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Hello, and welcome to the Smattering of SEO News for the week ending on May 3rd! We have quite a bit of news to go over for the last week, especially from Google, so let’s dive in!

Google News:

  • Google Hires Chief Game Designer – GamesIndustry discovered a new title on the LinkedIn page of Noah Falstein – who formerly worked for Parker Brothers, Williams and LucasArts – entitled “Chief Game Designer” at Google. It’s not clear as of yet why Google needs a Chief Game Designer, but hopefully we will find out soon.
  • Google Acquires News Summation Service Wavii – Following a similar move by Yahoo — who purchased news summation service Summly in March — Google has purchased news summation service Wavii for $30 million, roughly the same price of the Summly purchase. According to the company, they will be “using our natural language research at Google in ways that may be useful to millions of people around the world”. This natural language processing allows multiple news stories to be distilled into specific topics users care about most.
  • Google News Sources Grow 15% in 2012 – According to a study by SearchMetrics, they found that the amount of sources used by Google News grew by 15% in 2012, and this growth was lead by Patch.com and HuffingtonPost, both of which appeared in news results several thousand times throughout the study.Google_Sign_In
  • App Developers Using Google+ Sign In Rewarded with More Visible Results – After launching a new Sign In service for app developers to allow users to sign into their app using Google+, Google is now integrating results from specific apps into search results if that user is signed in through Google+. The example shown in the article of Fandango shows much more information if a user is signed in through Google+ than if they aren’t.
  • Google Allows Wider Geotargeting of Top Level Domains & Recognizes Generic Offshoots – Google now allows webmasters more options when geotargeting sites for specific regions. This is because the prevalence of once country-specific domains that are now used for more generic sites – such as .co, which once simply represented Columbia and is now being sold – is increasing, and some users who purchased .co sites, for example, would only rank in Columbia. These new features strive to alleviate that problem.

In other SEO news…

  • Facebook Offers In-Depth Look at Natural Language Technology in Graph Search – In a post on their Engineering blog, Facebook went into detail discussing the natural language technology being used in Graph Search which allows for exact searches across an enormous amount of data. Facebook chose this method of more traditional keyword or augmented systems as they felt these systems were too limiting, and natural language technology offers more precise, targeted queries.
  • According to Study, 46% of Searchers Use Mobile Search Exclusively – According to a joint study by firms Telmetrics and xAd, they found that 46% of respondents are using mobile exclusively to complete the entire search process (i.e. a search to a sale). The study noted that 50% of respondents used mobile search to begin the search process, but not to finish it. Furthermore, 60% of respondents expect businesses listed in local search to be within walking or local driving distance from where they’re searching.
  • Twitter Self-Serve Add Program Open to Everyone (in U.S.) – Previously, Twitter’s self-serve promoted Tweet system was available only to invited users, but not anymore as of May 1, 2013. Twitter has also added enhanced tools to better analyze and manage their campaigns and allow for better targeting.
  • Snickers Ad Campaign Targets Misspellings – In a creative move, Snickers is now targeting misspelled words and inserting their ad copy into paid results. For example, typing in “buisness” might show an ad saying, “Yu cant spel properlie wen hungrie Grab Yourself a Snickers”. Other words this works for include “vacum”, “amazin”, “wether” and several others.


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