What Will SEO Look Like in the 2020s?

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 14 Nov 2019 by Cheryl

Remember when 2020 sounded like a lifetime away? Well, this decade is fast approaching, but what will it mean for SEO and what has Google got planned for the 20’s? Many things in life define an era, from fashion and lifestyle to economic and social circumstances. Digital marketing is no longer a ‘buzzword’ but encompasses a whole host of digital, online and social media channels using the latest technology.

The principles of SEO won’t or can’t change, simply because SEO is about getting found in search engines by users who are looking for your product or service. What will change is the tools, tactics and how you execute SEO. Here’s our best take on what SEO has in store for us in the next decade.

Mobile Search

With desktop search usage in decline, and the use of mobile devices continuing to grow, that equals more mobile searches in the next decade. Google has already implemented its mobile-first index back in July this year. Will the 2020s see the step from responsive sites to more separate m.dot sites to take full advantage of the benefit of mobile search tactics?


Combining e-commerce with a great mobile experience is a win-win situation. Google’s accelerated mobile pages (AMP) and e-commerce are developing rapidly, with the ability to produce interactive product pages as attention-grabbing landing pages. We predict that AMP will continue to grow in the decade to come, bringing more dynamic elements to product listings and content, which will undoubtedly benefit search.

Social Media

Social media is a positive way to build links, but is this going to replace link building as you know it? While we all know that link building has changed irrevocably in the last decade, those with successful social media channels can already use this to their advantage in the world of SEO. Will the 2020s be the time when the search engines recognise user’s social media satisfaction as a ranking factor?  As with all link building techniques, this would be open to black hat techniques, but we’re pretty sure that Google’s AI skills could help out here.

New Technology

While artificial intelligence (AI) is not ready to replace SEO’s just yet, it will impact on how you do SEO and the information you can glean. AI is all about machine applications which perform tasks that typically require human intelligence – sound familiar? Putting Google to one side, AI could be used to help out hardworking SEOs who suffer from a lack of time in a very data-driven world. Who wouldn’t want help monitoring performance, understanding audience behaviours or juggling all the tasks on an organic search campaign?

Virtual reality (VR) has been around for a few decades, probably ahead of its time, but now the technological advances in graphics and processing power are available, it’s continually getting better. Gaming fans saw this first, but now every major tech company, including Google, are investing, which means that these big players see a market for this tech now.

Augmented reality (AR) may well impact more on SEO, simply because it’s more interactive with the ability to be restrained by the real world. Google Glass may never have reached the stores, but better versions are undoubtedly being developed. When these technologies start to market and sell commercial products, search optimisation will take a new turn.

Customer Service

The last decade has seen digital services and online shopping grow, although not always with the greatest of customer service levels. In the next decade, businesses will need to focus on digital customer service both on websites and social media channels in order to stand out from their competitors.  This could result in more SEO tools such as Hotjar and Live Chat to monitor and deal with customers quickly and efficiently.

In addition, to the above, we also predict that voice search will become the norm, just as smartphones are now. In the 1980’s video may have killed the radio star, but in the 2020s will video finally kill the written word, simply through the amount of content being produced and our lack of time to read it? An interesting thought…

While the 1920s were known as the roaring 20’s, we will certainly be watching in earnest to see what the 2020s will end up being known as; suggestions on a postcard!!

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