Google’s January Updates and What They Mean For SEO

Google, Updates

Authorship Reduction

A new year often means new changes and Google is no exception. In January, we saw the results of the great Google Authorship “purge”. But this reduction of Authorship was brought to our attention as early as October 2013. Take a look at the graph below to see the timeline of Authorship reduction since this first public announcement of changes to come:

authorship-30day

As you can see, Authorship in search results have dropped greatly in the projected 30 day period.

What Does It Mean?

Losing Authorship on your search terms can be a big hit to your business. The problem is that Google felt like there were too many Authorship results, and rich snippets to begin with. Which is why they were working to tone things down. The important thing to remember is that there is no clear answer at this point.  Some experts speculate that the loss of Authorship can be attributed to: certain industries, Authorship authority (or Author Rank) and even website authority.

One thing does go without saying, you can’t depend on Authorship showing up as a guarantee. Because there is so much that is unclear, the best we can do is to keep doing what we’re doing: work on your reputation by building up website and Authorship authority. But don’t forget to stay tuned for the latest news.

Exact Search Queries in Webmaster Tools

If you’ve checked Google Webmaster Tools recently, you may see a vertical line at 12/31/13 indicating that there had been a Google WMT update. From this point on, Google will report the exact number of search queries, instead of displaying a rounded number. This may be a result of Google wanting webmasters do a better job in analyzing website data. Or it could be a result of criticism that Google doesn’t give website owners enough information. People are going so far as to use third-party tools (like StatCounter), which Google probably doesn’t want to promote the practice of.

What Does It Mean?

Google Webmaster Tools is now more accurate, with the ability to give you exactly what you’re looking for, including exact impressions and clicks for a given keyword or page. You can even search for a specific date or a given date range. If you have any more questions, check out the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog post here.

Google Adding Dates to Your Content

This post on Google Product Forums gives an example of when Google automatically adds a date to your content. Interestingly enough, this page no longer ranked in Google once that date was added to the page’s snippet. There are many questions to ask in this scenario: Why would Google add a date to a page? How can a date affect the page’s CTR? Is this just a fluke or something Google is working on implementing on a wider scale?

What Does It Mean?

Since this specific example didn’t have a specific answer, we can only assume that it’s a bug that will be fixed once it’s passed onto the team. But it does raise the concept of keeping fresh content on your website. Snippets for in-depth articles come to mind. Even if it’s not something that I’ve seen in results, it still means that something is in the works on Google’s end!

 

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Going From Google Mail To Google Author

Sign into your Gmail. In the upper right hand corner you will see your Google profile picture. Click it. Then click view profile.

Google Author Tutorial

That will take you into your Google+ profile. Click the About section at the top. Then scroll down to the section labeled Links and hit Edit. It will be listed just under the Contributor To section.

Google Authorship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Contributor To section hit ‘Add Custom Link’. Label: Your Blog Link: http://www.yourblog.com. Then click Save.

Google Plus Contributor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you are back at your Google+ profile window. Copy your Google+ URL.

Google+ Profile URL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now in your blog post link your name to your Google+ page. Make sure to include ?rel=author at the end of the link instead. So in my case the text ‘Blog post by: Sean Green’ is linked to the URL https://plus.google.com/u/0/101106610066450005756?rel=author Your URL obviously will be slightly different because your Google+ page will have a different number.

Linking To Your Google Profile Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, but how do I know if it’s working? Good question, go to Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Enter in the URL of your blog post.

Google Structured Data Tool

 

 

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Stand Out with Schema Markup

There are so many types of schema.org markup to choose from, so it’s not surprising to see them pop up all over SERPs.

What’s the point?
Structured data markup schema (like schema.org or hreview) is supported by major search engines like Google and Bing. Code that is added because it helps search engines better crawl and understand the information on that specific page. If search engines can better understand that info, they can provide better search results that will benefit the user.

How hard is it to use?
Take a look at the full list of different markup you can use here. There are generators which make it as easy as 1) choosing the right type for your business 2) filling the fields on thoroughly 3) pasting onto the page 4) depending on the design of you’re site, it might require some CSS adjustments.

Let’s take a look at a few different types of markup data that you could also easily implement:

Google + Authorship

Want to claim your unique content, help increase click-through rates, establish your voice and more? Remember how we’ve talked about Author Rank? There isn’t a good reason NOT to claim authorship.

Review and Breadcrumbs

Check out this example for reviews and breadcrumbs. This is excellent for e-commerce sites as well as service oriented businesses.

Entertainment

IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes is an excellent example of how structured data can help make our lives a little bit better!

Events

As spring and summer approach, the demand for tickets to concerts and other entertainment events is going to increase. Although a giant like Ticketmaster uses structured data, you can see this example of how a smaller business can also take that advantage.

Recipes

Is it surprising to hear that the cooking industry is one of the most competitive when it comes to markup data? Check out pictures, recipes, calories, ingredients and servings all before clicking on a listing. It’s safe to say, if you’re a food blogger who’s not using markup, you don’t stand a chance!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.