I’m not going to write the usual “what’s big in 2018?” post that everyone is writing. However, there is one thing that’s bound to be big, and that’s structured data. I talked about this after Pubcon last November, and about putting structured data on everything. Google loves structured data because it can use the information on the page to create products. It’s simple for them to scrape the data and put it into a user-friendly format with a benefit for them, not you.
It’s got other facets, though, some of which benefit site owners, like rich snippets. By the way, Google just released a rich snippets testing tool, and it doesn’t work. I tried it and it didn’t work on my site. It claimed my site didn’t have a featured answer, but clearly it does.
One other new thing I noticed recently are featured videos, not just text answers. Ordinarily this would be a good thing, but it’s got a lot of video bloggers up in arms because of the way Google is presenting the video. When a video is featured, Google chooses a small bit of the video as the suggested clip. It’s only a small portion of the entire video, and it completely cuts out the beginning with the pre-roll ad that’s meant to monetize the video. It’s causing a lot of controversy right now about Google or YouTube censoring ads or not allowing them to run in the featured spots.
Those are just some interesting things to look at for early in the year. You might want to play around with the rich snippets tool by visiting this link. Just keep in mind that it won’t work on featured answers. I’ll be playing around with it more to see where else it works and I’ll let you know what I find out.