7 Search Marketing Trends for 2017 from Bruce Clay’s SEO Master Class in India

Quote of the day: “Don’t be surprised by the results you don’t get for the work you don’t do.”

free download 7 seo trends in india

Click the image to download this post by Bruce Clay India Managing Director Siddharth Lal.

Feb. 6, 2017, was a bright and buzzing day at the iconic Le Meridien Hotel in Gurgaon, India’s Millennium City. Seventy-five digital marketers (including a few SEO fanatics) came from all parts of India to attend SEO author and industry thought-leader Bruce Clay’s one-day SEO master class.

Indian brands are finally waking up to the long-term benefits of a solid SEO strategy. With every passing year, Bruce Clay India continues to run bigger classes.

attendees of SEO training in India
The SEO master class of 2017 at Le Meridien Hotel, Gurgaon

SEO companies in India have mushroomed up all over the place. But ethical, knowledge-based SEO – offering an authoritative glimpse into the mind of a search engine and how it works – remains elusive.

Enter Bruce Clay, a veteran SEO since before the launch of Google.

Below are the key takeaways from the high-powered master class of tips, tricks, best practices and methodologies.

Download 7 key takeaways from Bruce Clay’s SEO training in India, 2017

1. Mobile-First Indexing

2017 will be the year of mobile-first because that’s where the market is headed. Google is planning to use the mobile (rather than desktop) version of a website in their primary index used to rank results.

If the mobile version of your website isn’t displaying all the content that you normally display on your desktop site, be aware that your website will run into problems.

Did you know that Google has only one index for both mobile and desktop sites — despite reports to the contrary?

2. Voice Search

With the exponential rise in the use of mobile devices and AI-based digital assistants like Siri, Google Assistant and Cortana, voice search is poised to become the next frontier for digital marketers. comScore predicts that by 2020 more than half of all searches will come from voice search.

Voice search is going to have a huge impact on the future of SEO. Start thinking of strategies that target voice searchers – including natural language keyword phrases people will most likely be using when searching for the types of products or services you sell.

wide-angle interior of Bruce Clay India SEO class
The ability to ask questions of an SEO expert is one of the unique advantages of the classroom.

3. Theme

It’s no secret that search engines award top rankings to the website that they see as most relevant to the theme or subject of a user query. The primary goal of SEO is to make a website such that it’s about themes that best match certain keywords – and not just a collection of targeted keyword phrases containing unrelated information without a central theme.

If you have a single page on a theme compared to 10 pages of useful information on that same theme by your competitors, chances are that your competitor’s website will answer a user’s query more satisfactorily. Thus Google will reward them with rankings. The takeaway for a digital marketer is to expand the depth and breadth of content on your themes.

4. Siloed Site Architecture

Siloing refers to grouping keyword-based theme pages together – either structurally or via linking – much like the chapters of a book. It has become one of the most significant architectural concepts in digital marketing. It enables you to construct a website that aligns with the way users search. When done right, it positions you as a subject matter expert in the eyes of search engines.

Strategically architecting your website by ensuring your most important themes get the highest visibility allows you to deliver higher rankings for major keywords that matter. There are two ways to silo a website, physical siloing (directory structure) and virtual siloing (internal linking). Siloing isn’t a new concept to SEO but it is a critical one that can drive meaningful results immediately.

example of siloing hierarchy with power tools

5. RankBrain – A Top Search Ranking Factor

RankBrain helps provide more relevant and helpful results to user search queries using artificial intelligence (AI). Pulling up the most appropriate results is what keeps Google in business – and RankBrain helps the search engine do just that.

Google has publicly acknowledged that RankBrain is among the engine’s top-three ranking factors, alongside content and links. With that kind of weight, marketers must make strategic adjustments along the lines of higher quality content.

As RankBrain continues to get better, content quality will be in increasingly high demand. RankBrain’s strength is in serving results for long-tail queries. Stop words are normally dropped from queries but RankBrain understands the conversational manner of search and give results accordingly.

Download 7 Key Takeaways for SEO in India in 2017

6. Local Search

Claiming your business online by listing it in local search directories and listing services – such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yellow Pages – shows that you exist, and builds trust and visibility for your brand. So identify high-quality local and vertical directories, and claim your presence!

Also ensure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is identical across all listings and directories. It’s one of the most important local search ranking factors, so you won’t want to get this one wrong. For example, each local directory that accepts a listing might have a different requirement in terms of the “name” field (think character length), and you may end up entering different business names. Do not fall into this trap, instead ensure your company name is the exact same every time.

Make sure you optimize your landing pages for local search by following SEO best practices, such as listing your business address, phone number, business hours and services offered on your home page, with a map and directions to your business, as well as prominent landmarks in your area.

