Market Appeal Blog and News

Google Reveals Accelerated Mobile Pages Arrival in Search Next Year

google AMP search

AMP results will appear in Google search ‘early next year’

 

Google has announced plans to support Accelerated Mobile Pages within its official search results from “early next year,” as it works with publishers and web developers to promote the faster loading pages. The AMP project, backed by Google and Twitter and including several major publishers, will see developers utilize common scripts and Google’s own cache to deliver web pages on mobile almost instantly. The search giant has now told partners that it will “begin sending traffic to your AMP pages in Google Search early next year,” with “more concrete specifics on timing very soon.”

 

The Yahoo Directory has officially gone offline

 

We’ve known about its demise for some time, but internet stalwart the Yahoo Directory is now finally gone for good. Going to dir.yahoo.com now redirects you to aabacosmallbusiness.com. Individual subsections had been redirecting to Aabaco since late last year, but the entire site now redirects. Usage had been in decline up to the closure, but the Yahoo Directory was once a vital part of the web’s history, playing a role much like Google search does today.

 

Google releases its full Search Quality Rating Guidelines

 

Google has for the first time released a full, official version of its Search Quality Rating Guidelines, the 160-page handbook given to Google Search Quality Raters to help them assess and rate sites. Copies of the handbook have previously been leaked, and the search giant once released an official, abridged form, but until now no full version has been publicly released. Google’s Mimi Underwood explained that “the guidelines reflect what Google thinks search users want.”

Google Reveals the RankBrain A.I. Underpinning Its Search Algorithm

Google RankBrain

RankBrain is the A.I. secretly running the Google search algorithm

 

Google’s recent investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning look to have had an immediate impact on their search business: the company has revealed that “a very large fraction” of search enquiries are now handled by a custom artificial intelligence, nicknamed RankBrain. The new system is behind many of Google’s improvements at handling and interpreting natural language search queries, using machine-learning to understand even queries that have never been used before. RankBrain isn’t handling all searches, and appears to be just one part of the company’s search algorithm, Hummingbird, but Google has been unsurprisingly reticent with details. (more…)

Apple Takes on Google with Siri and Search Updates in iOS 9

ios 9

Apple releases iOS 9, improves Siri and Spotlight Search

 

The launch of the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system sees it continue to improve both Siri and Spotlight Search in an effort to wean users off searching through Google. As an in-depth analysis by Danny Sullivan shows, Spotlight has been enhanced to use more search sources and ‘card’ tiles to offer a more appealing alternative to Google and Bing. Siri has also picked up more proactive and predictive features, along the lines of Google Now, but still lags behind its competitor in terms of features and effectiveness.

 

Google warns webmasters over repeat violations

 

Google has announced that webmasters who repeatedly violate the Webmaster Guidelines may find themselves facing more severe penalties in the future. In a blog post, Google gave the example of a webmaster facing a manual action over an unnatural link who marks the link as ‘nofollow’ and goes through the reconsideration process, only to remove the ‘nofollow’ tag once the penalty has been revoked. In such instances, Google warns, repeat violations “may make a successful reconsideration process more difficult to achieve,” and when the intention is to spam, “further action may be taken on the site.”

 

Structured markup and data may factor into future Google rankings

 

Structured markup, structured data and rich snippets may one day factor into the Google rankings algorithm, at least according to comments from the company’s John Mueller. The company has repeatedly denied in the past that structured markup affects rankings, insisting that it is only for the benefit of click-through rates, but that could change. “I think in the long run, it definitely makes sense to use structured data where you see that as being reasonable on the website,” Mueller said in a Hangout, though cautioned that it is not a definite plan, and would likely never lead to huge ranking changes. “Just because it is done technically well, it doesn’t mean it is as relevant to the users as content that is not done as technically well.”

Google Reveals New Logo and Major Redesign

google logo

Google launches brand-new logo

Following up on its company restructuring and the recent launch of Alphabet, Google has announced the biggest change to its logo since the company began, dropping its serif font for a custom-font sans serif logo, with a new multi-coloured ‘G’ for thumbnails. The new logo is to reflect the constantly growing importance of mobile traffic, as the sans serif font should display better at a variety of sizes on different devices and screens. By now, you should already be seeing just about everywhere you use Google.

 

Large app interstitial ads no longer mobile-friendly

Google has announced a change to its mobile-friendly design guidelines, now advising that sites displaying large app install interstitial ads that block much of the screen will not be deemed mobile-friendly, and will suffer from a search ranking drop as a result. The new rules kick in from November 1st, but Google’s mobile-friendly assessment tools will warn against the technique immediately. As an alternative to big interstitial ads, Google recommends browser app install banners such as Safari’s Smart Banners and Chrome’s Native App Install Banners, which are less obtrusive on the user experience.

 

Search Queries report dropped from Webmaster Tools

The old Search Queries report appears to have been officially retired from Google Webmaster Tools and the Search Console, and is no longer accessible. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as its replacement, the Search Analytics report, has been available for a number of months, and Google has been encouraging webmasters to make the switch to the new report. For full guidance on how to use the new tool, take a look at Google’s official in-depth help document.

 

Google Announces Major Company Restructuring

alphabet

Google launches new holding company Alphabet

 

In what was undeniably the biggest new story in the tech world this week, Google surprised us all by announcing a major restructuring which will see the search giant become a subsidiary of new holding company Alphabet. Some of Google’s wilder efforts, such as their health companies, Nest, and Fiber, have been spun off to run separately from Google itself as part of the change. Sundar Pichai will now become the CEO of Google, while co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will become CEO and President of Alphabet, respectively. Page said this will allow him and Brin to get “more ambitious things done” and “take the long term view.” (more…)