Articles: Google General

Apple Loses Top Ranking

Apple has been the world’s wealthiest company. But apparently no longer.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet was reported by CNBC as the world most valuable company in 2015. Seems they were worth $US570 billion and Apple only a miserable $US539 billion. It is quite likely that this trend will continue as Apple relies so heavily on iPhone sales, whereas Alphabet is much more diversified.

http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/alphabet-google-world-s-most-valuable-company-not-apple-1314178

Google + changes

Google have been under continuing pressure from large sites about how “Google pushes it’s own barrow in its search results”.
eg much of the space on the 1st page is taken up with Google Adwords and / or Google Local Search results, Google Images etc.

So Google has recently succumbed to some of this pressure and changed a few things in the Search Results pages (Serps). We don’t know if these are permanent or just an experiment (they won’t tell anyone of course).

Changes they have made are mostly in Local Search results, which have been a good way to get on page 1 for free. They were showing up to 7 results here, but have now reduced this to 3. This is also to make results more mobile friendly – 3 fits better than 7.

And your business’s Google + page is not linked directly from these anymore.

That makes it even more important to try to ensure that you are in these Local results and that your Google + page is effective (it affects this). And Google reviews can affect this – more good reviews on your Google + page affects if you are in the top 3 local results displayed. So keep on focusing on encouraging customer reviews for your business on your Google+ page.

Google has also split out the photo component of your Google+ Page into a standalone product called Google Photos.

For more information see https://moz.com/blog/google-local-snack-pack-shakeup or a more recent article
http://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-links-and-reviews-dropped-from-google-search-results/141262/

And talk to us if you need to know more on this.

Google Now Favours Mobile Friendly sites

Google has started informing site owners via their Google Webmaster Tools account if it thinks their site is not mobile friendly or has mobile usability errors. Whilst they are not penalising non-mobile friendly sites as such, they are promoting other sites over these. The effect is the same – your competitor’s mobile friendly site is likely to appear in search results above yours. Google’s new algorithm that will increase the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal is due out on 21 April 2015.
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Google Top Searches 2014

Google recently released its list of top 2014 searches – unsurprisingly much the same as the 2013 list apart from topical news items.

Most Googled terms for kiwis: –

On the ‘How to’ list:
how to dream?
how to twerk?”

Number one on the “who is?” list was Jesus.

On the ‘Where is’ list:
Where is Gallipoli?
Where is Glasgow?

Other top searches

The referendum for Scottish independence. Fifa World Cup, followed by actor Robin Williams, Malaysia Airlines, iPhone 6 and actor Jennifer Lawrence

Kiwi news searches included

Malaysian Airlines Crash, Cyclone Lusi, Ukraine News, Robin Williams’ Death and Ebola Outbreak.

Lorde topped the list of most searched Kiwis, and Mona Dotcom made the list but Kim didn’t – I guess he was in the news so much that people already knew what they wanted to about him.

For food it was pancakes, banana cake, chicken recipes, cupcake, mince, chocolate cake, lasagna, brownie, slow cooker and cheesecake

For more on the Google 2014 list and trends see
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/googles-top-2014-search-terms-may-look-familiar/
and
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/internet/news/article.cfm?c_id=137&objectid=11375297

Google Authorship Ends

Apparently Google have ended their experiment of “Authorship” – another change in the constantly changing landscape of what helps your website perform for you.

“Today John Mueller of Google Webmaster Tools announced in a Google+ post that Google will stop showing authorship results in Google Search, and will no longer be tracking data from content using rel=author markup.”

From the full article at

http://searchengineland.com/goodbye-google-authorship-201975

Google Wants Fully Secure Sites

Google now wants all sites to be “secure” and is starting to give secure sites better ranking than non secure sites. They would like all sites to be converted to “secure”

Secure sites use https:/ instead of http:/. Like your bank sites.

Perhaps a good idea to reduce site hacking (of which we have seen 4 cases lately) etc.

The down side is that it will require site changes and purchasing a security certificate for your site. Security certificates cost from around $5 per month to over $500 per year, depending on your hosting company. Just to make Mr Google happy.

According to this article Google are already using it as a minor part of their ranking algorithm and may increase the importance of it. How far they take this remains to be seen, it is still early days for this idea.

See http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.co.nz/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal_6.html

Get Forgotten by Google

Google, Facebook and other online organisations hold a great deal of information about you.

In Europe, courts have ruled that people have the right to have their information forgotten by Google, Microsoft and other online organisations.

Mostly so far it is people getting negative information forgotten (removed), but maybe it means in the future you will have the right to have everything about you forgotten by providers. Continue reading