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A Smattering of SEO News – Pushing Pandas and Penguins

Hey kids, welcome to another week of SEO news! As we gear up for the upcoming mobile-friendly algo shift, we gain some more insight into some other algorithms we’re old friends with, Panda and Penguin. Seems to get them moving, they have to be jostled manually. All this and more below.

Google News:

  • Panda And Penguin Updates Are All Done Manually – In a recent Google Hangout, John Mueller stated that updates for both Penguin and Panda aren’t done regularly at all, and are actually pushed manually. Given that people have been waiting months for a refresh or update to these algorithms (so that their penalties might be removed after working to get back into Google’s good graces), I’m sure that some people properly cheesed. Hopefully Google is working to make updates to these important algorithms much more frequently.
  • Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 2.15.31 PM

    Upcoming Mobile-Friendly Update To Only Affect Smartphones – In a response to a question via Twitter, the official Google Webmasters’ Twitter account stated that the upcoming mobile-friendly update (that we’ve been talking about for weeks now) is geared toward smartphones only, and tablets aren’t part of the update. Interestingly, Barry Schwartz – the author of the linked article – did a test to see if Google’s new “Mobile-friendly” label shows up on Tablets. To my surprise, the label only seems to show up on smartphones, which bolsters the news that the update is for smartphones only. One wonders why tablets are being left out, but smartphones are more prolific than tablets so it kind of makes sense. Kind of.

  • google-bolding-answers

    Google Bolding Answers In SERPs – It’s a minor but interesting thing: Google has taken to bolding the answers to questions posed in Search Engine Result’s Pages (SERPs). You know, when you look up something and get that answer box, now Google has begun bolding the answer in there, along with bolding the words used in the query as they’ve done for years now. It’s a little usability thing that makes scanning the SERPs a bit easier, and therefore it’s a great addition, I think.

  • Rumor: Google To Launch Home Service Provider Search Later This Year –According to reports on Buzzfeed and Tech meme, Google could be launching a new service later this year to connect home owners with those who provide home-focused services, such as plumbers, electricians, roofers and so on. This could directly bank on the data in Google Local, meaning local home-focused businesses really need to make sure their Google Local profiles are as up to date and as engaging as possible.

Other News:

  • Twitter Experimenting With Filtered Search Results – According to Marketing Land, Twitter is now experimenting with different filters for search results. These include search results by tweets, accounts or photos, searching tweets from everyone or people you know, from all around the world, or more locally. This would be a serious boon toward making Twitter much more usable and therefore valuable for both users and marketers.

twitter-new-search

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A Smattering of SEO News – Preparing for the Fallout…

As Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm launch approaches later this month, Google is preparing both marketers and consumers for what’s to come. Mobile-friendly alerts and speed warnings are just the start. With Google revealing it has a method of putting customer expectations front and center, it seems the mobile-friendly algorithm is just a part of a grander plan. Fascinating stuff, check it out:

Google News:

  • Customers Come First In Google’s Upcoming Mobile-Friendly Algorithm – For years, Google has strived to have webmasters focus on users first and search engines second. Google now seems to be adopting that motto themselves, if this upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm is any proof. Google has started adapting to a pyramid model used by other corporations like Ritz-Carlton, which puts consumer expectations at the base of the pyramid, requests in the middle, and delights at the top. Google now sees striving for mobile-friendliness as part of a larger plan to delight consumers, eventually turning them into Google brand ambassadors. Having a fast, mobile-friendly site that delights customers is part of that plan, and it truly sounds outright fascinating.

google-mobile-tools

  • Google Says Recent Fluctuations Are Part Of Normal Algorithm Updates – Webmasters have been all aflutter about many recent SERP updates late last month, and Search Engine Roundtable’s Barry Schwartz finally asked Google’s John Mueller about it in a recent Google Hangout. Mueller said that after looking into the changes – “because people have been writing about it” – they are normal fluctuations that always happen as they update their algorithms. Shame, it’s more fun for something to be wrong or for there to be an actual update, but we’ll have to sit and wait a bit longer for that kind of excitement.

