A Smattering of SEO News: 12/18/14

Hello folks, and happy holidays! Since the aforementioned holidays are upon us, news is unsurprisingly a bit light, but there’s still some fun stuff to talk about! Let’s get to it, shall we?

 

 

Google News:

  • Report: Penguin 3.0 Affected Different Types Of Sites In Different Locales Differently – Over on Search Engine Land, Philip Petrescu of Advanced Web Ranking reported the results of research AWR did on the affects of Penguin 3.0 on a wide variety of sites. The interesting results are that sites in different countries were affected differently, as were lower-ranked websites, which were hit harder than more highly ranked sites. It’s definitely worth a read, so check out the full report.

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  • Panda Might Be Having A Bit Of A Hibernation Respite – Several webmasters are noticing that there hasn’t seemed to have been a Panda update since late October, leading many to think that the algorithm has gone on something of a much-needed holiday. I guess this is why Penguin is so busy.
  • Google Reiterates: New TLDs Don’t Inherently Rank Better Than Other TLDs – Apparently the folks at Google have been getting more questions about newer TLDs, because in response Google’s John Mueller re-shared a post of Matt Cutts’ from 2012 stating that newer Top Level Domains (TLDs) do not have any ranking advantage over other TLDs. This is apparently in the wake of domain sellers trying to convince buyers that newer TLDs are more valuable from an SEO perspective, which isn’t the case.

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Other News:

  • Report: Instagram Trounces Twitter In Engagement – A recent report released by analytics firm Socialbakers shows Instagram has an engagement rate that is a staggering 50 times greater than Twitter’s. The report noted that, when comparing the top twenty five brands and their engagement, Instagram had a 3.31% engagement rate, while Twitter’s was a paltry 0.07%. That’s simply amazing, and I think shows the increasing power of Instagram as a marketing platform.

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A Smattering of SEO News: 12/11/14

Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean SEO slows down, and Google is ably proving that with a constant series of updates to its algorithms that are keeping us on our toes. Read about that and more in this week’s Smattering, my friends, and enjoy!

Google News:

  • Google To Shift Penguin To A Continual Update Mode – Since Penguin 3.0 was launched in mid-October, the algorithm has undergone several revisions just in the past week or so, with webmasters reporting fluctuations several times this last week. When asked about it, Google released a statement to Search Engine Land saying not only is the update still rolling, but that they plan on shifting Penguin to a continual update. This will undoubtedly keep us on our toes for a good long while. Search Engine Land also noted, humorously, that all of these updates are breaking Google’s own rule about keeping updates light during the holidays.

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  • Google: Content In Tabs Or Behind Expandable Sections Has Been Discounted For Years – Recently it’s come to light that Google has been discounting the content in expandable sections that use an accordion script or tab. While this apparently is relatively new information, Google has been discounting this content for years it seems. This calls into question something we for a long time thought was a valid content technique. What this means for website owners and webmasters is that they’ll have to work harder to make their content fully visible if they want it weighted properly.
  • Google Polling Webmasters On CMS Update Notifications – This is interesting. Google’s Webmaster Central team is running a poll on Google+ to see what kind of CMS-related notifications users might like to see, such as whether their CMS needs an update to a new version, or whether it has known security issues. This would definitely add another level of usability to Webmaster Tools, but I’m unsure how they would actually track such things. Regardless, it’s a fascinating idea.

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  • Google Mobile Employs Reactive Prefetch To Increase Speed by 100-150 Milliseconds – Sure, 150 milliseconds doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but when you’re on a mobile phone and need to find a pizza place NOW, every millisecond counts. According to a post by Google’s Ilya Grigorik, Google Mobile is using a new technique called “reactive prefetching” which only downloads resources once the user has selected where to go next. Unfortunately this fascinating reactive technology is only available for those using Chrome on Android, but if more browsers support it, they’ll also reap the benefits.

Other News:

  • Bing Releases Content Quality Documentation – In a nice move toward more transparency, Bing released a presentation on how they determine the quality of content. The three tenets they stick to are: is the content trustworthy (Authority), is the content is useful and detailed (Utility), and is the content well-presented and easy to find (Presentation). Having content that meets all of these criteria definitely helps Bing determine whether content is valuable and worthy of higher rankings.
  • Facebook Search Upgrade Incoming – Facebook is about to begin rolling out a big upgrade to its internal search functionality. The improvements will make it easier for users to search for content that’s been shared with them, using searches like “Jessica’s wedding” or “my friends who live in New York” for example. I for one am itching to see if they can accomplish this given Facebook’s massive database of…well, just stuff, really.

