*Author’s note: initial post was written for 2017. This has been updated to reflect changes for 2018.
There have been quite a few significant updated in the realm of search engine marketing. While some of the updates focused on the paid side (removal of right column ads, expanded text ads, responsive display ads, etc.), other updates focused on organic traffic. Some of the key updates included the following:
- Removal of right-column ads. While this was more of a paid search update, the impact is felt on the organic side as desktop searches show up to four ads at the top of search results.
- Mobile-friendly update #2. Google launched a second algorithm update a year after “Mobilegeddon,” which gave mobile-friendly websites a boost in rankings on mobile devices.
- Local search algorithm update. Unofficially named Possum, this local search update (while unconfirmed by Google) made a significant change in local search results. Duplicate business listings are filtered out, and more relevant results are shown based on search queries.
- Penguin 4.0. Google *finally* launched a new major Penguin update after a couple of years. Penguin also now runs in real-time and is included in the core algorithm (like Panda).
- Google announce the launched of a mobile-first index, expected to rollout sometime in 2018.
- The Google Search Console was updated to a new interface, looking sleeker and providing webmasters with data past 90 days.