Category Archives: SEO

GOOGLE UPDATES SEARCH ANALYTICS REPORTS TO HELP BUSINESSES TRACK THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR AMP ENABLED PAGES

google-amp

There’s great news in store for businesses who have not only got themselves a mobile friendly site but also upgraded their smartphone users’ experience with lightning fast Google AMP technology. After powering their websites’ pages with AMP technology, a lot businesses must be wondering how their AMP enabled pages are faring in the searches.

Well, seems like Google just heard you as it’s rolling out a new filter in the Google Search Console that will enable businesses to track the progress of their AMP enabled pages in the searches. Google’s reportedly added a new AMP search filter to the Search Console’s analytics report section that will allow businesses to filter those reports by AMP pages. This is how businesses can get find out how many searchers have come to discover their AMP enabled pages in mobile SERPs.

About the new feature, Google said that they’ve just started to roll out the new search filter as an addition to the Search Analytics report in Google Search Console. The newly added search filter informs businesses “which search queries lead to their AMP content being shown in the mobile SERPs?”

To track the progress of AMP enabled pages, businesses are required to set the filter in the Search Console’s Search Analytics reports by clicking on the drop down tag in the “search appearance” section. After selecting AMP pages from the listing, they will be allowed to compare how their AMP search metrics fared against other mobile SERP links. The feature will also inform businesses about the evolution of search visibility of their site’s AMP enabled pages over a period of time.

Here’s a screenshot.

amp-google-search-console

This is a welcome addition to Google’s AMP project after the addition of AMP error report to the Search Console in January, 2016, which allows webmasters to debug implementation errors in their AMP enabled webpages.

GOOGLE’S ROLLING OUT A NEW VERSION OF MOBILE-FRIENDLY TESTING TOOL

mobile-user-agent

After testing it out, Google’s officially announced the launch of new version of mobile-friendly tool on Google’s central webmaster blog post.

Recently, it was reported in some media circles that Google’s working on a new mobile-friendly tool that allows businesses to check the mobile-friendliness of their sites.

The new version of the mobile-friendly tool comes loaded with some feel good factors like a cleaner look with more space and loads faster than the previous version of the tool. Noticeably, Google had first launched the mobile-friendly tool 2 years ago, in 2014 and the latest update by Google seems to be the largest update to the tool since its inception.

Here’s what the new version of the tool looks like.

mobile-friendly-test

The new tool is slicker and less frightening than the original tool. Google said it brings more “room to continue to improve on its functionality, and over time, we expect it to replace the previous Mobile-Friendly Test.” The tool is mobile-friendly as well! So you can test if your sites are mobile-friendly right on your smartphone. It seems like they mainly upgraded the backend infrastructure so that they can scale it later.

Right after the launch, there were some reports that the tool’s new version is not working on smartphones. But Google’s John Mueller, through his twitter handle asked everyone to remain patient as the update is still to be rolled out completely.

So if you are encountering any such problems, you’ll have to wait for the update to roll out completely.

Here’s the error report as encountered by some smartphone users.

mobile-friendly-error-phone

For more detailed information on the subject, you can write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

GOOGLE WILL NOW DISPLAY AD UNITS IN ITS IMAGE SERPS

google-analytics

Google is reportedly introducing ads for the first time ever in it’s image SERP ecosystem. The search giant is launching its shopping ads on images in mobile. So the next time you do a Google image search for a particular product, you’ll start seeing a line of sponsored items next to the product on display. However, the update is rolling out slowly, starting with shopping ads which will take its own time to be rolled out completely.

According to media reports, Google Ads will occupy an entire line of screen space, taking a large share of screen space in image search results. As per Google, the reason why ad units find a place in Google’s image searches is the fact that most online shoppers prefer to do an image search on Google before actually purchasing a product online.

Also, most online shoppers are more or less faced with a similar set of queries pertaining to the purchase of a product like how much is the cost of the product and where they can purchase it. Online shoppers can expect most of their queries to be answered through Google’s new look of image search results, which will now include ad units displaying information regarding the product such as product pricing and the location where one can possibly purchase the advertised product.

Google’s new image search results containing ad units are now being officially rolled out to worldwide users. The Google Display network displaying images will display your PLAs in image searches, if you opted to become search partners as a part of your AdWords campaign.

GOOGLE RELEASES GOOGLE MY BUSINESS API’S LATEST VERSION 3.0

google-mymaps

Managing multiple business locations simultaneously can be a strenuous task for businesses with large set-ups. But not anymore! Google’s latest API version comes with some additional features that will enable large businesses to manage their business locations with ease. Although there’s no official word from Google on the release of its latest version, going by the new look of the changelog and the mention of new Business API features in the help section it is more or less confirmed that the latest media reports are right.

