Weekly SEO news: 3 March 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

In a post on Google's official blog, Google announced the addition of mobile-friendly factors to the ranking algorithm. How will this change affect the rankings of your web pages and what do you have to do to benefit from this change?

In the news: a study about website speed as a ranking factor, AdWords call-only campaigns, the latest search engine statistics, and more.

Table of contents:

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Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Official: Google adds mobile-friendly factors to the ranking algorithm
In a post on Google's official blog, Google announced the addition of mobile-friendly factors to the ranking algorithm. How will this change affect the rankings of your web pages and what do you have to do to benefit from this change?

What exactly has Google announced?
Starting on 21 April 2015, Google will be using mobile friendly factors in the ranking algorithm for mobile search results:

"Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.

Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices."

In addition, Google has started to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, Google may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search.
What do you have to do now?
It is important to make sure that your web pages are mobile-friendly. Fortunately, Google has a tool for this that is available here. Just enter the URL of your website and click the "Analyze" button. If your website passes the test, you will see something like this:


If your website fails the test then you have to adjust the design of your web pages. Instead of creating a separate website for mobile devices, you could use responsive design for your web pages. If you use WordPress, there are many themes that support responsive design.

Being mobile-friendly is not enough

A website that currently does not have high rankings won't get high rankings just because it is mobile-friendly. There are many more things that Google wants to find on your web pages. Check your website with the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to make sure that Google can index all pages of your website.

In addition, use the Top 10 Optimizer in SEOprofiler to make sure that Google shows your web pages for the right keywords. If you haven't done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now:

Try SEOprofiler now risk-free!

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Bing director's stories from the new world of search
"The new world of search is categorically different. [...] And the query of the future won’t be a keyword or even a keyword that triggers a semantic search. Instead, your search engine will recognize your 'change in state,' Weitz says.

If your search engine (or whatever it will be called) knows you are hungry, and that you often crave chips at 3 p.m. and that you are dieting, it will send you a link to buy a bag of pear chips at 3 p.m. and help you buy them."

GoogleJanuary 2015 U.S. desktop search engine rankings

"Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in January with 64.4 percent market share, followed by Microsoft Sites with 19.7 percent and Yahoo Sites with 13.0 percent (up 1.0 percentage point). Ask Network accounted for 1.8 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.1 percent."

Empirical study of web site speed on search engine rankings

"One on-site aspect that can be largely controlled by site owners is web site performance. However, the role of speed in search engine rankings has not been studied as well as other ranking factors. [...]

The empirical study found that website crawl time and its variability strongly correlate with search engine rankings. Page load time did not correlate with SERP position."

Related: Google tests 'slow' label in search results (and marks its own pages)

GoogleGoogle on crawling the web of data

"A patent granted to Google this past fall explores how the search engine looks for patterns on Web pages to use to find facts on the Web to fill up Google’s data repository (Knowledge Base). [...]

This type of pattern-matching and extraction of facts is part of how Google uses the Web as a database of information. By extracting facts and storing them in a data repository, like Google’s knowledge graph, it makes those facts available as direct answers."

Google AdWords introduces call-only campaigns
"Today we’re introducing call-only campaigns, a new and easy way for businesses to reach potential customers by prominently showing your phone number, business description and call button [...]

Call-only campaigns are specially designed to only show on mobile devices that can make phone calls. This means every click you pay for can be a phone call to your business."

Search engine newslets

  • Getting better every day: the keyword suggestion tool now supports 30 country/language variations.
  • Google testing new, more colorful search results layout on mobile.
  • Android “default search” class action against Google tossed by judge.
  • Google Wallet and Softcard merge.
  • Google introduces new photo tools for Google Business.
  • Google provides rich answer results to 19% of queries.
  • Google is testing green stars for ratings markup.
3. Recommended resources

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4. Previous articles
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