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The rise of native apps is one of the biggest threats to Google's dominance, but the search giant isn't sitting idly by.
In fact, slowly and sometimes quietly, it's increasingly working to extend its influence into the apps Googlebot can't reach.
Earlier this year, Google revealed that prominent interstitials encouraging users to install mobile apps drove users away by the boatload on its Google+ social network.
It's nearly here. On April 21, Google will begin to use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.
Here are some of the sites that may need to take action...
Earlier this year, Google announced that it would begin using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal on April 21, 2015.
Wikipedia has been one of the success stories of the internet, growing rapidly to become the de facto reference site for many people.
There are more than 4.4m pages in the English language edition alone, and it is still growing at the rate of 771 new pages every day.
How can its impact benefit digital marketers?
It would not be a big surprise if Google was using information from Google author profiles to influence how pages rank in searches., but as yet there is no evidence to show a correlation between author profiles and better ranking URLs.
Google’s authorship markup feature allows news, other online publications and blogs to use the rel="author" tag to connect their authors’ online articles to official author profiles on Google+.
The profiles include a profile photo, biography, information about their activity and followers on Google+ as well as links to other articles by the author.
At a conference earlier this year, Hollywood big wig Ari Emanuel suggested that Google could do more to thwart digital piracy by helping to ensure that pirated content doesn't find its way into the world's largest and most popular search engine.
At the time, a Google executive called Emanuel's suggestion "very misinformed" and noted that identifying who owns content is not always an easy task.
But apparently behind the scenes, Google was far more amenable to the concept than it indicated publicly. In a post on Google's Inside Search blog on Friday, Google SVP Amit Singhal announced that the company has launched a new update that may ensure Google's top executives get invites to all of Hollywood's red carpet events.
We know that Google uses hundreds of ranking factors to determine where it places web pages in its index. We also know that social media sites are becoming increasingly influential on search placements.
Charles Duncombe explored the topic on this blog a few days ago, focusing mainly on volume-based signals. I think there’s probably a bit more to it than that, or at least there should be.
This is a think-out-loud ‘Friday’ post, rather than a definitive guide to the things Googlebot is sniffing out (for I know not what it looks for). It considers the possibilities, to explore what Google might be able to make sense of. I invite you to share your own ideas in the comments section below.
So then, what kind of social signals might it take notice of on Twitter?
Pagination, the breaking up of content across multiple pages, is a common practice and in many cases, a product of good design.
After all, there are plenty of cases where pagination creates a more pleasurable, higher-performing user experience.
But pagination isn't always desirable. Some sites, for instance, employ pagination in a questionable attempt to boost page views, and thus ad impressions.
The biennial search ranking factors report from SEOmoz was released today, which surveyed 134 SEO professionals on what has the most effect on search rankings, and their views on the future of search.
Here's a few highlights from the report...
In the battle to maintain the quality of its SERPs, Google is increasingly tweaking its algorithm. Since there are only so many on-page ranking factors for Google to consider, it's logical to expect that off-page ranking factors will only become more numerous and important over time.
At least one website operator believes these off-page factors may now include email reputation. Jake Ludington, who runs JakeLudington.com, noticed a drop in his traffic in April, and after looking at his website, came to the conclusion that his email newsletter must have caused the drop.
It's widely assumed that search engines are incorporating signals from popular social networking hubs into their algorithms. After all, millions upon millions of links are shared every day on sites like Facebook and Twitter. It would be somewhat surprising if search engines like Google and Bing were ignoring these links, particularly given the fact that the largest search engines all have data deals in place with Twitter and/or Facebook.
But which signals are being used, and what sort of weight are they being given? Thanks to interviews Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan conducted with both Google and Bing representatives, we now have a better idea.