Trending March 2024 # Google Ranking & Results Update Underway # Suggested April 2024 # Top 5 Popular

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Google set blogs and webmasters ablaze in coverage last week with their changes in Toolbar PageRank, which was cast aside by some and taken quite seriously by others. It looks like this week, there may be an update of much more importance going on at Google, in their search result rankings.

Google has just cranked up the dial for domain name relevance, it seems.

I have a fairly new website (about a year old) in a very competitive area with millions of search results. The site has only about 100 pages. PR2. Hardly any backlinks. No link campaigns. No optimization. But it’s a single-word dn in .net, e.g., chúng tôi (I bought it in the aftermarket hoping search engines would dig it.)

Once again there has been an update and as usual I lost another 30% of my traffic from Google. Soon it’ll be down to nothing and that is without me doing anything except adding more pages, fixing some typo’s and a few layout fixes.

Yes, there definitely has been an update or algo movement yesterday. My first guess is that there has been some movement on dup content filtering measures.

Strong domains and duplicate content filtering being tweaked in the Google algorithm? Possibly.

One fear last week would be that since Google lowered the PageRank of some sites that it suspected as passing paid link juice, the target sites which were linked to from those sites would lose some kind of ranking.

Hopefully this will not be the case, but if it does happen the full effect of a PageRank (yeah, I know it’s only the toolbar) ‘penalty’ would be heard from the top on down to the bottom. Google does have a knack for keeping things exciting, don’t they?

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New Uk Google Ranking Factor Insights

New Research Shows Key Ranking Factors for the UK

Value/Importance: [rating=4]

Recommended link: Search Metrics 2012 Ranking Factor Report

The volume of data and number crunching to form this guide is remarkable. It’s based  on analysis of 10,000 selected top-keywords, 300,000 websites and millions of links, shares and tweets from within the Searchmetrics database.

It has been condensed well for a quick summary on SEO in the UK. The guide looks at the 6 trends / changes the research highlighted which are summarised in the diagram below.

Marketing implications

While the report probably won’t show anything that most people will not have heard already it may hopefully spur you into action or debunk some of the SEO myths.  I have summarised the 3  I believe are most important below, but you can see the full guide here.

1. Time to be social

The research conducted by Searchmetrics suggests that activity in key social networks does influence search rankings. The research actually showed that Google+ was the most significant when it comes to influencing search rankings but it does not unfortunately have the volume yet to be at the core of your strategy. Facebook shares came a close second, in fact Facebook dominated the top 4 spots when it came to influence in SEO. Twitter behind all that. Ensure you have Facebook well integrated into your sites content as well as activity on your brand page is now more important than ever for SEO in the UK. You can find Facebook tools for your website here.

2. Backlinks rule

This is definitely not new but the data suggests that nofollow links still influence ranking I think is fascinating. Volume of links and utilising keywords in anchor text are still overwhelmingly important. This new data coupled with the social data above I think should help us refocus our efforts on effective content & marketing should be our priority, we shouldn’t do things because it is “nofollowed” which I have heard so many times in the past. You can use these link analysis tools to analyse your backlink profile.

3. Stop obsessing about on-page

In my line of work, I get asked a lot of questions about SEO and it seems on-page factors seem to stress a lot of marketers and copywriters out. Hopefully this research will put some peoples mind at rest. On-page factors have been superseded by backlinks for years, but this latest research goes as far as saying some on-page optimisation tips are just not worth the time and effort. Having keywords at the start of titles instead of middle or the end will have no impact whatsoever, length of content is irrelevant and pictures are no bad thing.

I think this is a little misleading though since this chart and the previous suggest the title isn’t important which is not the case. We still find that pages that include a title (particularly in a relevant phrase) will outrank those that don’t “all other factors being equal”.

I hope you find this interesting. It is worth noting that correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, so what you find in your own experience is most important.

Google Has Moved Away From 200 Ranking Signals Number

In a Google SEO Office Hours Hangout, Google’s John Mueller revealed that Google has “moved away from the 200 ranking signals number.” He said that having a number like that is misleading.

Google Ranking Signals

In the distant past various HTML elements were used by Google’s algorithms for identifying what a web page is about. HTML elements like the page title, headings and font sizes were given extra importance, as well as the location of keywords on a web page (top of the page more important) and links and the anchor text associated with those links.

