Verizon Becomes a Player in Search, Google AMPs It Up
Hi, I’m Paul Steinbrueck and welcome to OurChurch.Com’s monthly SEO Update for August 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 big news to cover with Yahoo getting bought out, Google pushing for super-mobile-friendly pages, and a new study that provides insight on one of the biggest search rankings factors.
So, let’s get it started…
1) Verizon Buys Yahoo
Verizon spent $5 billion to buy Yahoo. Yahoo is the 3rd most popular search engine in the U.S. after Google and Microsoft’s Bing, with about 12% of searches.
There are a few things that make the purchase interesting from a search perspective. First, last year Verizon bought AOL which is the 5th most popular search engine in the U.S. with 1% market share, so now they own 2 of the top 5 search engines. Second, Yahoo has an agreement with Microsoft to power at least half its desktop search results with Bing results. It also has an agreement to provide some results from Google. And it’s also been reported to be working on its own improved local search engine. So, Verizon is now the search business and has contracts with its 2 main competitors. Third, Verizon is the largest wireless provider in the U.S. (35% market share) and one of the biggest broadband Internet service providers.
Some experts believe Verizon is trying to turn itself into a mobile advertising company, which makes sense considering mobile advertising is one of the fastest growing industries. Google, Facebook, and Bing have seen their mobile ad revenue grow tremendously in recent years, and Verizon would love to capture some of that growth as well.
We’ll continue to monitor Verizon as it reinvents itself.
2) Google Pushing Super Mobile-Friendly Pages
In 2015, we experienced Mobilegeddon in which Google began penalizing websites that are not mobile-friendly. In May of 2016, we experienced Mobilegeddon2 in which Google increased those penalties. Now Google is taking it a step further by pushing a new super-mobile-friendly technology called Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP.
If you’re not familiar with the Accelerated Mobile Pages project, it aims to make pages load instantly on mobile devices. To do that, AMP restricts what you can do in HTML pages. Fancy design is stripped out in favor of speed.
Google seems to be taking similar steps with AMP as it did with mobile-friendly. First, it defined the standard, next it started actively encouraging website owners to use AMP, now it’s putting an AMP icon next to AMP-verified pages in mobile search.
Google says AMP pages currently do not get a boost in search results and won’t speculate on the future, but Google initially did the same thing mobile-friendly and as you know, they eventually did get a boost in search rankings.
AMP is still relatively new, but we’ve started investigating WordPress plugins that create AMP pages, and AMP will probably become a regular topic in our SEO blog posts in future months as mobile-friendly has been over the last few years. So, stay tuned as AMP continues to develop.
3) Study: Links Still Incredibly Important
Once upon a time, search engine optimization was almost all about getting links. In recent years, however, SEO has broadened into content marketing, mobile-friendly sites, local listings, reviews, RankBrain and more. As a result, link building has taken a back seat at least in some people’s minds.
But a new study by Stone Temple Consulting shows that, “When you aren’t facing page relevance or quality issues, links can, and do, continue to significantly impact rankings.”
The study concludes with these 2 recommendations:
1) build great content and user experiences.
2) proactively market your business (or nonprofit) and do the types of things that cause people to write about you and link to you.
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!