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Published November 26th 2018

Interview: 5 Minutes With Over the Top SEO’s Guy Sheetrit on Search Trends for 2019

In which we review 2018 and look ahead to 2019 with SEO expert Guy Sheetrit

As 2018 draws to a close there is plenty to look forward to and, perhaps, be apprehensive of in 2019.

We took five minutes with SEO expert Guy Sheetrit from Over the Top SEO to ask him for his quick-fire take on search trends for 2019 that marketers should be aware of.

Which algorithm tweak from a major platform has had the biggest impact on digital marketing this year?

“There were actually two major updates this year that had a significant impact on digital marketing.

First, Facebook removed a huge percentage of demographic targeting features from their Ads Manager making it a lot harder to target people with ads on Facebook and Instagram. This changed the way most, if not all, advertisers practiced targeting.

Second, Google launched the Medic update. It demoted sites with low-quality branding, lack of trust across the web, and sites without a “person behind the info” listed on the pages. While it mainly hit the health niche, you really are dropping the ball if you think they can’t do it across the web as a whole. You should be putting branding first on your to-do list.”

What can you tell us about reporting in the SEO industry going forward?

“Reporting has always been an issue in the SEO industry and I think it will remain so. The truth is this – 90% of what we do is on the technical side and is often times so small that, as technical practitioners, we don’t find it worthy of an email or report. Therefore clients are left waiting on ranking reports or KPI reporting to see any progress.

If these reports are delivered monthly, clients feel they are not being communicated with regularly. Bi-weekly reports reduce that but, on the other hand, weekly or per task reporting results in information overload for clients, and agencies have to spend more time educating them on what everything means.

Getting the balance right is important.”

How can marketers avoid panic when platforms make changes that alter results or how they’re measured?

“By setting a baseline and establishing definitions and expectations in the beginning.

For example, many people follow third-party backlink metrics when looking for link building opportunities. However, changes made in 2018 to major tool providers completely changed the way those metrics are reflected. This caused a lot of websites to lose their perceived value and clients and link builders got upset.

If proper definitions of the metric and expectations on what improvements look like were set in advance, clients would understand that, while helpful, these metrics are often related to vanity and can be manipulated.”

What are your clients asking you about most?

“I have practiced online marketing for over a decade and to this day the most common questions have not changed – how can we get more leads, how do I compete with a national brand in my local market, and how can I reduce PPC expense?

Focusing on results, it is amazing how big the ROI from SEO is when they hit the top spots.”

What’s the biggest challenge marketers face as we approach a whole new year in regard to search?

“Staying ahead of Google and its constant algorithm changes has always been, and will continue to be, the biggest marketing challenge in search.

With an ever-increasing move to get more ad revenue out of search engines, organic search volume will continue to lower a bit with each new ad product launch. However, these bumps in traffic from ads get lower as people trust ads less than they do organic results.

In the meantime, any search optimization campaign should include PPC, creating a result-driven search engine marketing campaign.”

What’s the biggest trend in SEO you’re expecting to see in 2019?

“The combined growth of voice search and the ability of Google to deliver a specific answer to a search query (featured snippets) vs. a list of possible results (traditional search) is going to have a significant impact on how much exposure your website gets.”

Big thanks to Guy Sheetrit for his time speaking to us. You can find him on LinkedIn here and on Twitter here.

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