Your SEO approach should never grow stale. Innovations and disruptions in the SEO landscape are always creating new opportunities for maximising your efforts and increasing your traffic. 

But staying up-to-date with these changes can be difficult. After all, SEO is a broad field with many moving parts. However, a comprehensive understanding of SEO progress can help you generate active growth for your business.

That’s why we’ve assembled trending innovations and disruptions in SEO across industries here.

The Innovations

For any business, creating a culture of innovation should be a priority. U.S. industries alone have spent nearly $500 billion on research and development as they seek to innovate products and strategies and disrupt the status quo. 

A great example of this was when Netflix challenged Blockbuster Video’s hold on the market with its mail-in movies and later streaming service. In SEO, the same kind of innovation and disruption occurs all the time, giving rise to effective ideas for better marketing and search results. 

Modern SEO has been redefined by these innovations. Here are some of the biggest changes to search engine optimisation that you should be aware of:


When Google unleashed RankBrain in 2015, it meant big changes to the way we search. Suddenly, results shifted from keyword matching alone to an interpretive model that built in context. This meant that pages could be ranked by usefulness, website reputation, and semantic associations more comprehensively than ever before. 

And RankBrain is getting better all the time and distinguishing quality over the old SEO signals. In light of these changes, adaptive SEO professionals need to stay up to date on how any updates on the Google end affect their own page metrics. Keep an eye on performance insights to stay relevant. 

Natural Language Processing

The modern age has brought with it immense improvements to artificial intelligence processes. Among these, the ability for search engines to process queries naturally has exploded into a new realm of usability.

Natural Language Processing (NLP), or the ability of a computational system to recognise and categorise language, requires SEO that clearly defines itself. To adapt to the improved semantic abilities of modern search, optimisers must now focus on structured data markup that helps a search engine recognise your content for what it is.

Device optimisation

As smartphones, tablets, and all kinds of devices connected on the Internet of Things (IoT) take off in popularity, so too does the need for web developers to hone their SEO for device accessibility.

When mobile usability became a ranking metric in 2015, it disrupted SEO strategies for many. Similar innovations will continue to disrupt your approach without accessibility built in. For now, this means optimising for voice search, digital assistants, and smart home systems. 

These major changes in tech and processes have shifted the way we approach SEO. Now, we must consider all kinds of contexts, keywords, search methods, and devices to truly craft a competitive SEO approach. And these developments themselves are changing and improving over time. 

Effective optimisers will consider these innovations as well as how SEO can be disrupted by new and emerging practices. 

The Disruptions

Even with the right tech on your side, SEO is only as good as it is relevant. To maintain an effective and competitive approach to maximising your search results, companies need to understand the trends and how innovative thinking is disrupting the status quo. 

These disruptions mean a necessary shift in SEO efforts, from marketing to back-linking. Here’s what you should know: 

Omnichannel content marketing is on the rise.

Content marketing is still effective, and the better the content the higher your search rankings will likely be. However, the modern trend towards omnichannel content marketing is disrupting traditional approaches. Modern SEO requires embracing a range of content over multiple mediums like video, applications, social media, and more. Build a consistent quality brand across channels and watch your rankings climb.

There is a growing need for streamlined content.

Slow page speeds, while a consistent ranking metric, can be adversely impacted by a multimedia feed. Failing to optimise for speed is one of the most common mistakes any SEO strategist can make. Modern trends require a re-evaluation of all content to maximise performance. There are a few different ways optimisers can go about this. One is to run speed tests and optimise accordingly. Another is to use a content delivery network (CDN) to decentralise usability through cloud servers. 

Targeted back-linking can help your SEO results.

With the changing economy of the coronavirus pandemic, your approach to backlinking should take on a quality-over-quantity directive. While it may seem simpler to spread links far and wide, a slower and more targeted effort can help generate buyer interest and increase your conversion rates. Focus on understanding your audience through data and feedback, then generate quality content to meet their needs. Back-linking can then be more minimalistic, as long as you’re targeting higher-quality publications for your links.

As you adjust your SEO strategy to accommodate the changing norms, be aware of these disruptions and more. Like all things digital, search algorithms are constantly in flux, as are the creative ways innovators find to maximise their success. Even the slightest tweak in the way Google ranks pages, for example, can mean a world of difference for your SERPs. 

SEO, then, must be handled with care, delicacy, and awareness. Even the ways you manage the discipline and termination of your employees can mean disruption in SEO maximisation as your staff adjusts to changes. For example, a disgruntled employee with access to website tools, social media, and search engine analytics could potentially lock others out or break optimisation standards, resulting in poor SEO that might take a long time to fix. Therefore, it is paramount that your SEO strategy is protected at every level of a business, including HR. 

Bottom Line

Innovation and disruption happen in every industry. For search engine optimisers, however, these changes can make all the difference in the success of your approach. From the slightest contextual changes to the broader ways companies build and maximise their content, the constantly changing SEO landscape requires analysis and innovation.

Keep a close eye on your metrics as well as updates from Google and other search engines. Follow up on the successes or failures of your competitors. Explore your own methods of maximising the SEO power of your content.

With innovation and disruption bringing continuous change to SEO, your keyword is understanding. Use what you’ve gained to build the best possible search results for your platform. 


Alex likes to write about anything related to technology, marketing and gadgets. He sometimes reviews the latest tech and also writes on other blogs.