This Week In SEO 30
App Search, Pagerank, Holiday Ad Markup, & More
Apple’s App Store Gets a Smarter Search Engine
Apple’s increasing moves into the search space have had some very practical uses, like the app store. Previously, we’ve mentioned how Apple, using their own search engine, was going to affect Google more and more–using it in their closed iPhone/iPad environment as Spotlight. But here’s an example of a better search experience affecting millions of users that ISN’T related to Google.
This new change is focused more on how apps are returned when users type in keywords to find an app – something that’s becoming a more common way to find apps in a crowded app store featuring over a million mobile applications. According to studies, at least half of iOS apps are found through search.
“It’s their attempt at understanding how different apps rank relative to each other,” he explains, noting that, of course, PageRank is far more complex. “I think this is an attempt to move in that direction…the first step would probably be to benchmark where you rank compared to your competitors,” says Held.
App Store Optimization. It’s a thing.
Some interesting info coming out of Google Patent scrying. Bill Slawski points to a new patent meant to make improvements to the Pagerank method of assigning sites quality/trustworthiness/authority scores.
Under this new patent, Google adds a diversified set of trusted pages to act as seed sites. When calculating rankings for pages. Google would calculate a distance from the seed pages to the pages being ranked. A use of a trusted set of seed sites may sound a little like the TrustRank approach developed by Stanford and Yahoo a few years ago as described in Combating Web Spam with TrustRank (pdf). I don’t know what role, if any, the Yahoo paper had on the development of the approach in this patent application, but there seems to be some similarities.
There is no word (or proof) on whether these changes have gone live, or are still pending (or possibly will never show up as a part of the ranking algorithm, but something definitely important to keep an eye on…
Adwords Introduces SMS Remarketing and Holiday Markup
‘Tis the season to explode profits if you’re an ecommerce store. Google’s got your back with some adwords changes.
The most powerful of the new features is the ability to send marketing messages direct to customer’s phones. A new ad unit has been designed to allow searchers to opt-in to text message updates when searching on their phones.
And on the new holiday-structure:
Along with these new ad units, Google has introduced a new feature to add to existing ad units — holiday structured snippets.
Holiday structured snippets allow advertisers to highlight any special offerings specifically for Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Making use of holiday structured snippets is just like adding any other kind of structured snippet to an ad. When creating an ad, look through the drop down menu and select either “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” as the header of an ad extension.
Bing Announces Mobile Friendly Tool
Trying to be diverse in the search engines we cover here on SupremacySEO, but there’s a huge gap between #1 and #2. Still… Bing did a thing and we want to include it in our update:
The Mobile Friendliness Test tool runs checks on all of these key factors and additionally checks for and reports on resources that are needed to analyze the page fully but that we weren’t able to crawl due to robots.txt constraints. This way rendering issues (as seen in the page preview) can be fixed by webmasters by updating robots.txt in such a way that Bing can accurately determine the mobile-friendliness of the sites.
When you submit the URL of a page to be analyzed to the Mobile Friendliness Test tool, our Bing Mobile crawler fetches and renders the page, extracting important features that are used by the tool to determine how the page performs against each of the above factors. The outcomes are then aggregated into a consolidated mobile-friendliness verdict for the page.
Google: SERP Realestate Cannibal
Do you like to nerd-out on mobile search engine related posts? Well I’ve got good news for you…
This post dives in to some serious changes in the Google Mobile SERP landscape (and it’s not good news for SEOs)…
This decline can’t be entirely attributed to monetization efforts, as not all changes impacting organic search growth led to growth in ad clicks.
For example, Google also updated its Local Pack in August to begin showing at the top of the page for a greater share of searches with local intent and searches for brands with brick-and-mortar stores. As a result, organic links moved farther down the page, and the Local Pack now provides users with local business information directly on the SERP in prime placement, reducing the need to click through to a website for some searchers.
However, the biggest drivers of the decline in Q3 organic search visit growth appear to be the ones that have directly increased Google’s ad traffic and revenue.
Year over year organic search by device is declining.