These were collectively known as ranking factors.

In the distant past, a web page literally needed to have the known ranking factors addressed with keywords in order to rank properly.

Many of those ranking factors were described in Google’s first Stanford University research paper from 1998, The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine.

It’s been over twenty years and while many still cling to the idea of ranking factors, Google itself has evolved beyond ranking factors and incorporates things like Natural Language Processing, BERT, Neural Matching and AI spam fighting, and many other algorithms.

Not only that but by 2005 Google was already incorporating statistical analysis to identify normal sites and sites that were outliers and tended to be spam.

Statistical analysis is not a ranking factor in the traditional sense but it played a role in ranking.

A case can arguably be made that the paradigm of 200+ ranking factors was breaking down as early as 2005.

While in the past the idea of scoring points against a list of ranking factors made sense, in 2023 the idea of a list of ranking factors to focus on for better rankings has somewhat lost relevance because of how search rankings are calculated in modern search engines today.

Related: 11 Things You Must Know About Google’s 200+ Ranking Factors

Which Ranking Factors are Most Important?

Someone from the search community asked John Mueller which of the ranking factors was most important.

Ordinarily Googlers have in the past mentioned that the content is the most important ranking factor. But not today.

The person asked which ranking factors are most important:

“Among all of the 200 ranking signals, which are the most important?”

Mueller answered:

“I don’t like to rank ranking signals. So I can’t give you an answer there.

And that’s definitely not the case.

Like… a lot of these things just take into account so many different things, you can’t just isolate them out.”

Related: Google Ranking Factors

No More Top Ranking Factors?

Mueller said that it’s not the case that ranking signals could be listed and sorted by importance and that the factors cannot be isolated out.

Mueller didn’t elaborate beyond that. But it’s easy to understand how complicated Google’s search engine is today.

For example, the MUM algorithm can take images as an input (no keywords!) and provide an answer sorted from web pages around the world, regardless of language.

How would a general ranking factor like links or keywords in title even work in a scenario like that?

John Mueller has given the search community a deep insight into ranking factors by stating that the signals cannot be listed and sorted by importance because the search community believes that ranking factors can be sorted and ranked.

Citation Google’s Moved Away from 200 Ranking Signals Number

Watch John Mueller answer the question at the 49:47 minute mark:

10 Key Steps To Ranking Higher In Google Maps

You’re searching for a lunch spot in an unfamiliar neighborhood, or you need a mechanic to assist with an unexpected flat tire.

Where do you look?

If you answered Google Maps, you’re not alone.

These days, many of us are turning to Google Maps to discover local businesses and make more informed buying decisions.

So how can local businesses rank higher in the place consumers are increasingly looking to purchase local products and services?

Here are ten steps to take in order to rank well, drive more traffic and secure more customers via Google Maps.

1. Claim And Complete A Google Business Profile

The first, crucial step in establishing visibility in Google Maps is claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP – formerly known as Google My Business or GMB).

You can do this by simply searching for your business name on Google or Google Maps and verifying your listing if you have not already done so.

Once you have a listing and are logged into your Google account, you can now edit it, even from directly within the search results.

Being a Google property, GBP provides a primary signal to Google of your business’ existence – and the information here is assumed to be accurate and up to date.

Google will cross-reference these details with those it finds on your website and in other local directories and resources; more on the importance of these in a moment.

2. Post Linked Content (Including Photos)

After you’ve claimed your GBP listing, your work is only partway done.

Google rewards active businesses with higher visibility in Google Maps, so it’s important to post regular updates to your GBP profile.

These updates may and should include special offers, hosted events, links to relevant blog posts, or general business updates.

You should also be including links in your posts, ideally to primary product or service pages on your website.

3. Optimize Your Web Presence For Local Organic Search

If you want to rank well on Google Maps, you should ensure your web presence, including your website and external content, is optimized for your local audience.

You can start by performing a local SEO audit to identify where you need to focus your attention from a keyword, content, and linking perspective – as these are the three primary components upon which a presence is built.

Your website needs to be properly structured to enable Google to easily crawl and index your content, and the content within your site needs to be rich with relevant, locally-oriented, intent-driven keywords and logical internal and external links to the answers your audience is searching for.

Websites must also load quickly and provide seamless navigation, regardless of device.

