- Inline vs external JS make a huge difference to crawling and indexation
- AngularJS V2 must render content server side if you care about SEO
- Isomorphic JS is great for SEO - implement it if you can
- If it’s too late to make substantial development changes, use a pre-rendering service like prerender.io
Progressive Web Apps are going mainstream!
- PWA must be secure (https)
- Your baseline framework size defines how much room you have for your app code (load time)
- Cache essential assets upon installation of the service worker
- Make use of preload, mousedown and touchstart. This can save hundreds of milliseconds - but it all adds up
- Use Polyfills for browsers other than Chrome
Mobile first may mean Cloud first
This calls to mind articles I came across last year such as this, which ask the question: could AI personal assistants replace websites? Optimising for voice technology (which now accounts for over 20% of all searches) is similar to what would be required to make your data machine-ingestible to other Google platforms or services that Cindy mentioned. This means that information which is served through a Google Home device (spoken out loud) can be the same information that is displayed on Google Now or the Google SERP (text on screens), as it’s now served from a universal index.
With changes like these, the remit of an SEO is extending. Soon, it will no longer be reasonable for an SEO to limit their focus to website searches. Instead, we will increasingly be required to consider a multitude of other search sources, including personal AI assistants, Google Home, and other Internet of Things devices. A better understanding of APIs may become essential to best practice in the very near future.
The future of SEO
All of this suggests that the SEO industry is moving in a more technical direction - towards driving technical efficiencies around mobile and load speed, ensuring new development methodologies such as JS frameworks don’t impede search visibility, and the need to make sites machine-readable through APIs and schema markup such as microdata & JSON-LD. As voice and other services are increasingly winner-takes-all - the ‘first’ listing chosen by the search engine is usually the only one served to the user - it is essential we make it clear to clients that being the first to implement these technologies could have serious strategic advantages over other organic competitors.