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October 18, 2017

The Biggest SEO News Of 2017

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing as new technologies continue to change how we search. These algorithm changes and updates help to keep search engines as relevant, pristine, and spam-free as possible. Throughout 2017, we’ve seen a number of changes from Google and Bing, from Google beginning to implement mobile-first indexing to Bing’s chatbots. Here, we’re taking a look at some of the biggest SEO news that has hit the headlines throughout 2017, that could impact the way people search, and ultimately your SEO campaign.

Chatbots On Bing

With more people using their mobile to interact with search engines than ever, it is important that adaptations are made within search results to take this into account. While Google is making a switch to mobile-first indexing, Bing is taking a different approach – with chatbots. Bing began to test chatbots on their search results back in May, for both organic and paid search. Already, chatbots are answering local search questions, and in the future, we could see users being able to book a test drive or order products and services without ever having to leave the search results.

However, while there are a number of different ways chatbots can be used, there are a number of challenges that businesses may face when it comes to implementing their own chatbots within search. There will be a lot of technical changes that will need to be made in order to ensure that the chatbot experience is as seamless as possible, meaning bespoke website development work is going to need to be a priority. If chatbots were to be implemented in full, ranking could be made significantly more difficult without the right resources.

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Google Moves To HTTPS For Good

When using a site, visitors will expect that the site is going to be secure and protected, as well as allowing them to enjoy a private experience online. This year, Google announced that they are going to be putting more weighting on sites that are HTTPS, which can help to protect the site and the users, and ensure that all data is confidential. Google announced in September that Chrome will begin to mark sites that feature password, form and/or payment fields as ‘not secure’, which could result in a reduction in traffic due to users being deterred from the site. There are a number of benefits to switching to HTTPS, and alongside added security, once a website has transitioned to HTTPS, Googlebots are likely to increase their crawl rate to allow all new URLs to be crawled as quickly as possible. With all of this crawling comes an abundance of indexing opportunities, which could see your site ranking even higher.

The New Google Algorithm – Fred

Although unconfirmed by the search engine, a new Google algorithm known as Fred was released on 8th March this year. This particular algorithm update is set to target all websites that prioritise making revenue from their content over helping their consumers. For example, if a site features content that is high quality, but is filled with ads and affiliate links in order to generate revenue, then Fred will target this.

To avoid being penalised by this algorithm update, it’s vital to ensure that your content is not just high quality, but is also informative for the reader, relevant and is ultimately valuable to the site.

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Carousel Format For Sitelinks

Sitelinks are incredibly important for any site, as they provide users with relevant information sources to help them find what they’re looking for. With the carousel update, searchers can jump to important pages even faster, as opposed to having to navigate through the main listing in the search results snippet. Now, you can simply swipe left or right on your phone to identify any sitelinks that you deem to be relevant to what you are searching for. Sites can now benefit profusely from having sitelinks located in this easy-to-access format, while continuing to conform with mobile-first indexing best practices.

To find out more about the latest SEO updates and how to implement changes to your site to keep up to date with these changes, get in touch with a member of our expert team today.

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Author:

Sophie Brannon

With a background in multimedia and music journalism, Sophie’s writing is as rich and varied as her iTunes library. While her passion for writing led her to seek the challenges of writing for a broad range of industries, Sophie continues to refine her skills with her camera in hand. Whether that’s pursuing her travel journalism or interviewing bands at festivals and awards, Sophie’s musings can be found across the web. When Sophie isn’t behind a keyboard, she can often be found jetting off around the world, or cuddling her collection of pet reptiles.


Email s.brannon@absolutedigitalmedia.com

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