Google Announces Big Changes Coming to Search in Early 2016

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

googlelogo_color_284x96dpWith just a few weeks remaining in 2015, there should be few surprises left for SEO marketers. Everything the big search engines are going to do have been done and everyone is winding down for the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. But the end of 2015 means the start of 2016, and there’s already indication that search engines will hit the ground running. Several reports from Google and Yahoo indicate there will be big changes for search at the start of the new year.

One of the most important changes for business owners involves the next update to Google’s search algorithm. For a while, it was looking like marketers would see this update deployed before the end of the year, but Google has recently tempered those expectations.

Last week, Google told writers at Search Engine Land that due to the holidays, the next update to Google’s Penquin algorithm won’t be happen until next year.

According to the Google spokesperson, “With the holidays upon us, it looks like the penguins won’t march until next year.”

This may seem minor, but these changes are the ones SEO marketers have been waiting for years to get. It is believed that the next update will get us closer to real-time updates to rank based on the changes made to appease Google. So if Google says there are bad links on your site and there’s a penalty as a result, it won’t take months from the time the changes are made for SEO rankings to improve.

While it is unfortunate that business owners and marketers will need to wait a little longer, marketers can still be excited that this change is right around the corner. Making search algorithms faster and more responsive may have a transformative effect on the way we all handle SEO in the future.

Another set of changes will come to Google’s Shopping Policy Center dashboard for retailers and advertisers. Google is already previewing changes to the Shopping Policy Dashboard and they are set to go live in February 2016.

It is expected that most of these changes won’t affect average business owners and marketers. It’s unlikely that Google will dramatically change what is and isn’t acceptable to advertise on the network. The changes are probably about simplifying and clarifying portions of the policy that were unclear in the past.

However, since this is the first time the Google Shopping Policy Center has been updated in almost a year and a half, marketers should expect some changes to reflect new product types that weren’t an issue in the past, as well as improved guidelines to prevent deceptive advertising practices.

Business owners should review the policy now to ensure their ad campaigns are in compliance by the time the changes go live in February of next year.

For news on the other giants of search, Yahoo is testing a feature that would put videos ads into search results. The test includes a large video ads that dominates the screen on search results. It autoplays on mute and the user will need to scroll past the video to close it and continue to their search results.

While it’s not clear when or if this will become a full feature of Yahoo’s search, the possibilities for increased reach and advertising to searchers in different ways can be a game changer for search ads in 2016.

2015 has yet to past and the new year is already looking bright. Be sure to continue following Web Marketing Pros for all your SEO news in the coming year. For more news about upcoming changes to Google, read this article on more recent Google policy changes on Google+ and YouTube.


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