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      The Most Overhyped Tech Trends and Buzzwords of 2020

      Tech trends impacting IT departments evolve at a break-neck pace. Whether they are expected or not, this reality forces IT pros to quickly distinguish which trends are relevant and which can be treated with skepticism.

      To learn what tech trends really deserve attention in the coming year, we presented 500 senior IT professionals and infrastructure managers a list of general tech and IT buzzwords and asked whether these trends will be overhyped or noteworthy in 2020.

      Take a look at the results:

      tech trends

      Trends IT Pros Deemed as Over-Hyped

      None of the buzzwords/trends broke 50 percent in the over-hyped column. While there wasn’t a broad consensus, augmented reality (AR), 5G wireless, biometric authentication, blockchain and AI in the data center claimed the top five spots in this category.

      Augmented Reality

      AR ranked highest on the list of over-hyped trends at 39 percent, but the majority agree that it deserves attention (51 percent). Why the disparity? It may depend on whether or not AR has practical applications for the IT pro’s industry or business.

      There are plenty of examples of AR being incorporated across a variety of use cases. While it more prominently (and visibly) has to capture the imagination of the public, AR has also worked its way into the data center. As this technology continues to develop, a greater majority of IT pros might come to view AR as something worth giving attention.

      5G Wireless

      This next frontier in wireless may be a popular topic of discussion, but 35 percent of IT pros think it will be overhyped in 2020. Mary Jane Horne, INAP’s SVP of Global Network Services, weighed in on the on the 5G buzz at CAPRE’s seventh annual Mid-Atlantic Data Center conference in September 2019.

      “Just because I have a region with 5G, doesn’t meant that that particular provider is going to get it to the destination the fastest,” said Horne. “I need to have a variety of providers I can pick from. 5G is only going to be fast as the background network.”

      CNN Business notes that most consumers won’t be using 5G technology until 2025. At the enterprise level, conversation on 5G will be more relevant when upstream network infrastructure is better equipped to handle it.

      Biometric Authentication

      While it may come as a surprise that 1 in 3 IT pros view this proven, cutting-edge branch of security technology as over-hyped, it may not be practical for every business or IT team.

      Biometric authentication is another layer of protection on top of a strong security system, and it can frequently apply to specific locations, such as data centers or other high-security facilities. However, for day-to-day user access, it may not hold as much of a practical application as implementing two-factor authentication.

      What Tech Trends Will Earn IT’s Attention in 2020?

      Participants showed greater consensus on what is really deserving of attention in 2020, with 71 percent of pros agreeing on the top buzzwords—machine learning and digital transformation. DevOps and multicloud rounded out the top four, with more than 65 percent of IT pros saying these trends deserve attention.


      Multicloud strategies continue to gain traction as we launch into 2020. The model gives companies the flexibility to pick the right environments that allow their workloads to run optimally.

      “The adoption of multicloud by enterprises spurs the innovation of tools to monitor and manage across platforms and increases the value of the role MSPs play in partnering to design and manage these complex scenarios,” says Jennifer Curry, SVP of Global Cloud Services.

      She continues, “The traditional division of dev and test in public cloud and product on prem or in a private cloud will go by the wayside as multicloud makes it easier to optimize your environment without sacrificing performance, security or visibility.”

      We can definitely expect to hear much more on multicloud services over the coming years.

      Digital Transformation and DevOps

      Seventy-one percent of IT pros deem digital transformation to be worth attention. While some may think the term has become a bit “nebulous from overuse,” the concept itself is popular because companies across industries are adopting new technology that changes the way business itself is done.

      DevOps is tied into digital transformation, with software developers and IT teams working in closer collaboration to more rapidly build, test and release new software. With these silos eliminated, processes can be automated, giving IT pros the ability to solve critical issues faster.

      Senior leaders are significantly more likely to think DevOps deserves attention than non-senior IT infrastructure managers, with a 21 versus 11 percent split, respectively,  As leaders for their respective areas, it makes sense that fostering a DevOps culture/philosophy is appealing, especially if it means that work can be done with greater speed, agility and results.

      Machine Learning

      Considering machine learning makes it possible for a computer to efficiently process large amounts of information and make adjustments accordingly, it’s no wonder that 71 percent of participants said this technology deserves attention. Paired with AI, machine learning can be even more effective. At present, the growing amount and variety of data necessitates this technology to deliver faster and more accurate results.

      The cost effectiveness of machine learning will likely lead to shifting functions in tech roles. As accurate and efficient as machine learning technology is, time and resources are still needed to train it properly. IT pros will need to stay on top of the latest education and skill building as their career paths evolve.

      Laura Vietmeyer


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      Let’s Take a Look at SEO Trends: How to Rank Higher in 2019

      Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital part of any website owner or digital marketer’s work. This is unlikely to change in the new year, but that doesn’t mean you can just rely on old strategies. In fact, as browsing habits change, you’ll need to keep your SEO techniques up to date.

      The way people use search engines such as Google changes constantly. For example, over the past few years, ‘mobile-first’ has become an important mantra for improving both accessibility and page rankings. While nobody can tell for sure what the future holds, it is possible to get a good idea of what you should focus on for the next year.

