As the Internet and users’ interactions with it continues to evolve, so too do search engines and the results they provide to queries. In fact, while search engine results pages (SERPs) have gradually changed in different ways over the years, some are predicting that, by 2016, we may see some of the most dramatic changes to SERPs yet.

Here’s a look at some of the most viable predictions for how SERPs are expected to evolve in the coming year.

In 2016, SERPs May…

1 – More prominently feature social results

SERPs may change in various ways by 2016, with the likely evolution moving towards producing better results for users, experienced Internet marketing pros explain.

SERPs may change in various ways by 2016, with the likely evolution moving towards producing better results for users, experienced Internet marketing pros explain.

While Google has an established relationship with Facebook, it is also developing one with Twitter, as indicated by (among other things) the recent feature of Twitter content in SERPs, as we noted in a previous blog. As these and other social media platforms continue to be widely used, some are expecting that:

  • More people will be searching for newsworthy, socially relevant info directly from these platforms.
  • SERPs will start to feature social results more prominently.
  • Google may even eventually develop a separate “social results” section or listing for SERPs to better help people identify social versus standard results.

2 – More prominently feature the Knowledge Graph

The Knowledge Graph is the box that appears on the right-hand side of SERPs for certain types of queries (such as those about movies, celebrities, etc.). This box features commonly sought info to prevent people from having to dig thought SERP results for it. For instance, for a search on a celebrity, the Knowledge Graph will feature info like a birthdate, names of that person’s spouse/children and links to what that person is known for.

As Knowledge Graphs accumulate more info (and become available for a more diverse range of topics/queries), they will likely become far more central features to SERPs in the coming year (and beyond), some industry experts are predicting.

3 – Integrate more app-related info

As mobile devices continue to grow in popularity (even replacing traditional desktops for many people), apps and app-related info are becoming increasingly relevant for the queries made on these devices. This may end up meaning that, within the next year, Google SERPs will start to include more listings related to apps, pushing some traditional listings out (or down in the rankings).

4 – Better refine their listings/results

Ultimately, if social results, Knowledge Graphs and more app-related info end up making their way to more prominent positions in SERPs, this may just be a natural result, as SERPs (that traditionally have 10 listings) will likely present better and less results to a given query. This, in turn, could end up meaning that there is:

  • More competition to be listed prominently in SERPs
  • More visibility for the content that ends up being featured on SERPs.

What do you think about these predictions? Share your thoughts and opinions with us on Facebook & Google+.

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