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Hello my friends, and happy Monday! This installment of A Smattering of SEO News has some juicy new tidbits from Google, as well as some interesting Microsoft/Bing related news. Let’s take a look at which SEO news pieces grabbed headlines for the week ending August 13th…

Google News:

  • Google Updates its Link Schemes Document with Potentially Hurtful Linking Schemes – Google Recently updated its link scheme document to focus on a few new guidelines examples to avoid when trying to build links. These include large scale guest posts – such as writing a lot of low-quality paid blog posts with links in them – advetorials and optimized anchor text links in press releases. If Google determines that these forms of content are made more for building links than for users, it might take action. Both Search Engine Watch (linked above) and Search Engine Land have excellent coverage of this for more information.
  • Google Suggests Nofollow Links for Links in Press Releases – In a Google Hangout discussing the recent changes in Google’s Link Scheme document, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller said that while direct links in press releases are “somewhat okay,” he said to be safe, those links should use Nofollow attributes so they don’t pass value along to the destination website. This is an interesting recommendation given that Matt Cutts said earlier this year that press release links don’t pass value (which was later debunked through experimentation).
  • Cutts: Websites Using Specific Country-Specific TLDs Should Have Country-Specific Content – In a recent video, Google’s Matt Cutts said that if content on a country-specific top level domain (TLD) isn’t specific or relevant toExpandable-Sitelinks that country, it’s doing a “disservice” to that particular domain, encouraging that a site using that domain should have content relevant to the country the domain is registered to.
  • Google Testing Expandable Sitelinks – Some SEOs have noticed that Google has been experimenting with expandable sitelinks in the SERPs, allowing for a wide range of sitelinks while saving space on the SERPs. It will be interesting to see how these links will be chosen if implemented.

Bing/Microsoft News:

  • Bing Adds Child-Porn Warnings to Related Queries in UK – Bing’s UK site has now implemented pop-up warnings to searchers whose queries could be considered related to child abuse or child pornography. This is likely in result to the Prime Minister attacking both Google and Bing on not doing enough to curb child pornography in the country. Google has repeatedly rejected the idea of warnings.
  • Microsoft Sends Google 26,000 Takedown Requests Per Day – Since July 2011, Microsoft has reportedly sent Google 13,843,300 requests for URLs to be removed from its index for copyright infringement. This averages out to 26,620 requests a day. Since 2011, the amount of requests have been steadily increasing, from 50,000 per week at the start of the report in 2011 to over 200,000 a week this year.

Other News:

  • Facebook Launches Own Mobile Games Publishing Platform – Facebook recently launched Facebook Mobile Games Publishing, which is a “pilot program to help small and medium-sized developers take their mobile games global.” This will likely help more mobile games get noticed by a larger audience, and help Facebook bring in more highly-desired mobile ad revenue.
  • Pinterest Adds Discount Notifications – Pinterest announced a new feature where, if you’ve pinned an item with a price associated with it, and that price drops, it will email you a notification. This seems like a natural extension of the service, and why retailers such as Amazon haven’t added this, I have no idea.
  • Safari to Once Again Pass Referral Data in iOS – Reversing a decision from late last year, the upcoming version of Safari in iOS 7 will once again send Google referral data through support of the “meta referrer” tag. While this doesn’t do a thing to solve the “not provided” issue, this will allow us to see whether users came from Google itself, rather than as a direct source as it is now.


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