Before taking you through Google algorithm update in 2018, let us find out the valuable SEO learning that can be derived from the latest google update 2017.
If you look back in the past, keyword stuffing happened to be one of the most viable Google rankings factors.
But in the recent past, the search engine giant has performed a plethora of updates in order to keep pace with user behavior.
And this is the reason why you must remain entirely focused and updated with major shifts in SEO announced from time to time.
In the normal practice, Google generally makes around 550-650 algorithm updates annually. However, in the presence of so many changes, it becomes quite hard to ascertain which update is going to influence your SEO strategies and impacting the rankings.
And this in turn affects your business directly or indirectly.
In the year 2017 alone, so many updates were announced, including a few major ones. This impacted hundreds of websites, as they experienced huge drops in their traffic and rankings.
As we have already explained that Google updates are basically meant to create a better user experience for general users, it becomes even harder for SEO guys to rank their websites on the top of the search results pages (SERPs).
Below is the history of major updates announced in the year 2017.
As you know, the year 2017 witnessed a vast Google algorithm update; we would like to bring you all the major ones here.
As we have already explained that Google’s search algorithms are meant to create a better user experience for general users, it becomes even harder for SEO guys to rank their websites on the top of the search results pages (SERPs).
As per Searchengineland, Google announced a change in its algorithm on February 1, 2017. It was not a major one though, but the phase witnessed a huge number of algorithm fluctuations that happened till February 6.
Initially, nothing much could be speculated about these updates, but the evidence from SEL (Search Engine Land) showed that it swept away the entire web space by undergoing 1-2 major changes.
Further to these changes, SEL observed that only the black hat community was complaining about their tactics not functioning well, unlike white hat community who didn’t feel the same.
Most people landed on the conclusion that the update was about to discredit link building in aggressive ways.
Some people also claimed that their PBN (Private Blog Networks) didn’t produce the desired results as Google has become slower to pick new (low authority) links.
On February 7, there was another updated that quickly followed the older one and was even larger.
To this, G-Squared Interactive claimed that the visibility of a few websites actually impacted in a positive way:
Some of these sites witnessed a positive change while others experienced undesired results from the update.
With such a huge update, you can easily predict your updated keyword rankings.
Like, you can very well witness a search result changing positions rapidly by jumping 5-10 ranks within the same day.
The digital marketing agency realized that the fresh Google update actually impacted many of their keywords, and their rankings as well.
While some keyword rankings fell 5-10 positions, others moved up to 45 positions within a day.
This gave an impression that Google (in some ways) penalized those sites that earlier looked great but were not, in terms of quality. And, this is the reason why they were given lower rankings.
The agency further noticed that Google, even started demoting these sites with low quality user engagements.
The sites were penalized that either had poor user interface, excessive monetization options, deceptive ad placements and with broken menus options.
The sites that were using heavy pagination just for attaining more clicks through all 38 pages were penalized.
This makes for a terrible user experience in exchange for better and easier ad promotion on sites.
Well, this is something Google doesn’t like at all as it makes a terrible user experience. The search engine giant wants to provide all users far better experience on the web.
In the same ways, the Google update impacted websites having thin and low quality content. You might be wandering about the meaning of thin content.
Thin content basically means short content, giving no value to the users and is created just for the sake of driving traffic.
The update also talked about the impact it created on the mobile usability of websites. This means your website rankings are likely to suffer if your website is not perfectly optimized for mobile.
The agency noticed that websites with poor and broken menus and with poor mobile usability are going to be impacted heavily from Google.
Ad deception was also a part of this update that was equally targeted by Google. Ad deception is one thing that Google hates.
It’s because ads tend to get more into the content and make users confused. It also makes a user unpredictable as he fails to differentiate between ads and content.
This practice is usually implied either by malicious websites or those who are trying to incorporate content just for the sake of selling their affiliate links.
The update was primarily announced by Google to penalize those websites that didn’t consider the user-engagement into consideration.
Therefore, the websites that started placing ads on the top of the fold witnessed a steep fall in their rankings.
So, you may be in trouble if you have placed ads in a way to push the content away from users.
This update about ad deception and thin content was the major one. But it was still not the most crucial one.
On March 8, 2017, there was another update announced by the name “Fred“. This update specifically meant for all websites that are not following their webmaster guidelines.
The update basically covered those websites that were created solely for generating revenue.
There is a strict guideline on displaying ads that says that you must place ads only on those pages that are full of relevant information. This way, you post ads only on high quality pages.
Also, if you are not inclined to help users and your website is nothing more than collection of affiliate links, then there are chances that you will be soon going to penalize by Google.
This was the reason why a number of low quality and ad-heavy websites witnessed huge drops in organic traffic.
Most of these Google algorithm updates in 2017 became the reason for a big revolution in the SEO community.
One of the facts that Google is really concerned is the ever changing user behaviour. And due to this, it is not easy to always find and grab the best SEO tactics that actually work.
By looking at all these new Google updates, you can easily come across with lots of valuable insights into what the year 2018 has to offer.
Please take a look at some of these Google algorithm updates and learn a few SEO techniques in 2018.
Content has always been an indispensable part of a website. Without content, you are nothing. And that’s why it is said- Content is King.
However, there is something else that we should know about. It says not every type of content is beneficial to attain higher rankings.
Google takes care to improve its search results by making changes in its algorithm. While doing so, it cut down on low grade, thin quality content which is unable to drive a good amount of traffic.
