11 Google Changes in the 1st Quarter of 2016

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If you haven’t already guessed, Google makes changes to their algorithms every single day. They are always striving to provide the best search results to its users (you!). However, some changes are more noticeable than others. It’s important to stay in the know, especially for someone like myself who focuses on online marketing tactics like Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click. At Webolutions, a Google Certified Partner, we believe in making a difference in people’s lives and for most of us, our business has a direct impact on how we feel every single day. Check out these Google changes in the 1st quarter of 2016 to learn how your business may be impacted.

Google Core Ranking Algorithm Update

Google confirmed a core ranking algorithm update that many in the SEO community noticed. There’s no specific details around the extent of the update, but changes occurred on both desktop and mobile devices. This is being called the “No-Name Update.” Can you guess why?

Google Panda is Now Part of Google’s Core Ranking Signals

So instead of Panda updates happening independent of core algorithm updates, Google confirmed that Panda is now part of the core ranking algorithm. Panda is/was a type of filter that helped to measure the quality of a website, specifically around content.

Google Search Console Adds AMP Error Report

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP was created to help make pages load faster when it comes to being displayed on mobile devices. To use AMP on your site, you will have to manage at least two versions of any article page.

Google Launched  AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) in Search Results on 2/24/16

AMP is similar to Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News, but because it is open source, anyone can use it. AMP pages can load up to 85% faster than standard mobile web pages.

All About the Changes to Google’s Ad Layout

As of Feb. 19, Google announced that paid ads on desktops will no longer show along the right side of search results. They have been testing this for awhile, but now it’s official. A maximum of four ads will show at the top and three ads at the bottom, with two exceptions—Product Listing Ad boxes and in the Knowledge Panel.

Google: AMP Not Yet a Ranking Signal

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are not yet a ranking signal, but don’t be surprised when it becomes one. AMP is designed to deliver pages faster on mobile devices, so just like the switch from HTTP to HTTPS became a signal, AMP is sure to follow once it becomes more mainstream.

Google Tests Clickable Phone Numbers in Organic Search Results

You’ve probably seen call extensions and Call-Only campaigns in AdWords, but now you might start to see clickable phone numbers in organic search results. Mostly tested and seen on mobile devices, let’s see how much longer it takes for Google to make this part of the “norm.”

Google Has Confirmed it is Removing Toolbar PageRank

PageRank was a grading system (based on links) Google used to determine how important a page was. The higher the score (0 to 10), the more important Google believed your site to be, which could help with rankings. People in the industry used/referenced PageRank like a cult, and I’m not sorry to see it go. It started as a toolbar option in Internet Explorer about 15+ years ago and now will only be used internally.

Google Analytics 360

Google introduces the Google Analytics 360 Suite, a set of marketing and data analytics tools designed for enterprise-class marketers. Helping to understand consumer behavior in the moment (micro-moments), interpreting the data and turning that into something that is useful to consumers.

Google to Boost Mobile-Friendly Algorithm this May

Remember Mobilegeddon? Well, this shouldn’t be as dramatic, but Google announced that beginning in May, Google will be slowly rolling out updates around their mobile-friendly algorithm. If your site is already mobile-friendly, you will not be impacted by this update. This is what’s called a page-by-page update, which means it will take time for Google to analyze each page, so the positive/negative impact may not show up right away.

Google’s Top 3 Search Ranking Factors

From Google directly, your top three ranking factors are (in no particular order of importance)…links, content and RankBrain, Google’s new A.I. system to help sort search results. There are many other factors Google looks at, but these are officially the top three.

This is only a snapshot of the many changes made by Google. As a full-service marketing agency servicing clients throughout the Denver metro area and across the country, it’s important to stay on top of trends and changes online. If you want to know how/if your business has been impacted by these changes, call us at 303-300-2640 or sign up for your free website marketing analysis today!

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