Google announced today a new search algorithm update that will help increase the freshness in the search results. This “freshness algorithm” change will impact roughly 35% of all search results and is expected to give the surfer more up-to-date relevant results.
If a search is made for [football scores] you would probably want the most recent scores of the football games that just happened, not from games that are a few years old. This new algorithm change is designed to give you the most up to date results, without having to specify 2011 or the actual date the event took place.
To better clarify what content will be affected in the update, Google gives us these varying degrees of freshness.
Recent events or hot topics
Regularly recurring events
How will Google’s freshness update affect your website’s previous rankings?
If your industry or website content fits the list of the 3 varying degrees of freshness you might see a change in your rankings. For website’s that do not have trending topics or frequent product updates, don’t expect to see too much of a change.
Seeing decreased ranks or loss of traffic?
Our SEO team at WSOA loves new algorithm updates but sometimes for others it can lead to a disaster in your online strategy. If you have noticed a drop in your rankings or a decline in traffic to your website please contact us to see how we can help.
On June 1 Schema.org announced a 3 way partnership between Google, Yahoo and Bing to come together and provide a single collection of schemas that webmasters may use. You may be wondering what exactly a Schema is. Quoting Schema.org directly, they are “html tags that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers”. Essentially this allows search engines to improve search results by allowing them to easier find what users are searching for. If multiple search engines ask for data sets in different ways this would become a very difficult process for developers. It seems the major search engines have agreed that having one standardized data set i.e. Schema.org will work better.
How does Schema.org work?
Essentially Schema.org works by assigning each type of data entry a term. Schema.org provides the terminology for an entity, for example if you have a section on your webpage about a particular restaurant you can reference the Restaurant terminology page. Schema.org is based on Microdata, to implement Schema.org’s terminology you only need know the basics which can be found at the getting started page. Having the ability to properly identify a section, or your whole site may go far for SEO. Imagine search engines being able to identify between the car “Eclipse”, the moon-phase “Eclipse” and a restaurant called “Eclipse”.
Structured data has been seen previously via various features, such as “Googles recipe search”. If you haven’t used this feature before, it allows the user to search through recipes based on multiple factors including ingredients, cook time and calories. This is now kicking everything up a notch and allowing websites the capability to categorize multiple sections (Maps, Addresses, Phone Numbers, and Content etc.)
Will Schema.org phase out?
Some people may be questioning Schema.org and/or comparing it to that of sitemaps. As with many things SEO, it changes on a daily basis. We can only utilize what we know works and if it changes, we move on to the next phase. Will the time investment converting your site to Schema.org standards pay off? I don’t think anyone at this point can answer that. But it will be an indicator among many, and it won’t hurt!
Have you utilized structured data in the past? We would love to hear about it!
Have any questions regarding Schema.org or Microdata? Feel free to comment below.
Google has just rolled out a new feature in their search, the Google Plus One. The idea behind the Plus One is to help other surfers find more popular and better results in Google’s search. When you click the Plus One you are making a live recommendation on a certain page, product, or pretty much anything you are viewing. After you have Plus 1’d something others will be able to see how many people have Plus 1’d a site and if you are logged in you are able to see the Plus 1’s from your friends if they have done so. The Plus One button from Google looks as if they just duplicated Facebook’s like button in design but functionality wise it may not actually all be the same.
The main thought behind both features are present; they both want to make sharing easier, make it easier to find more popular information, and to create a more inviting and interactive experience. The downside to the Plus 1 is not only will they be competing with the Facebook like button but the majority of people have a Facebook profile and share information within. The reason why so many people are active daily Facebook users is because they can easily share and post content to their friend’s walls. How will Google take this into account? Here are some questions for Google to think about as they roll out their new feature.
When a surfer clicks a Plus One will this also transfer back to their Facebook Profile or Newsfeed where everyone else can see?
I believe it is a great idea towards a better search but why not just use the Facebook Like instead?
If a Facebook like button is present along side of the Google Plus One what button will searchers press?
Will this in turn just create more spam due to people using fake email accounts to press the Plus One on their own websites?
As Many SEO strategist know, article marketing has been one of many ways to get links. Many SEO strategist take part in Article marketing. Some more well known sites include Articlebase and EZineArticles. Both of which were hit by the Panda/Farmer Google update recently.
Matt Cutts opinion on Article Marketing
Matt Cutts received a question earlier this month in reference to article marketing for SEO purposes. He released a video with his answer on Article Marketing. Take a look at the following video and post your opinions and comments. Notice how he mentions Social Media? Take a look at our other Blog post on social media.
Do you take part in article marketing?
What results have you noticed since the farmer / panda update?