This is particularly important at a local level, as searchers increasingly begin their quests on their phones.

4. Use Local Business Schema

When it comes to structuring content, and especially business details, Google and other search engines prefer standardization – which has led to the development of schema.

Local Schema enables businesses to wrap code around their content to make it easier for Google to crawl and index.

Local business schema covers many of the same business details captured in a Google Business Profile, which Google will naturally cross-reference.

The easier it is for Google to validate your location, the more likely your business is to show up prominently in Google Maps.

5. Embed The Google Map On Your Contact Us Page

While it’s not explicitly stated that embedding a Google Map in your website will make a difference in terms of where you rank in Google Maps, it’s not far-fetched to assume this is Google’s preferred format.

Here again, Google is able to ensure a consistent user experience for its searchers, which should likewise be the aim of any business looking to please its customers.

6. Mine And Mind Your Reviews

Any business can create a GBP listing, ensure its basic business information is up to date, and post plenty of relevant, local content.

However, another critically important factor in determining if, and where, a local business shows up in Google Maps is customer reviews.

Google pays close attention to both how many reviews your business obtains, and how active it is in responding to those reviews, regardless of whether they’re positive or negative.

Any business naturally wants to limit the number of negative reviews it receives and all negative reviews should be dealt with swiftly.

This can actually become a valuable way of displaying your business’ commitment to customer service.

While there are many places customers can leave reviews online, including Facebook, Yelp, and other industry-specific review sites, reviews on GBP profiles will carry more weight when it comes to Google Map rankings.

Consider proactively asking your customers for reviews soon after you’ve successfully delivered a product or service when a presumably positive experience is top of mind for their customers.

There are services available to help automate review requests (via email or text) once certain on or offline customer actions have been completed (e.g. appointment completed, invoice paid, etc.) and review management across multiple sources through a central dashboard.

Automation can save busy local businesses a lot of time, and ensure positive reviews flow in on a regular basis.

7. Update Your Local Listings/Citations With Your NAP

The three most important pieces of directional information on your GBP, website, and across the web are your Name, Address and Phone Number or NAP.

It’s critical for both Google and your audience to have your NAP consistent and accurate across all of these sources.

These references to your business from third-party sites are also called citations.

To find and ensure your NAP is up to date, you can start by simply searching your business name and noting all of the places your business details can be found.

Check each instance and reach out to each directory or website owner to update this important contact information, as needed.

There are also free and paid automated local listings services, which will enable you to identify and update your NAP, along with other important business information like your website URL, services, or even relevant images, from one central location.

8. Build Local Backlinks

Backlinks or inbound links are effectively an extension of our NAP strategy, whereby you look to have relevant, local third-party websites link to your primary website pages.

Backlinks can validate your business from both local and product/service perspectives.

If you maintain listings with links in local directories, you will want to ensure those listings are in the proper categories, if category options are offered.

Ideally, these links to your website are “follow” links, which means Google will follow and recognize the source of the link to your content.

Most directories realize the value of “follow” links and therefore charge for inclusion, but you should also look for opportunities to secure links from other non-paid sources such as relevant partner, industry or service organization sites.

9. Engage With Your Community

Just as Google rewards GBP activity, it also pays attention to how active a business is within its community as a means to establish its local presence and authority.

Businesses noted to be engaging with local service organizations (e.g. Chambers of Commerce, charities, or sports groups), sponsoring local events, or partnering with other prominent local businesses are naturally deemed to be a thriving part of the community.

Engagement can include publishing and/or promoting linked content e.g. event announcements, partner pages tied to these partner organizations, and, of course, physically engaging and perhaps getting mentioned/linked in local news stories or other publications.

10. Pay Attention To The SERPs And The Long Tail

If you are going to optimize any aspect of your local web presence, you will want to monitor your progress in terms of whether or not and where you rank within Google Maps and the regular search engine results pages (SERPs) based on the keywords you are hoping to be found for.

You can perform your own manual Google searches (preferably in Incognito Mode and while not logged into a Google account), or you can choose from a number of rank monitoring tools, many of which enable you to specifically filter out Map rankings.

When considering which keywords to follow, be sure to consider and include local identifiers and qualifying keywords such as “near me,” “best,” and “affordable” – e.g “auto body shops near me,” “best auto body shop in Barrie,” or “affordable auto body work.”

