It’s safe to say that there is somewhat of a new fascination with technical SEO. Placement in the search engines is becoming more important than ever, not just for visibility and clicks, but also for voice search. Voice assistants like Alexa and Siri deliver the first search result, which is why brands are in a scurry to improve their rankings.
While great content and engagement are ways to climb to the top of the SERPs, there is no substitute for crawlable pages that the search engines can understand and index. As we give more energy and attention toward technical SEO, what’s the next big thing you should be focused on?
Google’s Mobile-first Index
As more searches happen on mobile devices, Google wants its index and results to cater to a mobile audience. In 2016, Google announced that it would start using the mobile version of the web as its primary search engine index. Rather than using desktop sites for rankings, Google would use mobile sites.
After a year and a half of testing, Google announced in March 2018 that it started migrating sites that followed the best practices for mobile-first indexing. While this makes sense in a perfect world, it has created technical SEO issues with pagination, canonicalization, content parity, internal linking and structured data. In order for sites to rank well in the mobile search results, these issues need to be addressed.
Security is on everyone’s minds these days, as 2018 was another big year for hacks, leaks and breaches. Among them were FedEx, Orbitz and T-Mobile.
For years, Google has been pushing webmasters to update their sites to HTTPS, a simple and cost-effective solution for securing websites. In 2017, Chrome started marking pages as “Not Secure” to alert users when filling out sensitive forms.
The push for added security and privacy is good for consumers, but it will take away a lot of the data that marketers have available to them. It may also make maintaining the data that marketers do have more complicated because there will be different rules to follow.
Speaking of handling data, there is more data at our fingertips than ever before. In fact, there’s so much data, we often don’t know what to do with it! While not all data is useful, a lot is. For example, brands no longer have to guess the customer journey. With data from customers and websites, brands can view the different paths that visitors take to get to their sites.
Google is also gathering more data from users that will be used for voice search. Eventually, Google will be able to understand websites so clearly, it won’t need the structured data. Already, we’ve seen Google provide more Knowledge Graph information that pulls information from various sources.
As technology continues to grow smarter and more focused, technical SEO will have to adapt to new challenges. If you’re not sure how your SEO program is performing, contact Magna Technology for a technical SEO audit.