Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a strong fixture in online advertising and marketing. Businesses that fail to keep up with major SEO trends will inevitably fall behind their competitors. While it’s impossible to know the exact changes that Google has implemented in its algorithms, SEO experts are constantly trying to figure out the best ways to comply with those updates. Here are the most important SEO updates to come out of 2018 that you should keep in mind for this year:
Major Google Updates
Google implemented a lot of updates to its algorithm in the past year and they’ll no doubt continue doing so in 2019 as new trends and SEO techniques emerge. While there are far too many minor updates to name here, many of which go unnoticed, there are some that were more impactful than others. Here are some of the most notable updates you should know about:
- The Medic Update
- Broad Core Algorithm Update March 9, 2018
- Broad Core Algorithm Update April 16, 2018
- Broad Core Algorithm Update August 1, 2018
Since Google conducts countless broad core algorithms every year (sometimes averaging twice a day), it doesn’t typically announce when these updates are taking place unless they’re going to have a major impact on SEO like the abovementioned ones.
Mobile searches far exceeded the use of desktop searches in 2018. Statistics show that between 2009 and 2018, global mobile web page usage increased drastically from 0.7% to 52.2%. To compensate for this, Google has gradually improved its search algorithms to focus more on mobile-friendly web sites. Web sites that aren’t mobile-friendly could be penalized and will typically be ranked much lower than those that are mobile-friendly until they upgrade their designs.
Greater Focus on Search Intent
Search intent is the reason that people are conducting search queries. What are they looking for when they conduct a Google search? Are they looking for a quick answer to a question? Are they looking for a specific product, service, or business? Do they want to compare competitive prices for these things?
Google’s goal is to accumulate as much information as possible so that they can accurately predict the intent of the search and come up with the most viable solution. Keywords are the biggest clues when it comes to predicting search intent, but there’s a little more to it than that. Search intent can be grouped under the following categories:
- Commercial Investigation (researching products or services before purchasing them)
- Informational Intent (people conduct searches to find answers or information)
- Transactional Intent (users who are looking to make online purchases usually shop around for the best deals)
- Navigational Intent (people who search for a specific web site or company fall under this category)
Content-Rich Web Sites and Voice Search Technology
Content-rich web sites typically contain more long-tail content pieces, whether it’s written text or multimedia content. These web sites have been proven to outperform web sites that focus primarily on shorter content pieces. Long-tail content allows more opportunities to naturally include certain keywords that most users are searching for.
Combined with the growing popularity of voice search technology on Google, it makes sense to feature longer content pieces on your web site that includes informal spoken language. Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s time to start speaking their language and create content they can easily grasp and digest. Focusing more on voice searches allows you to close in on the types of searches your target audience is conducting and rank higher on search engine results pages.
These are just a few of the main SEO takeaways that came to light in 2018. At Numero Uno Web Solutions, we have the necessary expertise and tools to help you increase your web site’s rankings and online presence through proven SEO techniques. Contact us today to learn more!