Let’s be honest about one thing: SEO is always changing. Every day, Google, the search engine big dog, tweaks its algorithm in a bit to improve search. From 2012, when Penguin and Panda hit really hard and became a commonplace until today, SEO has been difficult to predict. Well, at least not everyone can predict what to expect in 2018.

However, if you read about Search Engine Optimization every day, you are probably already a step ahead in terms of your knowhow of SEO in 2018. Here are things to expect the coming year:

Look: if you want to succeed in SEO in 2018, forget about keyword stuffing. I know we are not in 2012 anymore, but Neil Patel wouldn’t have written about keywords stuffing if people.

Keyword Stuffing Won’t Live Past 2017

Google’s algorithm was admittedly simpler back in the day. It was easier to game and manipulate. It would often fall for obvious tricks like this. However, the same can’t be said today. Not in a world where we live with RankBrain. The good news is that you no longer have to jam a bunch of keywords into your copy at the last minute.

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Believe it when we tell you that keyword stuffing is still a common problem among many marketers. Particularly those doing niche site projects. Since Google’s Rank Brain is already in effect, you may need to do website auditing to make sure you’ve used keywords properly.

Let’s get one thing straight, relevance is the key principle now. And if you haven’t given it the needed attention before, Search Engine Landadvises that you do.

Relevance 2.0 Will Be the Real Deal

With RankBrain, Google may further analyze the best-performing search results (according to Google’s user satisfaction metrics) and look for similarities between them. These shared features, such as usage of certain terms, may become query-specific ranking signals for the given search term.

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We have seen in the past that pages that are both high quality and relevant to certain search terms tend to do quite well. And the trend has been pretty much the same for a very long time. That goes a long way to show that with the RankBrain at work, relevance will be a powerful ranking factor.

If you want to get good results from Google in 2018, pay attention to content. We are not talking about words written and thrown into a WordPress blog. We are talking about high quality, comprehensive content. Or, as Brian Dean calls it, content that cover topics in-depth.

Focus Will Also Be on In-Depth Content

So: how can you write the type of in-depth content that Google wants to see? First, publish content that’s at least 2,000 words. That way, you can cover everything a Google searcher needs to know about that topic. In fact, our ranking factors study found that longer content (like ultimate guides and long-form blog posts) outranked short articles in Google:

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Of course, content is always hard to write. It is not easy to spend 4+ hours on your computer writing content for your audience. But if done right, the content you write should yield you results.

Conclusion

SEO will remain a complex science even in the years to come, with 2018 alone expected to be tougher for every SEO. It is best to start learning about the new changes now, because you already know what to expect next year.

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