Google Algorithm Weather Report: August 2015
New Search Console Search Analytics API
After a very long wait, Google finally released their new Search Analytics API for Search Console (Webmaster Tools). The new API allows for a much more programmatic approach to accessing your data and is something webmasters have been asking for for a long time. Google has provided several ‘how-to’ examples over on their developer site so you can get started with using it right away. Find more information here: https://developers.google.com/webmaster-tools/v3/searchanalytics
Google Now Only Shows 3 Local Results Instead of the Former 7
Google has officially shaken up local search results with the replacement of the local 7-pack for a new 3-pack. Links to Google+ pages have also been removed from here.
Casey Meraz shortly after conducted the first click and eye study on the new local 3-pack, and the results show that the top organic result has gained the most with 39.5% of total clicks. Interestingly, most of the people who took part in the test claimed that they chose a certain result based on its review stars, so even if you aren’t organically top or high in the 3 pack, you still have a chance to win the traffic if you have good reviews.
You can read the full study here on the Moz blog with further heatmaps and data: https://moz.com/blog/the-new-snack-pack-where-users-clicking-how-you-can-win
Moz Writes Up Their Yearly Search Engine Ranking Factors Study
Every year, Moz releases their expert survey sharing lots of data on factors associated with higher rankings and expert interviews. In a nutshell, links and anchor text are the most important factors, where HTTPS and TLDs have little correlation.
Moz published an infographic summarising the study which you can see below:
If you would like a more in-depth look at the study, you can read the whole thing over on the Moz blog: https://moz.com/search-ranking-factors
Gary Illyes States That He’d Love To See App Interstitials Be a Negative Ranking Factor
Gary Illyes from Google said on Twitter that he’d “love to see App Interstitials as a negative ranking factor, but has nothing to announce at the moment”. We have seen Google hint at this in the past (here, and here) and we fully expect to see some more news regarding this in the near future. There are ways of providing an app-download banner natively through Apple Smart Banners and Chrome App Install Banners.
Twitter’s Firehose Has Been Enabled and Google SERPs Are Displaying Tweets
Google has finally turned on Tweets in SERPs and they is now showing when you search for brands, celebrities and hashtags, particularly. As can be seen in the below screenshot, Google is currently pulling the most recent tweets from our timeline and displaying them right below our site’s search result with a navigation arrow to see more tweets.
Mobile results have had tweets in SERPs for a little longer than desktop, but functionally it does the same thing. Screenshots for mobile results can be seen below:
The “carousel” can be swiped to show more tweets:
Google Adds Quick Filter Buttons For Mobile Image Search
Google has added ‘Pinterest-style’ filter buttons for mobile image search, allowing you to specify exactly what criteria the image you’re looking for has. As is seen in the below example, a search for ‘wood laminate flooring’ offers a range of relevant filters such as “living room / kitchen” etc. and different colours so you can narrow your search even further.
Google changes it’s navigation links to blue from red
Not much to say about this one, but for unknown reasons Google has changed it’s navigation link colours from the usual red to a new blue colour. They were spotted testing this two months ago and have finally decided to roll the change out. This can now be seen in any browser.