In the world of SEO, technological innovations are constantly driving ideas forward. There are a number of things that are evolving in SEO — first of which is voice search. Since the inception of Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s voice assistant, people are constantly searching for what they need by physically asking their devices for information.
Optimize for voice search.
For instance, people pose inquiries such as “local Chinese restaurants near me” and expect to see Google results of Chinese restaurants in their area. SEO experts, content writers, webmasters and business owners need to make sure they are creating content that will answer these types of questions while still using the appropriate schema markup. Basically, your website needs to include the right words in order to help search engines return more detailed results. Everything from headlines to subheadlines can impact SEO rankings.
Consider mobile first.
Google is further adapting to the evolution of SEO through mobile-first indexing. Google announced that it will first look at a website’s mobile version before its desktop version to best decide how the site should be indexed and ranked. Some web designers create a site without first checking how it looks on mobile screens. This includes not only cell phones but tablets, too. However, it’s imperative that webmasters and business owners ensure their websites are mobile-ready and user-friendly on handheld devices.
Furthermore, mobile site speed is going to be an important factor in mobile-first indexing. Web pages that take a while to load on a mobile device may suffer from lower rankings on Google because of the slow speed to get there.
In the past, Google only looked at backlinks and content as the primary factors for deciding search engine rankings. Now, Google is using its artificial intelligence (AI), RankBrain, to decide how websites should rank based on how many visitors come to the site, how many leave the site and how long they stay on the site. They’re also starting to look at how often a company’s brand is mentioned without having a backlink. Because of this, it’s possible that we’ll see brand mentions becoming a more important factor in SEO algorithms.
Shift the intention of your guest posts.
Another element we’ll see making a change is guest posting on third-party sites. For some time, guest posting on third-party sites has been a popular method in gaining more backlinks to improve SEO rankings. But guest posting is now on Google’s radar and is no longer considered a good way to get backlinks.
It’s been advised that people should put a “no follow” tag on links in guest posts. This tag tells Google not to count the link, so no SEO credit will be received for any backlinks mentioned in the guest post. The purpose of this is for people to write guest posts simply for the sake of writing them and not to manipulate or improve their SEO rankings.
As Google is constantly making adjustments and testing new ways in which search results will appear, it will be interesting to see what else they may do from an SEO standpoint as the year goes on.
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