In time, if you’ve truly established your business’ local authority, the short tail top rankings will follow.

Put Your Business On The Google Map

So now, with your laundry list in hand, go ahead and put your local business on the map.

Establishing your authority and expertise online is not really all that different from how it’s always been in the real world, but it can take time, as any real relationship should.

Google rewards those businesses that provide the best answers to their customers’ questions, deliver solid products and services, take an active role in their local community, have their customers say nice things about them, and provide a high level of customer service at all times.

If this describes your business, get out there and do it.

More resources:

Featured Image: BestForBest/Shutterstock

Reviewing Seo Competitive Ranking With Ahrefs

Check your competitor’s SEO strategies with the Ahrefs Site Explorer and Backlink History tools

We live in an age of competition where you have to be at the top of your game to survive, let alone thrive. If you are in the field of Internet Marketing, then you have probably been encouraged to improve your content and your promotion techniques on several occasions to achieve better results. All of these work perfectly fine, but they are not enough to get you across the finishing line ahead of your competitors.

Sometimes you are required to broaden your horizon and think slightly out of the box. How can you do that? Well it’s simple. Tap into the minds of your competitors and figure out the strategies that they are devising. This way, you can better equip yourself to compete with them and outsmart them.

When it comes to SEO, checking your competitor’s strategy with Ahref’s Site Explorer and Backlink checker can help you gain a competitive edge by reviewing their techniques and improving on them

Competitive backlink analysis

There are several factors that determine whether a website will pop up at the top of your search results or not.

Getting hold of quality links is one of the best ways to be highly competitive in a search chúng tôi problem with doing this is that a lot of people do not understand the basics of building links. Those who do have a certain degree of knowledge, tend to be too nervous and tentative to put their skills to the test. Some resort to shortcuts by buying spammy links.

If you have been in the SEO business for a considerable amount of time, you should know that spammy links will only get you so far.  In such a desperate situation, the best option available to you is checking your competitor’s strategy with Site Explorer.

In other words, you are required to conduct a complete competitive analysis. As mentioned before, it helps you to figure out the nature of the quality links that your competitors have come up with and allows you to replicate their success or even better it to a certain extent.

Forming the Key Phrase List

The first thing that you need to do is create a list of all the competitors you have. In doing this, do not mix up the real world competitors with the SERP competitors. Keep them separated in your head and in your work. The URLs that you can see at the top of the SERPs are the real search engine competitors. It is their backlink profiles that are to be subjected to analysis for your own benefit.

A simple way of starting out is forming a list of important phrases that you may want to rank for. The list does not have to be too big, in fact you are encouraged to keep the number of entries confined to 10 or less. If you are jotting down a huge list, then the results become far too broad for your own convenience.

Below is an example of a list of important phrases, also known as a keyphrase list. This was created to analyse backlinks for food delivery companies

“food delivery company”

“ food delivery companies”

“ home delivery service”

“ take away service”

Your main aim here is to find out the people who are linking to other food deliver companies that are on display at the top of the search results. This process can be done manually or automatically.

Needless to say, the automatic process is far easier and much more efficient. If you are going to resort to a site explorer to carry out this function, then you are recommended to use Ahrefs Site Explorer. This provides you with your own index that contains information on trillions of website connections. The index, besides being endlessly vast, is always up to date as it refreshes every half an hour and is updated every other week. Ahref will also provide you with a daily list of New and Lost backlinks. In addition to that, you can avail a CSV export for Site Explorer, Reports and Batch Analysis.

It comes with its own crawler that goes through billions of pages on a daily basis. Next you have the rating system which is quite crystal clear as it takes into account the number of links and the quality of each link. As cherries on top, you also get the luxury smart reindexing and improved crawler system.

Pointers for using Site Explorer

1. Competitor URLs that are ditto copies of domains of a given keyword should be avoided. Their high ranking can be attributed to the domain name and not their link profile. Analysing their backlink profile will do you little good.

2. Sites that have no external links should be avoided. If you are running an Ahrefs report on a URL, you are likely to come across a profile with no external links. Do not bother exporting this piece of information.

3. Have patience because exporting 10 to 40 different site explorer reports will not be a joyride.

The all important analysis

During the analysis, you’ll notice a variety of backlink tactics coming into play. These may include guest blogging, trusted paid directories or educational content.

