A lot has changed to what SEO was, is and will be in 2018. Google has become smarter and sharper when it comes to ranking factors. It has gone beyond game of keywords, backlinks and metadata optimisation. Things should be more contextual now. Let’s visit latest Google SEO Ranking Factors for 2018 quickly:
SEARCH WITH VOICE:
So if 20% of all searches are done with voice queries, it must be something of a developing trend for SEO ranking factors too. Google Home and Amazon Echo are the latest must haves. Google has been introducing phones with extended line of speakers. Google Assistant has been upgraded to further advance adoption of voice activated phones and devices.
The Google Assistant has been introduced for Android devices and this implies that voice search on mobile devices is also an important trend to watch for. As voice search improves in accuracy, it is imperative that websites are optimized by focusing on long tail keywords and commonly used syntax. This calls for a more well structured content divided into shorter sections.
INSTANT ANSWERS IN FEATURED SNIPPETS:
The information that you get by putting in the voice search is presented in featured snippets. Today more than a quarter of search results are given in form of instant answers; featured snippets as known. And this is where we can pick up signals for what will be new search engine ranking factors for the coming year.
Already 10% of traffic from top first page positions is taken by featured snippets. This has triggered a change in content strategy with the focus shifting to Q&A type. Search Engine Optimisers are stressing more on structure of content so that Google can pick out relevant data featured snippets in response to long tail search queries.
MOBILE FIRST INDEX:
Google has announced that SEO ranking factors will now on include mobile first index as primary factor. This means pages will be ranked on their mobile versions. This is due to the fact that more than 50% searches are directed from mobile devices. The ranking system based on desktop pages seems outdated now.
And this is going to be one of the major changes to Google Algorithms that will go down in history. It is sure going to change SEO status of many websites immensely. Google is going to champion those websites that have well performing mobile pages. So get ready to make your websites more mobile optimised for a better user experience at the fore front.
THE USER EXPERIENCE YOU DELIVER:
Google reveals that users are growing more impatient and their demands are growing rapidly. At the first instance, websites with longer load times will be abandoned by users instantly. If it takes more than three seconds, 40% will not continue. This has called for serious thinking into balancing aesthetic features with real time loading performance.
But this does not stop here. Websites with good load times may still fail if they do not provide their users an easy navigation. Users will bounce if they are greeted by confusing navigation and unclear head line texts that may not explain what the article is about. So you need to focus on loading time, navigation, readability, design and information architecture all at once.
OPTIMIZATION FOR INTENT:
Google search engine ranking factors 2018 high light keyword intent. It will be integrating more artificial intelligence into its algorithms. This means that search results returned will be contextual now. It will take account of search history, location, device, intent of query and many other personalised features for results that best serve the user’s purpose of search.
This is triggering a shift from generic content optimization for keywords to contextual intent based optimization. This means keywords implying buying intention will redirect to ecommerce websites while those implying search for information will direct to informational websites and media websites. As AI takes a larger show, search engine ranking factors change.