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  • Instagram Reaches 300 Million Users, Surpasses Twitter – Instagram recently announced that not only has it recently past 300 million users (passing Twitter’s 284 million users), it’s added 100 million just since March of this year. This tremendous growth has led the image social media service to now share more than 70 million photos and videos every day. Speaking of Twitter, Instagram will soon add “verified” badges for celebrities and brands, similarly to what Twitter implemented some time back.

New Contest: #DeckYourDoors From ETO Doors!

It’s that time of the year again – time for fun, festive decorations and making your home glow with holiday cheer! In the spirit of the season, ETO Doors is launching their #DeckYourDoors contest, the lucky winner of which will receive a $500 Visa gift card! All hopeful entrants have to do is deck their front door out with their bright and colorful holiday best, snap a picture, and post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #DeckYourDoors. The merrier your door décor, the better your chances to win!

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So suit up against the winter cold, break out your hot glue gun, and get ready to make your front door sparkle. The contest runs from December 1st, 2014 to January 10th, 2015, and you can find out more about it on the ETO doors website. So don’t delay! Get your entries in now. May the most beautifully decked door win!

A Smattering of SEO News: 12/4/14

Hello folks, and happy December! November was a darned busy month for SEO news, and December is looking like it won’t be letting up: we’re already dealing with a continued Penguin rollout from Google, and more! Check it out!

 

Google News:

  • Google Says Penguin 3.0 Still Rolling Out (And May Continue To Do So Indefinitely) – Google recently confirmed with Search Engine Land that Penguin 3.0 is still rollinggoogle-penguin2 out, and that recent fluctuations on Thanksgiving and this week are both related to the ongoing rollout. Further, John Mueller said in a recent Hangout that not only is the team being very cautious about this particular rollout, but they’re hoping “things will keep updating,” potentially indicating an ever-present ongoing rollout. That could make things VERY interesting for us SEO folks who are trying to keep up. More on this as we get it, surely.
  • Local Pages Quality Guidelines Updated – If you’re a local business and you don’t run a Google Local page, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity. If you ARE running Google Local pages, you might want to take a look at their updated quality guidelines. These new guidelines specifically prohibit both descriptors as well as broad category usage, require consistent business name usage, and disallow virtual offices unless they’re staffed. Hopefully this will make things a bit clearer and easier for folks running these pages to grok.
  • Google Recommends Paginating Infinitely Scrolling Pages For Proper Indexation – In infinite-scrollinga Hangout with Google’s John Mueller, he was asked if Google will always index page content on infinitely scrolling pages regardless of the length or size of the pages. Mueller responded by saying that even if you have infinitely scrolling pages – which is not a bad thing for usability – you should still have some sort of pagination, either through page categories or numbers. Mueller also said he thinks 50MB is the limit per page, but wasn’t 100% sure on that.
  • YouTube States 300 Hours Of Video Uploaded Each Minute – Not specifically SEO related but fascinating nonetheless: a site called ReelSEO says they have it on good authority that YouTube is now gaining 300 hours of video each minute. That’s an amazing number, and it’s only likely to get bigger as more and more people use the service. I know I upload at least a couple of hours of video each week, and I’m just one person. Multiply that by millions and the numbers totally make sense.

Other News:

  • Yahoo: Ebola Tops Most Searched Terms Of 2014 – According to a recent report from Yahoo, Ebola was the number one search term in their engine for the entirety of 2014, followed by searches on Minecraft, Ariana Grande and Jennifer Lawrence. Most of the terms were celebrity related, so it’s interesting to see Ebola at the top of the list. Interestingly, in Bing’s list of top news searches, Ebola clocked in at number eight, while the world cup held the top spot.

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  • EU Issues Formal “Right To Be Forgotten” Guidelines – Months after coming up with the new “right to be forgotten” rules for Google, the EU has finally come up with clear criteria on the law. These criteria ask a series of questions, such as whether the data surrounding the request is accurate, whether it’s relating to a criminal offense, or whether it can put the subject at risk. These rules came out just in time too, as now apparently both Bing and Yahoo are following suit and have begun taking requests as well.

