The world of search – March 2014

This month there has been some interesting pieces of news to come out of the world of search. Here is our quick round up for the most important items. A Tamer Panda to Help Small Businesses Ever since Panda was first launched small businesses have struggled to compete against the big and established businesses in […]

World of SearchThis month there has been some interesting pieces of news to come out of the world of search. Here is our quick round up for the most important items.

A Tamer Panda to Help Small Businesses

Ever since Panda was first launched small businesses have struggled to compete against the big and established businesses in their sector. Google have recognised this and they have said that they are working on a version of Panda that should have a positive impact on small businesses.

At the moment this is mostly talk but hopefully it will turn into something more substantial in the future.

Author Rank still around

At Search Marketing Expo Matt Cutts confirmed that Google still use a version of their Author Rank. They use it for in-depth articles and working out which ones are written by authoritative and more respected authors.

Google Maps

This month Google have been automatically updating the business listings on Maps from the old system to the new one. However it seems that this has not been a smooth process. Some listings have failed to fully upgrade which can cause conflicts and even duplicate listing.

If there is a problem with your listing Google says that they are letting owners know so they can step in and change them manually. However it may be worth checking your listing to make sure it is correct.

Anti-Trust

As the antitrust drama draws to a close in Europe the saga seems to have moved on to India with threats that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) may impose fines or structural changes to Google. This might mean a breaking up of Google in India, although this is very unlikely.

In an effort to avoid the same problems Bing has started to show alternative search engines in their own search results. Giving their users options to search via other search engines such as Yelp and Citysearch.
As always we will keep you updated as this progresses.

Mobile

The world of mobile search is a rapidly expanding one and if you do not have a mobile strategy then now is the time to start putting one in to place. To underline the point there have been three major mobile related pieces of search news this month.

The first is that mobile search is expected to outstrip pc based search this year. However the trend seems to be that rather than replace desktop search people use the two technologies in conjunction, either through multi-screen search (i.e. searching on the computer and on their phone at the same time) or doing the initial search on a mobile device and then use the computer to go in to more detail or to complete transactions.
When you look at the numbers it all become quite obvious. There are about 2 billion PCs in the world and more than 5 billion mobile devises, it’s not surprising that mobile search will outstrip PC search in the near future.

The second is that paid search on mobile devises is still increasing and maturing. Marketers have worked out how to effectively use mobile pay-per-click and it’s working for them. The lesson is if you run a pay-per-click campaign, think about the mobile world.

This final piece of mobile news is another report on how people use their devises. The study showed that when searching for products mobile users prefer search engines over mobile apps and mobile websites.

Interestingly when asked what are the main influencers of their buying decision 50% said search results position and 42% said ratings and reviews (multiple answers were allowed). This just further underlines the importance of making sure your business takes advantage of these strategies.

Cutts Watch

Matt’s webspam team are continuing their European tour with link networks begin taken down in Italy, Spain and Greece.

They are also still focusing on low quality guest blogging practices and sites that enable the practice. There have been a number of reports of sites being penalised for it, even if they only have one or two bad links from guest blogging. This is a sign that Matt and his team are really trying to stamp it out.

Another old practice that seems to keep rearing its head from time to time is selling links. A website was very publicly penalised for selling links after one of the staff members tweet was picked up by Matt and his team. This is a good reminder that there are no short cuts when it comes to link building.

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