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SEO position rankings go up and down

Monthly SEO Report Covering January 2018

Our latest monthly SEO report covering all the changes through-out January 2018. Understand what has changed and how you can help your website perform better. A 2 minutes read.

Welcome to the first monthly SEO report of 2018, as per normal the idea is to compress all the changes made by the search engines and report on the most important changes that will affect how your website performs.

Our aim is to get it under a 2 minute read so you get the info without taking up too much of your time.

Once again we have added a Tip to help with your own SEO work. If you have missed any of the other reports, which will still be relevant, then we definitely recommend you catch up, here is a link to the SEO Report Updates.


It looks like Google performed a few small algorithm updates in the first and third weeks of January 2018. Google have not confirmed this and we (and SEO community) are still not sure what had changed but we saw a lot of movements in the ranking results.

Google Speed Update

This should be under the heading of Algorithm’s but Google have actually named it so it gets its own heading.
This algorithm will be launched in July 2018 (nice to have some warning) and is targeting really really slow mobile websites. This update will most likely not affect many sites. If it does affect your site then shame on you for having a website that slow!!


If you are new to search engine optimisation or just need a little refresh on the phrases used in our report head over to our SEO Glossary page, everything you need to know in one place.


Search Console

Google provide a free tool called Search Console which gives webmasters feedback about their website and help on how to improve. Prior to this month the most amount of data Search Console held about your website was 90 days worth.
Well, that has changed with the release of their latest (beta) version which now holds 16 months worth, which is great news.
If you haven’t used Search Console you really should give it ago!

SEO Tips

Every so often Google give out some SEO tips, some are obvious, some are really useful.
This month Google offered these tips:
  • Google have said that they never index all a sites URLs.
  • Google will discount hidden text (will not help the page rank any better). We have reported this several times in our monthly SEO reports most recently about text hidden behind tabs or similar. Although Google discounts the content they will use it if people are searching for keywords which are in the hidden content.  TIP: Never hide the important content!!

Google Image Index

Now listen up people, using Google’s image search to rank your website when you are having trouble in the main index is a very good tactic (hint hint!).
Something to keep in mind though is to reference your image using HTML SRC commands and not using CSS background image as Google’s image search doesn’t look at CSS.

Sub Domain or Sub Folder

An age old question: should you use sub-domains or sub-folders to separate your website?
This month Google decided to join the debate – well actually re-ignite it – and say that Google will index either options.
That said, for ages most SEO’s would recommend using Sub-Folders as they generally perform better. However, that said if your site suits sub-domains then go for it!

Written by Stuart Cole

Stuart Cole has been running Internet businesses since 1996 and has been concentrating on SEO and online marketing since 2007. Stuart is a regular SEO author specialising in recent changes that can affect how websites perform in search engines.