This week Google pushed forward with its accelerated mobile pages project, page rank has been officially shut down, and there’s been some changes to AdWords that will affect local marketers. In addition, Facebook has made some changes to its News Feed algorithm which could have an impact on how your content is displayed going forward. Full details about each of these headlines in this weeks recap of inbound marketing news.
AMP in the News
Google’s accelerated mobile pages project is in the news; Google news that is. Within the Google news section of your mobile browser, Google will be highlighting AMP pages with the same carrousel you may be familiar with seeing lately in organic search. Up to 14 pieces of content will be displayed and when you click on them they will open up into their own viewer. Within this viewer you can swipe left or right to view other pieces of AMP content related to what you had originally search for. AMP content will be highlighted with a lightning bolt icon in Google search and Google news.
The company says that tests have shown that AMP content loads an average of four times faster and uses 10 times less data than non-AMP pages. Google has already started rolling out this update in US English search results, so it will soon be available to everyone.
PageRank Gone For Good
Recently there was news that Google would be shutting off access to PageRank data; well that day has come. Google has officially shut down toolbar PageRank data to the general public. Google will still be using this data internally, but it will no longer be visible to anyone outside the company
PageRank was once used to assess the overall quality and authority of a website using a scale of 1 to 10. It was also used to weigh the value of inbound links, meaning a link with a PR 5 is that much better than a link with a PR 1. The benefit of this information no longer being publicly available is the fact that it may alleviate some of the spam tactics that were rampant when PageRank was at its peak. This included black hat tactics such as selling links, spamming links, and so on.
So if you have any toolbars on your browser that you were relying on for PageRank data, it’s pretty much safe to get rid of them at this point since the data will no longer be updated going forward.
Google Ad Update to Affect Local Search Marketers
Always updating and tweaking, Google made some changes to AdWords this past week that will have an impact on local search results and Google Maps. It also has the potential to impact any retailer or service provider with a physical location.
One of the first updates is the fact that Google is now showing ads in the local finder results. Local finder results are appearing after clicking ‘more places’ from the local three pack in the main set of organic search results. Ads shown in the local finder rely on AdWords location extensions. However, having a pin on the map results is not necessary.
This is a benefit to businesses and advertisers because those who did not previously show up in the local pack now have an opportunity to do so through advertising.
Another change that was seen this week is the fact that Google Maps is no longer considered to be a search partner, which is going to change the way ads are displayed in Google Maps going forward. With this change, Google will now only show ads that include location extensions in maps. Plain text ads will no longer be featured in ads in Google Maps. If you want to have a chance of showing up in advertisements in Google Maps, make sure you have the location extension set up.
Facebook Algorithm Change
Facebook has added two new ranking signals to its algorithm which are based on data gained from users. Now, Facebook will factor in viewing time when ranking content in an individual’s News Feed. That means content which Facebook believes you’ll spend the most time viewing will be prioritized first. The company will get this data from how long you have spent viewing similar content types in the past.
Another major change made was the fact that Facebook will no longer show too many posts from the same source together in a row. According to its users, people want to see updates from a wider variety of sources. That means they don’t want to see posts from the same pages all the time. So going forward that means Facebook will make a deliberate attempt to not place too many posts from the same source together in a person’s News Feed.
It sounds like all pages will be impacted equally by this update, so it’s difficult to say how it will impact your individual page. Let’s just say your mileage may vary.
Wrapping it Up
AMP is in the news (so to speak), PageRank is officially closed off to the public, Google has made updates that will affect local marketers, and Facebook is adding two new ranking signals to its algorithm. If you have any questions about any of this weeks updates please leave us a comment below