Google proves no news is bad news
One week on from its algorithm update, some surprising results are beginning to emerge for Google – indicating some winners and some losers in the race for fresh content.
Responding to user habits – such as those indicated by the real-time nature of social networking sites – the search engine now delivers the most up-to-date and relevant results first
"…the algorithm needs to be able to figure out if a result from a week ago about a TV show is recent, or if a result from a week ago about breaking news is too old," Google fellow Amit Singhal wrote in a November 3 blog post announcing the change.
With the new algorithm affecting one-third of searches conducted, many brands are trying to figure out how to get their name at the top of the Google list once more.
Search analytics experts Searchmetrics believe that there are "many winners [and] a few losers" when it comes to the new Google results.
"Google prefers sites like news sites, broadcast sites, video portals and a lot brand sites," Searchmetrics founder Marcus Tober wrote in a blog post last week (November 6).
Analysing sites in terms of SEO visibility – including the search volume of a keyword, the result type and the rank of a URL – Searchmetrics found that some lesser known brands experienced an increase of up to 50 per cent.
The results also went the other way, with many popular news websites experiencing a significant decrease in SEO visibility.
One notable brand who ranked poorly was American Express, which saw a decrease of almost 17 per cent – proving that Google has levelled the playing field when it comes to search results.
Smaller competitors who update their sites with fresh content regularly will be rewarded, and popular brands can no longer rely on their name alone to be searchable.