Google recently rolled out a brand new technology for fast-loading web pages, a study comes out in favor of outgoing links, and Facebook gets new Like buttons. We’ll tell you all about it in this latest SEO news roundup.
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Are Live
Google’s anticipated Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project saw its official launch date on February 24. You’ll see them when searching on a mobile device where the News carousel used to be. Now News carousel will be dedicated to timely AMP pages. Clicking an item in the carousel should instantly load the content in your browser.
AMP is expected to be a big deal for publishers, partially because it’s a Google-backed technology. Though AMP is not said to be a ranking factor at this point, Google is known to support both its own technology and anything that helps make the web faster.
AMP pages load fast because they are stripped down versions of web pages hosted on Google’s own servers. While they do not have all the bells and whistles of traditional web pages, AMP-compatible content retains much of the same design elements and features as does a regular web article. This includes video embeds, images, and ads. It’s also important to note that the same guidelines which make a site Google-friendly also apply to AMP-compatible pages.
If you want to hop on the bandwagon and start creating AMP content right away, some familiarity with HTML is required. Google describes the process for creating AMP pages in this help document. Alternatively, if you don’t want to be bothered with coding, WordPress has an official AMP plugin available which can easily convert your regular content to AMP content.
Study Shows Outgoing Links Are Good for SEO
Do you scrutinize every outgoing link on your website? “Should I follow this one? Should I nofollow this one?”. Or are you someone who just nofollows all outgoing links by default? Well outbound links are not the leeches of PageRank we all make them out to be. A new study shows they may actually improve a page’s rankings.
A study conducted by marketing firm Reboot aims to show that there is a positive correlation between a page’s outgoing links and its search rankings. According to the company, Rand Fishkin of Moz observed the data and results before the study was published.
Reboot carried out the experiment by creating 10 new websites each targeting the same keyword, only half of which included hyperlinks to “very high authority” sources. After searching for the monitored keywords and recording the results over a 5 month period, Reboot came to the following conclusion: the 5 sites with the outbound links all ranked ahead of those without.
For more information, including the methodology and variables, you can view the original study here.
Facebook Rolls Out an Assortment of Like Buttons
We can’t talk about organic without talking about Facebook. Though not a search engine per say, Facebook is a significant source of inbound traffic, and users may be even more likely to engage with content on the social network after this most recent update.
Facebook Reactions, its anticipated extension of the Like button, allows people to express a range of emotions — you can like, love, laugh at, be surprised, get angry, or show sadness towards a post. To make use of this feature on the Facebook app, long-press on the like button to bring up the options to react in another way. On desktop, hover your cursor over the like button for other options.
When it comes to the organic ranking of a post in one’s news feed, all reactions are treated equally. When someone uses a reaction, even sadness or anger, it is an indication to Facebook they want to see more of that type of post.
Facebook Live Videos to Be Ranked Higher
While Reactions doesn’t have an immediate effect on the placement of content in people’s news feed on Facebook, a change made last week will see certain types of content ranking higher. Going forward, live videos will now be placed higher up in peoples’ news feeds while those videos are live, compared to afterward when they’re just recordings.
The company says page owners should not expect to see significant changes as a result of this update. However, if you tend to publish a lot of live video it only seems to make sense that your organic reach would rise as a result.
Wrapping it Up
Google makes the web faster, outgoing links are good for SEO, there are new ways to express yourself on Facebook, and live videos will get priority placement in the Facebook news feed. We expect you may have questions after reading through these latest updates. Please leave a comment below, or contact us directly, and we’ll help you as best we can.
Featured Image Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo
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