On Inside Search, Google shared their 15th birthday with the world, announcing changes to their search algorithm and search experience. This was celebrated at a press conference held on September 26th 2013, where they discussed the launch of a new search algorithm, code named Hummingbird. The launch of a new algorithm shocked the online marketing world, especially as this algorithm has already been live on Google.com for at least 30 days. So what do we know about this new algorithm, Hummingbird? Let’s start with the information shared by Google on their blog. They start by discussing improvements to their Knowledge Graph, making it easier and quicker for people to access answers to their questions. “ You can pull up your phone and say to Google: “Tell me about Impressionist artists.” You’ll see who the artists are, and you can dive in to learn more about each of them and explore their most famous works.” According to Google, this search algorithm is … [Read more...] about Google Hummingbird & What it Means for Online Marketers & SEO
A month after Penguin 2.0 was released, the dust is settling and most people are eager to know: What exactly is Penguin 2.0 filtering? How does Penguin 2.0 differ from Penguin 1.0? What can I do to recover my site and to protect my site from getting hit in the future? Should I try to recover, or start over with a fresh domain? First let me give you some context. The first Penguin was a more lethal, shotgun link spam filter. They had to send a message to the SEO community, so they pulled out their shotgun, fired, and took down thousands and thousands of sites. If you got hit by Penguin 1.0, the aftermath was brutal, with rankings completely gone for most head terms, the long tail disappearing, and a loss of between 30% and 80% of organic traffic. What Penguin 1.0 specifically targeted was link networks, paid links, high anchor density, and massive numbers of low quality links. Some sites still have Penguin 1.0 penalites that haven’t been removed. So what does Penguin 2.0 look for? … [Read more...] about How to Protect your Site and Recover from a Google Penguin Penalty
The Search Console (or Google Webmaster Tools as it used to be known) is a completely free and indispensably useful service offered by Google to all webmasters. Although you certainly don’t have to be signed up to Search Console in order to be crawled and indexed by Google, it can definitely help with optimising your site and its content for search. Search Console is where you can monitor your site’s performance, identify issues, submit content for crawling, remove content you don’t want indexed, view the search queries that brought visitors to your site, monitor backlinks… there’s lots of good stuff here. Perhaps most importantly though, Search Console is where Google will communicate with you should anything go wrong (crawling errors, manual penalties, increase in 404 pages, malware detected, etc.) If you don’t have a Search Console account, then you should get one now. You may find that you won’t actually need some of the other fancier, … [Read more...] about Google Search Console: a complete overview
A trial of Google Home Services (GHS) ads on mobile is the clearest sign yet that Google intends to roll the GHS beta program out to the mobile platform and an insight into how it might look when it happens. Google has been running a trial of Google Home Services (GHS) ads on mobile. GHS results have been spotted – revealed below – in mobile searches for tradesmen in San Francisco and Sacramento, during October. The subsequent disappearance of the ads come November show this was just a trial. But it is the clearest sign yet that Google intends to roll the GHS beta program out to the mobile platform. Plus, if this format is a good indication of the real thing, the format will look very different on mobile to what we are currently seeing on desktop. Experts privy to Google’s plans have been sworn to secrecy, so we can only speculate on when (not “if”) Google will finally roll out the GHS beta to mobile search and what format it will take. But this does look … [Read more...] about Google Home Services ads come to mobile search (then disappear again)
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?