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What to Expect from SEO in 2018



Since its inception, search engine optimization (SEO) has proved to be an ever-changing field. This is largely due to the fact that it relies heavily on search engines. In the event that a search engine alters its algorithm or rules, SEO must adapt to remain optimally functional and relevant. Still, each year hundreds of people wrongly declare that the practice will become obsolete. Certainly, 2018 will be no exception; however, it is crucial to understand that SEO is a stronger practice because of its dependence on search engines, not in spite of it.

In the beginning, SEO formed with tactics that are now classified as black hat practices. Essentially, the goal was to beat the system through keyword stuffing and other methods that are now frowned on. As search engine creators became wise to these tricks, they altered their rules and algorithms to get rid of spam and other irrelevant results on the SERP. At this point, SEO underwent a major evolution. Instead of being a shady practice, it was reinvented and redesigned to work with search engines.

These new tactics were classified as white hat SEO. They required much more strategy and a better understanding of search engines. Slowly, results on the SERP became much more relevant and useful as spam and black hat methods were eliminated. In the last five years, SEO has continued to alter its practices to meet the demands of new technologies, updates and algorithms.

In 2018, SEO will continue on this path. As has been seen in recent years, there will be a greater focus placed on quality content over basic fluff that acts as a carrier for keywords. Likewise, subject matter, social media and local SEO will continue to play a large role in rankings on the SERP. Other factors that will influence SEO practices in 2018 include an increased focus on accelerated mobile pages (AMP) and optimized video content. Additionally, with the introduction of the "Quick Answers" feature on Google, as a result of the Penguin 4.0 update in 2016, lists and other short snippets will grow in popularity, in hopes of being featured.


AdobeStock_130985618.jpegGetting content in front of the right audience is becomming increasingly more chanllenging – there's new content occuring every second online! Without a focused piece of content that delivers based on keywords that your target audience uses, your missing out on better ranking opportunities. 


While there will always be individuals who are skeptical about SEO, it has become clear that it is an invaluable tool for gaining exposure. As SEO has continually changed to find ways to remain at the forefront of Web marketing, the practice is expected to remain strong for many years to come. Regardless of new technologies that are expected to rise in popularity in the coming years, such as voice searches, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, SEO proves to be ready for whatever the future may hold.

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Vera Fischer

By Vera Fischer

The visionary of 97 Degrees West for more than thirteen years, Vera has served as the CEO and President since 2004. During Vera’s tenure, the agency has achieved steady growth while surviving both economic recessions in Austin, Texas. Vera began her advertising career at GSD&M where she worked on accounts: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Houston Rockets, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Pearl Vision, SeaWorld and DoubleTree Hotels. Her next stop was the nationally recognized T3 known as “The Think Tank.” While at T3, Vera spearheaded the Dell Computers launch of the Preferred Accounts Division and lead national projects for the ESL and Enterprise Divisions. Other notable accounts included Quintiles Oncology, Austin Lyric Opera and St. David’s Hospital. In 2001, Vera left the agency world to embark on the client side as Director of Marketing for Forgent Networks, the software spin-off of VTEL video conferencing. Vera managed an annual multi-million dollar marketing budget, developed online lead generation programs, managed the inside sales team and consistently delivered high-quality MQLs to the sales team. In 2004, after a company wide re-org, Vera was laid off while on maternity leave. Within the day, she founded her agency, 97 Degrees West. Vera’s weekly podcast entitled, “System Execution”, launched in mid-2016 with notable guests like Ari Weinzweig, Jeff Smith, Gary Bizzo, Dr. Alan Pitt, and other business and thought leaders. Vera is the first woman to host a podcast devoted to systems and processes of successful companies. She is quickly becoming one of the country’s leading authorities on the topic of execution Vera is a member of the Austin University Area Rotary Club, an advisory board member for the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Texas State University and a Mentor at Capital Factory in Austin, Texas. Vera is completing her Master’s in Strategic Communications at Texas State University in May 2018.