Hello my friends, and welcome to a new week in the SEO world. It’s been quite a roller coaster for us in SEO lately. First Google announces all searches will be encrypted, then they announce a new algorithm a week later. Keep reading to learn more…
- Google Launches “Hummingbird” Algorithm – At an event last week held in the garage where Google got its start, the company announced that it recently launched a new algorithm that affects “around 90% of searches”. This new algorithm is called “Hummingbird”, and focuses on parsing searches as complex, full questions rather than parsing them word by word. Google said this was the biggest algorithm update since “Caffeine” in 2010. We’ll bring you more details as they come in.
- Google+ To Drive YouTube Comments – Google is making an overhaul to YouTube’s commenting system, and these changes will be driven by Google+ integration. This effectively removes anonymous comments, so now you will need to be signed into Google+ to comment. This change brings new tools for moderators, new threaded replies and private conversations.
- Google+ Hashtags Now Searchable – Google has added the ability to search specifically for Google+ hashtags in its search. Now, typing a search such as “#hummingbird” will show you public and shared Google+ posts, as well as links to searches on other social media. However, Google+ posts will appear in a new sidebar on the right.
- Google Reinstates BitTorrent Back in Auto Complete – In an effort to make search “more useful for people”, Google recently reinstated BitTorrent-based suggestions into Auto Complete after removing them. Google removed the suggestions a while back, at the same time other privacy-related searches were also removed, but has given no specific public reason for the removal or the reinstatement.
- Google Reportedly Penalizes Ghost Rank 2.0 Link Network – After some cryptic Tweets from Matt Cutts a few weeks back such as, “Thinking of ghost-related puns for a spam network.”, several webmasters using links they received from this network reported a severe drop in ranks. Apparently huge numbers of domains owned by the link network have been removed from the index, even domains with no outbound links, according to a source close to the story. Google has not commented publicly on the alleged penalty.
- Twitter Launches Universal Search – Twitter is apparently rolling out a new universal search that will not only lead to faster search results, but more targeted results thanks to new filters. Besides the usual results, Twitter will now also show photos and people directly relating to your search. The roll out is happening in waves, so it can’t be tested at this time.
- New York Cracks Down on Fake Online Reviews – In an operation called “Operation Clean Turf”, New York State has begun targeting companies who write fake reviews and companies who have paid for them. Nineteen companies in total were charged, including seven offering “reputation management”, and ordered to pay fines totaling $350,000. Hopefully even more charges will come from this and other investigations.
- Study: 48% of Respondents Trust Search Ads – In a recent study by Nielsen, they found that 48% of respondents (29,000 people in 58 countries) trust ads found in search results, up from 34% in 2007. While personal recommendations are still at the top of the list (84%), other forms of advertisements have gained trust over the last six years, including ads before movies (56% vs 38%), branded websites (69% vs 60%) and brand sponsorships (61% vs 49%).
See you again next week for more updates!