It was in December, last year that Google had last updated its Google My Business API, which allowed businesses to automatically manage their listings.

Let’s see what Google has to say about the release of its latest API version.

Version 3.0 adds new functionality for people who manage locations at scale. The “key new features include the ability to read and respond to customer reviews and provide additional attributes for locations, such as whether a restaurant accepts reservations, serves brunch, or has outdoor seating.”

Here’s a list of some new features that the changelog with the latest version brings to the table

  • Attributes:- It provides businesses with more specific, category-based information about their business location.
  • Reviews:- Businesses can now recover and reply to business reviews by using the new API feature.
  • Look for Business Matching Location:- This feature allows businesses to search and manually link their current Map locations with their actual business address.
  • Transfer Business Location:- This is a new actionable feature which lets businesses transfer their location (based on business information) between two accounts (personal or business).
  • Selected Photo:- It gives businesses the option to first display their selected picture in Google Maps business listings and searches.
  • New Google Search Filters:- This new feature informs businesses about new updates from Google.
  • New Business Location States:- This feature now includes information on the verification status of the businesses – whether the business is verified or needs to be verified.
  • Image URL Improvements:- It allows businesses to upload photo based URLs, without any other requirements
  • Backwards Modifications:- Businesses can now update their photos for locations having a Google plus presence. The output section now includes fields such as the category_name and location_name. When setting their categories, businesses can use the category IDs. Location requirements aren’t mandatory for the Field masks section. Businesses can only use Prefix for included fields. The create/update operator now uses business location details with other parameters being included in the query section.

GOOGLE’S NOW TURNING THE HEAT UP ON SITES USING SNEAKY MOBILE REDIRECTS

redirect

After serving several notices to businesses employing “sneaky” mobile redirects that mislead the users to do something unintended, Google’s now coming out to punish those who didn’t heed to its warning.

In its 2015 webspam report, Google had announced that they are taking manual action against sites that sneakily redirect the users. So businesses that recently witnessed a drop in their organic search ranking, need to verify the status of their site on Google’s webmaster forum.

Google’s webmaster forum will make you understand the process that you have to go through to clean up your site of the sneaky mobile redirects. After cleaning up the mess, the site owners must submit a reconsideration request to Google to hopefully waive off the penalties. This, in a way will also serve as a warning to other sites that intend to mislead their online visitors using sneaky mobile redirects.

It was in April, 2014 that Google first updated its webmaster guidelines pertaining to the use of sneaky mobile redirects. This was the first instance where the company openly warned businesses of mass manual actions against sites found guilty of using such tactics.

RIP GOOGLE’S EXTERNAL TOOLBAR PAGERANK OPTION

google-pagerank

Google has reportedly decided to do away with the PageRank scores option in the Google Toolbar. That means, the next time you’re browsing the internet using a tool or your favorite browser that previously allowed you to track PageRank data from Google, you won’t be able to do that anymore. This is because Google has finally cut the link that allowed a browser to fetch data from Google.

About its decision to do away with the PageRank option, Google said that the company still uses the feature internally within the ranking algorithm, but the external support is going away completely.

Post this decision, there are several media reports claiming that web users are complaining about the unavailability of PageRank score, which previously appeared as an option on their browser’s toolbar.

pagerank-score

Talking about PageRank score, it had been quite a while since Google updated the PageRank scores. This is because Google had been trying to downgrade the importance of PageRank score which also added up to your Google search ranking.

A month ago, Google had officially confirmed reports that it’s going to scrap the first ten ranking scores from Google Toolbar feed and that in the weeks to follow the option would go dark. Last Friday, on April 15, 2016 PageRank was scrapped completely.

GOOGLE FINALLY DECLARES IT’S TOP 3 SEARCH RANKING FACTORS

google-rankings

So, Google has finally revealed its top 3 ranking factors. Wanna know what are they? Read on…….

A week ago, Google’s John Mueller revealed why search ranking shortcuts may not help businesses in the long run. In that Google Hangout video, John Mueller was at his diplomatic best, skipping a lot of queries related to ranking high in Google searches. In that very same Google Hangout session, he went on to reveal that businesses, on a temporary basis, can do a few things to lift their search rankings but it may not last longer. Here is the entire video.

Post that session and after much speculation in media circles, Google finally revealed the top three ranking signals that can help businesses surge ahead in Google’s search ranking algorithm! Any guesses???

Well, as per Google’s Andrey Lipattsev, links, content and RankBrain feature in the list of Google’s Top Search Ranking Factors, but not necessarily in the same order.

It’s not surprising to see Google’s RankBrain Algorithm making it to that list, since Google’s webmaster, in his previous outings made it known of it’s existence as one of the ranking factors.

Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist, Google made it known to us in his recent Question hour video session.

“I can tell you what they are. It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site.”

While contributing this information about the top three ranking factors, he didn’t follow any specific order as such, but just added on to the list.

1 & 2: Links & Content
3: RankBrain

As of now, we’ve got Links, Content and RankBrain as Google’s top three ranking factors; now officially confirmed by Google.

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

GOOGLE TO COMPLETELY REMOVE TOOLBAR PAGERANK FEATURE FROM THE BROWSER

google-pagerank

Google reportedly confirmed to some media channels that it has decided to remove the Toolbar PageRank feature from its browser. This, however, means that in the near future you may not be able to see Google’s PageRank feature in the browser you use for surfing the internet.

Talking about this latest development, Google clarified that the PageRank data is still being used by the company for some internal purposes within the ranking algorithm, but it’s withdrawing the external support from the browser’s Toolbar.

pagerank-meter

Image Source: http://searchengineland.com/what-is-google-pagerank-a-guide-for-searchers-webmasters-11068

Over the years, Google had stopped updating the external PageRank score. Hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they are now scrapping the feature completely from the Toolbar and the browser in next couple of weeks.

Having said that, if you want more information about Google’s PageRank feature, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF SECOND-TIER LINKS

links-social-communities

Second-Tier Link Building: The Basic Premise

As you must be aware, building links to your website constitutes your first tier links. Your second tier links are those formed by building links to pages that link to your website.

To build second tier links, all you need to do is link to something new that returns your favor by linking to your site. You can achieve that by leveraging your social media presence to advertise content that links to your official website. Similar results can achieved by asking other publishers to link their article to one of your creations.

This process will do a world of good not only to for your search rankings, but also to the overall traffic to your site. National businesses often make use of second tier links to achieve superior search rankings. They usually “nofollow” those links after achieving desired results.

Given below is how you initiate the second tier link building process to your website.

second-tier-link

Let’s take a look at the number of referring domains to the page.

second-tier-link-ref-domains

As you can see there are 20 domains linking to that particular article. This means that there are 20 potential opportunities for someone to locate the page, plus the possible click-throughs to the site. Now that is worth a try, ain’t it?

Another such instance is a site called slideshare.net, which displays an author’s profile page linking to his website, as shown below.

second-tier-link-slideshare

Now see the number of referring domains pointing to that author’s Slideshare presence.

second-tier-link-ref-domains-slideshare

The number of referring domains, as you can see, are 90. This simply means that the author can look forward to 90 potential opportunities for someone to locate their main website. This is how you attract quality traffic to your site. It’s worth a look, right?

But like everything else, there are some dos and don’ts that you need to follow.

Dos

  • Increase your site engagement levels by socializing with the domain that links you in the first place.
  • Invest some of your precious time to build links to those domains much in the way you do for your main website. If someone had referred to your content previously through your main website, write more relevant content and let them know about it.
  • Follow the same quality guidelines to develop some valuable second-tier links to your site.
  • Realize that the site that links to you must be commanding more online authority than your official web presence. In case, you get a chance to write for a major publication, you’ll get more linking opportunities to generate links to your site through your brand new blog article.

Don’ts

  • Be careful not to link your site with domains that are low on authority
  • Don’t go overboard when asking for links. It gets a bit cheesy when you include more than one URL in your email communication and stand a chance to be labeled, by the webmaster, as the one using emailers for promoting their website. That doesn’t look good and doesn’t serve your purpose either.
  • Stop building links to a domain which is low on authority and has previous links pointing to your site.
  • Leverage automated robots to build second-tier links.

Your Final Takeaways

Build second-tier links not just for better search rankings; do it for attracting some quality traffic to your site. A multiple link strategy can be used for spamming purposes, but when used legitimately can work wonders for your content through the site that links back to you.

Have questions? Write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

GOOGLE INTRODUCES CLICK-TO-CALL FEATURE IN MOBILE’S ORGANIC SERPS

click-to-call

After successfully testing the Click-to-Call feature for ads and local business listings, Google’s now testing it out for its organic mobile SERPs.

Over the years, the Click-to-Call feature has helped Google in expanding its advertising base and it would now be hoping to replicate the success with mobile’s organic search rankings as well. This new development at Google’s end was first noticed by @ryschill. This is the picture he shared on his Twitter profile.


Google, through its previous endeavors, allowed searchers to call businesses directly through their Business Ad Listing and from their local listing NAP citations. But this is the first time that Google is trying to leverage the organic platform.

Seems like Google’s in an experimental mode these days, which it needs to maintain its position as the number one ranking search engine.

Have you seen it yet? Please report it to us by writing at sales@ebrandz.com.