2016 Google changes to date

Google is constantly making changes to its protocols to improve user experience. Here is a roundup of changes so far this year alone:

Google PageRank has been removed

March 7th 2016 – Google officially removed the Toolbar PageRank score from web browsers. Webmasters can no longer check their own PageRank or their competitor’s scores. Google’s own algorithm will continue to use PageRank as an indicator of quality and as a ranking signal. Looking for an alternative way to measure your sites value/quality? The team at redPepper are sad to see PageRank go.

redPepper tip: Try MozRank – a free toolbar extension for Chrome and Firefox.

Google AdWords paid search results shake up

February 24th 2016 – Google rolled out the new “4 pack” of paid ads above the organic/natural search results. Previously, it would display a “3 pack” of ads above the organic results and a “10 pack” along the right hand side of the results. What impact does this have for our advertisers? Well, obviously this means there is increased competition – previously to get a page 1 listing, there were 13 paid ad slots, now there are only 4.

redPepper tip: Recent studies have shown that ranks 1 & 4 get the highest CTR (click-through-rate) and it is, therefore, worth trying to achieve a number 1 or number 4 position.

Google My Business

Google uses three factors to determine which GMB listings (previously known as Google Places) to show: Relevance, Distance and Prominence. Prominence has recently been confirmed as a ranking factor and refers to how popular or well known a business or landmark is.

redPepper tip: To find out more about this go to: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/local-prominence-affect-local-seo/161691/

Google confirms top 3 ranking factors for organic listings

Content, Links & RankBrain are confirmed by Google as the top 3 ranking factors (in no specific order). RankBrain is an artificial intelligence system that is used alongside Google’s algorithm to help determine the best result for each search query.

redPepper tip: Read up on this at Google RankBrain: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/11/12/what-is-google-rankbrain-and-why-does-it-matter/#89ada21301ae