8 Biggest SEO Changes Seen in 2017


In order to make future plans, we need to step back and take a look at what had happened in past. SEO world changes over time. As technology is advancing so does the SEO. The methods that were popular before can become obsolete in some time.

Let’s have a look at SEO trend that changed the search engine results this year.

#1. Mobile Over Desktop

You have heard in this year that the mobile-optimized websites were credited and ranked well than those which weren’t. Google started giving importance to mobile-friendly websites as searches over mobile are increasing.

To accomplish this goal Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in 2016. The AMP pages load instantly on mobile devices. Thus, making mobile audience experience better.

Also, Google announced to launch “mobile-first indexing” soon in 2018. The mobile index will take into consideration responsive site and ignore only desktop-optimized sites. Which means indexing for your website will be on mobile based experience rather than of desktop based.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Make your website mobile-friendly.
  • Give importance to mobile users’ experience.
  • Optimize images
  • Improve 301 redirects
  • Fix your broken links

#2. Voice Search And IOT Is Evolving

If you haven’t heard nor have a smart speaker, you will see majority will be having it by 2020. This smart speaker gives answers to question asked.

Home voice assistants are making a huge rise in US homes. Amazon Echo made a great success in this year September also Google Home too trying hard to make its place in the market.

Voice commands are on the peak. 20 percent hikes were seen in voice searches on mobile devices as people want a quick answer on the go. With advancements in home assistance, and digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Now, and Cortana the search era is also changing.

Things to keep in mind:

  • To make a place in voice search results, you need to use natural language in your contents.
  • Focus on long-tail keywords and questions people ask and optimize your content accordingly.

#3. Search Intent


RankBrain is becoming smarter and smarter as time passes. It understands the search queries and content, therefore provides the relevant results for the entered search term. This is how Google is successful in providing relevant results for entered keywords.

It also identifies which part is users in buying journey i.e. searching only for information, or comparing things, or ready to make a purchase and accordingly shows results.

This changed the whole content marketing market. Now, marketers can’t just target keywords to get audience instead they need to produce content that target audience is searching for.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Write content to solve users’ questions.
  • Go for long content. Content fewer than 350 words also known as thin content gets penalized.

#4. Visual Content

In this year the significant rise in leads for companies came from visual contents like images and videos. Also, this will rise much higher in upcoming years.

Images like Infographic made it easier for the user to grasp the information. Videos too did the job well. In fact, the video gained more popularity this year. The business produced more videos to showcase their product and services.

Visual search is on expand and also the complex area to be mastered. It easily identifies what is in the picture. Bing visual search and Google Lens is also giving rise to the visual search engine. It takes the image as a query rather than text and provides result accordingly.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure image “alt” tag is not empty. Describe briefly what the image is about.
  • Produce a video to answer the queries.

#5. Local Search


Local business importance has been increased because of voice search and mobile users. People are asking questions like nearby restaurant, movies, and events to their mobile devices. This is going to increase local searches percentage more in near future.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Register your business on Google My Business listing.
  • Use structured data markup to help search engine better understand your site data and show it in the search result to increase your CTR.

#6. Search Result Pages Are Changing

Features snippets, “People also ask”, and Meta description limit had changed the search engine result page this year.

The battle between the people was to get visible on number one position in SERPs. However, Featured Snippets changed the whole game. It is the zero position in search results before the organic listings which is stealing most of the traffic and gets 9% more clicks.

People always want to get the answer as soon as possible which is also the Google’s ultimate goal. The “People also ask” section in search result page solves that problem. It has been present since 2015 but due to the rise of voice search from mobile devices, it became more popular in 2017.

Meta Description limit has significantly changed from 160 to 300 characters in December 2017. This means that now you can describe your page content in more words in more depth to attract more clicks.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Write long content that answers ever related sub-topic in depth.
  • Structure your content properly.
  • Write actionable meta description of length 300 characters.

#7. User Experience Is Becoming More And More Important


If you look at any Google algorithm updates, you will notice that Google penalize sites whose intentions were just to get clicks and provide the poor user experience.

In January 2017, Google started penalizing sites that display intrusive interstitial on mobile devices. Intrusive ads on sites that made content navigation difficult saw drop in their ranking.

In order to boost your ranking, think about how to deliver better experiences. For example, speed up your site load time; make your site responsive, and remove meaningless popup.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Do not publish thin Content
  • Avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Remove Intrusive Interstitials that hides the content and becomes obstacle for users

#8. Minimum Changes In Algorithm

This year the changes in algorithm remained silent. In this year there were not many changes seen in Google Algorithms. An unnamed major update and unconfirmed “Fred” update messed-up the ranking.

Google is making small changes to its algorithm which makes difficult to identify its effect. Hence, SEO becomes a more complicated process.


In Conclusion
The year 2017 had brought so many changes to SEO world. Artificial Intelligence, Voice Search, Featured Snippets, and Mobile-Friendliness were trending and will grow in 2018 too. In order to get higher ranking and clicks in 2018, you need to give more value to user experience and produce long-form quality content that answers users’ queries.