Basic SEO Concepts
In 2017, the onslaught of Google algorithm updates slowed greatly with the “Fred” update being the last of the year, but they are still committed to attaining the best user experience possible. So get used to mobile optimization, machine learning, and these other pivotal SEO concepts for 2018.
1. Mobile-First Indexing

A mobile-friendly website is now a must because a majority of web traffic is generated from mobile devices but because this number is multiplying, websites will now have to be mobile-first rather than simply mobile friendly. Google has already stated that search engine rankings will be garnered from mobile versions first rather than desktop, and so should your SEO efforts. Improve your mobile SEO by understanding what the search engines want in SEO of mobile platform and adhering. Some of these efforts include repairing broken links and redirects, and audit mobile sites to identify any additional elements that should be optimized for mobile.
2. Semantic Search

The intent of Google’s 2013 Hummingbird update was to improve semantic search. Now, search engines understand things like query context and natural language very well. In order to benefit from this update on the mobile or desktop platform, drop attempts at ranking around keywords, and instead focus on in depth, authoritative content as has been directed from Google and the other search engines. As proof, understand that rankings will be derived from the latter. This type of content utilizes broad, relevant topics that are relevant to and gives value to readers and include pertinent short- and long-tail keywords wherever suitable.
3. Machine Learning

Machine learning bolsters the qualities of the enhanced semantic searches because it attempts to interpret indeterminate queries, and this produces more pertinent search results as a whole. Search engine ranking algorithms from Google lists their third most important ranking signal a machine learning systems. Machine learning systems analyzes users online habits to determine the most relevant search results for that user. The only drawback to machine learning is that it cannot be optimized for SEO by any relevant means except in continuing to deliver valuable content to enhance the user experience.
4. Featured Snippets

Featured Snippets were added in order to deliver short, factual results to common queries. There are many kinds, but they all are considered featured snippets. So common questions are answered by Google sifting through billions of pages to find the most appropriate and concise answers. This is done in most cases to deliver content even without the user utilizing a link. More than a third of of featured snippet URLs rank in the first position organically, but Google utilizes positions two through five to garner the rest. Web entities should offer many types of how to and guide type content relevant to their subjects to cover this spectrum of SEO.
5. Virtual Assistants & Voice Search

Voice search and virtual assistants like Cortana, and Alexa are used by a majority of teens and a large plurality of adults. Their devices number at over 30 million, but intimate knowledge on how they operate are necessary to optimize for them. Business practices are the most relevant way to optimize for them. One way is to take ownership of the Google My Business listing as well as making long-tail keywords relevant. Additionally, comprehensive frequently asked question pages are necessary as well as being responsive to customer concerns via social media sites.