also work on the expectations mentioned above for quick success.