Google Activity Cards, launched on January 9th, are the latest innovation to Google’s search results which allows search engine users to browse, save, and delete results from previous similar searches. Anyone with a Google account can access previous searches by logging in and following this path: Settings > History. You may see search history, search within your history, or even delete past searches.
Google Search Cards also allow users to save searches to collections, and delete searches that are no longer relevant. Rather then bookmarking user a particular browser, this can be completed through the search platform itself. This allows the individual user to manage some search results and create favorites rather than relying upon the Google Algorithm to deliver the best results.
How does this affect SEO and site traffic? In some SERPs (search engine result pages) a small card marked “Your related activity” will appear at the very top of the page. This card can be clicked on and expanded to show results for similar past searches. For SEO and site traffic, this means essentially that the rich will get richer. If you have strong rankings, and meta descriptions that will attract clicks, then you will be able to attract more repeat traffic. Google highlights past searches and even prioritizes them in search already, but the search cards make that process more transparent and hand control of using that feature to the user. In short, Google continues to reward those that provide a user experience that would make a website visitor return. New websites working to gain rankings may find that task more difficult now that there is already a box with preferred information at the top of the SERP.
It is important to emphasize that this feature is only available at this time in limited search results, and that it will only be available to those with Google accounts. This is a mixed blessing for SEO, as those of us striving to optimize our rankings in Google will have yet another reason to strive to gain top 3 rankings to attempt to be included in as many Google Activity Cards as possible, while others who do not have top of the page rankings may be included in cards by users because they do not want to lose the link to return to the site. Overall, transparency is increased by activity cards, and for the search engine user, that is positive.
Eric Van Cleave is CEO and Digital Director of Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa California Digital Agency.
SEO Experts have suspected, and – collective gasp of shock – Google has confirmed, that they ran a “broad core algorithm update” on or around March 7th that changed the placement of some websites on SERP (search engine results pages).
Here is Google’s statement on Twitter:
Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year.
As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.
There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.
I have waited to reach out to Zenergy Works SEO customers on this update because I have seen little or no change in rankings that would not be expected as results of our strategies. This update has elevated some sites that Google felt were not given proper credit in the past. The task for SEO strategists is to figure out why the pages that have been elevated in SERP were rewarded with better placement. So far, the insights seem to point to mobile load time, site UX and proper site map structure. No surprises yet, but the review of the new algorithm changes continues.
Bottom Line: Google is striving to provide the best search results possible. The key to success appears to be to continue to provide the best UX and most valuable content for website visitors. Eric Van Cleave is the Co-CEO and Digital Marketing Director for Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa California SEO and Online Marketing Firm.
As of January 1, 2016, AOL Search is now powered by Bing. Bing confirmed this change
and acknowledged that all AOL “algorithmic search results” and “paid search” will be powered by Bing.
The footer below now appears in Bing Search Results:
Our partnership with AOL brings additional scale and opportunity to advertisers and marketers. Today, 1 in 5 searches happen on Bing.com, and by providing Bing search results for the number 3 (Yahoo) and 5 (AOL) search providers in the US, Bing powers close to one-third of US PC web searches. Today’s announcement is testament to Microsoft’s ongoing focus on search and search advertising and our increasing scale that connects a marketer’s
According to Comscore’s March 2015 Study,
AOL accounts for about 1.1% of of the total search volume and Bing is responsible for approximately 19.8% of the search volume.
Most SEO will be unaffected for now.
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