Beating Google Panda: Part 3

Beating Google Panda: Part 3


Beating Google Panda: Part 3

05.04.2012


Here are ten further updates to the algorithms of Google’s search engine:


International Launch of Shopping Rich Snippets
Codename: Rich Snippets

There is now a new format for ecommerce websites in which rich snippets have been expanded to include price, availability, product reviews and  star ratings. For SEOs this means keeping a closer eye on your Meta Tags and optimising them for these new snippets so as to increase rankings and sales. Include a feed or markup on the page to increase value on product listings. These tools are highly useful for conversions.There are two methods for getting a rich snippet with this additional shopping data, either by submitting a product to the Google Merchant centre, or else by coding a website with semantic HTML (according to the schema.org guidelines) using the product specific schema. 




Improvements to Korean Spelling

Google Korea now provides instant results for queries with corrected spellings, instead of displaying the ‘Did you mean...?’ link. Optimising content for misspelling is becoming a thing of the past.


Improvements to Freshness
Codename: iotfreshweb

The indexing criteria for websites with content updated constantly have changed yet again. In the case of a blog, writing new posts periodically, keeping track of internal links in terms of freshness and navigation, and scheduling new posts within a set time, such as bi-weekly, weekly or monthly are great for keeping your blog and website visible. Posts can be scheduled to publish in the future, so basically you can write your entire blog once and let it publish itself over time.Internal links are also crucial to allowing search engines and visitors locate old posts. Apart from only updating search queries with fresh content, Google has also updated the way content is determined as fresh, potentially using links and social networks to find the latest sources.Web History in 20 New CountriesSearching over web pages you have visited in the past is quite common for many of us, but only recently has this tool been adapted for various countries. The latest countries to take advantage of this, as well as more personal and relevant search results based on your search history, are Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Morocco, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Kuwait, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Nigeria, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Republic of Moldova, and Ghana.

Google is constantly striving to localise and personalise its search results, and is focusing on Google Account holders for this, as webmasters need to target their businesses to a very specific audience, and they should be taking the appropriate steps to ensure that these businesses display in local searches.


Improved Snippets for Video Channels

Google data has proved that rich snippets can increase website traffic by as much as 30%, so therefore these snippets will begin to be seen more and more. Video is a crucial part of online marketing, and this is now being including in the rich snippets too. Google is now ranking video websites regularly in the search results, and so videos should be optimised and enhanced using the right tools that YouTube provides for rich snippets.


Improvements to Ranking for Local Search Results
Codename: Venice

Google is now using its main search results to determine the localities of businesses and small companies. The following implementations should help in improving rankings for localised searches:

  • Local landing pages (not necessarily a physical address, but a landing page located at a URL).
  • Meta tag and Meta Description should contain the relevant keywords as well as the location.
  • Localised page content (using header tags and site content)• Local Link Profile (the number of backlinks containing the same localised search terms).
  • Site Architecture (the structure of all of a website’s pages and optimising them all for national organic results and localised pages.
  • Location-based Reviews (instead of a single testimonial, add them to every market you wish to target).
  • Gather user-generated content targeting positive reviews and information about your chosen location.
  • Write out directions to locations.
  • Markup Addresses, Schema and hCard.
  • Add KML file and GeoSitemap to your website (a KML file is used to determine the exact address of a company including its latitude and longitude. This can be generated in GeoSitemap).
  • Authorative Local Link Building (building microsites for submarkets of a large city for example. Focus on link building by generating brand, location and keyword targeting anchor text pointing back to your main website).
  • Local Guest Posting.



Improvements to English Spell Correction
Codename: Kamehameha

Google corrects searchers spelling mistakes instantly, and has now improved the quality of these corrections for rarer queries, which is great news for webmasters.

Improvements to coverage of News Universal
Codename: Final Destination

Google is more focused than ever on bringing near real-time results to search as news happens. In order to be admitted as a Google News source, sites have to apply and match certain requirements, which are often a tough business, but this is vital for sites being visible in such search results.


Consolidation of Signals for Spiking Topics
Codename: News Deserving Score

Social media signals now appear to be used to guide trending topics, and Google seems to have dropped several sources in favour of social networks which can provide accurate and real-time data sources. Blog and news articles may be less considered as signals of spiking topics and trends. Google has said “We use a number of signals to detect when a new topic is spiking in popularity. This change consolidates some of the signals so we can rely on signals we can compute in real-time, rather than signals that need to be processed offline. This eliminates redundancy in our systems and helps to ensure we can continue to detect spiking topics as quickly as possible.”


Better Triggering for Turkish Weather Search Feature
Codename: Hava

Turkey, being an increasingly popular holiday destination, has a huge volume of weather search queries from all over the world. Google has turned the signals used to decide when to provide users for Turkey with the weather search features right on the results page more frequently and accurately.


As these changes are seamlessly integrated into the existing search engine, day to day users are unlikely to notice the change, however, website developers and SEO’s should expect to see their search results changing. Do you think that these changes are improving Google’s search experience? How are they changing your own personal user experience? 

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