      In this article, we’ll talk about why SEO will continue to be a critical consideration in the upcoming year. We’ll also discuss some of the trends that may come to dominate your SEO strategy in 2019. Let’s get started!

      The Current State of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

      In case you’re new to the concept, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to a series of techniques for helping your site rank higher in search results. It’s an integral aspect of everyday work for most developers and content creators, and looks poised to remain so for years to come.

      There is no shortage of ways you can improve SEO on your website. General considerations include making sure its loading times are kept to a minimum, for example, and performing keyword research to tailor your posts to match what people are searching for.

      However, while it might seem like SEO practices are evergreen, this is far from the case. In reality, what ranks well depends on the search engines’ algorithms, which are continually changing. This naturally means you can’t keep relying on the same optimization techniques over time and expect good results.

      As such, you’ll want to stay up-to-date with the changing world of SEO. This will help you keep your site optimized well into 2019 (and beyond).

      SEO Trends: 10 Tips for Ranking Higher in 2019

      To help you get a head-start on optimizing your content in the new year, we’re now going to take a look at some of the SEO trends that will be worth paying attention to in 2019. We’ll also give you some tips on how to adapt your content and strategy to take advantage of those trends. Let’s jump right in!

      1. Prepare Your Site for Voice Search

      Voice search has already nestled comfortably into many people’s lives. Perhaps you use Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Echo, or Google’s Assistant, just to name three examples. As this technology becomes more prevalent so to will the need to consider how voice search will affect your SEO efforts.

      The main difference between typical SEO strategies and optimizing for voice search involves using more ‘natural’ phrasing. After all, text searches usually involve stilted, compressed phrases like “best blog hosting 2018.” However, if you were to use your voice to search for the same information, you’d probably say something like: “What is the best hosting for blogs this year?”

      Do you notice how the second phrase is both more natural and considerably longer? This means you’ll also want to consider optimizing your content for long-tail keywords to a greater degree. Since the ultimate goal is to use keywords people are likely to search for, this might actually make your job easier, as you won’t need to jam cumbersome key phrases into your content.

      2. Optimize Your Site for Speed

      Optimizing your site for performance is something we’ve discussed in several previous posts. However, the importance of this step bears repeating. Loading times will undoubtedly remain a huge consideration in 2019, especially when it comes to improving your site’s rankings.

      This issue became even more pressing in 2018, as Google announced it would begin factoring in page speed for mobile devices. This is due to the growing popularity of mobile browsing, and means that keeping load times short is now a primary concern for all website owners.

      Fortunately, we’ve also previously explored how to speed up your site in general. Key strategies include implementing a caching solution, as well as optimizing your media files. For more information, you can take a look at our full series of tutorials on performance optimization.

      3. Make Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

      The term Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a distinctly futuristic ring to it. So it’s no surprise that it’s going to play a major role in how SEO changes in the near future. We’re (unfortunately) not talking about hiring a robot to handle your SEO strategy, but that’s not as far from the reality as you might expect.

      Google already uses AI extensively, thanks to its RankBrain system. This is a bot that uses machine learning to continuously improve Google’s search results. It finds patterns and context in millions of pages, which the search engine can then use to return more relevant results for specific queries.

      However, Google isn’t the only party that can also use AI to its advantage. In fact, tools that utilize machine learning to improve your SEO are becoming more popular. One such example is Automated Insights.

      The Automated Insights home page.

      This solution helps you turn unorganized data, such as site analytics, into a clear narrative. In turn, that can help you spot patterns more quickly and start making improvements.

      Another tool that can help you when creating content is WordLift.

      The WordLift plugin.

      This WordPress plugin uses machine learning to help you optimize your content. It does that by both offering suggestions for the actual content and by adding structured metadata and suggesting relevant links.

      We suspect that this is only scratching the surface of what AI-based tools will be able to do in the future. As such, getting familiar with this technology now can give you a vital head start.

      4. Improve Your Mobile Pages

      Google’s mobile-first index means that the search engine now ranks pages based on their versions designed for mobile devices. As such, even if your site performs flawlessly on a desktop, but it’s hard to use and sluggish when viewed on a smartphone, your SEO rankings will likely suffer.

      For this reason, optimizing your site for mobiles is no longer optional. In reality, you’ll need to spend even more time making sure your mobile site is fast and usable. This is also called making your site responsive, since the goal is for it to work well regardless of the screen size or device type used to view it.

      You’ll also need to consider how your site will actually work on different screens. For example, if you’ve designed your navigation for desktop browsing, is it still as intuitive and simple to use on mobile devices? If your site contains additional elements, such as pop-ups, you’ll also need to ensure that they don’t interfere with the mobile user experience.

      Thankfully, this is not as difficult as it might seem. For instance, the vast majority of WordPress themes and plugins are built with responsive design in mind. However, to avoid any issues, you should still make sure to thoroughly test your site on multiple devices.

      5. Focus on More Personalized Results

      It often seems like people are getting less patient by the day. They want to find the information they need much more quickly, for instance, which is why Google has placed a greater focus on personalized results.

