Just wanted to share the results of a new site I launched this year. This site has been a bit harder than previous experiences but I think that is caused more by this specific niche industry and less to Google tightening up (though things are much harder compared to 5 years ago). I also had a problem with Google giving horrifically misleading keyword data. Don't think it was intentional on their part, suspect it might be a sign that Google's AI fuzzy logic is more fuzz than logic. Going forward I'll be putting less emphasis on Google keyword data sources and prioritizing third party data. The new site has very few backlinks and they mostly come from social platforms. At this point, Google SEO is just a bonus. Our main focus is to develop a loyal following via social & email.
Launched the site and Google crawled it heavy for the first few days and regular revisits but no real rankings or traffic for the first month. Then it started to climb up the mountain. A strong trend line developed as we gained more impressions for more keywords. We are still gaining much more traffic via social channels but the Google trend line is on pace to overtake social.
We are probably going to spend at least the next six months focusing on social & email before we make Google search a top priority. Don't get me wrong. The new site is attractive to Google (fast loading, mobile friendly, keyword rich, good usability, easy to follow internal links, etc) but that wasn't to make Google happy. It was to deliver a professional resource that attracts loyal & returning users. For this project, we viewed social as the soft underbelly and so its being targeted first.
What has been your Google experience when launching new websites in 2018?