Google has overhauled its search algorithm to answer complex & longer queries from web users. Amit Singhal, senior vice president of search, announced on Thursday that Google launched updated algorithm “Hummingbird” about a month ago & it currently affects 90 percent of worldwide searches via Google.
Google used to match keywords with the web sites to provide results & as the search is getting complex over the years, this new algorithm would be able to handle complex queries. With the exponential growth of web across desktop, mobile, smartphone, tablets & others, search is evolving rapidly. This week marks the 15th anniversary of Google. Larry Page and Sergey Brin set up shop in the garage of Susan Wojcicki in September 1998 & Susan Wojcicki is now a senior Google Executive.
Google is trying to keep pace with the rapid growth of internet. Google previously had made Caffeine, Panda, Penguin & other updates. But the “Hummingbird” update is a very important algorithm change & this has been done after a very long time.
Google Webmaster Central Blog has come out with a list of measures which can be used to make smartphone sites load faster. Today’s avreage mobile page takes more than 7 seconds to load. Google has announced new guidelines to help webmasters optimize their mobile pages for best rendering performance & also updated Pagespeed Insights tool. These guidelines focus on rendering above the fold content to users in one second or less while the rest of the page continues to load. The above-the-fold HTML, CSS, and JS is known as the critical rendering path.
Following are some of the best practices & guidelines which can be applied.
1) Server must render the response (< 200 ms)
2) Number of redirects should be minimized
3) Number of roundtrips to first render should be minimized
5) Reserve time for browser layout and rendering (200 ms)
More about this can be had at Google’s mobile-specific help pages.
Overall Ranking factors are
1) Place Page Signals
2) External Loc. Signals
3) On Page Signals
4) Link Signals
5) Review signals
6) Social Signals
7) Mobile Signals
Some of the top foundational ranking factors are – Proper category association, physical address in city, Structured Citations, Domain Authority of Website, Proximity of Address to Centroid & others.
Some of the Competitive Difference Makers are – Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain, Overall Velocity of Reviews, Click-Through Rate from Search Results, Location Keywords in Reviews & others.
Check out results of Moz’s 2013 local search ranking factors survey.
With NSA’s PRISM program of collecting information from tech companies going main stream, Search engine DuckDuckGo, has seen a huge increase in its searches. On its privacy page, the search engine states, “does not collect or share personal information. ” Since it doesn’t track the users, there is no way to base the ads on the users profile. Rather it is based on the keywords.This search engine was started in 2008 & in 2009 it was decided not to collect the IP addresses.
Google & other search engines collect user data & advts are based on the users profile. The site which usually gets 1.7 to 1.8 million searches daily, got a record searches of around 2.2 million on Monday. Below is a traffic stats chart showing how the search queries are increasing daily. After the media feature & Bloomberg TV interview, there is a significant increase in Traffic.
First it was Mozilla, then BBC & Now sprint has been hit by Google’s user generated content spam penalty. Mozilla was the first to get message from Google with user-generated spam on the site. This kind of spam is found on guestbook pages, forum pages, user profiles. This resulted in Google applying a manual spam action to the site. The entire site was not hit by spam penalty. Comment spam is one such spam area where Google is looking for UGC spam.
Then BBC was sent a notice of detected unnatural links. With such a big site like BBC & so many pages, it would be difficult to find out the spammy pages & remove. Sprint, the US telecom company has also been hit by UGC spam penalty now. Google usually applies Granular penalty to the pages
Google has said that publishers should talk to volunteers in the forums on how to avoid the penalty & also to overcome the problem. Google has 2 types of penalties. Manual & Algorithmic Both the penalties affect the ranking in the Google & also might affect traffic. Many sites have communities, forums & groups to discuss about the products, services & others. Google Groups is the best place to discuss issues related to UGC & overcoming the penalty.
Google’s Zeitgeist 2012 provides the most popular & hottest trending search terms from around the world. There are 838 lists from 55 countries. There is also an android app for Google Zeitgeist.An interactive map has also been added showing the most searched terms across the globle. Some of the most happening events of 2012 topped the chart like death of Whitney Houston, PSY’s Gangnam style, 2012 olympics event & others. Jeremy Lin topped the athletes list & ipad 3 in consumer electronics list.