SEO is an ever changing game and it always pays to be ahead of the curve. We've found some opinions and advice from the Forbes Agency Council members about what to look out for in 2017's SEO game.

1. Mobile


"The past couple of months Google has been rolling out updates that will soon make mobile search the primary index, and the fact that nearly 60% of searches are now coming from mobile devices, the shift to a mobile-first approach has become a top priority when developing and executing SEO strategies"

-Revecka Jallad, Divisa

2. Topical Relevance Changes

Topical Relevance Changes

"As search engines increasingly push to serve content based on searcher intent and relevancy, we have both validated and evolved our approach to keyword research and topic development to better align groups of keywords with the same intent. Gone are the days of one-keyword, one-page SEO. Search engines now analyze and interpret each unique query, meaning topical relevance is key to a modern SEO strategy." 

-Nina Hale, Nina Hale, Inc

3. Original Content

Original Content

"With Google trying to cut down on spammy, buzz-word SEO techniques, it’s important to shift focus and create meaningful original content. One effective method of doing this is by empowering employees to develop their personal brands. Identifying internal brand advocates to create white papers, bylines and blog content will help your business engage with different segments of your audience base. "

-Jennifer Hawkins, HAWKINS International Public Relations Inc

4. Site Caching

Site Caching

"Search engines aim to showcase results that are not only relevant, but those that provide the best possible user experience. Caching will significantly improve your website's load time, which in turn will result in better ranking and lower bounce rates. Basic browser caching is still effective, but it's worth looking into AMP, which will deliver content from the Google-hosted cache reserve".  

- Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing 

5. Natural Language

Natural Language

"Due to the increase in mobile searches and voice searches, having content that is conversational (a natural dialogue) is a big change for our clients in the coming year. This is changing the way we develop content, set up paid ads and define brands." 

-Korena Keys, KeyMedia Solutions

6. Post-Click Rankings

Post-Click Rankings

"Greg Corrado, senior research scientist at Google, confirmed that Google RankBrain is the third most important signal for the result of an organic search. What this means is that post-click engagement metrics are more important than ever. It's now critical to go beyond all the pre-click optimization tasks and ensure an excellent user experience that drives greater page views and user interaction."  

-Tom Shapiro, Stratabeat

7. Image Optimization

Image Optimization

"The image search is becoming more competitive than the content search. Millennials love the easy route; when searching for data, they'd rather find an infographic. If they're searching for something on the go, usually on their phone, chances are they will search for an image rather than a content link. Make sure your images are optimized. I recommend including an original image on every post."  

- Raffi Keuhnelian, INexxus

8. Rich Answers

Rich Answers

"People are changing the way they use Google. No longer are people satisfied with looking for information, they want to ask Google specific questions and receive an answer. Sites with rich answers installed will appear at the top of the SERPS. What are dental implants? What is Kobe beef? How do you get a visa? What is organic traffic? Sites answering these questions will receive preference."

  - T. Maxwell, eMaximize

9. Site Security

Site Security

"Earlier this year, we experienced a boost in terms of positioning by incorporating SSL to all of our pages. Seems that search engines are emphasizing importance of security, and rewarding those efforts accordingly. It is still very important to do it by using best practices and predetermined guidelines. Just pushing pages to https:// won't cut it; informational architecture is equally important."  

- Goran Paunovic, ArtVersion Interactive Agency

10. Multi-Media Experience

Multi-Media Experience

"Gone are the days of just spewing evergreen content that competes with thousands of other average pieces of content. We are seeing a huge improvement in our clients' organic visibility when we produce engaging, remarkable, complete articles with multimedia on each topic that's focused on their target market. We are collapsing sites, redirecting pages, and producing more multi-media experiences."  

- Douglas Karr, DK New Media

11. Intrusive Interstitial Penalty

Intrusive Interstitial Penalty

"The recent updates by Google through Intrusive Interstitial Penalties have helped to reinforce our client strategy development process. A major lead generator for our clients is live chat. If implemented incorrectly, using a pop-up instead of a banner option that utilizes a "reasonable amount of space," the page could flag the intrusive interstitial penalty. This would reduce SERP rankings."  

- Andrew Miller, Consultwebs