Do not forget to add schema markup for local business and be sure it matches your NAP details.

interior of SEO training in India
Shhh … SEO class in progress!

7. Frequently Asked SEO Questions Answered

One of the benefits you can only get from an in-person, classroom style SEO workshop is the ability to ask questions and get answers from an unmatched expert like Bruce. Here are some of the highlights gleaned from attendees asking questions.

Q: Does domain age matter?

A: We believe if a domain is above six years of age, it can add some extra authority to your website. A legacy domain (pre-Google) might also deliver some additional value.

Q: What’s more important – the quality of a blog post or the quantity?

A: The quality of the blog post matters the most. One of the measures of quality is the number of engagements it gets – signs of popularity such as comments, social media shares and backlinks.

Q: What’s the difference between a newsletter and a blog post?

A: A blog is a theme-focused series of writings and media published to a website. A newsletter is a collection of information, such as upcoming events and organization updates, commonly distributed to subscribers by email.

Note: BCI recently stopped publishing its newsletter in favour of weekly blog posts.

Q: How many hyphens can a domain name have before it is considered spam?

A: We believe more than two hyphens in a domain name will raise a red flag.

At the end of the day, minds were racing with all the strategies that could be implemented to improve rankings. Every year we collect inspiring testimonials about the value of the SEO master class in India and the transfer of advanced SEO concepts. Here are some comments that we received about this year’s master class:

“It’s the most comprehensive SEO course I have attended.”

– Gaurav Gaba, CEO Amaugerwatch.com

“Insights into the ranking algorithm and details of each ranking factor (made for) a great course. I believe it will be very beneficial once I will start implementing the recommendations from this course.”

– Nikhil Jogimahanti, Manager, Oyo Rooms

Download 7 Key Takeaways for SEO in India in 2017

If you are looking for a strategic partner in India to execute top-tier SEO solutions for your organization, please contact us to talk about how we can help you.

Siddharth Lal is the managing director of Bruce Clay India. Notable accomplishments include: Named one of India’s Top 100 Digital Marketers (2017) on the Pluralsight Digi100 List by Paul Writer. Instrumental in Bruce Clay India's winning the Most Trusted Marketing Partner award at DMA Asia CMO Choice Awards 2017. Advisor and mentor on the TV series "UNICORNS – Start-Ups of the Internet" by NDTV Profit/Prime, November 2015 to May 2016. Recipient of the Most Talented Social Media Professional in India award from CMO Asia in 2014 at the sixth edition of the Global Youth Marketing Forum. Speaker at various industry SEO forums such as ad:tech New Delhi, SES New Delhi and the National Institute of Advertising.

See Siddharth's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (32)
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32 Replies to “7 Search Marketing Trends for 2017 from Bruce Clay’s SEO Master Class in India”

Great work. I am satisfied with the Point FAQ’s section. Because in the Frequently Asked Question sector, there are larger possibilities of high volume keywords.
Thank you for the information.

Voice search will dominate over Text Search. ive been hearing this since 2015 and i dont think it ever will.

Nice information. Is domain age still a factor in 2019?

Awesome post, Very creative and informative contents. May be very important coming year

Excellent information. I think, everyone should remember these things to their digital marketing world.

Hi Siddharth, these tips are extremely beneficial. These are the things that anyone can easily do to improvise their marketing and take their business towards success. Nice attempt!

Awesome post, Very creative and informative contents. May be very important coming year.

In 2017 google is going to respect the Mobile friendly website and mainly those websites will be ranked high which has good speed score and loads very fast.

So be prepare for optimize your website.

Thanks for sharing the current topic, mobile is going to rule the web world, Wearables will have more smart features.

Very informative article. And Really thanks for share india seo trends.

Really great Post. Undoubtedly there are more mobile users than desktop users. And we really need to focus on mobile-first indexing.

These are some great tips! Voice search is becoming huge for local businesses (almost as big as being in the map pack). I’ve participated in multiple masterminds myself to gain this cutting edge information, so the fact that you’re sharing this with us is much appreciated.

You’ve done nice job! Keep it up! I’d love to follow such events, whether expensive does it cost?

This is an awesome post.Really very informative and creative contents. These concept is a good way to enhance the knowledge.

Something new ideas are always appreciated well done. very new thing that is interesting and awesome. keep up the good works.

Very Interesting article you have shared and keep sharing the blog related to marketing trends of SEO in 2017. The above 7 factors palys a very important role in SEO coming years.

Hello Siddharth,

Mobile first index is one of the big things happen in SEO. And now responsive site is compulsory for everyone. in video marketing disposable media is also a trend now a days because in whatsapp, snapchat and instagram allow story for only 24 hour.