      Most notably, Google actually gathers information about each individual user to return the most relevant results. Another example can be found in Google’s ‘answer boxes.’

      A Google result using an answer box.

      Google’s service is also personalized by offering searchers contextual results based on previous searches or even the user’s location. If you try searching for “Where is the nearest coffee shop?”, you’ll be shown options that are close by.

      This may seem like a difficult trend to leverage to your own advantage, but it’s far from impossible. You can actually increase your odds of appearing in answer boxes by merely providing clear and organized information on your site. Using lists and distinct headings to summarize each page’s contents will also help Google parse and index the information, making it easier to get your site featured in the coveted ‘position 0.’

      6. Extend Your SEO Strategy to Your Social Media Channels

      Having a strong social media presence is a significant aspect of online marketing. Naturally, this also applies to your SEO strategy. While social media shares aren’t currently a direct ranking factor, there does seem to be a correlation between social signals and rankings.

      How this works is complicated, to say the least, and we won’t get too deep into the details here. Suffice it to say that the more your content is shared, the more traffic your site will likely get through search engines. This also helps you build backlinks and brand awareness, since more people will see and talk about your site.

      As such, it’s vital that you factor in your social media presence when considering SEO. Focus on a few essential platforms and maintain a consistent strategy for sharing content and interacting with your followers. This will help you across all areas of your marketing.

      7. Shift Your Focus Away from Google

      So far, we’ve consistently referred almost exclusively to Google when considering SEO. This is no accident, considering that it remains the most popular search engine by far. Still, it may not be a good idea to focus solely on Google’s ranking algorithms when putting together your SEO strategy.

      Amazon’s search engine, for example, is becoming one of the most significant on the web. As it turns out, over half of shoppers turn to Amazon when searching for products, rather than to Google. Another example comes in the form of YouTube, which remains the world’s second largest search engine.

      What this means for you is that relying solely on Google may not be feasible from now on. For example, if you want your products to be more visible, you’ll need to consider Amazon to a much larger degree. If you have a lot a video and other non-text content, on the other hand, YouTube and similar platforms should be high on your list of targets.

      8. Understand How Blockchain Affects SEO

      If you’ve never heard of ‘blockchain’ before, you’re not alone. While the concept is too complex to do full justice here, we can break it down in simplified terms. In essence, a blockchain is a list of records that cannot be modified after the fact. Every item – or block – in the chain is recorded and preserved as-is forever.

      This technology can affect SEO, because using blockchain changes the relationship between advertisers and website owners. With blockchains, you can guarantee that every click is valid, meaning that the days of bot visitors are over. This will lead to improved verified data, meaning that sites won’t be able to get away with artificially improving their rankings using automated clicks.

      At this point, your best move is simply to learn more about blockchain and how it can affect your site and business. This is a complex and nuanced topic, so being prepared is key. You may even wish to hire an expert to help you if you’re interested in implementing blockchain yourself.

      9. Improve Your Technical SEO

      SEO is often thought of as a concern exclusive to content creators and marketers. However, the reality is that it’s also something developers need to think about. The process of ‘technical SEO’ refers to making sure your site is compatible with the standards set by search engines.

      Two major aspects of technical SEO that we’ve already touched on include page speed and mobile-friendliness. However, another crucial consideration is site security. For instance, Google now requires sites to be delivered using HTTPS, in order to be labeled as ‘secure’ in the Chrome browser.

      These are just a few of the elements that fall under the technical SEO umbrella. While we don’t have time to go through everything, here are a few additional aspects you’ll want to consider:

      • Site architecture. By designing your site in a logical way, you’ll make it easier for crawlers to catalog and index your pages, which improves your rankings.
      • Rich snippets. This is a type of markup that adds extra information to your pages, making them stand out more in search results.
      • Duplicate content. Search engines penalize sites that feature the same content in more than one location. As such, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t repeat or re-use the same text.

      As we mentioned, this is by no means a comprehensive list. However, it should be enough to get you started, whether or not you have an interest in development.

      10. Use SEO to Optimize Your Videos

      For our final tip, we should acknowledge that SEO isn’t just about text. It’s also vital to look at SEO as it pertains to video content. This is increasingly important as video is becoming more prevalent by the day.

      To give you an example, in 2018 nearly half of all internet users watched at least an hour of online video every week. Site owners have started to take heed of this trend, and you can do the same. An easy way to start? Include videos on your site. Search engines consider the quality of your content and the length of time users stick around as ranking factors. By using video, you can improve both metrics.

      What’s more, you can also aim to improve SEO on the videos themselves. This involves using clear and descriptive titles, choosing the right video hosting platform, and making sure to address your users’ questions and pain points. This will make sure your visitors get the information they need while improving your rankings at the same time.

      Moving on Up

      Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a static pursuit. As the internet changes, so do the parameters that determine how well your site ranks in search engines. This means that you need to stay up-to-speed with the latest SEO trends in order to ensure continued success for years to come.

      What do you think SEO will look like in 2019 and beyond? Share your predictions in the DreamHost Community and let’s discuss!

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