Does Google Use Social Media Likes as a Ranking Signal? Attendees on our SEO training courses often ask if Google uses social media likes as a ranking signal. The short answer is no they don’t and here is a short snippet from a video produced by John Mueller of Google where he explains why.
Here is an article by the BBC about TripAdvisor Reviews. At the end of the article, TripAdvisor state:
Research shows that customers do read what a business has to say in response to its reviews, and the tone of their replies can often have a bigger impact than the review itself. In other words, a business can often turn a negative review into a positive, just by the way it replies to that reviewer.
In summary, always leave a polite response to a negative review. Remember that your audience is your next potential customer.
For the last 15-years links marked with the rel=”nofollow” attribute have been ignored. However, earlier this week Google announced that they were changing their “nofollow” markup policy and that now they would take the attribute as a hint rather than an instruction. They also introduced two new attributes: “sponsored” and “ugc”.
The new definitions for each term is now as follows:
rel=”sponsored”: Use the sponsored attribute to identify links on your site that were created as part of advertisements, sponsorships or other compensation agreements.
rel=”ugc”: UGC stands for User Generated Content, and the ugc attribute value is recommended for links within user generated content, such as comments and forum posts.
rel=”nofollow”: Use this attribute for cases where you want to link to a page but don’t want to imply any type of endorsement, including passing along ranking credit to another page.
For more information see: Evolving “nofollow” – new ways to identify the nature of links
The Google Dance is a term that’s been around for many years and it refers to site rankings jumping about all over the place. In the early days of Google is was often due to the index being at a different version at two different data centres. A visitor would search for a term and get a set of search results based on the index in Data Centre 1 and when they revisited Google and searched again they would get a different set of results because they had hit Data Centre 2 and this had a search index which had been compiled at a different date.
Recently people have been noticing a different type of Google Dance where they launch a new page and it ranks highly initially and then it disappears from the index, later it comes back again. Although this seems strange, it’s normal behavior. The reason for it is that Google is optimising its results by seeing how people interact with your new content. If the new content suffers high bounce rates, low engagement rates and receives little interest from social communities then it’s likely that its rankings will dwindle. Conversely, if it achieves high levels of engagement and scores well in terms of it’s digital footprint then it could rise.
Here’s an interesting video from Google Webmasters where they discuss this form of Google Dance.
Google announced on the 26th of March 2018 that they will use the mobile version of the page first for indexing and ranking. This means that if you are hiding important page assets and content on the mobile version of your website then your site might suffer a demotion in rankings and traffic. If you would like to learn more about mobile first indexing then take a look at the Google Webmasters post entitled Rolling out mobile-first indexing. You might also find the following video interesting where John Mueller discusses issues to do with the early roll-out of Mobile First Indexing.
The Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines give a really good insight into what Google wants from websites, webmasters and SEOs. The 160-page document defines exactly how Google Search Quality Raters should dissect and rate websites under review. Google uses this information to validate and improve its search engine algorithms (or recipes). Google Search Quality Raters are a worldwide team of over 10,000 staff who physically review search engine results pages and rate websites in accordance with the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. Search Quality Raters are not able to change the search engine results. They simply test the quality of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and report their findings. An interesting point is that the document advocates the use of Google’s advanced search features to look for copied content and to ascertain the reputation of a particular website or business. See section 7.4.7 for example.
Today I would like to tell you about a free SEO tool that we’ve developed called the SEO Page Spider. You can get a copy of it from the Google Play Store. It’s quite a simple tool. It shows you the Page Title, Meta Description, First H1 Tag, First P Tag, Domain Name, Local Path and Word Count for a particular page. We developed it to save time when reverse engineering HTML pages. Click on the following link to download a free copy.
If you are thinking of starting a career in digital marketing and you need some guidance, then check this out. A friend recently asked me to send him a few bullet points on what his son would need to learn to become a digital marketer. As a coincidence, at the same time I was working on a small project for a company that sourced apprentices and I came across this excellent government Apprenticeship Standard for Digital Marketers and I though it would be nice to share. Happy job hunting!
Google has today launched a revamped SEO Starter Guide. This is fantastic news! The old guide was getting a bit frayed around the edges. I love the new one-page format. I would change its name to the “Google SEO Guide” though. “Starter Guide” implies that there is another guide somewhere that is more advanced and there isn’t. If you know this guide then you know SEO. If you can implement this guide then you can have a SEO proficiency badge. We’re getting some printed. Happy Reading :).
How Does Google Index New Websites? Today there was a very interesting question on the English Google Webmaster Central Office-Hours Hangout about how to get a large number of URLs indexed on a new website.