How to Keep Up with Google SEO in 2017: Rand Fishkin at INBOUND16

November 18, 2016 by Shrishti Jhamnani

As Knowizards, we appreciate all kind of wizardry, whether from a fantastical Harry Potter or a real-life wizard. After three crazily awesome days at INBOUND16, everyone was waiting for the last day. And what could be better than a session by the SEO wizard himself? Yes, we mean Rand Fishkin’s session on ‘How Marketers Can Keep Up With Google SEO Trends in 2017 & Beyond’.

If you missed this session, you missed a lot. But don’t feel bad. Because here you will find all the the juicy takeaways from the session at a glance. Are you ready?

Excitement levels before the session ran understandably high!

Can you feel the excitement yourself?

Now without wasting any time, let’s move on to what Rand Fishkin talked about.

Changes in Google Over the Years

17 Algorithm Updates

Google gets sadistic pleasure in freaking us all out. It keeps updating its algorithm and testing our tenacity to make sure we don’t get too comfortable or lazy.

Machine Learning First

Google is remaking itself a machine learning company. It prefers to trust artificial intelligence over human ability.

More Subtle Ads

Google has continuously been working to make ads look more subtle. But Rand Fishkin asks, “How much more subtle can they get?” And we must say, we couldn’t agree more.

Adwords Range Not so Accurate

Rand Fishkin also talks about the new Adwords that shows monthly search results in a range instead of exact numbers, which makes it not so precise.

Talking About Facts and Numbers

Subtle Ads, More Paid Clicks

Google is making ads more subtle day by day to get more paid clicks.

Long Tail Keywords Take You a Long Way

According to Rand Fishkin, 35% of the total 1 billion keywords we research are long tail keywords. So you know what to do next, don’t you?

The average searcher runs three searches a day on a laptop or desktop.

About 1.19% of Google US searches result in ad clicks.

And 51% of all the clicks that happen go to organic search.

However, 49% of clicks go to Google’s properties.

And 40% of searches result in no clicks at all. For example, queries about the weather.

The top 20 sites account for 22.8% of clicks on Google.

Fetch Your Traffic

Take a look at which online marketing channels give you maximum traffic.

Tips & Tricks

Diversify Traffic, Earn Brownie Points

It has become important to diversify your traffic, or Google can become suspicious. So do let traffic come from other top websites, like YouTube, Amazon, DuckDuckGo, etc. You cannot afford to ignore other search channels just because they are not Google.

Keep a Check on Competitors

To do better at SEO, you need to analyze your competitors’ data. Check where they are getting traffic from, and create your SEO and promotion strategy accordingly. You can use SimilarWeb for this.

Different Tactics for Different Sites

Remember, every site is different and so are their audiences. You cannot use the same strategy or content to connect with different audiences.

Consider Content for Multiple Channels

If you are creating content, consider multiple engines. This way you get a larger audience to appreciate your work. For example, if you have a video, share it on your website, and then a month later, upload it to YouTube so that you leverage both.

Google SEO Keyword Saga Continues

In order to stop searchers from going to other third-party websites, Google shows the answer to searchers at the top. In order to win the battle, you need to be even more tactical. Here are some tips to follow:

  1. Consider CTR when choosing keywords. You can use the Keyword Explorer tool for this.
  2. Use SEO to earn featured snippets and get a CTR boost.
  3. Create question/answer content. Example: How can I become an expert in Google SEO?
  4. Adwords monthly search results are not enough. If you want to know the search volume of a keyword, trust Google trends and clickstream data more. At least 95% of the time, the result is accurate.
  5. Explore the potential of image SEO. It can give great results with a little effort.

Here are the seven kinds of keyword expansion searches to try.

Link Building

Link building is the most important factor in off-page SEO. In order to get ahead of your competitors, you need a plan.

Create a flywheel that maps what you will do first and each subsequent step. Create a chain and work accordingly.

Set the right expectation. Don’t get disheartened by the “gap of disappointment”. Link building takes time. To be an expert at link building, you need experience, and even failure, because it’s a lesson learned what not to do.

User Experience and Search Intent

Google is smart. So using raw keywords is a big no. Focus on the searcher’s intent. Analyze what kinds of SERPs appear for the keyword you want to target. User experience is very important. Make it the top priority of SEO.

Engage and Empathise with Your User

Content is still king. More than anything, Google relies on which website answers the query of the user, engages them and empathizes with them. Higher bounce rates mean you are in grave danger. Don’t try to fool users; instead give them the information they seek. Earn their trust to earn Google’s trust.

Lesson for life:

Besides sharing his knowledge on Google SEO trends, Rand Fishkin also showed his witty side, which cracked up the audience.

This one takes the cake:

People loved the session and queued up to take selfies with him afterwards.

You can watch the complete session right here:

And finally, here’s a goodie for you: the slide deck from Rand Fishkin’s session. Let’s dive in 🙂



So, now do you think you are ready to tackle Google SEO in 2017? Share your thoughts with us.

INBOUND16 may have come to an end, but not our love for you. Let’s wait for INBOUND17 together. Till then, you catch up on all our INBOUND16 coverage right here. 😉