Google Algorithm Update & 2018 SEO Strategy

Google Algorithm Update & 2018 SEO Strategy - Featured Image

We said earlier in December 2017 that we were going to post once a week until the end of January 2018. We decided to do this because a lot of our client’s competitors seemed to be making some upward movement that was causing our clients some position decreases, and we wanted to bolster our SEO efforts ahead of the new year.

Google Algorithm Update

Of course, we want to be ready for the season, so posting once a week sounded logical at the time. Fast forward to the news that Google was updating their algorithm. Turns out the changes we were seeing in the indexes were not actually any threat. Whether the drop in index placement was just due to algorithmic changes at Google or competition really was spending on SEO, when the smoke cleared, our clients all ranked at their expected placement or better.

In fact, a lot of things have changed this December for Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing. Google published a new set of guidelines for SEO. Google also created an SEO series on YouTube, called SEO Snippets. None of the information provided by these new publications and videos is new to us. However, some of what we are seeing does reinforce the need for relevant images and social media interaction. So we are changing direction to be as effective as possible.

Now let’s get into what we will be focusing on as we move into 2018.

SEO & Images

Google is taking in a lot more information from a lot more resources these days. Images are something Google can and does crawl. Not just the pages the images are on, but the images themselves contain data that is relevant to Google. Something you should be doing anytime you take a picture using your smartphone or GPS enabled camera is turning on geotagging and location sharing information. Please contact us if you need help with this task.

Social Media Impacts Your Websites SEO

Social media is a huge deal these days for SEO. Google uses the level of social interaction the pages from your website and even your social media pages to determine the level of importance and relevance your website has with uses/consumers. Just having a large following or a lot of likes on irrelevant posts are a no-go. Google needs to see that the content/keywords related to your products and services are getting the attention. If not, then those service or products don’t appear to have much relevance among consumers.

Putting It All Together

Blogging places your relevant content in front of consumers and begins the process of social engagement with your brand. Having new images from our clients that are optimized and relevant to the services and products gives it more relevance. It is at this point that we need your help sharing and even boosting posts on Facebook to take that content much further and generate the social interaction around your brand that Google is looking for.

A Mention About 2018

We have been planning SSLs for quite some time because we knew Google was eventually going to begin enforcing this on all websites. We started this process a couple of months ago and hit a snag when the SSLs created a conflict with the cPanel email autodiscovery, which matters if we host a branded email for you. For this reason, we stopped the transitions until we found a solution, and we did.

We will be moving all of our branded emails over to Rackspace some time in January, and we should have SSLs installed on all websites by February, giving time for the sites to be reindexed by Google before Spring Break. I personally encourage you to learn more about HTTPS security and to read more about the rollout of this requirement.

One last thing! We will begin integrating a new technology into all of the websites we manage that will increase exposure, and of course, improve SEO. It’s called AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages. We initially thought we’d be doing this with software provided by Automatic, but this approach requires the use of Jetpack, which we will be transitioning away from in 2018 due to the drag it creates on server resources and some bugs that we’ve experienced recently. So we are waiting for this to become part of the Yoast plugin we use, which makes more sense from an SEO standpoint.

That’s all for now. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have about the information in this blog post or other web presence related issues. Happy New Year!


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