SEO for 2017: What has changed?

There has been the talk that SEO is dead. As we always maintain, this is far from the truth. Search Engine Optimization is much alive and effective and it’s one of our most popular classes! However, there are a number of things that have changed in the last few years. SEO has always been dynamic and keeps on changing as new knowledge and algorithms appear. So, what has changed in 2017? Here are a few highlights.

Mobile-friendly sites

Google realized that more than 50 percent of searches on its engine are performed on mobile phones. Therefore, it has been pushing for mobile-friendly websites. It is expected that by the end of the year 2018, Google will use a mobile-first index in the ranking of the sites. This includes the desktop users. Those with older sites need to redesign them to make them responsive.

Speed

Speed is also being used as a ranking factor for websites. The faster loading sites are gaining more traction when it comes to ranking. Currently, Google is applying the AMP (accelerated Mobile Pages) to enhance the speed at which the mobile users get the content.

Direct answers

Bing and Google are now showing direct answers to the questions posted by the users. Direct answers are plucked from web pages and appear above the regular list. Google calls the direct answers featured snippets. Most companies are fighting to provide the direct answers that are picked by Google robots for display. This is because many clients will start by clicking on the source website when they see the answers.

Strategies whose importance decreased

  • Personal and site search history

Google has downplayed the importance of the site’s age and history. This is not something that will bring you higher rankings into the future. While the search engines have not entirely dropped the factor, a lot more other features are being considered before the history makes a change. In the same light personal search history also has little importance nowadays,

Strategies that were dropped

  • Personal social sharing and Site identity

Google ended its support for Google Authorship which was the major way that identity seemed to have an impact. Google has since retaliated that authorship can be determined by other ways.

In the past few years, Google+ was the primary platform that Google was using for personal social sharing to influence the search results. Google+ continues to exist. However, its impact on the search results is not there anymore. It does not help much to be Google+ than to get traffic to your site.

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