Google has remained the most popular search engine around the world due to a combination of good marketing and the tremendous power of its search algorithm. Letting people know exactly how search algorithms calculate PageRank could lead to abuses. Google tries to help website owners and marketers by giving basic information on changes and updates they plan to make without going into too much detail. At the recent SMX Conference, Google mentioned four upcoming or possible updates that website owners should take note of.
Panda 4.2 Rollout Continues
One big announcement is that the latest update to Google Panda is still being rolled out. Though these algorithm updates started in July, it may still be several months before they are complete. At the conference, a Google representative said they checked recently and the rollout was still being implemented. Google said it would take months to finish back when they first started due to technical reasons. So while this isn’t particularly new news, it does mean that website owners can’t assume they’ve seen all the changes to their position based on the Panda 4.2 update already.
Penguin Update in the Works
Google also confirmed that they are nearing completion on a real-time update for Penguin. This is something SEO marketers and website owners have wanted for a long time. Currently, it takes a long time for Google to react to changes made by websites. This can be a problem when someone wants Google to notice they changed the things that led to penalty. A real-time update would mean that as soon as Google sees corrective action taken on a particular issue (e.g. disavowing or removing a link), the Penguin algorithm will process it in real time and makes it possible to recover from a Penguin penalty faster than before. However, keep in mind Google’s recent change to the webmaster guidelines that says it will take longer than ever for sites that repeated violate guidelines to restore their good standing.
Google to Give Ranking Boost to Apps with API
Another key announcement from the conference is that Google will give a ranking boost for those apps that utilize their new App Indexing API. By using the API, Google gets engagement data from that app which they use to determine how useful the app is to users. This is similar to how keeping people on a webpage longer boosts the PageRank. Apps that use the API have data that Google can use to rank the apps better based on how often and how long people use them. As an added bonus, Google has also released an updated version of its API tool for iOS apps. ’
Data from Google Authorship Markup May Be Used Again
To the chagrin of many, Google ended its authorship program last year. At the time, writers could use a markup to include information about themselves and a profile image that would show up in search results. When the program was ended last year, a Google employee said it would be okay to remove all the authorship markup, but that may not be true. Though it was only an offhand comment at the conference, Google’s Gary Illyes said that website owners should leave the data where it is, as it may become useful again in the future. Google has yet to clarify these remarks, but it’s good news for people who liked the authorship program.
These announcement from Google will be expanded on in the near future as their implementation dates are made clear. In the meantime, for more news about updates and changes to Google, read this article on Google suing unethical SEO firms.