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Author: David Towers
David is Director of Search and Digital Projects, EMEA at MEC a GroupM/WPP company), leading MEC's Search product and teams across EMEA.
When not working at MEC, David writes about online marketing at GoodWebPractices, consults for a number of charities, is on the advisory board of icould and is an industry speaker at the University of Salford's Search and Social Media Marketing course.
David has always had a keen interest in technology and put his first website online in 2000. David stumbled into SEO while doing an internship in online marketing in 2005 and having responsibility for the paid search, posing the question why pay for clicks when it's possible to get to the top of Google without paying for each click?
On August 6 2014, Google announced that it is starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal within the search results.
While on the face of it, this might not seem like big news, it's another instance of Google using its influence to put pressure on websites to conform to what it considers best practice.
Google has said that right now HTTPS is a very lightweight signal which will affect less than 1% of search queries globally, but it has stated that this may change over time as Google encourages all site owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS.
As a result of this, we anticipate that secure and encrypted connections will become the norm for all websites in the future.
When Google announced at the end of September that Hummingbird had been live for a month or so, many questioned how such a significant change could have happened without it having been detected earlier.
Amit Singhal, Head of Google’s ranking team, talked about Hummingbird being the first time a completely new algorithm had been implemented since 2001 and that it impacted 90% of search queries.
However, the visible impact of this algorithm change has been less significant than many recent algorithm updates, such as the May 2012 Penguin update.
Paid search only accounts for 6% of total clicks from search engines versus natural search at 94% of clicks, according to research from GroupM UK carried out with Nielsen.
Also, women are slightly more prone to clicking on paid search results than males, and, as age increases, so does the likelihood of clicking on paid search results.
The research, based on 28m people in the UK, making a total of 1.4bn search queries during June 2011, is the first in the UK to reveal click through rate (CTR) by natural search position for both brand and non-brand search terms and how these CTRs change by vertical.