In the February 2016 edition of Conductor 30|30 (which is 30 minutes on the last 30 days in search, social, and content), I discuss:
- The Industry Response To Last Month’s Core Algorithm Updates
- Surge in Manual Actions Surrounding Spammy Structured Markup
- Google Sending AMP Page Notifications Through GSC
- JSON-LD Now Supported For Structured Data Markup
- Bing Now Officially Powers AOL Search
Want to know more? Dig into the details by watching the full webinar recording for February’s edition.
And of course, sign up for the next 30|30 to make sure you always stay ahead.
Last Month’s Core Algorithm Updates & How It Affected The Industry
As discussed in last month’s 30|30, Google released two major core algorithm updates a few weeks ago, that ultimately culminated with the assimilation of Panda into the core algorithm.
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So what happened? Since this was a content-focused quality update, many publishers saw loss in rankings for content that was too thin or poor in quality.
The algorithm did not have bias towards big or small brands. Both felt rank changes based on the quality of their content. Though there isn’t a preferred content length, we noticed that the best performing pages had content around 750 – 800 words on page. What still matters most to Google, however, is content quality and user experience.
Surge in Manual Actions Surrounding Spammy SEO Structured Data Markup
Semantic or Structured Markup is meant to identify data that Google can use to either list your page in a certain way or understand what your website is about so that it can help you rank better. SEO structured data does not need to be on every single page.
Recently, there’s been a surge in manual actions surrounding spammy structured markup or rich snippet manual actions. It’s most likely happening unintentionally to sites that use Wordpress Plugins that add markup data automatically.
The following plugins, which are all WordPress recipe based, were reported to be dumping code onto pages:
- WP-Ultimate Recipe
- EasyRecipe Plus
Google Sends AMP Page Notifications Through GSC
Through its search console, Google has begun sending notifications to Webmasters and publishers to go AMP (accelerated mobile pages).
With AMP becoming available to everyone in a month and Google recommending it, AMP is very likely to become the mobile standard for publishers and news outlets. If you fall into this category, make sure to look into it: https://www.ampproject.org/
JSON-LD Now Supported For SEO Structured Data Markup
JSON-LD is a lightweight markup that is now becoming a standard for structured data.
This is the second update for structured data this month, which means Google is putting more time and effort into it. This is great news for SEOs who work to mark up pages and it most likely means that it will be (if it’s not already) a ranking factor in the future. If structured data is not a priority for your website, it’s a good time to start creating a real strategy around it.
Bing Now Officially Powers AOL Search
Bing is growing — even if it’s by acquisition — and is now 34% of organic search.
While Bing may never reach Google’s level, marketers should still pay attention — especially since Bing has a much higher conversion, higher click through rate and less data mining (which may have to do with the number of people who use it).
Additionally, Bing has invested more time into their webmaster tools. It’s much more robust than Google’s and allows you to control more of your search presence. Additionally, it’s a great way to look at your audience and analyze them.
Penguin 4 is Coming Soon
Don’t forget about Penguin 4, which should be implemented by the end of Q1. You should have plenty of time to bring your code up-to-par, so make to read up on Google’s Guidelines for long term ranking and increasing domain authority.