SEO News You Can Use: There’s a New Sheriff in Town at Google Search | SEOblog.com

SEO News You Can Use: There’s a New Sheriff in Town at Google Search

Megan Sell
SEO News You Can Use

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Google has appointed Prabhakar Raghavan, formerly the head of Google Ads, as the new head of Google Search. As Raghavan moves into this new role in Search, he will continue overseeing Google Ads until the new head is appointed.

Raghavan is, in theory, a great fit considering his long history researching all things search related. He has a PhD and is the author of books and published research papers. Check out his Wikipedia page for more information about his awards and accolades to date.

This is big news for the search community and with it comes two identified areas of concern among SEOs. First, a new leader often means a new way of doing things and sometimes an overzealous personality ends up wanting to fix what simply ain’t broke. Also considering how often Google changes its algorithm and moves the goal posts, it’s tiresome to think we may need to shift our strategies yet again to accommodate a new head of Search. Secondly, Raghavan will be overseeing both Ads and Search simultaneously and this feels precarious. Google product teams operate independently of each other, so Analytics, Ads and Search operate separately and with autonomy. To break the bounds of this separation could end up affecting organic search results as Google Ads and Google Search tend to operate competitively. This is especially true if you do some digging around how Google Ads has started serving up paid advertising to look like organic results.

Of course, Raghavan will only be wearing both hats for a short while, but Google has also announced that the new head of Google Ads will report directly to the head of Search. And so the plot thickens while we all wait with baited breath to see the outcome of this big move.

On a positive note, after doing some investigating into Raghavan, it’s evident this man has ample knowledge on all aspects of search. He clearly enjoys questioning the obvious and through analysis, challenging areas within search tactics that have been simply accepted. In most of his work he tackles user behavior and tries to find ways to better serve the online audience. Here are three research papers worth a read if you want to better understand Google’s new, fierce leader:

  1. Graph Structure in the Web — This is about the value of links.
  2. Are Web Users Really Markovian? — This is about determining the user’s next action.
  3. Optimizing Two-Dimensional Search Results Presentation — This looks at how users scan search results and web pages.

Raghavan certainly gets a thumbs up from Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling, who posted an article saying he believes there’s no better fit for this role. Sterling believes Raghavan has the knowledge, experience and qualifications to take on this influential position at Google.

More SEO News You Can Use:

What Does it Mean When a Computer Can Generate Quality Content? The implications are far reaching. Find out about how natural language generation is impacting search marketing in this article by Hamlet Batista from Search Engine Journal. He lays out the facts, gives insights into what can be expected from this advanced technology and advises us on how to continue keeping your content relevant.

Facebook has Introduced Wikipedia-Sourced Information Boxes to Keep Users on the Site: This is a real smart move as many of Facebook’s users rely on the social media platform as a source of news. By including these information boxes, users no longer have to navigate away from their Facebook browsing to do a traditional Google search on anything they don’t understand or haven’t heard of before. Also, brands will now have exposure on the biggest social media site even if they don’t have a Facebook page. Check out the article here.

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Local SEO for Multi-Location Businesses: Local SEO strategies for multi-location businesses can really bend your mind; not to mention, Google’s hefty penalties if you don’t align with its guidelines. Brian Harnish has published a guide to local SEO for multi-location businesses on Search Engine Journal, and it’s worth the read for a holistic overview of this type of optimization.

Mueller Said NO Backlinks in 2017 and He’s Saying it Again: Google’s John Mueller confirmed way back in 2017 that all links in all guest blog posts must have a nofollow attribution. Three years later and he’s still saying the same thing, but this week he went on to clarify that even links that are not paid for must be nofollow links. Here’s the announcement, the tweet and the juicy commentary that inevitably follows this restriction.

Backlinko Did a Deep Dive into How Visual Search Works: Backlinko’s CTO Lloyd Jones spearheaded this rather large study and analysis of visual search to better understand how Google ranks Google Lens results. Brian Dean published the findings of this study on Backlinko earlier this week. Here you can read about the results of this study and enjoy the key takeaways included in each section.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on SEOblog.com, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make SEOblog.com a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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