Very informative post…gives a good insight about the SEo trends in India and to my kind of new people a best source to look and understand the SEO concepts

Hi Sidhartha,

It’s good to see the 7 pointers. But I haven’t seen any information about AMP. It’s being considered as ranking signal for mobile search results. Google will prefer the sites which are AMP than normal. If you would have posted your own experience on AMP here it could be better for me to know extra on this topic. But again it’s great information shared with us.

Varun – With reference to AMP the reason I didn’t write much about it is because we are still at the sidelines in terms of taking a decision on AMP. There is a lot of discussion on the web related to both positives and negatives of AMP. First of all you it should be known that AMP is not required for all kinds of websites. It only fits the bill for certain websites. Even where it fits the bill a lot of publishers are wary of AMP. For me to go through all the Pros and Cons of AMP would require a whole new article. However let me share some reference articles for you here:
While Google has done a great job of highlighting the biggest positive of AMP, i.e.a significantly faster user experience.
However the negatives must also be considered like a stripped down version of your website. So here you have to debate if losing engagement objects could hurt your website. E.g. If a pop-up asking a user to become a subscriber doesn’t load how will that effect your conversions?

My own belief is that if you have done a great job with a Responsive website then you might not need AMP. Lets wait and watch?

Voice search is already a big sector of driving traffic. Now when we ask clients how they heard about us they usually say i just asked siri for a company that provides your service near me. Which is why we are focusing more on how voice search actually works.

John – While I have not got this feedback from our own clients. However I totally am with you that Voice Search is the future (and as you are saying in your case the future is now!). I see little kids who haven’t yet learnt to write properly however they are very comfortable asking Siri to
“Show Frozen video on YouTube”.
Absolutely it makes sense to start working on the Voice Search phenomenon and trying to figure out how it will impact your clients online business!

Wow what a post you said it SID, I have noticed that web sites with age do seem to rank better new sites seem to be hard to ran, I wonder though when does Google first index a site vs how old the site is ? Overall great information, Yes majestic is a great site as well

Hi Ron- You are right new sites will always be much harder to rank as they are competing with sites that have accumulated E-A-T (Expertness, Authority & Trust). New websites need to establish this credibility and therefore are harder to rank. Just like you don’t expect a new born baby to start walking, talking etc, similarly you shouldn’t have big expectations in terms of organic rankings from new websites. You must give them time to mature like a good bottle of wine. You need to nurture the site just like when you plant a seed and give it water and watch it grow. Similarly you need to add quality content to the website over a period of time. At the same time you need to ensure your website’s technical performance is up to the mark. Think of things like Page Speed, Server Performance, clean coding, well structured URLs, good site architecture. Simultaneously you need to build the buzz around your website and make it popular. This will get it much required votes from its peers. If you keep doing the above the Search Engines will reward you over a period of time. You need to be patient and under no circumstances should you try to take shortcuts.
In terms of when Google indexes your site – you can make Google come to your site, by submitting your website’s XML Sitemap via Google Search Console. You can do a fetch as Google. Hope this helps!

Well done! Sid! You’ve done nice job! Keep it up! I am following Bruce clay blog from last year! You guys are doing superb job!

Thanks Mark for the words of encouragement

Hi Siddharth,

Very informative post. I too don’t belive that domain age matters a lot if its less than 6 7 years old.
But can you tell me that buying expired domain is good or not? What if we buy a domain which is more than 6 years old and about to expire.


Hi Ankit,
You have to be very careful if you buy an expired domain. You must do a thorough check of the domain you are about to buy irrespective of whether it is expired or not. I would most certainly do the following:
1. Check the UI (User interface) – Use the Way Back Machine to check what the domain looked like over a period of time to ensure it has not been associated with unscrupulous activities.
2. Check the Link Profile – I would use a tool like Majestic to check the link profile
3. Check Owner Details – I would check the Whois Information to make sure the owner is not associated with other domains that might be tainted
4. Check the mentions of the domain on the web – So use an advanced Google search operator like site: to check all the pages that have been indexed for the domain

Hope the above is helpful…

This is awesome.
One thing said elsewhere is that Local SEO was going to the way of the dinosaurs…being replaced by a pay for play system by Google…

Great work, Pointed out some crucial factors that will surely play a key role in this year to become a master SEO.

Thanks for such a wonderful Blog .I have gone through all the points such as Mobile First Indexing, Voice Search which are trending in India in 2017.

This is great! I jotted a few notes – not normal. :)

Glad you brought up local SEO. I’m excited and a bit apprehensive about where this is going, since I work with both local-level and some more enterprise-level clients. My job is getting easier for the local clients, whereas some of my larger, non-local clients have been losing some ground in the SERPs to the local brands!

I guess this all points to more integration with local PPC campaigns and more local-centric landing pages; why not do a product LP for each major city, for instance?

Anyways, great post. Thanks!


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