In 2014 Google has again optimized its ranking algorithm through various updates. Since nobody can remember all the changes, we would like to give an overview of the most important ones.
In August, Google has announced that it would slightly boost websites that encrypt their traffic (through SSL) in terms of ranking. For now, this does not seem to have a lot of influence, but Google may decide to make encryption a stronger ranking signal.
Unofficially also known as “Pigeon”, this update is known for tying local search results closer to web search ranking signals. As a result, this change boosted local directory sites’ ranking, like “Yellow Pages”.
No More Updates for PageRank
In October, Google announced that it will stop development for PageRank. PageRank previously quantified the authority of your website with a grade from 0 to 10. The authority of websites is interesting for comparisons between competitors. That is why we recommend using these tools:
Google removed the images of authors displayed beside search results, in August. At first only the pictures of influential authors were displayed. Later on Google decided to remove all portraits and only show their names. In the end, Google has removed all trace of author information.
The latest update should enhance the user experience for mobile users. That is why the “mobile-friendly” label was introduced for search results that are optimized for mobile devices. We described which criteria must be met to earn this label and how to test your website, in this blog post.