2018 promises to be an exciting year also in the field of search engine optimization. Trends that started in 2017 continue this year and continue to gain in importance. In the following, we present promising SEO strategies for this year and show you what developments await us this year.
As early as 2017, Machine Learning and Google’s RankBrain were A BIG TOPIC IN THE SEO COMMUNITY . This should continue to remain so, after all, Google itself indicates that it is RankBrain to the third most important ranking factor.
RankBrain analyzes user behavior and then rates the pages visited. Google wants to present users with even better search results – and those websites that are optimized for the user, not for the search engine.
So if you want to optimize for RankBrain, you should first and foremost optimize for the user. Guidelines that can help here include the organic click-through rate (CTR) and the dwell time, ie the user’s length of stay.
The days when link building plays an important role in SEO are far from over. At the same time, the quality of the set backlinks is becoming ever more elementary. Google still rates backlinks as an authority signal, but is paying increasing attention to which pages these links come from. So in the past, anyone who has simply set fast links from link networks could be punished by Google. Inferior links should be removed. The consequence of this is that, paradoxically, a strategic link down can often lead to a better ranking. If you have not yet adapted your backlink strategy, you should do so by 2018 at the latest.
The way we look at Google is changing, and Google is responding to these trends and tweaking the search results. Two examples are Featured Snippets and Voice Search.
Google is increasingly becoming a true “answer machine.” When you google a keyword or an entire question, it’s more and more common that you do not have to click on a search result to get the information you’re looking for Answer Immediately An example of a Featured Snippet can be seen here:
Featured snippets can be text, spreadsheets, videos, and more. While it’s not possible to do some tricks to make sure that Google processes your own website’s information as a Featured Snippet, it’s certainly possible to increase the likelihood of it – through tables, lists, and question-and-answer content, for example.
However, Featured Snippets are by no means always pulled from the best-ranked website. Rather, it is here to offer short and informative content on the specific issue.
Although Voice Search will still be waiting for the big breakthrough in 2018, there is no denying that voice search is becoming increasingly popular. Thus, in the long run, both our way of looking for and Google’s search results will be affected. Predictive SEOs are already focusing on optimizing some of their pages for language search. After all, today 35 times as many voice searches are performed on Google as in 2008, and 40% of all adults perform at least one such search every day.
If you want to optimize a website for voice search, you should focus on content that has been prepared as a question and answer. It offers appropriate W-questions or FAQ lists. Overall, it is also useful here to aim for Featured Snippets.
Longtail keywords have long been the focus of search engine optimization. In 2018, this trend is likely to intensify. Because with many very strong keywords meanwhile the problem exists that Google offers already in the search results the answer or information, which is searched for – approximately by Featured Snippet. Even the best ranking does not help – often even the top position only appears after scrolling, and a click is no longer worthwhile for the searcher because all the information is already available.
However, those who rely on long-tail keywords in their optimization strategy will find it easier to achieve good to very good rankings, and will also attract users who are looking for more information – and will be more willing to click.
2018 will be the year of the mobile first – that much is already apparent. Because shortly Google will introduce the Mobile First Index. This has the consequence that the mobile version of a web page receives more weight for the ranking than the desktop version. The Mobile First Index is not introduced all over the web, but rolled out gradually – many SEO experts suspect that it is already in force for some websites. Now, at least, businesses should start to optimize their website for mobile devices. Benefits are thus opening up in two places: on the one hand for users who want to surf more and more mobile and on the other hand for the Google ranking of the entire website.
2018 has many interesting developments and exciting challenges for SEOs. Machine learning and increasing mobile surfing are two of the most important factors in the current developments in the field of search engine optimization. Businesses and SEO strategists should already set the right direction for the future. Because, as is often the case with Google, whoever reacts early wins.