Predicting Search Engine Trends For 2017 and 2018

Advancements in search engine marketing (SEM) continue to unfold at lightning speed. 2016 was a year filled with many changes in the digital landscape. It looks like 2017 and 2018 will follow suit.

Staying ahead of the online curve is important for all web marketers, and our digital and data teams are no exception. If you want to drive more traffic, increase leads and conversions, make the most of your budget, and beat the competition, you’ll need to be up-to-date on the latest SEM trends.

Voice Search Will Continue Growing

Voice search is one of the fastest growing trends in the world of online searches. Because more and more people are using their devices hands free.

According to a Google study, over half of U.S. teens and 41 percent of U.S. adults use voice search on a daily basis. Search marketers can adapt to this new trend by using more natural language in the types of keywords on which they bid.

It’s important to note that voice-based queries are typically made up of longer phrases. Including multiple sentences and full questions. In order to continue to attract customers, marketers must focus less on individual keywords. Instead, they should work on fully answering possible questions consumers might have. Part of our work for Culligan includes creating an extensive network of snippet-ready blogs. And each is loaded with quick answers to common voice-search questions.

Featured snippets are another key piece to keep in mind. Siri or Alexa have the ability to read out entire featured snippets. However, if no snippet exists, the devices simply show the full search page results.

Keep an eye on featured snippet opportunities for your site. But always make sure these are relevant and beneficial to your company and its messaging.

Mobile Browsing Will Dominate

More than ever, consumers rely on their mobile devices. In fact, it's estimated that an average adult touches his or her phone more than 2,000 times a day.

Due to this mobile shift, marketers must now design for mobile first and desktop second. This may seem like a dramatic change. But year over year, mobile continues to overtake and outperform desktop in terms of users and traffic.

Page loading speed is one of the most important factors when it comes to mobile sites. Therefore, adding one second to your load time could result in losing potential customers.

The time you have to grab a user’s attention is greatly decreasing year over year. In 2010 the attention span for a consumer was 12 seconds. In 2013 it was 8 seconds. Now in 2017, this has reduced to only 3-5 seconds.

And since mobile users are in such a rush, they will not have the patience to load a page or wait to find information in a sea of search results.


The 2017 trends in SEM, voice search and mobile first, require that marketers re-evaluate and adapt their current online strategies. Voice search requires a focus on longtail keywords and quality of content. And the mobile first shift requires technical updates for improved loading speed.

Our KennedyC paid search specialists and web specialists are equipped with the experience and talent to help your brand navigate this changing digital landscape. Give us a call or contact us to learn more.