Client Infographic: ServerCentral

Each day, the now-ubiquitous cloud stores all our data for us and keeps it ready to serve up at a moment’s notice. From the latest memes to the funniest cat videos, the cloud stores everything worth backing up. But have you ever wondered what keeps it chugging? The answer, of course, is data centers. ServerCentral is here with a new Infographic to tell us how data centers act as the brain of the internet, powering the cloud and ensuring we always have access to everything we need.

 servercentral-infographic

Check out the full Infographic now to discover how data centers help you every day!

Client Infographic: IFA Auto

Who doesn’t love a good car action movie? From James Bond to Back To The Future, IFA Auto‘s new Infographic chronicles some of the most infamous automobiles to hit the silver screen. Check it out to see if your favorite muscle car made the cut!

ifa-auto-infographic

Don’t miss out on the rest of the featured cars! View the entire Infographic!

Client Infographic: Chronicle Books

With the school year well underway, many parents are stuck wondering how to keep their child engaged in school. In a media-saturated world, it can feel like a struggle to make students care about their education. But the battle for our kids’ limited attention spans can be won with one simple idea: passion. Chronicle Books is here with a new Infographic to show you how to spark your child’s motivation to study with a few simple dos and don’ts. You’ll also learn the importance of an early education and how to make learning feel relevant, fun, and even exciting!

chroniclebooksinfographic

Check out the full Infographic to discover how you can rekindle your child’s desire to learn!

A Smattering of SEO News: 11/20/14

Howdy folks, and welcome to another Smattering! We’ve got some mobile-friendly news for y’all this week, as well as some interesting tidbits from Twitter. Check it out!

 

Google News:

  • Conjecture: Google Not Indexing Expandable Content – Webmasters and sitegoogle-slows-robots owners over on Webmaster World are reporting that content they’ve had under a “Read More” tab using an “onload” event is no longer being indexed. This type of accordion scripting is a popular way to add visible content to a page while still keeping the page sculpted. If Google is indeed no longer indexing these pieces of content, we’ll have to rethink how we place content on a page visibly. We’ll keep you informed if anything becomes more concrete here.
  • Google Launches Super Simple Mobile-Friendly Test – As mobile becomes more and more important in terms of site rankings and value, it’s dang important to know whether your site is as mobile-friendly as possible. To that end, Google has launched a really simple tool that will tell you that your site is awesome and mobile-ready, or it isn’t. While the tool doesn’t give a ton of detail besides what’s blocked or unreachable, it’s a good place to start if you’re trying to diagnose your own mobile site.
  • “Mobile-Friendly” Labels Launched In SERPs – Google has, after some testing, mobile-friendlylaunched some minor yet important new functionalities to result pages: tags that label a site as “Mobile-friendly.” Google assigns these labels on their own, but to be assured your site qualifies, it has to avoid problematic mobile software like Flash, use readable text that doesn’t need to be zoomed, and size the screen to horizontal scrolling accordingly (just to name a few). It’ll be interesting to see what further steps Google takes to become even more mobile-conscious and friendly.
  • French Court Apparently Wants “Right To Be Forgotten” Expanded Worldwide – You might recall several months ago when a European court allowed people to ask Google to remove specific results that mentioned them. This is what’s known as the “right to be forgotten.” While the decision only applies to certain countries in the European Union, a French court recently fined Google for not removing a requested result from their global index. Google has yet to respond to the fine at the time of this ruling, but if they do respond, it’ll set a dangerous precedent, to be sure.

right-forgotten

Other News:

  • Twitter Search Soon Capable Of Searching All Public Tweets – Twitter recently announced a massive upgrade to their search functionality. Once the change is fully rolled out, users will able to search through all of the public tweets Twitter has in their database. All of them. That’s hundreds of billions of tweets, all searchable. This is going to be fascinating, as previously Twitter’s search functionality was very limited.

A Smattering of SEO News: 11/13/14

Hello my friends, and welcome to another Smattering! It’s a light week in SEO news, but there are some fun tidbits in here. Check it out!

