Hello everyone, and happy Monday! Welcome to A Smattering of SEO News for the week ending on June 14th. There was a lot of news last week due to the SMX Advanced conference taking place in Seattle, most of it revolving around Google, but there was plenty of other news as well, so let’s get right to it…
- Site Speed Ranking Penalty Approaching for Mobile Sites – At SMX Advanced, Matt Cutts announced that there will be a new version of the site speed ranking factor targeted solely at mobile sites rolling out soon, and webmasters should make sure their mobile sites load as fast as possible to add to the user experience.
- Sites with Bad Mobile Sites Will Lose Rankings – Google also announced that it will now pay more attention to a site’s mobile version, so that sites without mobile versions, poor redirects and so on will rank lower than sites with properly optimized mobile sites.
- Panda Rollouts Happen Monthly Over a Ten-Day Cycle – At SMX Advanced, Matt Cutts also spoke in more detail than before on how the Panda rollouts work. Apparently the rollout begins on a particular day, then is slowly rolled out over the next ten days. This cycle is repeated monthly, leading to what some are calling a “Panda Dance”.
- Google Now Targets Spammy Queries – Google recently announced that it would begin to target the results of heavily spammed queries such as pay day loans and pornographic queries, and lower the rankings of those sites accordingly. This is a global update, and affects 0.3% of U.S. queries but up to 4% of Turkish queries, since spam is more prevalent there.
- Google Launches Google+ Dashboard for Business Pages – Google announced that it’s launched a new dashboard on Google+ to help business owners and webmasters better manage their Google+ Local business pages, and merges tools such as AdWords Express and Offers into one place.
- Google Purchases Crowdsourced Mapping Company Waze – Google has finally acquired popular map program Waze for $1.3 billion. It’s been implied that the awesome crowdsourced features of Waze will be melded into Google Maps, but a blog post on the Waze site said the services would remain separate for now.
- MajesticSEO Makes Site Explorer Free for Verified Sites – MajesticSEO recently announced that it’s now making its Site Explorer tool free for verified users, as well as removing restrictions on the use of the tool for paid users. This now allows users of the free tool to see new links to their site on a daily basis.
- DuckDuckGo Surpasses Two Million Daily Searches – New search engine DuckDuckGo announced that it recently surpassed two million searches in one day, reaching 2,211,203 direct searches last Monday. This is, apparently, in relation to the recent PRISM scandal which brought into question whether data from Google, Bing and Yahoo had been provided to the government.
- Bing to Become Default Search Engine in iOS 7 – In unveiling their new operating system last Monday, one of the announcements was that Bing will replace Google as the default search engine for the upcoming iOS 7, which will be used for textual searches, as well as for the Siri voice-based search system.
- Facebook Adds Clickable Hashtags – In a move that surprised no one, Facebook recently joined Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram in having clickable hashtags in their posts, allowing users to “add context to a post or indicate that it is part of a larger discussion”.