How did Google algorithm changes affect your website in 2018?
If you've noticed your results suddenly dropping, then it's likely down to Google changing its algorithms. At the Smart Domain Group, we are always on top of any changes and there were many changes that Google made to their algorithms in 2018.
When it comes to Google algorithm changes, you need to make sure you keep an eye on them if you are carrying out your own SEO. If you are getting an SEO company to work for you, they will likely be on top of this and be changing your website accordingly.
HTTP vs. HTTPs
In July 2018, Chrome began to mark all non-HTTPs sites as "not secure", to show that HTTPs provided more security and encrypted connections than HTTP. However, this has little effect on your rankings, but may be off-putting to customers who don't understand the difference between HTTP and HTTPs. Moving sites to HTTPs is a service we offer for a small fee, but it seems that Google isn't as concerned with HTTP sites in terms of ranking.
Mobile First Indexing
Essentially, Google has started to target your website's speed on mobile; the slower your site is on mobile devices, the less that Google will favour you. This came about in July 2018 and ensures that all websites are delivering the very best service on all devices; with around 37 million people in the UK owning a smartphone, it's extremely important to make sure your website works for your audience.
Featured snippets are often shown at the top of Google most often when users are searching for answers to questions they have asked. Snippets usually appear in the form of paragraphs, though they can also be lists and can have an image attached to them as well. Snippets show your website as high quality and you as an expert in your field.
Meta Titles and Descriptions
One of the elements of SEO that seems to constantly change is the length of Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions. Over the past couple of years this has changed a few times, but in 2018 the lengths were changed twice: the character limit was increased and, then, it was put back the way it was. This led to a lot of changes that had to be reversed, but it's important to view this as a lesson.
It's important to take note of any significant SERP changes that happened in 2018 and that will happen in 2019. Being on the ball will help your rankings, though sudden changes that Google makes will very likely affect your results anyway. It makes sense to employ a company that keeps up to date of SERP changes for you and adapts your website accordingly, like the Smart Domain Group.