Key trends to check your 2015 plans against:
• Search formula changes make a big impact: Clamp down on low quality results, guest blogging and relegation of Google+ shows SEO is an ever-changing beast
• Mobile search: Better local context and rise of voice search (such as Google Now and Siri) is changing SEO as we know it, linking to apps for the first time.
• Right to be forgotten: EU continues to put the squeeze on Google- extending to a (largely symbolic) vote to separate the search business from rest of company
The shifting sands of SEO best practice continued to challenge marketers this year. Major new algorithm changes meant that low quality links, guest blogging posts and Google+ authorship were all relegated on Google results pages. However, Google felt the squeeze of EU pressure this year, as the dominant internet giant was forced to submit to ‘delete me requests’ on search results, hinting at further regulatory woes ahead. As part of our review of the year, we look back at the 10 biggest headlines that shaped search marketing in 2014.
EU votes on Google break-up
In a dramatic new twist, Google’s regulatory problems have stepped up a with the European Parliament set to vote on a breakup of the search giant. The motion is a proposal to break Google’s search business away from its other services, as an attempt to escalate Europe’s long-running anti-trust case against the US search giant, according to a draft motion.
Mobile search trends: How desktop and smartphone searches differ
Over a third (36%) of web pages shown in Google mobile search results are different from those that appear for the same searches carried out on a desktop or laptop according to new research.
Google+ Authorship RIP: Bylines vanish from search results
Google+ has finally ditched its Authorship experiment this week, meaning that search results will no longer display an author’s name with retrieved articles.
Smoking Gun Found – Proof that Ad CTR Benefits from Google Authorship Photo Removal http://t.co/xhV0lD2hzF [DATA] pic.twitter.com/sZCHmFqai7
— Larry Kim (@larrykim) July 10, 2014
The social sweet spot for search: Facebook ads ‘increase paid search conversions’ by 19%
Brands can generate increased conversions from their paid search ads when they also advertise on Facebook in the US, but only up to a certain point, according to a new study.
Google revamps Panda search formula: Winners and losers revealed
This week Google has rolled out its latest Panda 4.0 update designed to drive down low-quality content from its search rankings- with eBay seemingly losing out heavily from the new algorithm, according to new research.
Google forced to give people ‘right to be forgotten’ on Internet
A European court has ruled that Google must change some search results at the request of ordinary people when they show links to outdated, irrelevant information, in an important test of the so-called “right to be forgotten” on the web.
Google links to apps in AdWords for first time
Google is offering advertisers the option of targeted app install ads on mobile search and YouTube, following similar moves by rivals Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter.
Brand loyalty trends: Internet searches ‘bigger influencer than TV ads’
Friends and family have the biggest influence on buying new products, but the Internet searches are more likely to sway new product purchases than TV ads, according to new UK-based research.
Is guest blogging for SEO dead? Google’s Matt Cutts calls time on ‘spammy practice’
The popular practice of writing guest blog posts in the hope of boosting visibility on search engines has come under fire this week, with Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, declaring the tactic as ‘done’.
Watch this video from Cutts explaining how to get the most out of blog posts here:
How does Google judge content quality? Study shows brands have advantage
Content with strong topic knowledge, more visual elements, bigger word counts and more relevant words (not just matches for the search term) are more likely to rank highly on Google…but being a brand also helps, according to new research.