- In digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) is constantly evolving with new techniques, advanced technologies and algorithm updates.
- The rapid changes in this field keep the SEO experts on their toes as an SEO practice that is effective today, can become irrelevant tomorrow and in turn hurt your
- ranking on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Every time Google rolls out an algorithm update, the paradigm of the SEO world significantly shifts.
In 2017, there was wave of change that brought HTTPS, backlinks and Google
AMP (accelerated mobile pages) to the top of SEO priority checklist. With 2018, there has been a considerable increase in the popularity of mobile devices and voice search features. New trends in search engine optimization have emerged in 2018 to accommodate the popular trends and Google’s Mobile-First Indexing algorithm update.Listed here are the 6 most important SEO trends of 2018 that every SEO-er should look out for in order to keep their ranking on track and avoid unnecessary nuisances.
1 - Voice Search
With the rise of voice activated smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home and Microsoft’s Invoke; there has been a huge market incline towards voice queries. According to The Verge, 39 million or 1 in every six American owns a voice activated smart speaker. Many consumers prefer the fast voice query method over tedious traditional typing one. The adoption rate of the voice activated hardware has outpaced that of smartphones and tablets in the last three years. Voice recognition softwares now have sophisticated AI and algorithms that are trusted by the users in understanding their natural speech.Voice search queries have changed the SEO platform from simple keywords and terms to conversational phrases and sentences. As an SEO specialist, you will now need to focus on stuff that people would say instead of what they will type and your keyword strategy will need to be updated accordingly.
2 – Mobile Everything
There was a time when dial-up connection on your desktop computer was the only way to connect to the internet. With the advent of smartphones, the web browsing landscape started shifting from computers to mobile devices. Google has issued a deadline in 2018 after which mobile pages of a website will be indexed first.From SEO point of view, mobile friendliness of your websites is an important ranking factor. With the rise of voice search and creation of new mobile devices on monthly basis, users and search engines demand fast loading yet interactive mobile browsing experience. Being mobile responsive is not an option but a necessity now.
3 - Rich Snippets Getting Structuring Makeover
Rich snippets have left their regular snippet cousin behind in the search engine race. Both these snippets have a clickable title, a meta description and a URL. Rich snippets also have titles that are condensed and might include reviews or images. Their data structuring greatly influences their display format in the search engine. According to a research, properly formatted rich snippets in a search result receive more attention. Their high CTR and number of clicks results in increment of potential sales.10% of the first page’s traffic in the SERPs is currently being stolen by featured snippets. The domination of rich snippets on the search results has created a new form content to address detailed search queries. Question and answer (Q&A) based content is being created, formatted, structured and search engine optimized so hat Google can easily take relevant information and show it to the viewer in rich snippet form. Trending features such as voice search also utilize rich snippets for finding results.
4 – High Page Speed Demand
We live in fast-paced world where there is no margin for slow page speed. Users find it annoying when a page does not load in less than 5 seconds and bounce off to another website. People want to consume information immediately and for that they demand good page speed on both desktop and mobile devices. Google’s page ranking algorithm uses page load time as one of the factors required for a good ranking. Low speed will result in fewer pages being crawled by Google who recommends less than 3 seconds as optimum speed time. You can easily identify and correct issues regarding page speed with free tools such as PageSpeed Insights
5 - Page Relevance Important
Google wants to decrease the search time for users. In its high quality browsing quest, it has come up with brilliant algorithms. Page relevance is of utmost important for Google and it plays a huge role in ranking a website. The relevancy of the content is accessed is assessed using Latest Semantic Indexing (LSI). LSI helps Google gather, scan and parse content from billions of websites for related words and terms. It also helps in determining flow in the content and its comprehensiveness. SEO gurus recommend publishing good content with at least 1k word limit. A long article or blog post has all the LSI favorite qualities such as synonyms, flow and healthy size.
6 - The Age of Linkless Backlinks
Backlinks and SEO go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. In the pre-Penguin era, black hat SEO techniques were used abundantly for the misuse of backlinks. Google settled all that chaos and made backlinking an ethical yet powerful SEO practice in 2012 with the Penguin update.Now, the authority of backlinks is slowly being diminished by search robots. Search engines can now recognize mentions of brands, organizations and people without the help of any link. The content as a whole is more important than a single URL.
From our list of important SEO trends in 2018, it is quite clear that this field is moving away from the traditional practices which it once dearly held. New trends should be adopted and one must ensure that their websites and online applications are optimized for voice search, rich snippets and mobile devices.