Published: 12 January 2018
As 2017 fades away, thoughts turn to what may be in 2018. Lots of things will happen, no doubt, that no one anticipated, but what of the world of SEO? Well here’s my prediction:
Fundamentally? I don’t think anything will change. For a site to rank well, it will continue to need to be well constructed, content rich, engaging, have some high-quality backlinks.
There are a couple of areas though where we should be concentrating our efforts.
Voice search is nothing new and has been around for some time now. However, until now it’s fair to say that it has mostly been the preserve of early adopters and fans of all things techie. However, Amazon have announced that the best-selling product for the 2017 Christmas period was the Echo Dot while it’s Alexa app also appeared at the No. 1 spot on the App Store. Along with Google’s Home Mini, these smaller speakers are far cheaper and therefore accessible to the masses and that means that voice search use is likely to spiral.
For sometime there has been talk of the need to optimise your website for voice search, but 2018 is the year when we need to stop just talking about it and put it in to practice, thinking about the differences between how users use search differently when speaking rather than typing and how we need to make the information they are looking for accessible.
Rich Snippets and Schema
As mentioned before, I feel SEO fundamentally will not change, therefore website owners need to look at other ways to make sure their sites stand out against their competitors (assuming all else is equal).
We’ve been pushing Schema mark-up for a while now, recommending its addition to our client’s websites as this enables to search engines to better understand information on the site and therefore they are more likely to use content from that site as a rich snippet or rich answer. There are two reasons why you should pay more attention to schema mark-up in 2018.
- Google appears to be making a big push towards schema. It has recently rebranded all additional listings in search results as ‘Rich Results’ and has introduced a new testing tool, though this is only limited to certain types of results at the moment. Before Christmas, an algorithm update dubbed the Maccabee update had an impact on a large number of sites. Though unconfirmed, one suggestion is that the presence of Schema may have been a consideration, though this would be a huge change as previously Google has stated that it is not a ranking factor.
- Going back to voice search, schema is an important factor in promoting the use of a site in voice search. Marking up as many pieces of information as you can will mean that search engines are easily able to understand and therefore use this information.
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