Have a look at the impact of thin (low grade) content on the rankings below for Google’s rich snippets.
By looking at the quality of content, the concept of in-depth content is being widely circulated all over. In depth content means something that gives value to the end user. By creating such content, you can easily touch on so many topics and sub topics at the same time.
However, in older times doing SEO, your actual content didn’t prove as crucial as your
- Title tag
- H1, H2, and H3 tags
- Permalink keywords
- ALT text for images
But in today’s scenario, quality and authority are two most important factors that need to be looked upon –
For example, Backlinko realized that their content topic authority was so much crucial to rank higher. It means the higher you have your topic (title0 authority, the higher you will be able to rank.
So, what you need to do in order to get higher authority and ranking on Google? Well, please find below some of the tactics to get the desired results on the search engines:
Need of the Hour- Create Detailed Web Posts
In the recent past, Orbit Media picked the data of around 1,000 leading bloggers to get an update on content marketing and blogging.
The company realized that both bloggers and content marketers are taking longer to write authoritative (in-depth) posts.
How Long it Takes to Create a Handsomely Finished Blog Post
As you see, it is taking 1-4 hours to write a single web post comprising around 1000 words. Also, the average time it took to create a single blog post in 2016 was over 3 hours.
Ideal Length of a Typical Web Post Over the Years
How long you think your blog post should be? Well, by looking at the data, it seems that the length of an ideal blog post has been consistently increasing over the years.
And this is happening as per Google’s updates that entirely focus on quality content.
Orbit Media again highlighted the results that most bloggers reported from the content they served to the end users. Please take a look at the findings-
Percentage of Bloggers Reporting Great Results from Their Blogs
As you can visualize from the above figure, results are going better as per the content length. For example, writers creating content up to 2,000 words are getting far better results.
Also, thin or low quality content comprising 500 or 1,000 words is either being penalized or not getting desired results.
SEO in 2018
Are you aware that the quality of your web post depends on the number of words you put in? Well, the lengthier you write, the more chances you have to rank your blog post on the search engines.
And that is why; we can say that SEO in 2018 is revolving around content, but not just any sort of content.
In a way to get the best results, all you need is to write exhaustively for your readers to make them understand thoroughly what you are trying to communicate. Do you like to know how to do this with an ease?
Please have a look how you can do this without any hassles:
LSI Keywords to Make Your Text Relevant As Per Google Algorithm Updates 2017
As per Google Algorithm update in 2018, if you are trying to rank for a particular keyword, it is necessary that you use LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords.
For example, if you consider your primary keyword as table tennis, then your LSI keywords could revolve between table tennis players to game to size.
You might be wondering what LSI keywords actually do? Well, we must tell you that they add context in your written text and eventually expand its reach beyond a given topic.
One of the advantages of using LSI keywords is that you can easily cover multiple subtopics using them. It will help you to enhance the necessary depth into your content as per Google algorithm update in 2017.
The best way of doing this is by generating content titles using LSI keywords.
If you are not sure about LSI keywords for your primary keyword, you can very well search them using the LSI graph.
The procedure of extracting LSI keywords using your primary keyword is quite easy.
All you need to do is to enter your keyword and hit generate. By doing so, it will produce a list of LSI keywords instantly.
Now, all you can do is to select a few of them and outline your content using them. For example, you can use each of these LSI keywords in the form of a new H2 subheading.
For example, you can easily create a well structured web post by making use of all your selected LSI keywords.
SEO Updates 2018
As per current SEO updates, Google is looking for such a kind of content that users can grab easily without hopping for different blog posts.
By following these tactics, you can repeat the entire process for every single blog post you are about to write.
Always work Towards Attaining Best User Experience
In the present context, user experience has become everything when you try to communicate them through your content.
And therefore, we can say that it is not relying everything on search engine rankings, as you need to focus on delivering quality content giving value to users.
It’s now quite obvious how to plan your SEO strategy by looking at Google updates in 2017.
From ad-based to mobile focused penalties, you can predict what is going to stay.
In the same ways, if mobile websites are not optimized for best user experience, it will attract penalties.
In the present age where hundreds of websites are being created, mobile traffic has overtaken the desktop traffic.
This is also due to the fact that today, mobile users have significantly enhanced as compared to their desktop counterparts.
Major Google Algorithm Update in 2018- Your Website Page Speed
In 2018, Google is more serious about your website page speed. The search engine will be taking this in the form of mobile ranking signal.
There are so many tools available to check your web page speed. For example, in order to get the desired results, you must check your mobile web page speed on Google’s Test My Site tool.
Time to Convert Your Website From HTTP to HTTPS
As you see, a number of publishers have already delayed moving their websites from HTTP to HTTPS.
The search engine has already revealed how it is going to punish the site owners who fail to own an SSL to their website.
So, for those publishers who are still reluctant making this change, it is the best time to make a switch.
In case, you are looking for redirects, then host features and server level redirects will make it quite simple to handle all these challenges.
Wrapping It Up
SEO in 2018 is changing rapidly.
We can very well learn from all the latest google update in 2017. This is because your strategies become outdated due to these updates coming on a regular basis.
Most of the times, it has been observed that these updates tend to create negative impact on rankings.
So, there are a few specific things that you need to take care in 2018 (as a part of Google algorithm update) to keep benefiting from your online business like your page speed and also think about converting your site from HTTP to HTTPS.