Become An SEO Specialist – What’s New For 2018
As an SEO specialist, you will need to become accustomed to a constant pace of change. If you choose this area for your online business, then there is very little chance of you ever becoming bored. However, there will be many challenges as a result of the relentless alterations to search engine optimisation, too.
Keeping up to date with the changes, losing track of what has changed and when it changed will keep you very busy. Knowing why the updates are important and not complying with the changes could have potentially disastrous consequences for both your business and your customers.
If you are not familiar with SEO or think there might be something you need to learn then take a read of my post on the subject. If you are very familiar with SEO then below you will find the details of the three most notable SEO changes that 2018 has delivered, so far, at least, and how you can go about implementing them into your overall SEO strategies for you and your Customers.
Google Chrome Is Warning Users About Insecure Websites
Over the past decade, Google has switched its focus from being a basic compilation of the internet to effectively acting as a protective owner of the users’ experience. For example, Google has prioritised quality content that delivers genuine, useful information for a number of years now. Many years ago you would get on the first page of google search by keyword stuffing the post or article. This will not wash with Google anymore.
A recent change suggests that Google is continuing its focus on the user experience by expanding its influence in this area way beyond mere SERPs or Search Engine Page Results.
Google’s own browser, Chrome, will now be warning users if they are visiting an insecure site. This has led to many SEO specialists needing to ensure their clients sites make the switch from HTTP to HTTPS. The extra S stands for secure and if you have yet to implement this change, then FATJOE’s guide on making your website secure will provide the SEO-friendly and actionable information you need to make the swap.
Mobile-First Indexing Is Happening
Mobile-first indexing has long been a topic of discussion for SEO professionals and business owners, but 2018 was the year when the talk ended and it came into action. The roll out of mobile-first indexing began in March of this year. If you have yet to fully embrace mobile-first in your SEO strategy, Google’s own guide to the best practices for mobile-first indexing is a great starting point from which to build your knowledge base.
The basic thing you need to know is that because people are using their smartphones to browse the web far more than their desktop, Google has made the decision to index and rank websites based on how they appear on mobiles rather than on a desktop. This means that if a site is not mobile friendly then it will be unlikely to get ranked highly in Goggles search results.
Snippet Description Length Has changed… AGAIN !
In the opening paragraph of this post, I mentioned that SEO changes constantly and there is no better example of this than the length of snippets. Here is a quick timeline to summarise the changes:
November 2017: Google says snippets should be around 160 characters.
December 2017: Google says snippets can be as high as 300 characters.
May 2018: Google says that, actually, shorter snippets are preferable. Again.
This sudden whiplash change caught many SEO professionals off guard. And I’m going to be honest it certainly caught me out. I had spent time creating longer snippets to give potential readers a better idea of what my post was about. Thankfully I had not gotten round to changing earlier posts. However, I have still not gotten round to checking posts published from December to May!
However, there is some good news that should prevent you needing to make any substantial changes to your own or your client’s snippets. It is Google’s focus on providing a useful experience for readers that is responsible for our lack of panic. Google do not actually define their preferred limit for snippets, so being too rigid in this area is unnecessary.
Secondly, and most importantly, Google frequently creates its own snippets from the page content in an effort to make the snippet more relevant to the search query. As a result, you could find yourself modifying your client’s snippet length only for Google to go ahead and create its own anyway, effectively rendering the time you spend on this task wasted.
However, it is still worth taking note of the new (or old) shortened length for any new content.
As you can see from the above, 2018 has already produced a number of noteworthy changes that SEO specialists need to implement into their overall strategies for their clients. In fact this information is also useful for anyone building their own website too.
It is well worth taking note of the changes and, as always, you should be scanning the news for the next big change. I try to stay up to date by using Google Alerts.
The life of an SEO Specialist is never boring and there will always be changes you will need to make on your clients sites. Don’t forget to apply them to your own site too.
I hope you have found this post useful whether you are a website owner or an SEO Specialist. If you have please give it a share on your favourite social media platform.
As ever if you have any questions or just want to share your thoughts then please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
With Grace and Gratitude
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