Google doesn’t sit still. The company, long known for its innovation and expansion into everything from fiber-optic networks to wearables, can’t resist tinkering with its core search engine, either. Some of the changes tweak the SEO algorithms Google uses and immediately capture the attention of all SEO specialists and bloggers.
Other changes, however, alter the way Google’s SERP results look, changing what the average Internet surfer sees when they search for a term. This, too, promises long-lasting changes for SEO and page ranking. Let’s take a look at some of the cosmetic alterations Google has made or is making and what it means for getting top web rankings.
Google is also famed for its minimalism, and as search engines break out of their old desktop constraints, the Google search results are growing more minimalistic than ever before. Titles are growing larger, the hyperlink line is disappearing, and each link (or SERP element) is growing more differentiated from those around it.
From a user standpoint, this increases overall usability and page title visibility. This helps viewers scan results more quickly, but it also places more emphasis directly on the web page title and less on the meta description. Titles, in other words, are growing more important than ever before when it comes to capturing interest. Every page title should convince viewers that you – yes, you – have exactly the solution or information they are looking for.
New ad formats
Traditionally, ads in the Google SERP have been separated in their own boxes and shaded a darker color to differentiate them. Advertisers never really liked this model because everyone just ignored this shaded section and skipped down to the interesting parts. In response, Google is slowly removing the old differentiation between ads and the other results.
Now when you search, you may notice an absence of shaded boxes, with ad links only differentiated by the faintest of lines and markers. Ads are also growing more mobile, floating around the SERP into other areas, perhaps even to the middle of the page. Ideally, this will help increase ad revenues, but it also risks annoying searchers and clouding the waters when it comes to more natural web rankings.
More specialized sections
Try doing a general search in Google today – like the word “game” – and you will immediately notice several specialized on the first page. You’ll get a local section with several nearby stores where you can buy games. You’ll get a news section, possibly supported with Google Plus posts, about the latest “Game of Thrones” news. Chances are good you’ll come across an “in-depth articles” section featuring current analysis of the video game market or the latest political game, too.
These specialized sections are the future of Google searches, which are growing more organic and diversified in an attempt to give Web surfers exactly what they are looking for ASAP. Fortunately, these specialized sections also make it easy for a variety of articles to stand out when previously they would be lost in the web rankings. For smaller sites and blogs, an excellent example is the ‘local’ section, where the right keywords and page titles make it easy to make it to Google’s page one if local customers search for the right terms.
Google’s search evolution also continues to incorporate more app usage. Google Maps results are now a common part of search results, for example. Mobile optimization is making one-click buys and one-click posts to social media more common, even on the desktop. This helps push consumers closer to follow-through but also demands that companies keep up on their app work, localization, mobile optimization, and other SEO skills to take advantage of the trend.
About the Author
Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small businesses and entrepreneurs SEO advice.
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Marianarbh1.