Earlier this month, Google’s Inside Search blog announced the latest search quality highlights for the months of June and July. This announcement highlighted 86 changes over the two month period which ranged from improving live sports results to improving results of the sunset and sunrise times. Chances are, these features won’t help you at all in the day to day running of your business! So I’ve taken the liberty of breaking down these changes and what they mean from an online business and marketing point of view.
Search Algorithm Highlights
1. #82293. [project codename “Answers”] Improved dictionary search feature by adding support for more natural language searches
Ever searched for a query and had it returned with an entirely new meaning? English is infamous as one of the most difficult languages to master because of the multiple meanings associated with words. If you were searching for a “cool cat”, would you be looking for images depicting sophistication and characters with a certain ‘air’ or would you want to see a cat stuck in a freezer? In short, the language algorithm is improving to bring you the right result the first time. This may be beneficial for businesses that may have products with polysemic names.
2, 3 & 4. Bamse / Bamse-17L / #82666 [project codename “Page Quality”]
Three algorithm changes were released that focused on helping searchers find more high-quality content from trusted sources. A huge nod for websites to work to build trust with their audiences. No doubt this will incorporate social signals, with recommendations by family and friends amongst the most strongest factor to trust a brand or business.
5, 6 & 7. Hamel / GreenLandII / #82353 [project codename “Page Quality”]
Another three changes to the algorithm focusing on Page Quality. Hame1 is an algorithm change that was launched to help users find high-quality pages with unique content. This appears to be in line with Google’s recent stance toward penalising pages in the search results with copyright infringing content. (Read more about the Pirate Penalty here). GreenLandII and #82353 are changes relating to Google Panda, focusing on the better detection of high quality sites and pages. So if you’re thinking about copying content word for word just to produce something on your website, DON’T!
8. #83051. [project codename “Answers”]
Improved SERPs for mobile users. Most required information for mobile users will be highlighted, such as phone numbers, addresses, hours and more. For this reason, if you have a local business, make sure your website details are up to date and uniform across any page your users can find you.
9. #82961. [project codename “Alternative Search Methods”]
Another change for mobile users! Search direction results to/from locations will begin to appear based on current position. Again, another reminder to ensure all your contact details are up to date and correct.
The biggest noticeable updates across all 86 changes focus on high quality, unique and trustworthy content. This sets out to hammer in the final nails in the coffin for prehistoric link farming networks using sub-par content to manipulate Page Rank (Google’s score out of 10 that judges how authoritative a website is).
There is also a growing rise in Search Algorithm Highlights of improvements to local search experiences on mobile devices – a nod to businesses who want to lead and dominate their local search areas. For more information on mobile sites, make sure you check out a post by our mobile marketing expert Kevin Dam: “Do I Need a Mobile Friendly Site?“