This year was full of “remarkable” events. It seems that Google was serious about its new algorithm updates. Many people estimate damages while others are calculating the income. Nonetheless, the future of SEO looks vague since all the technics that worked before are not actual anymore. So each webmaster is concerned about how to behave this year and what expect next year. The only thing is clear is that the world will never be the same. In 2018, Google rolled out many algorithm updates. Each of them was mostly a quality update, which is related to your website content. Among the changes, there were some core algorithm updates, as well as a mobile-first index. However, I don’t know at least anyone who is experiencing the aftermath of the mobile-first index.
Since Apple released the iPhone, the Internet has changed its face. Almost everyone in the world possesses this gadget or similar stuff. As a result, Google was one of the first who foreseen the forthcoming revolution. The fact is that the most visitors from your organic search queries are using mobile gadgets instead of desktop devices. Honestly, it’s evident since you can take your “Internet access” with you.
Another thing which Google was concerned about is security. As a result, the search engine gave you a deadline to move to HTTPS protocol instead of its outdated predecessor. Google also undertook a series of experiments with AMP intending to speed up access to the content from mobile devices. Thus, the new motto of Google is “fast, mobile and secure access to quality content.” This motto is not official; this is nothing but a result of my sick imagination. On the other hand, these features are the new standards of quality. Therefore, if your website or web project is fast, secure and mobile, you have a chance to survive among other quality websites in the Google SERP. So let’s take a closer look at these peculiarities.
Despite the fact that Google claims that your website should be fast, you might discover hundreds of pages into the TOP 10 that are slow. But please bear in mind, these projects belong to prominent media outlets that are in the caste of untouchable. Your personal blog will never be on the list. Don’t even think about it. So take for a rule, your website must be super fast. How to make your project faster? Follow my instructions.
- Use NGINX instead of Apache web server;
- Tune up caching;
- Use VARNISH or other PHP proxy/accelerator to gain excellent speed.
Ideally, your page must open for less than 3 seconds. If you don’t know how to use the technologies described above, I suggest you implement AMP. If you’re not acquainted with this term, it’s time to expand your knowledge. AMP or The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project it the Google initiative to speed up the Internet. Please follow the link to find out more about this technique (link). However, if you use WordPress as your framework, all you need is to download and install the AMP plugin by Automattic. Later, you should discover many AMP pages in your WMT.
Summing up, you are to be fast to survive in the TOP 10 results.
Read more about how to speed up your website by following this link.
Google doesn’t want to allow someone to use your personal data. That’s why the company forces you to use the https protocol. In fact, this practice is also useful for your project. Nothing is complicated in setting up the protocol. However, it might be a bit complex for a newcomer. Therefore, if you don’t know how to move to https correctly, I suggest you ask for help to a professional or your hosting provider. Otherwise, a mistake might cost you much more money. In the worst case, Google will deny access to your website for all people who use Google Chrome. Luckily, the vast majority of hosting providers will assist you with the setup.
Your website must look excellent on any mobile devices, including tablets. I’ll say more; it doesn’t matter how your project looks at desktop if it is sexy on iPhone. But bear in mind, not everyone uses gadgets from Apple. I’d suggest you use responsive design instead of the mobile version of your website. However, also worth noting that Google regards your mobile and AMP pages differently.
I want to pay your attention to one important detail. Be extremely accurate with your mobile ads. If you don’t know how to implement your ad blocks, it’s better to use Google’s automated ads in your AdSense account. Otherwise, you could face another penalty from Google. I suggest you pick no more than three ad blocks for your first website.
Now you know a bit about how to optimize your website for Google in 2018 to be ready for 2019. However, this optimization most of all related to technical issues. I wrote many articles on the subject of content management and backlinks optimization. Of course, these data are evident for an experienced SEO specialist. However, not each of them can tune up PHP caching or setup NGINX. Therefore, my advice for you is to learn more about the technical side of SEO. If you host your website on Bluehost or another hosting provider, your approach is unappropriated. Use self-hosted WordPress or Joomla installation to be independent and flexible instead.
To survive in the world of SEO, you must be a developer, designer, system administrator, copywriter, etc. Unfortunately, Google is not Apple. The search engine doesn’t regard your website as a masterpiece of quality design. The Googlebot is more oriented on technical details. So you must be experienced in technical issues thereby. Therefore, if you don’t know how to setup LEMP (Linux+NGINX+MSQL+PHP), I suggest you find a professional or ask for help a group of professionals who will assist you with these issues. Otherwise, eventually, you’ll have to deal with the aftermath by yourself.
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