Google Mobile Update & Top 3 Ranking Factors

Hi, I’m Paul Steinbrueck and welcome to OurChurch.Com’s monthly SEO Update for April 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 lots of big news about Google including another update related to mobile-friendliness. Plus Google has revealed the top 3 factors in their search ranking algorithm.

We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get to this month’s search news…

1) Search vs Social
A lot of people ask, “Which is better at bringing more visitors to my website – search engines or social media?”

Well, the company SimilarWeb released its Global Search Marketing Report 2016, and according to their data for shopping sites, search generates 10 times as many visitors as social media. The results may be different for other types of sites, but the report indicates search marketing is much more effective than social media marketing.

Report: search drives 10X more traffic to shopping sites than social media

2) Google Mobilegeddon 2 Coming in May
As I pointed out last month in a blog post, Google has announced they will be increasing the “mobile-friendly” factor in their mobile search rankings in May. Last April, Google created quite a stir when they began penalizing sites that are not mobile-friendly. That update was called Mobilegeddon by many search marketers. This coming update is expected to increase that penalty. So, if your website is still not mobile-friendly, we highly recommend you make it so. We here at OurChurch.Com can help you with that, if you like.

Google Mobilegeddon 2 Coming Soon?

3) Google Reveals Top 3 Search Ranking Factors
Google has told us in the past there are more than 200 factors or “signals” that factor into their search ranking algorithm. For years, search marketers have tried to figure out what they are and which have the most weight.

Well, Google has finally revealed what the top 3 ranking factors are. Ready to hear them?

Let’s start with #3, which is RankBrain. RankBrain is a new signal Google only started incorporating into is algorithm last year. It’s a machine-learning or artificial intelligence system and is primarily used with longer search phrases which are more rare and helps Google relate them to other better understood searches.

When Google Announced RankBrain in October 2015 they said it was the 3rd most important ranking factor. That led to lots of questions about the top 2, which Google repeated refused to answer… until now…

Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google said, ” I can tell you what they are. It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site.”

He wouldn’t elaborate on which was #1 and which was #2, but we now know for certain content and links are the most important factors in search rankings.

So, if you want your website to rank better in the search results, optimize your content to include the words and phrases people are searching for and get more links to your site.

Now we know: Here are Google’s top 3 search ranking factors

4) Google Reveals Top 3 Local Search Ranking Factors
No, this is not repeat. Google has been in a particularly revealing mood this month. Last week, they updated their help page named “Improve your local ranking on Google.” In it they revealed how Google determines local rankings. They look at…

1) Relevance – how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for. You can improve your relevance by optimizing your website to include the words and phrases people are searching for.

2) Distance – how far is each potential search result from the location term used in a search. You can’t improve your “distance” but you can make sure Google knows where you’re located to so it can calculate distance correctly.

3) Prominence – how well-known a business is. You can improve your prominence by increasing links to your site, reviews of your organization, and social media mentions of your site and organization.

5) Google Tremors
Last but not least, a lot of search marketers are reporting changes in Google search rankings, evidence there may have been as many as 3 algorithm updates in the last month. If you just optimize your website once and then forget about it, these changes are likely to lower your search rankings and you wouldn’t even know it.

This is why ongoing monitoring of your website, your search rankings and the search engines is so important.

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 live out 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 live out 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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