Category: Search Engine News
Internet marketers everywhere are scrambling to make sense of Google's many algorithm changes. While Google's changes only affect a subset of all searches, some marketers have nevertheless suffered significant losses to their bottom line in the form of traffic loss. If you fall under this category, it is crucial to understand why Google makes these changes and what these changes imply. Google's trajectory for its algorithm is predictable, and if you get ahead of the curve, you can insulate yourself from future damage.
The Recent Changes
Over the past five years, Google has rolled out four major changes to its algorithm. They are, in order of appearance: Caffeine, Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird. Caffeine was an update to Google's index, the part of the search engine responsible for locating and ranking websites. Introduced in 2009, Caffeine provided 50% faster searches. The update was an unprecedented upgrade to the search engine's architecture, and it closed a...
On September 23, 2013, the Internet was made privy to Google's master plan to encrypt 100% of organic search activity. Marketers were outraged, as Google's own Matt Cutts had formerly stated that keyword encryption would impact less than 10% of searches overall.
SSL Encryption and Google: A Brief History
Google initially launched an encrypted search option back in May 2010. Since October 2011, the search engine has been automatically redirecting users to its encrypted URL as long as they were signed in to Google. It was around this time that the "(not provided)" element in Google Analytics and other web metrics programs began to appear.
Since then, encryption has been adopted through various other browsers including the Chrome omnibox as well as Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari iOS6, steadily increasing the total percentage of obscured keyword data. Very soon, this encryption will apply across the board.
Webmasters and SEOs have been able to...
Google officially announced the launch of its new algorithm, Hummingbird, at a media event in Silicon Valley on September 26, 2013 in celebration of the search engine giant's 15th anniversary. In fact, Google states that the algorithm was actually released quietly and gradually over the past month.
This new upgrade marks the biggest change to the Google algorithm since the Caffeine rollout announced in June 2010, which primarily amended Google’s indexing system to provide searchers with fresher results. Hummingbird affects 90% of global search results, and will impact many parameters contributing to organic rankings. Google has yet remained reticent about the technical details of this new beast, but here's what we do know.
What Does Hummingbird Mean for Google?
So what's the big fuss? After all, search algorithms are updated several hundred times a year, and are sometimes even given names, such as the infamous...
The US-based search engine DuckDuckGo may be giving Google a run for their money as their searches jumped after the US Prism surveillance scandal. Those worried about their privacy are turning to DuckDuckGo as the search engine doesn’t monitor your activity, filters out the spam and promotes an overall better search experience, according to the search engine’s users. DuckDuckGo states, “We believe in better search and real privacy.” So far, they are living up to their claim.
DuckDuckGo is said to be the anonymous search engine, and for good reason. The search engine filters spam sites aggressively, which Google often allows for advertising revenue. DuckDuckGo also doesn’t track your searches or create the “filter bubble” Google uses to create individualized results. The search engine doesn’t save your search history, including the date and time of search, IP address or log-in data, which is very appealing to internet users after the...
When Matt Cutts announced the unveiling of the latest Penguin update, you probably thought as many other webmasters thought-- it’ll finally clean up the leftover garbage that slipped through the loopholes of the previous Panda and Penguin updates. As Google guru Matt Cutts stated in a Webcast shortly after the release of Penguin 2.0, the latest update is going to “have a pretty big impact on web spam. It’s a brand new generation of algorithms. The previous generation of Penguin would essentially only look at the home page of a site. The newer generation of Penguin goes much deeper and has a really big impact in certain small areas.”
It’s pretty clear the update had a big impact on web spam-- it ranked higher while quality sites plummeted. Not to mention, users are reporting their search experience has dramatically declined since the update. Wait a minute… aren’t the updates meant to promote the search experience? As SEOWizz puts it, ...
Matt Cutts, Google’s master of search spam, made the rare move of announcing the search engine giant’s release of the latest version of Penguin last week. The move, as expected, has sent webmasters and SEOs heart rates through the roof wondering if their sites will be impacted and how badly.
New blog post:Penguin 2.0 rolled out today goo.gl/fb/U7llH— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 23, 2013
The move from Cutts to announce that Penguin 2.0 was rolled out on 22 May was rare as Google tends to keep its lips shut when it comes to announcing the specific release of Penguin and Panda updates. After discussing the updates frequently over the past month, it seemed only natural that Cutts would break with trend and immediately inform webmasters of Penguin’s release.
Why Penguin 2.0?
While the latest release of Penguin algorithms is technically the fourth release of such software programs at Google, it is officially referred to as Penguin 2.0 because of the nature of this...
If you’re running advertorials, paid content, or native advertising on your site make sure the ads and content associated with your sponsors are properly disclosed, or else you might find your entire website excluded from search results.
That’s basically the gist of Matt Cutt’s latest GoogleWebmasterHelp video (see below).
In the video, Cutts reminded users of Google’s long-time policy regarding paid links and content. The policy states that paid links should not pass page rank, and should therefore be labeled as nofollow. In addition, webmasters must see to it that all advertorials, paid content, and native ads on their site are clearly and conspicuously labeled accordingly (i.e. use words like “sponsored” or “advertisement”).
However, according to Cutts, Google’s webspam team has been seeing problems regarding advertorials, native advertising content, or paid content that aren’t being disclosed...
If you’ve been trolling tech and online advertising blogs lately then you’ve most likely caught wind of Microsoft’s Scroogled Campaign against Google. The campaign, which first launched in November, was created mainly to bash Google and promote Microsoft products such as Bing, Windows Phone, Outlook and more. It’s as anti-Google as can be and so far it has attacked the search giant’s paid inclusion in shopping search results, Gmail, Google Play, and most recently, Chrome.
In case you aren’t up to speed with Scroogled, below is a timeline that details how Scroogled made its way into the interwebs and what it’s saying about the almighty Google:
November 28, 2012 – Scroogled Launched
Microsoft first launched Scroogled.com in late November where it attacked Google’s Product Listing Ads . According to the site:
In the beginning, Google preached “Don’t be evil” – but that changed on May...
As Google continues to strengthen its chokehold on the U.S. search market and keep the competition at bay, the industry's best minds struggle to develop new tools and strategies to cope with Google's dominance and find a way to breakthrough and regain a foothold in an industry that has long been controlled by Google. As Yahoo's Marissa Mayer approaches one year on the job as CEO, she is looking to revamp Yahoo's approach and breathe new life into the competition for number one in the search industry.
It was announced last week that Mayer and Yahoo! are in the process of developing several new tools and strategies to try and revive Yahoo's prospects of regaining market share in the lucrative search ad industry. As of 2012 the industry brought in roughly $19.8 billion in revenue related to search advertising. As of the end of the first quarter of 2013, Google held 67% of the search engine marketplace in the U.S., bringing with it a sizable chunk of that $19.8...
Log on to Google.com any given day and enter a search query for a random person, place, or landmark and you are no doubt going to be bombarded with page links, suggestions, and image previews related to your term. Bing.com recently added a new expansion to its Snapshot feature that allows the search engine to make better associations between places, people, and things.
Bing’s Snapshot feature is found on the right hand side of the page when users use the search engine and provides images of relevant people, places, or “things” that correlate to the query term. Using a new technology it calls “Satori,” Bing is seeking to provide better image results that draw a clear correlation between subjects.
Bing posted the following statement on its official blog on 21 March:
Today, we are inviting people to check out Snapshot to experience our expansion of Satori.
Since its introduction in June, we have expanded Satori to include a significantly...