Over the years, Google has continued to transform the realm of search engine optimization. Being the industry leader, it is only fair for marketers to keep up with the trends and keep up with the path being set by Google. Thanks to Google, SEO is no longer all about building backlinks, creating relevant pages, and focusing on on-page optimization. A lot has taken place in the last five years and 2018 will see even more changes. Here are some of the changes you can expect to see next year:
More emphasis on RankBrain
RankBrain is an algorithm update that Google revealed to a major news publication. However, this is probably the most misunderstood algorithm update. This is an update that was made possible by Google’s advancements in machine learning. With this update, Google does not just focus on the backlink profile of a page, quality of the web content or the click-through rate. RankBrain enables the Google algorithm to interpret queries much better and match them precisely with the relevant page content. RankBrain is bound to gain more significance come 2018. Currently, RankBrain processes a whopping 63,000 searches per second.
Focus on AMP (Accelerate Mobile Pages)
In February of 2016, Google integrated results from the AMP project into search results. This was done in the form of ‘Top Stories’. 6 months later, Google went a step further and started displaying the links to the AMP pages in the main organic search results. Today, Google has over 150 million indexed Accelerated Mobile Pages documents in the index. By 2018, users that are searching from mobile devices will be directed immediately to the relevant AMP pages. As a marketer, you need to get more familiar with the significance of the AMP results. What is next for Google come 2018 is hence to bring mobile web on par with the native apps and keeping up with the increasingly mobile-centric world.
Real-time integrated penalty filters
One the main goal of Google has been to provide relevant search results at all times. To achieve this, they have been coming up with filters that eliminate spam sites from search results. Just recently, Google updated Penguin. Penguin is a real-time signal that is processed within the search algorithm of Google. Every time Google re-crawls and re-indexes your pages, the data on your web pages are refreshed. The new Penguin update is aimed at combating spam in real-time. You can expect fluid real-time penalty filters in 2018.
Rank boost on secure websites
Google recently announced that going HTTPS (adding SSL 2048-bit key certificate on your website) will give you a minor rank boost. Based on recent tests, Google says that the boost will not be more than 1%. However, Google plans on strengthening the boost since they want to encourage website owners to switch to HTTPS from HTTP so as to keep everyone safe. 2018 may just be the year the boost increases to more than 1%.
Google keeps on evolving. Keeping up with the changes is the key to becoming a better marketer. Your efforts will be for nothing if you don’t adhere to the new standards.