Many webmasters and online marketers have already adapted to the ever-changing behavior of the Google algorithm.
However, the changes this year have impacted website rankings and user experience more than ever.
We are not in the early stages of search anymore.
It is just appropriate that Google has made changes to serve both webmasters and users as they keep on improving their product.
Witnessing new trends and practices should be performed if you want to garner a spot on the first page of the SERPs.
Here are the most significant changes that could affect your ranking and user experience.
Mobile-First Index Taking Over
The use of smartphones has become a substantial contributing factor why Google has released their mobile-first index update. In fact almost every notable change they have introduced over the last year was relevant to the experience of mobile users.
This is how it works. When a mobile user searches for a query, Google will display the mobile results and not the desktop results. It means if your website is not optimized for mobile use, it will not rank well in the SERP for the smartphone user.
HTTPS Warning In Chrome
Google has now started warning users whenever they enter sites that are not HTTPS encrypted. Although this is happening, the user can still enter such a non https site and access the data in it if they want to. But the warning label from the browser exists to caution users when entering their sensitive information such as credit cards, passwords or even personal addresses.
This is not exactly new as Google has taken appropriate actions to warn users about sites without HTTPS encryption. However, this increase in security ensures authentication and provides data integrity. It means there is an assurance that the website you are trying to visit belongs to a real company. This update also puts more pressure on other webmasters to move to the HTTPS standard.
Increased Focus on Speed For Mobile Use
Many mobile users would agree that it is frustrating to wait for a page to load. Users want speed. To fight this issue, companies like Twitter, WordPress, Google and many others devised the AMP project or also called as the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project.
By applying AMP, you can create web pages that will render incredibly fast on smartphones. What it does is it creates a more lightweight duplicate of the original version of the page wherein HTML is stripped down and simplified.
Demand For Quality and Original Content
For years, Google has made its intent of, if not eradicating, at least cutting down on spammy content. If you look back, creating content usually revolves around the most relevant keyword you want to optimize for. Today, it is now essential to create meaningful and original content for users.
To produce the best content possible, you must look at three things – keywords, length, and comprehensiveness. The title should have the keyword, and the meta descriptions should be optimized to serve the users.
Google also looks at the length of the posts. It is essential that you cover the entirety of a topic for the post to rank well. Lastly, the posts should be comprehensive enough for the users. Conversational posts often encourage user engagement.
One thing we can expect from Google is that their algorithm will continue to change, with the new changes this year, nobody can tell what the next developments will be.