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In the SEO world, 2018 was marked by loads of algorithm update coming from Google Search. In my opinion, it seemed like 2018 was the wildest year concerning Google updates yet, and something tells me this just became the new norm. All SEOs should get used with constant and sometimes drastic algorithm changes coming from Google. 

The Medic update from August 2018 showed everyone that Google can now destroy particular niches. I've worked on lots of medical based websites and content for years now, and I've witnessed total devastation of most of these websites. To be fair, the content itself was playing by the algorithm rules and wasn't really serving the user. It had everything it needed to rank well on the old rules but lack in essence and helpfulness. Of course, there are ways to recover from this update, but it can be very painful to witness a 70% drop in organic traffic. 

Now thinking of 2019, here are the most important SEO trends that will shape the plans of every serious SEO out there:

1. Expect the Google search team to remain just as active as in 2018 if not even more so. 

As I said, all these Google Search updates aren't going anywhere. I bet they'll remain just as numerous in 2019. Better yet expect some serious changes on all fronts, the most important for SEOs being the switch to the new Search Console. 
I know you hate using the new Search Console, but you better get used with it fast, because in 2019 Google may well be closing the old Search Consol, it already started moving most of the data to the new one, and some statistics had already stopped functioning in the old console. 

This is a big deal for old-school SEOs that got used with the old Search Console. We are going to miss it, but I believe the change is welcomed.  By the way, expect this trend to continue. It seems to me that Google is moving more and more into SEO tools territory and may even put some SEO tools out of business by offering direct SEO insights that some tools only speculated by collecting huge amounts of data, but now Google is starting to provide directly more and more information. 

2. Mobile first index will continue. 

In 2018 Google began switching websites to mobile first index, meaning the mobile version of the website will become to the main ranking version for a specific domain. Until now this was strictly desktop based, but Google is planning to switch everybody to a mobile-first index in 2019. If you haven't got an email from Search Console informing you about this, you probably going to get it this year. 

3. Your online brand presence will become a significant ranking factor. 

Google has stated numerous times that brand mentions may matter when it comes to SEO and this is only natural. Google is constantly improving and is looking for ways to figure out what the actual authority of a website is without relying too much on backlinks. Giving the fact that backlinks can be created artificially, even on significant authority domains, Google is trying to figure out through brand mentions and general online brand reputation how important and useful a certian brand is to users. 
This new kind of AI together with other new parts of the search algorithm like Rank Brain will evolve into the future search ranking factors of Google, where SEO hacks will get you less and fewer results.

Conclusion: These are the three most essential SEO trends we will see in 2019, at least from my perspective. I've been quite broad in my descriptions, but yet again we are talking about a whole year. If you want to list more specific SEO trends for 2019, please do it in the comments below, I'd be happy to discuss them with you. Maybe in my next post, I'll write a highly detailed list of 20 or more important ranking factors for 2019. 


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Great write on SEO trends. I agree that 2018 was quite a wild year for SEO. If you ask anyone in this field, things are not as easy as they used to be. I agree that the biggest trend in 2019 will be in mobile SEO. I think more people are using mobiles to access the internet and search engines. To get ahead its advisable to optimize your site for mobile.

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I have to agree that in 2019 focus would be on mobile SEO since 80 percent of the searches worldwide was made via Smartphones. So we would be seeing a lot of sites optimizing and becoming mobile friendly.

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More users are using mobile to access on internet. It does gives a lot of convenience and hassle free. Plus, it's cheaper to buy smartphones than computers. Companies/website will always find time to adapt the trend to a mobile friendly site. They can't afford to lose clients.

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Great review of the SEO trends of 2018 and also the expectation of 2019 and beyond. This is a complete exhaustive review of where to spend our time on and which sites to avoid. Thank you so much for the precious information which wouldn't have been available on the Internet.

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I'm totally not surprised about the Google fact. Google is just a beast of a machine, which will be everlasting I suppose. It's identical to the legacy of Roman empire which is still around, like the law codex. As a matter of fact I think many SEO's might disappear and Google will increase the already existing potential.

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It's a good business move for Google to switch to mobile-first index this 2019. Most users nowadays are mobile users and what better way to do it other than switch it to a more customer friendly platform. I will have to look forward for the changes then. Thank you for the information.

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Nice article. Well-written, compact enough, easy-to-understand, and very informative. Thank you, I hope I can use this in the future.

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Interesting insight. It’s always useful trying to predict where SEO will go in the coming year and I think a lot of those predictions are spot on.

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What I have found out that this year mobile based websites are thriving. And also some of the apps for the websites are also going strong. So next year many people would be working towards the SEO trends where people are promoting the content through the site. And those sites have made it's ways towards the top of the search. I know it is kind of harder but people can check changing trends by the second quarter of the year.

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The World of Seo is not static but rather, it is constantly changing and in order to maintain and increase traffic to your blog and forum, you need to stay up to date and continue updating your articles. 2018 was really wild and I see it becoming more so in the coming year.

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I've also noticed that many sites in the medical niches got moved down in rankings. The problem is that the content for many of them was of dubious quality and simply aimed at peddling whatever affiliate products the site was promoting, with little regard to whether the information was accurate.

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I searched for more 2019 SEO trends. AMP and Voice Search were on a list. I'm OK with the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) but I was never too keen on Voice Search. That's likely one trend I won't be following/ But I'm going to do my best to keep with almost everything else.

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AMP was probably a 2018 trend even going back as 2017 AMP was a big thing. People still implement AMP but not at the rate of 2017 and 2018, things are starting to slow down and some websites figured out that AMP isn't really that necessary if they don't offer highly targeted articles and in general, text content.

As for Voice Search, yes, I fully agree. The wide adoption of digital personal assistants had already started to become highly popular in the west and this trend will only continue as wide adoption will continue. personally, I was highly skeptical when these devices first appeared but I got an early holiday gift this year (google home mini + chromecast) and I must admit I find them highly useful and engaging. Definitely the future. So yeah, ignoring voice search is definitely a bad idea.

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It’s lucky I’m using WordPress for my website. Finding a responsive theme is so easy these days. If you don’t like how your site looks on mobile using one theme, you can grab a new one easily.

I don’t like the online brand presence thingy, though. It’ shard for small-sized new business to reach the level of brand awareness established brands have. It takes a lot of money to build brands. Yes, you can try making viral content that people will spread voluntarily, but that takes money too.

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Maybe it will be the year of the updates but will not exactly affect ordinary sites and more likely the changes will be focused on the big sites. Traffic from search engines caused by SEO is now getting to be a big industry that maybe there will be more jobs for SEO specialists for site owners are beginning to learn that SEO methods can give them traffic that they did not dream of.

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