Google Changes Algorithm 2018
The Google changes algorithm 2018 will affect SEO rules. Google’s primary focus in 2018 will be to deliver the content which the user is looking for as soon as possible. We covered some of the most significant changes below for those who want to stay ahead of Google search changes.
Mobile-First Becomes Crucial
Early 2018, Google will move their entire search index to mobile-first. Currently, Google has two search indexes – mobile and desktop. They will be combined into one index after which the index will crawl the mobile version of a site first. This means Google will crawl your mobile site, not the desktop version.
The mobile version of your site needs to be just as good or better as the desktop site. Make sure that all elements can be crawled by Google. All structured data, meta descriptions, tags etc. should be all set up on the mobile site as they are on the desktop site. For many, this is currently only set up on the desktop version, so it’s worth checking it out.
(Site) Speed of Content Delivery
For the last years, speed has been an increasingly important factor. According to Ezoic Blog, Google revealed that with almost 20% of all search results the user clicks on a result but returns to the search results that quick, that Google Analytics doesn’t have enough time do its magic on the site. This means that in reality, the site’s bounce rate could be an additional 20% higher.
The speed Google is looking at is not the type of site speed most people are thinking of – the arbitrary page speed number. Instead, Google looks at the amount of time it takes for a page to load and a user to interact with it. Google made clear that they aren’t using any form of page speed scoring for their ranking. But they did emphasize the importance of delivering the content the user is looking for quickly.
Google wants pages to load in under three seconds. You can check the speed of your site through Google’s page speed test.
Increase in Featured Snippets
As said before, Google’s primary focus is to increase user experience by getting users to spend less time on the results page. Google is hoping by providing rich snippets, to improve the overall user satisfaction.
Featured snippet formats range from bullet points to numbers, but there are in fact a variety of snippets that Google will deem worthy and display.
To increase the chance of your content to be featured, incorporate a numbered or bullet point list with the key points of your message.
With voice search becoming more important, so does featured snippets. If a voice search’s search result has a featured snippet, that snippet will be read out loud to the user as an answer to their question.
Which brings us to the next Google algorithm change in 2018.
Voice search Optimization
To stay competitive in 2018, voice search optimization is crucial. Google revealed that 55% of teens and 40% of adults use voice search on a daily basis. And the voice search ratio is growing faster than type search.
It’s important to realize that voice search calls for a whole new keyword strategy. For example, a desktop search would be “New York size” whereas a voice search would be “How big is New York”. This calls for long-tail keywords optimization, focused on full sentences and questions. Also, consider writing your content in a more conversational tone to match the voice search.
HTTPS sites will be a must
Another one of the Google Changes Algorithm 2018 is their roadmap for how they will punish webmasters who fail to add an SSL to their website.
So it’s time to make the switch. You don’t have to be concerned about redirects because server level redirects and host features make it easy to tackle these challenges. But don’t wait too long, for your visitors might start seeing what’s shown below.
Key points to stay in Google’s sight in 2018
- Emphasize your mobile development (content, UX, etc.)
- Check your site against parameters for the mobile-first index
- Add (more) structured data to your site’s pages and images to aim for featured snippets
- Improve your site speed as much as possible
- Move your site to HTTPS