Just when you were getting used to SEO and the way websites and content are optimised for search, Google went and threw a few spanners in the works! Obviously trying to keep us on our toes – thank you, Google – they made sure that the period between 28 June and 28 July 2014 was nothing short of exciting by implementing four major changes to the way search results are delivered. We’re going to give you a brief breakdown of what’s happened. Here are some of the Google changes:
1. The Disappearance Of Author Images
Okay, that sounds like something out of a magic show, but the essential truth is that on 28 June 2014, Google chose to remove authorship images. Yes, those ones that we’ve been working so hard to acquire next to our search results! This followed a message from Google’s John Mueller a few days before:
When you consider mobile users, it definitely makes sense to remove the author photos, although some egos might have been bruised in the process. Regardless of the removal of author photos, authorship still remains as is, it seems.
2. Increase In Appearance Of In-Depth Articles
While Google hasn’t paid much attention to in-depth articles since their release in 2013, on 2 July 2014, a huge spike in the presence of in-depth articles on search results was seen. In-depth articles are what Google deems to be really worthy sources of information and there are certain ways that web users can optimise their content to appear in this space on search engine results pages. This is quite an exciting feature for those who really are thought leaders within their chosen space.
3. Video Thumbnails Disappear
According to research conducted by www.moz.com, many of the video thumbnails also disappeared from search results during Google’s month-long magic trick. On 16 July, 28% of video thumbnails were dropped from results pages, although there is still debate as to whether or not these were replaced with mega-video formats instead, as pictured below.
The numbers don’t align and the reasons as to why the thumbnails were dropped are unclear, but this is something to keep an eye on.
4. Pigeon Update
24 July saw Google’s Pigeon update hit search engine results affecting local search results. Google hasn’t commented on anything related to the update, but it appears except that it improves distance based location specific results. In local search, results are often served in “packs” according to the location, such as the image below of a “seven pack” depicts. It lists seven local properties related to the search term “coffee shops in sandton”.
Generally speaking, it seems that results have shown less instances of “seven packs” and more of “three packs” or “two packs”.
We’re quite sure that Google has a lot more up their sleeves and we’re watching the web to see what happens next. One thing’s for sure, you can stay on top of this and more by enlisting us to assist you with your online marketing needs.