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Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of A Smattering of SEO News. A lot of important stuff happened last week, so it’s good that we had a three-day weekend to recover from it all. The big news is that Penguin 2.0 hit Google, and while we’re still studying its effects, we hope that none of your sites were adversely affected by this significant algorithm shift. With that said, let’s dive into the news!

Google News:Penguin-2.0

  • Penguin 2.0 Goes Live – Matt Cutts personally announced the release of Penguin 2.0, the fourth update in the Penguin series of algorithm updates, which went live on May 22nd. Apparently 2.3% of English queries in the US are affected, and we already have reactions from large sites such as Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land as to what the changes are and how to react to them. This version apparently will go deeper and be more comprehensive in finding webspam. It might also be targeting advetorials and other linking techniques meant to be only passing PageRank. Beyond that, we don’t have many details at the moment. Google has also launched a spam report form to report spammy sites that were unaffected by Penguin 2.0. The biggest losers so far appear to be porn and gaming sites, as well as larger sites like Dish.com and SalvationArmy.org, according to
    Searchmetrics.
  • Google to Revise Domain Clustering Rules Again – In a recent video, Google’s Matt Cutts said they would soon be releasing further revisions to their search results in regards to multiple domains showing up for the same result. This new change will further restrict how many pages can show up in the SERPs, limiting it to around four at most, if not less.
  • Top Charts Launched in Google Trends – There’s a new feature in Google Trends that shows the top searches in various categories since 2004. Covering over forty categories, the charts also show where a top search peaked, how long it’s been on the chart and it’s position chance since the previous. Sections include actors, animals, scientists, baseball teams and more broken down categories such as entertainment, shopping and sports.
  • Google Launches Conversational Search – Google rolled out its conversational search engine this past week, which is now available through Chrome. This search functionality allows you to do a verbal query, and then continue on a path with that query in a conversational matter, having Google recognize the conversational format. An example could be to search, “How old is Barack Obama?” When you can get your results, you can then ask “How tall is he?” or “Who is his wife?”, and get results related to “he” and “his”, which is pretty fascinating.
  • Changes to Google Maps UI Could Be Worrisome to Local Businesses – Search Engine Land has been able to spend some time with the new beta version of Google Maps/Google Local, and are concerned about what they see. The new, more visual results appear to give more visibility to the top ranked results while maintaining a “bias” toward “address-less” businesses.

Yahoo News:

  • Yahoo Acquires Tumblr for $1.1 Billion – Last week, Yahoo announced it was buying the popular microblogging website Tumblr. Yahoo claims this purchase will benefit both companies, but many who use Tumblr regularly are up in arms about what changes the tech giant might bring to the platform.
  • Yahoo Apparently Testing New Search Results Page – Search Engine Land reported that they stumbled upon the new version of Yahoo’s search engine results page, which sports a cleaner look with smaller buttons, a new navigation menu and cleaner pagination. Many of these changes are minor, but they add up to what appear to be a much more visually appealing page.

Bing News:

  • Bing Ads Debuts Traffic Quality Resource Center – Microsoft recently announced the launch of the Bing Ads Traffic Quality Resource Center, which gives webmasters an insight into how Bing and Yahoo protect the quality of its ad traffic. The site has sections on terminology, network protection methods and more.
  • Bing Adds Klingon Language to Translator – Bing recently added two variations of the Klingon language to its translator website. One version shows the translation in an English approximation, while the other version shows the translation in the original Klingon written language.

See you again next week with your SEO news update!

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A Smattering of SEO News: 5/20/13
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