In April 2012, Google released one of its biggest algorithm changes to date. Penguin 1.0 targeted sites that featured questionable link profiles, low quality backlinks, and anchor text that was too keyword rich or overly optimized for a single term. As a result of the sweeping and significant impacts of Penguin 1.0, anticipation surrounded the release of Penguin 2.0, which officially rolled out May 22. While a lot of the specifics of the update are still shaking out, there’s a great deal of information already emerging. Here’s a closer look at what we know, how Penguin 2.0 is affecting sites, and what to do if your site has been impacted. The History of Penguin Google’s updates tend to be thematic. Each change to the search algorithm is done with a single goal in mind: to serve up better, more relevant search results to people using Google to find information. As you consider the internet, it’s easy to see why this is necessary. Webmasters and SEOs develop … [Read more...] about Google’s Penguin 2.0 Algorithm: The Definitive Guide
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Google has unveiled the Knowledge Graph, which they’re calling the “first step in the next generation of search.” The initial release is gradually rolling out to U.S. English users and consists of three elements: Links to different sets of results based on contextual meanings for any given search term Topic summaries with key facts visible in the sidebar of the SERPs “Information boxes” that offer additional information in the SERPs sidebar based on popular related queries. Google simultaneously announced in a separate blog postthat Knowledge Graph for mobiles and tablets is in the works, with Android 2.2+ and iOS4+ versions rolling out right now. Segmented Results “Slices” The first feature in Google’s new Knowledge Graph gives users the option to choose from sets of results based on various meanings or interpretations of a query. In the announcement, Google uses the query “taj mahal” as an example to illustrate how people … [Read more...] about Google Launches Knowledge Graph, ‘First Step in Next Generation Search’
On July 24, news hit that Google had quietly made changes to its local ranking algorithm, dubbed “Pigeon” by Search Engine Land (SEL) in absence of an official name by Google. Google told SEL the update was for U.S. English queries and had deeper ties into its Web search capabilities, “including the hundreds of ranking signals they use in Web search along with search features such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms and more,” the report said. This would make local search more closely mimic traditional organic search rankings. But with Pigeon, the local 7-pack seems to have flown away for many queries. And some are debating whether this change is good or bad for local businesses. On one hand, it seems local directories like Yelp are winning so far, surfacing more in the results for local searches. From SmallBusinessTrends.com: In the past, when you would search for something local, you would get your carousel results and then a list of organic … [Read more...] about Is Google’s New Local Algorithm ‘Pigeon’ for the Birds?
Between the long-awaited rollout of Penguin 4.0, a strengthening of Google’s mobile-friendly ranking signal and the ‘Possum’ algorithm update impacting local search, 2016 was an interesting year for Google algorithm changes. And with an upcoming move to a mobile-first search index already on the cards, as well as a penalty for intrusive mobile interstitials coming into effect on the 10th, 2017 promises to be just as eventful. Looking back at 2016, which algorithm changes were the most impactful for marketers in the industry? And how can brands best prepare themselves for what might be around the corner? I spoke to Sastry Rachakonda and Ajay Rama of digital marketing agency iQuanti, along with Search Engine Watch’s regular mobile columnist Andy Favell, to get their thoughts on what’s to come in the search industry. The most impactful algorithm updates of 2016 “Mobile-first indexing is probably the most significant change that happened this … [Read more...] about Which Google algorithm changes impacted marketers most in 2016 – and what can we expect from 2017?
Google is undertaking the most radical change to its search results ever, introducing a “Universal Search” system that will blend listings from its news, video, images, local and book search engines among those it gathers from crawling web pages. The new system officially rolls out today for anyone using Google.com and searching in English. Not everyone will see it at first, but over the course of the next several days, Universal Search should be more, well, universal. A new navigational interface has also been unveiled for Google and is covered more in the companion piece to this article, Google’s New Navigational Links: An Illustrated Guide. The move potentially should be a huge boon for searchers, while search marketers who have paid attention to the importance of specialized or vertical search will see new opportunities. To fully explain the importance to both groups, I’m going to work step-by-step through the concept of vertical search engines, how … [Read more...] about Google Launches “Universal Search” & Blended Results