SEO Iceberg: The Changing Shape of Organic Search Results in 2017

Ensuring strong rankings for your site through a process known as Search Engine Optimisation is vital to the success of a website. What’s the point in selling great products and creating engaging content if nobody can find it? As users change the ways that they conduct searches and respond to content, SEO incorporates many complex aspects that are also constantly changing, so it can be difficult for companies to manage on their own.

In the infographic to the below, we take a look at the changing shape of search results and portray the depth of elements to consider when planning your SEO activity.

These changes and updates in the way SEO is conducted are perfectly demonstrated through our SEO iceberg. The sun is representative of Google and emits rays of search marketing updates that are constantly affecting the landscape of the iceberg or, aspects of a website that affect search engine rankings. Companies, represented by the boat, must navigate the iceberg but only a small fraction of it is visible. Under the surface, there are other aspects to think about and optimise for the best possible results.

Comparing our previous article about the SEO iceberg in 2014 shows how quickly the world of search is changing. The infographic on the right looks at the current and future developments in search marketing and what this now means for SEO.


The most significant change over the last few years has seen a preference for the use of mobile sites. Google’s mobile focus means search engines look for a mobile version of a company’s site before falling back on the desktop version. This has influenced the SEO landscape in a way that has seen search engines shifting focus to create a better user experience for mobile users. For example, Accelerated Mobile Page listings present information in a way that is best suited for display on mobile, although is something companies may find complex to manage on their own.

Other changes to the shape of the iceberg include the expansion of social media interaction. Companies are aware of how important this is for brand awareness, but SEO can be conducted to make full use of it. By sharing content on social media outlets, companies can enhance brand prominence and increase click throughs to the website. Video is also being frequently used by companies, reflecting the new versatile ways of presenting information through social media.

Still a part of the SEO iceberg are internal links. Fundamental to the architecture of a site, these links are read by search engines to determine the importance of a website. However, with more changes from Google on the horizon, there’s no telling if internal links and other practices could be replaced in the future as the SEO landscape continues to transform into 2017 and beyond.


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