As we enter 2018, we’ll have a brief look back on some of the main stories in the world of Search from the past 12 months, many of which we covered in our blog posts…..
HTTPS – people finally taking heed?
Here at Jan Klin & Associates we have long been banging the drum about the importance of migrating your site over to Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol. It’s now nearly 4 years since Google hinted about sites holding these certificates receiving a ranking boost, and from what we have seen people are now beginning to sit up and take notice. We are definitely encountering more and more websites holding the HTTPS prefix.
In our May news article, we made reference to the fact that Moz had announced that we were at the point of seeing approximately 50% of Page 1 Google results being attributed to HTTPS websites.
Apart from affecting rankings, it was also announced that Google Chrome would now be issuing “Not Secure” warnings on any pages that collect passwords or card payment details, which were not HTTPS.
If you are not yet HTTPS, we continue to suggest that you make this a priority.
Mobile First Indexing & AMP
Another “biggie” which has been speculated upon for a long while was Google’s roll out of Mobile First Indexing. This meant that your website had to be “mobile friendly” as Google will prioritise the performance of the mobile version ahead of the desktop version, for ranking purposes. Speculation was rife as to how and when this would be rolled out. In our May news post we linked out to articles quoting Google employee, Gary Illyes, whereby he speculated that it could well be 2018 before we saw this in effect.
As we reached October, we began to read that the roll-out had begun on “a few sites”, which was backed up by the following post on the Google Webmaster blog on November 4th……https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/11/mobile-first-indexing.html
AMP, the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project ties in with Mobile First Indexing, as being a factor in speeding up mobile versions of websites, and we saw a continued increase in AMP results as 2017 wore on. It must be noted that news sites, and similar, were the main beneficiaries from AMP pages in 2017. However, we do expect to see this roll out to many other sectors in the near future.
The prominence of Featured Snippets in SERPs, was another area which gained significant momentum as the year drew on. The fact that these results have begun to occupy many pages #0 position, . i.e. Above the top organic search results, has led to much consideration being given to tailored content, with the aim of gaining these results.
The growth in importance of featured snippets through 2017 led to us publishing consecutive blog posts on the topic, at the beginning of December.
You may wish to refresh yourself on this topic by visiting these posts;
Voice Search – Getting louder in 2017
Another area of growth during the past 12 months, has been the sphere of voice search. With the continued popularity of “personal assistants”, such as Siri and Alexa, the world of search has seen a major shift in aspect, with voice searches demanding more and more relevant and specific results. With a particularly significant impact on local search, due to the nature of “on the go” queries, voice search is something we will need to pay considerable attention to going forward.
The possibility of including more conversational type on-page content, as well as revisiting keyphrase analysis are just a couple of the considerations that industry experts have been discussing in 2017.
In Other News
In addition to the focus on these main technical areas, we also featured a number of news items during 2017, both directly and indirectly related to Search Engine Marketing. Some examples of these were as follows;
- Google’s ongoing legal battles with the European Commission and Kelkoo, culminating in a €2.4 Billion fine
- Microsoft introducing a rewards scheme for using the Bing Search Engine
- Pop Up Penalization and Google Ad Blocker coming to the fore
- Improvements to the Google “Test My Site” free tool
- The closure of the Dmoz open source directory
Amongst many others.
So there it is, a brief synopsis of some of the major talking points of 2017.
If you would like to discuss, or address, any of the topics above, please feel free to contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01690 760328.
Next up, we will be looking at what to expect from the world of Search in 2018.