artificial intelligence

Changes in SEO and Google To Expect This 2018

As the New Year is going on in full swing, it’s important for one to know what to expect from the SEO industry this year. One should also be aware of the changes that can happen to search engines like Google. The past has brought by great feedback and the need for the search engine industry to be taken into account so they can serve the population better. These changes would determine the new SEO strategies that we might be required to learn in 2018.

Be Ready To Let Google Algorithms Account For Fake News

In 2011, the Google Panda update was implemented to take care of all those spammy and websites with too little information clogging up the search engine. Now, it is being implied that the search engines are promoting fake news and this is known as the largest search quality crisis Google is yet to face. Google is, therefore, very motivated to take on this tough challenge and wean out fake news from search engine results and regain their good reputation.

Google is fighting this issue by

  • Implementing new strategies such as banning publishers who promote fake news ads
  • Testing out newer means for users to report offensive posts they find online.
  • Introducing Google algorithm updates to bring down the importance given to non-authoritative information
  • Adding on “fact check” tags to people’s search results.

The need to produce search results that people can trust has been an issue for Google for years. In 2015, researchers at Google wrote a paper on Knowledge-Based Trust. If implemented, this would create SEO trends that would evaluate a website based on how accurate their facts were, and not how many inbound links this website had. While this method can weed out websites that perpetually publish inaccurate news, it would also backfire if the wrong facts got viral and were regarded as valid facts by search engines.

It is going to be hard to determine if the Knowledge-Based Trust in itself is enough to fight fake news. However, what we know for sure is that the current SEO trends might need to add being truthful as a major ranking factor.

Find More Featured Snippets And Voice Search

Right now, one in every 5 search engine queries made on mobile devices is done via a voice search. This trend would tend to grow even more with the popularity of devices like Google Home, that uses the Google Assistant feature. As more people use voice searches, we can see a rise in featured snippets being made available. These are usually being used to provide the results to the queries that use voice search.

  • A study by Stone Temple Consulting confirms that 30% of the 1.4 million queries tested have featured snippets arriving as part of the results.
  • If featured snippets are going to get more popular over time, then it would be time to use SEO strategies that would ensure that you outdo the top organic search engine listings and be that featured snippet

Google Algorithm Updates Would Rely More On Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Google has been incorporating artificial intelligence into several of their projects:

  • RankBrain, Google’s very own machine learning AI system has been processing search engine queries for over two years.
  • Google’s desire to incorporate AI into their operations also led to the development of the Cloud Vision API, one that can recognize a vast number of objects.
  • Google has developed so many machine-learning capabilities that they are now marketing item as products of them own.
  • Google Brain, a Google team that specializes in building AI for the company, has also been working on a project that creates an artificially intelligent entity that can build other AI entities better than humans can!

Sadly, AI does have its drawbacks. AI can get confused when the perfect solution doesn’t present itself. It also can confuse causes and connections, and it is becoming harder to predict how AI would behave in real life scenarios. As Google continues to incorporate Artificial Intelligence into its new search strategies, we should brace ourselves to expect search engine results to behave by means that one can’t predict. This might not be ideal all the time, but it is something that we should prepare ourselves for.

Artificial Intelligence might not affect long-term search engine optimization strategies as much. Essentially, optimizing for AI is the same as optimizing for the human eyes, since the machine learning software needs to make similar predictions to those a human is expected to do it.

Guest Posting Might Get Affected This 2018

Website content writers were warned that using article marketing to build links in and out of your website is against policy and those who do this could be penalized. The fact that this announcement was made in May last year, is an indication that there are new Google algorithm updates coming up to tacking calculative guest posting coming soon and perhaps in 2018.

  • Guest posting is essentially done to spread your brand awareness or to send referral traffic your way – both of which are shunned down by Google.
  • Therefore, there really is no long-term benefits of doing guest posting as part of your SEO strategies.

It is upsetting to see marketers waste valuable time on this practice, while they try to get convinced that it would be worth it someday. This is just like how people were convinced that writing on websites like EzineArticles back in the day, was valuable.

Mentions with No Links

Bing has confirmed that they do account for brand mentions without a link as a ranking factor. There is also a patent by Google and many indications by SEO experts that Google is also going onboard with this ranking factor. As AI plays a major role in ranking on search engines, it is expected that mentions, that come without a link, were involved in creating search rankings. This could be a great boost for smaller brands because more people would tend to mention a brand instead of actually link to it. This also makes it more important that business brands conduct conversations online to stay on top the game and be noticed by search engines.

There Might Be A Google Crackdown

There will be a continued crackdown against obstructive mobile ads.

  • Sites that place too many ads that block users from taking any action would be penalized this year.
  • Sadly, SEO experts like Glen Gabe, tend to feel that this crackdown isn’t working too well, as big brands still get away with obtrusive ads.

But this might change in the near future if Google decides on how to balance their search engines when they evaluate reward branding and intrusive advertising.

Index Based On Mobile Site First

Google announced three years ago that mobile searches have finally risen over desktop searching. In fact, BrightEdge has determined that 57 percent of traffic from their clients does come from mobile devices. This is how it would change the way search engines work:

  • Google has responded by indexing a site based on the mobile version of the web content
  • This mobile-first indexing is expected to launch sometime this year.
  • Therefore, you need to have a mobile-friendly website to stay alive today.

Let’s Get Ready This Year

In order to remain visible on the search engines, it is important to stay up to date and adapt to the changes that occur in the search engine optimization industry. We at Bright Vessel are fully aware and they are always here to help your website stay ahead of these changes. Contact us today so we can help create a strategy that would keep you visible to your audience today.

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