State of the Search Industry Update
August was another month without a published Google update list so this month’s update is more of a “state of the industry” update. According to the State of Search Marketing Report 2012, search has grown 19% since 2011 and is predicted to reach an estimated $23 billion dollars by the end of the year. This growth is expected to continue at a 13% rate through 2013.
7 is the New 10
Google did make one very important algorithm change this month. Now some search queries are only pulling seven results on the first page. These first seven results may also be less diverse and much more branded. For example a search for “pc tools” returns only seven organic results. The middle of August showed this change dramatically and SEOMOZ reported that almost one-fifth of the SERPs they tracked were showing only 7 results.
Google’s 86 June-July Updates included three updates specifically mentioning site clustering. Site clustering is showing multiple links from the same domain in the search results.
- #82541. [project codename “Other Ranking Components”] This is one of multiple projects that we’re working on to make our system for clustering web results better and simpler.
- NoPathsForClustering. [project codename “Other Ranking Components”] We’ve made our algorithm for clustering web results from the same site or same path (same URL up until the last slash) more consistent. This is one of multiple projects that we’re working on to make our clustering system better and simpler.
- bergen. [project codename “Other Ranking Components”] This is one of multiple projects that we’re working on to make our system for clustering web results better and simpler.
Google’s response to this 7 result change was:
We’re continuing to work out the best ways to show multiple results from a single site when it’s clear users are interested in that site. Separately, we’re also experimenting with varying the number of results per page, as we do periodically. Overall our goal is to provide the most relevant results for a given query as quickly as possible, whether it’s a wide variety of sources or navigation deep into a particular source. There’s always room for improvement, so we’re going to keep working on getting the mix right.
At GlobeRunnerSEO, we are watching these changes very closely and working very hard to make sure our clients continue to rank on the first page, whether there are 7 or 10 results on that first page.
Link Building—it’s about Quality and Quantity
This week we went to DFWSEM, the largest and most important search marketing professional group in the area. We discussed links and how even with the updates to Penguin being termed “jolting” in the near future, both the quality and quantity of links will remain important to rankings.
Social Rankings Devalued?
Google has devalued social signals recently because Facebook and Twitter have blocked Google from crawling their data at different times and as Matt Cutts put it, “We can’t use what we can’t see.” This does not mean that you should give up your social campaigns. Social media is extremely important in branding, reputation, and customer service. A strong brand presence on the web drives traffic and conversions. We and several of our peers at DFWSEM predict that social media will be the fourth pillar of SEO in the very near future, joining the well-established pillars: site architecture, links, and content.
Google+ and Google Authorship of articles and blog posts have not been devalued because Google can see this data. Google Authorship (linking your Google+ profile) to a blog article you have written automatically pushes your article’s rankings higher.
Bing, on the other hand, is incorporating more social results into their search results. Bing announced in September that Quora data will now be included in their search results.
Just For Fun
We don’t typically talk much about Bing and a client’s rankings on Bing; since Bing makes up only 25.3% of all organic searches (Google processes 68.8% of all organic searches). However, Microsoft is running a blind taste test to see if users prefer Google or Bing search results. Here’s the link to the test www.bingiton.com, let us know which search engine you prefer and we will tell you which engine’s results the GlobeRunner team preferred.