So with some much change in the industry, we are beginning a weekly series that will recap what happened in search during the week and what implications it will have on you and our clients. Since a large portion of our client base is now personal injury law firm based, I will likely be making several law firm based references.
Las Vegas Search Conference
This week I was out of town for a very interesting search conference. Attendees varied from high end affiliate marketers to search agencies and there was a great mix of white, gray and black hat strategies discussed. I learned some very scary things, such as how to take down a mid-sized business through hacking! I also learned some insane new strategies that are white hat and are working very well for other industry experts. When I attend such conferences I try to take one nugget from the conference, however I was finding one such nugget in nearly every session! Very worthwhile conference. So some takeaways I can share:
- User experience is a ranking factor
- Repeating your keywords with a density of more than 3% will leave you vulnerable to a penalty
- Site speed is a bigger factor
- Mobile is even bigger
- Video will be even bigger
- Social signals will be a greater factor moving forward
- Quality over quantity in terms of blogging is important
Mobile Friendly Tags in Search
Last week you may have noticed when performing searches on your smartphone that results were a little different. If you didn’t notice, then here is a screenshot of a search for “Law Firm SEO Philadelphia“. As you will see there is a tag just below the URL which states: “Mobile Friendly”. Google has done this to increase user experience so that the user will know the site they are about to click on is mobile friendly or not. As you will see in the screenshot, there is a site at the bottom which does not contain the “Mobile Friendly” tag.
So what is the significance of this? Well, in your Google Webmaster tools you are now able to run mobile friendly tests on your site. If your site passes the test there, you can be confident that your site will be attributed with this tag. Industry experts are also reporting a positive ranking factor with having the tag. We reported that responsive design is a positive ranking factor about a year ago. Now, just being responsive doesn’t mean you will automatically pass the test. For example, if a responsive design was used but buttons to click are too close, it is reported that such sites may not be awarded the tag of “Mobile Friendly”.
We have tested all our clients and all have been awarded the “Mobile Friendly” tag, and all have seen a slight ranking increase which we would attribute to the change.
MAKE SURE YOUR PROVIDER IS LOOKING AT THIS AS THIS IS NOW A NEW WAY TO GET AHEAD OF YOUR COMPETITORS.
On a similar note, Bing seem to be looking at doing the very same thing: read more here.
Firefox and Yahoo Strike A Deal
It was a particularly busy week for search news. The next notable change was that Yahoo is now the default search engine for the Firefox browser. As you will see when you go to download, the integration is already ready to roll. Click here to see. Firefox reportedly turned down more money from Google to strike the deal with Yahoo, saying that Yahoo is more in line culturally with their organization. This deal also doesn’t apply to EU search.
This is pretty significant. Yahoo has not been a major search player for many years. However this will undoubtedly lead to more usership. I still feel like they will be a very small search player, however in looking at our clients rankings they may have updated their algorithm as part of the deal as we are seeing 50-100+position changes and swings in ranking in Yahoo search for our client’s keywords.
Interestingly, the October search report stated that Bing and Yahoo market share of search were up and Google were down! Check it out here.
Takeaway here is that you need to optimize for Yahoo! If they get more market share, its a great place to get ahead of your competition as its not as competitive as Google or Bing.
Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week, and we are in that holiday season, its interesting to note that Recipe search has boomed! This is up 44% over any other month. So remember, if you are in a seasonal business, make sure your online marketing is tailored to it.
Thanks to Morning Dove Marketing for contributing to this post. Have a great weekend!