2018 was another year in which SEO companies in Orange County saw no lack of business. As companies come into existence, they need to get themselves noticed, and when you boil it down, that’s what search engine optimization is all about. In the website popularity contest, there can be no other result but for you to come out the winner, or at least in the top results. Otherwise, your site and brand are going to stagnate.


Throughout this year, techniques for getting sites to rank underwent many changes, just as they always do, and as always, Google had a lot to do with those. That is why we thought we’d do this quick year-end recap detailing what we noticed about what’s happening with the search engine giant.


The Impact of the Updates are Harder to Detect


In the past, Google updates, like Panda and Penguin, were groundbreaking. They were announced, and then Orange County SEO companies had to scramble to try and comprehend them to serve their clients better.


There have been several updates to the Google algorithm in 2018. The problem is, they’ve become much more inscrutable than they once were.


This is partially because of their frequency and complexity. If it were a case of Google tweaking something here or there, it would have been simple enough to adjust for it, especially if they were explicit about what was changing.


However, that isn’t the case anymore. With so many updates happening, and then rollbacks of those updates sometimes taking place just as frequently, it has been a real challenge to keep up, even for so-called SEO experts.


The reality is, the Google algorithm has become so complex that when a change takes place, it can be months before new best practices for SEO catch up with it.    


No More “200 Factors”


In the past, a common SEO term was the “200 factors” by which a site might be ranked with Google. They’re no longer accurate. Certainly, some of them are, but others may no longer be applicable, while others may have undergone seismic shifts.


Simply stated, there are an infinite number of factors through which Google determines its SERPs. They differ according to location, query, moment, and user.


In a way, this is intimidating, especially for an SEO company in Orange County whose job has remained the same: get those site rankings for their customers. But examined from a different angle, there is much about which to be excited when it comes to this uncertain territory in which we SEO practitioners find ourselves.


If much of what we know no longer applies, then all of our competitors will be learning about the latest versions of Google, just as we are. We’re on equal footing.


It should not be thought that Google is trying to pull the rug out from under SEO companies by making the changes that they do. The fact is, Google isn’t concerned about such factors at all.


They’re trying to make a better search engine, and it’s the rest of us, businesses and SEO agencies alike, that have to dance to their tune. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with that. All it means is that ranking isn’t going to come easily in 2019, and optimization is going to be a worthy challenge for any SEO company employee who once dared to call themselves an expert.