Getting Your SEO Ready for 2018 Search Trends

Written by: Jason Bayless | May 09, 2018

“As the Internet and the world’s aggregate wealth of technology continue to advance in capability, complexity, and function, their rate of change, in turn, marches forward, yielding a world with interests that change relatively rapidly – “”relatively”” meaning in terms of the entirety of humanity’s history here on planet Earth.

The same goes for search engine optimization; we all know how vitally important SEO is to the welfare of businesses of every shape, size, scope, and location.

In our modern world of commerce, in which search trends change quite literally every day – if not more frequently than that – businesses must stay on top of 2018’s expected search trends to ensure the potentiation of success among their respective organizations.

Without further ado, let’s brush over several expected search trends for the remaining two-thirds of 2018, trends we’ve already seen in the first third, and how might proper search engine optimization techniques account for them.

You might not have to link to everything

Virtually everyone with even the slightest experience in search engine optimization understands the importance of backlinks – those words or phrases that are colored blue, and are sometimes underlined, and lead to other pages.

Whenever those pages rank high up on Google’s search queries, perform well for multiple search query requests, are legitimate, can be verified through corroboration of other web pages, have plenty of high-ranking backlinks themselves, and otherwise are considered top performers, those links carry more power and, in turn, cause web pages that host those links to perform better than without such links.

Words without such links haven’t really mattered in terms of search engine rankings, at least in the past. However, Bing confirmed that it took brand names without backlinks into consideration in its search rankings just months ago.

While it isn’t clear if Google is doing the same, a patent of Google’s may indicate that its search engine, too, takes brand names without backlinks into its complex ranking algorithm to determine which sites finish atop its rankings.

What does this mean for your search engine optimization efforts? You should strive to combine both linked and linkless mentions of brands that your business sells, as well as links and non-links spread across each mention of your company’s name.

Keep the growing presence of voice searching in mind

When people ask Google questions, its artificial intelligence seeks to answer those questions with one answer – no more, no less; just one answer.

These answers are called featured snippets. As devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa continue to grow in popularity – the frequency of use across owners of these devices keeps trending upwards, as well, as people grow more comfortable with speaking to such devices, and grow tired of manually navigating screened devices and typing questions into search fields with them – the importance of featured snippets to search engine optimization will keep getting more popular as calendar pages flip forward and get pinned against walls.

Rather than trying to get on the front page, or above the fold of the quasi-legendary front page, businesses may try to climb the rungs of the proverbial search engine ladder in hopes of contesting other web pages for the featured snippet.

Scores of low-quality, engine-friendly guest posts might lose popularity

Keyword spamming has long passed its prime in the world of search engine optimization. However, other strategies exist to increase search engine performance, even though such entries might not offer anything of value to readers.

Sites with hordes of content similar to other sites’ – particularly guest posts – may soon be penalized by Google. This means that businesses should only try to allow guest posts that add original, meaningful content.”