Google’s New RankBrain, Mobile Penalty & Deal with Yahoo
Hi I’m Paul Steinbrueck and welcome to OurChurch.Com’s monthly SEO Update for November 2015, keeping you up to date on what’s happening in the world of search and how it affects you.
Here in Florida we’re gearing up to celebrate Thanksgiving with dinner on the back porch in 80 degree weather. But before we get to that, it’s time to “talk turkey” about search marketing in this month’s update.
1) New Yahoo Search Deal
Google and Yahoo have announced a new agreement that will have Google supplying some of the search results to people searching on Yahoo. You may remember back in April Yahoo and Microsoft signed a new agreement, in which Yahoo agreed that Bing search results would appear on 51 percent of the desktop searches that Yahoo delivers. The other 49 percent could be “powered” by Yahoo’s own ad system or from any third party that Yahoo wanted to use. Well now some of that 49% will be powered by Google. And since the Microsoft agreement only covers desktop search, even more than 49% of mobile searches on Yahoo could be powered by Google.
However, in a separate statement, Yahoo’s CEO also indicated they have their own mobile search algorithm and it sounds like while they have pretty much given up on doing their own desktop search, they still see mobile search as something they can do on their own.
The bottom line with all this is, pending government approval of the deal, Google will end up powering an even larger percentage of searches, Bing is going to lose market share, and we’ll have to keep an eye on Yahoo mobile search results to see where they come from.
2) Google Launches RankBrain
Google is now using machine learning technology called RankBrain to help deliver search results. Machine learning is where a computer teaches itself how to do something rather than being taught by humans or running a program. One of the challenges Google faces is about 15% of the 3 billion searches a day Google processes are for phrases it has never seen before. RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to learn from past searches so it can provide better results for new searches it hasn’t seen before.
RankBrain doesn’t affect SEO but it should provide better more relevant results for long and unique search phrases.
3) #1 Search Rankings Provide an Additional, Unexpected Benefit
E-commerce retailer Wayfair published the results of a very interesting bit of research that shows having the #1 ranking in search results is even more important than we thought. Not only does the #1 ranking get more click-throughs than the listings below it, but it turns out the people who click through on a #1 ranking are also more likely to convert to a purchase.
So, if you’re site is ranking in the top 10 but not #1, this is a good reason to continue to work hard to get up to that #1 spot.
4) Google Adds new Mobile Search Ranking Penalty
I’m sure this has happened to you… you go to a website on your phone and the first thing you see is a giant ad for the organization’s mobile app which covers the entire screen. Well, Google has decided this contributes to a poor user experience, so it has started penalizing sites that do this in its mobile search rankings.
While most of you watching this probably don’t have your own app much less have a giant ad on your mobile site promoting it, the main reason this is important is that it shows Google continues to place a high value on usability in its mobile search results and will continue to penalize sites that give users a poor experience whether its with big ads for apps, small text, or on page elements that don’t scale well for mobile devices. So, make sure you’re website is mobile friendly, and test your website on your phone to make sure it provides a good experience to your visitors.
That is all for this month’s update.
Remember, we live in this internet age, so it’s important that you stay strong in the search engines so you can achieve your mission online. We here at OurChurch.Com are here to help you do that, so if we can answer any questions for you or do anything else to help you improve your search engines and achieve your mission online, please give us a call or send us an email.
Thanks for watching and have a Happy Thanksgiving!