There’s no denying that SEO has changed… A LOT! From the days where you could stuff your keywords every which way until the cows came home, farm hundreds and thousands of low quality backlinks to today where it’s search queries and content that are top of the radar. So what’s next for SEO? Here’s a very interesting view which includes 4 ways that SEO is likely to be moving.

1. Real-time, integrated penalty filters

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock in the last month, you’d be very much aware of Google’s latest core algorithm update, Google Penguin 4.0.

What does this update mean exactly? Well, Penguin is a filter designed to capture sites that are spamming Google’s search results in ways that Google’s regular spamming systems might not detect. [Search Engine Land]. It was first Introduced in 2012, and operated on a periodic basis. Now, as part of Google’s core algorithm, Penguin updates in real time. This means that every time a web page is indexed by Google, Penguin gets to work at ensuring websites are white hat and spam free.

2. RankBrain

While we’re on the topic of significant ranking factors for Google, let’s talk about RankBrain. It’s the third most significant ranking factor in the Google algorithm, and perhaps the one that baffles most SEOs.

RankBrain is all about using machine learning to help the algorithm interpret queries better and to match these with the most relevant page content. It’s come a along way in its short life to now process every single Google search query – at least 63,00 per second! [Search Engine Land].

While people continue to get their heads around this update, Google’s Gary Illyes has already stated that there is nothing once can do to optimise a website for Rank Brain.

3. The Knowledge Graph & rich answers

Launched in 2012, Google’s Knowledge Graph was created in order to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible,” in line with Google’s mission. The knowledge graph is most recognisable in the SERPs as boxes of structured information. For example, if you type “what is the time in New York?” into Google, you’ll see Google’s Knowledge Graph in its most basic form.

SEOs have noticed the vast increase in the amount of rich answers returning in the SERPs and there are no shortage of blog articles referencing how your business can also feature in these ever important rich answers.

4. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Last but not least, we have Accelerated Mobile Pages which launched earlier this year as a “top stories” carousel in the mobile SERPs. Since then, Google has started displaying links to AMP pages in the main organic search results.

Today, Google has 150 million indexed AMP documents in its index, and, encouraged by mainstream adoption outside the publishing industry. However, it does remain to be seen how significant AMP is in the SERPs yet as it isn’t a ranking factor… yet.

There’s always a lot going on in the SEO world and these 4 core pillars appear to be solidly cemented in Google’s future, so if you haven’t invested in any of these tactics yet – now is a great time to start!