Algorithm updates are like fashion changes. You can keep wearing last year’s style and get left behind, or you can get into what’s new. We recommend the latter. Stay trending by learning what the 2018 algorithm changes are for Google, Facebook, and Instagram.

Google Algorithm Changes in 2018

What’s new? There are SEO changes (for example, one or two long-tail keywords in your post will be favored over a bunch of small keywords), and what your post is about should feature prominently in the title, header, body, URL, and meta description of your content; however, one of the biggest changes is “mobile-first” because Google’s two search indexes are combining into one. If you still have two, mobile will be crawled, not the desktop version. 

Why? More users are consuming content on mobile devices, so Google’s doing everything they can to be user-friendly. The other shifts pertain to putting the most appropriate content forward depending on the user’s search terms.

How it affects you. Mainly, you need to implement a responsive approach in which your desktop and mobile site content is the same.

What should you do? Call your IT specialist or get to work ensuring that your content is optimized for small, rectangular mobile screens and that what’s featured on mobile is as content-rich as what’s on desktop.

Facebook Algorithm Changes in 2018

What’s new? After reports of fake news incidents and the realization that there are a lot of fake profiles out there, Mark Zuckerberg, unlike Mary Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein, decided to kill his monster by limiting the business pages’ organic reach capabilities while boosting the reach of groups and of posts that get lots of comments (read: meaningful engagement).

Why? Mark Zuckerberg and Co. feel the morally responsible for harming user psyches, so they’re rolling back the Facebook clock to a time when grandma’s posts featured prominently on your timeline.

How it affects you. Expect to “pay to play” (i.e., buy ads) or see your reach plummet. To circumvent this, many businesses are starting “group” pages that foster conversations, which the new algorithm loves. Becoming a groupie isn’t a terrible idea except that there’s always the possibility that they’ll overhaul the algorithm. Again.

What should you do? Devise posts that naturally start conversations. Focus on sharing meaningful content from your website blog, which will draw users to your page where you can get their e-mail address and thus form a meaningful relationship.

Instagram Algorithm Changes in 2018

What’s new? Instagram is promoting posts with high engagement and only showing posts to users that they think those users are interested in.

Why? Instagram wants users to first see content that they are likely to be most interested in.

How it affects you. You have to start creating content that encourages users to spend quality time on, to send you direct messages, and to comment on (and more than just an “love this!” kind of comment, too.).

What should you do? You need compelling written content that encourages your audience to comment back. Embrace Instagram Stories; more and more users are checking in on Stories than the feed, which is something Instagram takes stock of. You should also interact with your followers. The more back-and-forth, the better the algorithm will favor your post.

Lastly, make sure you’re using appropriate hashtags. A new feature allows users to suggest your post not be shown for a certain hashtag, so be deliberate with hashtags.

Phew. We know that’s a lot to cover, but it’s all important. Start implementing these algorithm changes into your content marketing to ensure that you don’t get left behind.

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There’s no shame in The Storyteller Agency’s algorithm change game, so if you’re lost, frustrated, or confused by these updates, contact us, and let us help you navigate Google, Facebook, and Instagram like a pro.