This week at SEOPartner, we’re sharing: SEO updates that can deliver significant impact to your results, exciting changes in the marketplace to watch out for, good-to-know studies and information, and tips to try based on recent findings on search, online marketing and more.
Study Reveals Google Top Ranking Search Factors of 2016
Searchmetrics recently unveiled the findings from their annual study of Ranking Factors & Rank Correlations.
The most influential search ranking factors this year include:
– Content relevance and user intent
– Technical factors such as loading speed, use of HTTPs, file size, content architecture and mobile-friendliness
– User signals such as click-through rates, website visit length and bounce rates
– Social signals, with Facebook having the highest weighted signals among all networks
– Internal links, to help search engines and users gain more understanding of the site
Meanwhile, the study’s key insights show the following:
– Content continues to be increasingly influential than ever, while links are losing strength as a ranking signal.
– Google ranking factors have become more personalized than ever, driven by the advance of machine learning algorithms.
– Backlinks are no longer a primary factor in defining search engine rankings; in certain niches, “it is now sometimes possible for a website to achieve a high Google ranking even with far fewer links than its competitors.”
WordPress 4.7 Now Available
WordPress recently launched its latest 4.7 version which can now be downloaded or accessed through an automatic update on users’ dashboards.
Here are some of the new features you can look forward to:
– New Theme. The new Twenty Seventeen theme can be tweaked with the usual WordPress customization options such as social menus, widgets, navigation, logos, custom colors and more.
– Video headers. Videos can now be used as media for headers instead of just images.
– Smart menu building. You can now create new pages on the fly when making navigation menus.
– Custom CSS. Instead of refreshing the page over and over, you can now add custom CSS to the site and get live previews of what changes will look like before the page goes live.
Google Simplifies Branding, Drops “Work” from Android and Play
From now on, there will be no more Android for Work and Google Play for Work – in name. Google announced that they are rebranding these two services which will now simply be called Android and Google Play, respectively.
Android for Work, launched in 2015, stores work and personal data separately on personal devices to protect company data and user privacy. Meanwhile, Google Play for Work is designed for enterprise customers.
Now that the enterprise features of Android for Work and Google Play for Work are available on most Android devices, Google sees the separate branding as no longer necessary.
“Android for Work and Play for Work have become a core part of Android and Google Play. We think this change better reflects the built-in nature of enterprise features of Android and our commitment to enterprise mobility,” Google software engineer Adam Connors and product manager Travis McCoy wrote in a blog post.
Experts Forecast SEO Trends for 2017
Search Engine Journal rounded up 44 SEO experts to discuss the big trends to expect in 2017. Some of the highlights from the SEO pros’ answers focus on the following:
– The increasing impact of AMP on e-commerce and search rankings
– Search powered by machine learning and mobile
– Stronger organic link building
– The importance of technical and structural work
– User’s content experience to increase ROI
– Targeted content that focus on the specific segments of the customer’s journey
– Understanding the customer when building and implementing entire digital (not just SEO) strategies
– More unified SEO and content teams
– Continued SEO work to align with the real-time Penguin algorithm
– The shift to voice search
– Optimizing for topics instead of keywords
– Keyword research that addresses the target audience, not search engines
SUMMING IT ALL UP
Here are the top headlines in this week’s SEO news roundup:
Study Reveals Google Top Ranking Search Factors of 2016. Search data reveals Google ranking factors continue to become increasingly personalized.
WordPress 4.7 Now Available. WordPress launches its latest version featuring a new theme, video headers and more.
Google Simplifies Branding, Drops “Work” from Android and Play. From now on, it’s just Android and Google Play (no need to add “Work”).
Experts Forecast SEO Trends for 2017. SEO thought leaders weigh in on what’s in store for the coming year.