Google’s First Update of 2018

It looks like Google welcomed in the New Year with a major algorithm change last January 8. This was observed by webmasters who have seen fluctuations in SERPs since Google’s first update of 2018 rolled out.

In 2013, Google changed the algorithm of its search engine 15 times. SEO managers and webmasters must learn from those changes because they are still relevant today. Google is expected to adjust Penguin and Panda updates with regards to content and link quality. Smart SEO practitioners will monitor their link profiles and try to remove inbound links that seemed unnatural. In order to do well in 2014, SEO managers must fully understand the changes made last year.

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With the new search algorithm, good content is not always equal to higher rankings for search terms and will not be flagged as spam. Even if your website features well-crafted text and original images, it can still be penalized by Google. While good content is not yet awarded by Google, it is important in terms of improving visitors’ time on the page, social sharing and branding.

Google’s first update of 2018 was not related to Penguin, as first speculated when news of the algorithm change first came out. Some website owners tried to improve their ranking after the change by removing exact match anchor texts. They saw no improvements to their websites’ rankings.

On a side note, webmasters found that Google is forgiving in some areas. Websites that were flagged because of their page URL have seen significant improvements to search engine rankings after the URL was changed.

In order to remain on Google’s good side, the website must look as natural as possible. Google’s Hummingbird update has made it possible for the search engine to know the connotations of sentences within the page. This means that keywords must not be used in every tag. It is best to use synonyms of the keyword and their variations to make the content look like a human wrote it.

A lot of SEO’s will find it hard to make their content seem quality because it is against the norms they used before. After Google’s first update of 2018, a good website in the search engine giant’s eyes will need to have a Privacy Policy and Terms page, active Social Media accounts linked to the website, a detailed About Us page, and a branded domain name. Webmasters must also be careful when linking to other websites. They should link only to relevant sites that are not penalized.

These are the things that webmasters learned after Google’s first update of 201. This is only the beginning of many other updates to come. Webmasters and SEO managers must embrace these algorithm changes and adapt to them as they are implemented by the search engine giant.