 

Google News:

  • Possible Google Update Occurring? – According to Search Engine Roundtable, webmasters over on Webmaster World – one of the best places to gather and discuss these sorts of things – are noticing tremendous volatility in their search rankings. They’re also noticing changes to quality scores as well, just days apart! Tools such as SERPs and MOZCast also noticed some volatility earlier this month, but the other similar tools were more steady, so it’s tough to say with certainty what’s going on. We’ll keep an eye on it though.

google-quality-score

  • YouTube Music Launched, Subscription Service Coming – YouTube recently launched its own music portal, which not only plans to allow users to listen to full albums, but also seems to create mixes based on videos you recently watched. For example, it knew I listened to Ambrosia lately – don’t judge me – and that’s one of the mixes it’s created for me. Soon YouTube will also apparently launch a subscription service to allow for background streaming along with Google Play support. Very cool!

YouTube-Music

 

Other News:

  • Bing: We Likely Won’t Make A Dent In Google’s Market Share – While this isn’t really news, per se, it’s interesting to note that Bing’s Director of Search, Stefan Weitz, admitted that they likely won’t take a share in the “pure search space.” What they DO plan on, however, is learning to make search more integral to people’s lives, weaving the technology into things people are already using. Sounds fascinating to me, if they can pull it off, of course.
  • Facebook Organic Search Primarily Focuses On Users, Not Businesses – In a recentfacebook-newsfeed Q&A, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was asked about the focus on their organic search. Zuckerberg said that their organic search will always focus more on users and their content over business-related content. Zuckerberg suggested that businesses should post really good, useful content if they want to be seen more in users’ News Feeds, which is a great idea if you ask me (I know you didn’t, but here we are).
  • Twitter: Search Engine Friendliness Equaled More Traffic – In an interesting story, seo-blocksTwitter recently noted that due to a change in their hashtag pages, traffic to their site increased dramatically. According to results shared at a recent Twitter event, making hashtag pages more friendly to search engine spiders apparently resulted in a tenfold increase in traffic from logged-out users alone (7.5 million users per month versus 75 million). This just goes to show you that clean, usable pages are insanely important in heightened search engine friendliness.

A Smattering of SEO News: 11/6/14

Hello folks, and welcome to another Smattering. November has barely started and already we have some whoppers for you, such as Matt Cutts extending his personal leave to 2015! What? Read on for more!

 

Google News:

  • Penguin 3.0 Still Rolling Out Nearly Three Weeks After Release – While the folks at Google initially said that the rollout of Penguin 3.0 might take a couple of weeks, Google’s John Mueller revealed in a recent Hangout that it’s still being rolled out – almost three weeks after its release! This means those not yet affected by this algorithm could still see fluctuations, so keep an eye on your rankings and Webmaster Tools in the days to come.
  • Matt Cutts Extends Personal Leave to 2015 – Google’s ubiquitous Spam Team leader, Matt Cutts, recently announced on his blog and Twitter that he’s extending his leave of absence to 2015. Apparently he’s happy with how the Team has been doing without him, which is cool.

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  • Victims Of Panda Don’t Necessarily Need To Delete Old Blog Posts, According To Google – In another recent Hangout, Google’s John Mueller was asked if older, barely-read blog posts should be taken down to assist in removing a Google penalty. While Mueller was somewhat noncommittal on how to proceed, he basically said that older, low-quality posts might deserve to be noindexed or deleted, but if they’re relevant they can likely be left alone.
  • Google: Duplicate URLs In A Disallow File Are Fine – Wow, John Mueller has been busy this week! In response to a question posted on Twitter, in which the person asking wondered if duplicate URLs in a disallow file could cause problems, John stated simply that “duplicates don’t cause problems.” This should make submitting large strings of URLs a bit easier to deal with.
  • Google Launches Embedded Customer Surveys – A new kind of paywall (yet it’s not really a paywall) has been launched by Google called Embedded Customer Surveys. These are are surveys that users need to fill out in order to access your site, and you get money for each question answered. This might be easier for some folks to swallow than an actual subscription, which are typical of paywalls, and site owners currently get five cents for every answer Google receives. It’s kind of a win-win really, as Google gets even more data about people, and site owners get a slice of the pie.

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Other News:

  • Massive Microsoft Restructuring Results In Loss Of Top Bing Positions – Duane Forrester — the head SEO at Microsoft’s Bing division — announced that due to a massive restructuring effort at Microsoft, several top positions at Bing (including his) have been eliminated. With one of Microsoft’s biggest advocates of SEO, along with several of his fellow experienced employees, now gone from Bing, it will be interesting to see how the still-struggling search engine is affected.

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