Google, Bing and Hackers Change Search Results

Hi, I’m Paul Steinbrueck and welcome to OurChurch.Com’s monthly SEO Update for February 2016, keeping you up to date on what’s happening in the world of search and how it affects you.

This month we’ve got news about changes from Google, Bing and… hackers? Yes, hackers are affecting search rankings too, including possibly yours. So, let’s get to this month’s search news…

1) Google Had Another Major Search Algorithm Update
Google has confirmed it rolled out another update to their core search algorithm in mid-January, its second in 2 weeks. As usual, Google would not provide details about what changed. Just be aware that if your Google search rankings have changed in the last few weeks it may be because of Google and not your website.

2) Bing Updates is iOS & Android Apps
More of us continue to do more of our searching on mobile devices. As you might imagine, the way we search on our phones is different than the way we search on our computers. So, this month Bing has updated both the iOS and Android versions of its search app.

The company is trying to minimize typing by converting common queries, like “near me” to buttons and tabs. The home page offers near me, restaurants, movies, news, image and video.

3) Bing Getting Bigger and Faster
Speaking of Bing, Dr. Jan Pedersen, chief scientist of Bing’s research and development recently shared some interesting behind the scenes details on their blog.

Four years ago they had 100 engineers working on search, and now it’s up to 600 engineers.

Additionally, they have made huge strides in their development process. Four years ago, they were deploying changes to Bing once a month. Today they are deploying multiple updates a day.

Most of these updates only affect search rankings slightly and only affect a small percentage of searches, but it goes to show Microsoft’s commitment to competing with Google and providing ever better, and more relevant search results.

4) Hacked Content On The Rise
One classic blackhat (or unethical) technique some people use to improve their search rankings is to hack other people’s sites and place links on them back to their site. There seems to be an uptick in the number of incidents this year.

Getting hacked is obviously bad for lots of reasons. A hacked site can end up with warnings from Google on it, and can be penalized by Google.

So, it’s really important to be monitoring your website for changes. If you see anything suspicious, especially links that you didn’t put on your site, examine your website closely, remove any content you didn’t put their yourself, update your password, run a malware scan of your hosting account, and run a malware scan of all computers used to edit your site.

Monitoring website changes and addressing hacking issues is one of the things we do for our SEO clients to give them peace of mind.

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 great day!

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