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Important 2018 Changes in SEO

Important 2018 Changes in SEO

December 31, 2018 By Practice Growth Pras

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2018 saw a number of changes in the world of search engine optimization, with Google rolling out major updates over the calendar year. It can be tough to make sense of the constantly evolving parameters of search engines, so here is a condensed summary from SearchEngineLand.com.

Speed Update. For example, the Speed Update was pre-announced in January of 2018 and released several months later in June. The update, according to Google, only impacted the slowest sites in terms of their ranking position in search. Google said it “only affect a small percentage of queries.” We posted a large FAQs on the speed update so you can catch up on that quickly.

Medic Update. Probably the most substantial search ranking algorithm that was felt by the SEO community was the so-called “Medic Update.” It happened around August 1. Google confirmed it happened after the SEO community took notice. Google classified it as a “broad core algorithm update,” something they do several times per year. This specific update was fully rolled out about a week later and seemed to a wide range of sites around health and YMYL categories. Google told SEOs there is “no fix” to get your site to rank better overnight with this update. We have pretty deep coverage of this update over here.

Other search algorithm updates. Google also confirmed, after the fact, the March core update and the April core update.

There were also other important updates to the search engine results:

Structured data. The overall theme with SEO this year, specific to Google, was probably around how much emphasis Google has put towards structured data and schema. Enabling speakable markup for voice search related queries, a new indexing API for job posting schema, image search changes, various updates to recipe markup, new job posting guidelines, the new Q&A schema, live stream support, datasets schema, how to, QA, FAQs schema and so much more. The list goes on and on.

Other changes. Google dropped support for the news meta tag and the standout tag and Editors’ pick in Google News was big for publishers. Google’s various efforts around dynamic rendering and lazy loading content and photos is an effort you’ve seen a lot around with JavaScript SEO in 2018 and will continue through 2019.

Personalization is light. With all the fallback on Facebook targeting, and using personal data for targeting over 2018 – Google made a point to say they don’t use personalization that much. Google said at best, personalization is light and used for things like knowing when to show local results, when to show American football versus European football and things like last query used. Although, DuckDuckGo released a study saying Google does otherwise.

If many of these items don’t make sense to you, don’t worry! While search engine optimization is something you cannot ignore, we can help you understand and use the principles of SEO to improve your business’ position on Google.

We stay on top of the constantly changing world of search engines and we provide you with only the relevant data for your business. That way you can go back to do what you do best — providing your patients with medical care.

Call us today at 800-679-3309 for a free consultation.