The number of ways to investigate your competitor’s strategy with Site Explorer is endless. It is up to you to come up with a tactic that falls in your comfort zone. Till then, keep your head in the game and keep one eye fixed on your competitor.

[Editor’s note: We have a comparison of backlink analysis tools in this other post, but Ahrefs is well established and has one of the best, free one page summaries of link profiles – useful for consultants to present to prospective clients for competitor comparison.]

Thanks to Anna Belaya for sharing her thoughts and opinions in this post. Anna is a marketing specialist at Promodo, in the International department and her IT career has started in 2012. Anna is a young specialist but she already possesses experience with big projects connected with fashion, software, digital products and online retail. Anna loves reading professional literature and novels by American authors and is a passionate football fan of Liverpool. You can connect with her on Facebook.

Ranking Of Chinese Smartphone Foundries: Not Without Surprises

Also Read: GARTNER: Overall Smartphone Shipments Dropped By 20.4% In Q2, 2023

Those who know the smartphone industry specifications, should know that smartphone production is mainly divided into three modes. The first is the OEM mode, that is, the smartphone manufacturer completely produces according to the customer’s design and functional requirements. Obviously, the products are sold under the customer’s brand. The second is the ODM model, that is, the original design manufacturer. The smartphone product structure, appearance, and craftsmanship are all independently developed by the smartphone manufacturer. After the customer places an order, the product is going on production. The product is sold under the customer’s brand. The third is the IDH model. There are independent design companies that are engaged in design and research and development activities. So they get many orders from smartphone brands. After getting approval for the suggested variants, they send them to the production. Among them, ODM is the most important kind of existence.

Chinese ODM Smartphone Manufacturers Performance

According to data from well-known market research institutions IHS and Omdia, in 2023 and 2023, smartphone shipments of Chinese ODM smartphone manufacturers increased by -9% and +2%, higher than the -11% and -8% growth rate of smartphones in China. Among them, at present, Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi and other domestic smartphone brands all have a certain percentage of models that are shipped in the form of ODM. It is worth noting that VIVO does not have models produced by OEMs. So what is the current proportion of Chinese smartphone OEMs?

In September this year, there was a special report titled ‘Chinese Smartphone Brands Fighting the World’. The latter mentioned the ‘ODM smartphone shipment ratio of major OEMs and ‘main ODM Partners’. Lenovo’s ODM shipments accounted for 89%. Xiaomi ranked second with 74% mark. OPPO ranked third with 51%. Huawei ranked fourth, accounting for 18%. VIVO is not on the list because there is no foundry model, which means that its ODM model ratio is zero.

Judging from the ranking of the list, there are many expected and unexpected results. For example, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Lenovo have been expected to be on the list. As a technology company with more than 30 years of development history, Huawei uses switches as its starting point.

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Xiaomi Is Joining The Race

However, in August this year, the Xiaomi opened the so-called Smart Factory. This so-called ‘black light factory’ is an automated unmanned production that can realize the entire factory production management process, mechanical processing process, and packaging, storage and transportation process. In other words, on the basis of continuing to cooperate sincerely with the foundry, Xiaomi began to participate in the manufacturing industry. It not only self-develops a large number of high-end equipment but also designs and completes a fully automated high-end smartphone production line. The Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra transparent model is the first generation of smart factory product.

As for why Lenovo accounts for 89%, it’s easier to understand. From the beginning of its establishment, Lenovo has always followed the ‘trade, industry and technology’ route. In other words, it is doing business first to achieve certainty, to survive, to develop new technologies and new products and to sell them to find new profit growth points. Many of its products rely on OEMs for processing and outsourcing processing.

However, what is more surprising is that OPPO accounts for as high as 51%.

The Bottom Line

In fact, many people don’t know that today’s smartphone foundries in China are already among the top in the world. This is why most of Apple’s iPhones are manufactured by Foxconn, and Samsung also chooses Chinese foundries for some models. Now, we know that Huawei and Xiaomi have a certain degree of overlap in foundries. This also confirms the hard power of Chinese smartphone foundries. We can expect that in the future, the entire smartphone industry will still maintain the two modules of self-developed factories and foundries. And ODM manufacturers, as the backbone of them, are also helping Chinese smartphone brands to compete globally.

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