Other News:

  • Baidu Benefits From Google’s Blockage In Mainland China – While Google is still the dominant search engine worldwide, due to its being blocked in mainland China, the Chinese engine Baidu is reaping the rewards, aka traffic. From 2013 to this year, Baidu’s global market share has increased from 6.4 to 8.8 percent due to that blockage, which is no small feat. Analysts also predict that Baidu’s search spend for 2015 will be upwards of $14.90 billion, which will make up about 33% of the global spend on search. That’s double its overall growth over the past year or so. It’ll be fascinating to see how Baidu further grows due to Google’s continued block.

china-flag

  • Microsoft And Yahoo Extend Deadline To Renegotiate Search Relationship – Back in 2010, Microsoft and Yahoo formed a search partnership which was to last ten years, with the option to renegotiate the deal after five years. Well, that five years is here, and while the original renegotiation was to be signed off within 30 days, the two parties have extended the deadline another 30 days. Since Yahoo’s current CEO, Marissa Mayer, has been…let’s say, less than happy about the partnership since coming on board as CEO, it’ll be interesting to see what happens in 30 days. Stay tuned!
  • Twitter Releases Tool To Help Media Publishers And Businesses Curate Best Tweets – Let’s face it, Twitter is a bit of a mess when it comes to following specific topics. Sure, you have hashtags and searches, but those are hardly optimal solutions as they don’t really allow users or brands to control how the information in those tweets is presented. Twitter apparently realized this, and has released a tool simply called Curator. With this, you can now curate a series of tweets based on specific parameters you choose, such as tweets with a specific hashtag from users who only have 1,000 or more followers, for example. This will allow a lot more focus when it comes to sharing relevant and popular tweets on a given topic, and it sounds like a fantastic idea.

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A Smattering of SEO – Mobile-Friendliness is Best-liness

Hey folks, welcome to another Smattering of SEO news! This week, Google wants to help us prepare for the big mobile-friendly algorithm upgrade next month, which is unusual for them. With that said, let’s dive in!

Google News:

  • mobile-smartphones-seo

    Google Answers Some Questions About Its Upcoming Mobile Algorithm – There’s plenty of buzz going around regarding Google’s upcoming mobile-friendly update coming April 21st, but a lot of people still have questions about it. Thankfully, Google folks took time in a recent Hangout to answer just a few of them. What we now know is that the rollout is planned to take between a few days to a week. Secondly, we know that this algorithm will see your site as either mobile-friendly or not, there’s no in-between or gradients here. This actually gives us quite a bit to work with. Google encourages users to check if their site is mobile-friendly with their testing tool, and we’ll know that for a week, results could be all over the darned place. Stay tuned as we find out more.

 

  • google-mobile

    Google Adds Mobile-Friendly Reminders To Webmaster Blogs – In a further push to get websites mobile-friendly in the run up to the April 21st algorithm roll-out, Google has added a new little banner to their Webmaster blogs. Now you’ll be prompted to visit their mobile-friendly testing tool, as mentioned above, to make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Google is pretty in-your-face about this sort of thing, so they must be taking it super seriously. I wonder if they’ll eventually place these kinds of banners in the SERPs as well.

 

  • Google Wants To Improve Local Business Data – Google recently launched a program called Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map. This new tool encourages business users to improve and complete their online presences via an easy-to-use portal called Get Your Business Online. Users can search for their businesses and find whether their information is complete or not, then fill in all the missing pieces. If a business doesn’t have a website, Google is actually offering a free domain for a year via a partnership with Startlogic. Overall, this sounds like a win-win, as businesses increase their online visibility, and Google gains more data to mine.

local_business

 

  • FTC Report Details How Google “Harms Customers And Innovation” – According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, a leaked copy of an FTC report detailing Google’s handling of its own search monopoly has found that the search giant has taken actions that “[have] resulted-and will result-in real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets.” This includes boosting the rankings of its own properties, taking content from Yelp and Amazon for use in its own search results, and threatening to remove rivals when they complained about Google using their data for their own purposes. Honestly, how this surprises anyone, I have no idea.

 

Other News:

  • Watch Out, Facebook Messenger Is Going To Be Everywhere! – Facebook recently presented an updated and more integrated version of its Messenger app that will now allow embedding within business and Ecommerce orders and apps. To go even further, companies will be able to integrate Messenger directly into their communications, allowing users to use the app to communicate directly with the companies they interact with. For example, if you order something from a company that uses Messenger, you can use Messenger to keep track of your order and follow up with the company all in one place. This is wacky, but convenient for users, so it’ll be interesting to see if people jump on this.

 

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A Smattering of SEO – Doing the Algorithmic Mamba…

Wow folks, LOTS of Google algorithmic news this past week, and it’s all over the place! The next big update is likely to shake up quite a few sites’ rankings. We’ll keep you posted on all the goodies, starting with this week’s feast. Enjoy!

Google Algorithm News:

  • google-mobile

    Upcoming Mobile-Friendly Algorithm “Bigger Than Panda Or Penguin” Apparently – At SMX Munich, Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji was quoted saying that the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm update will be more impactful to websites than Panda or Penguin. While there were no specifics to go along with this statement, SEO news folks are beside themselves guessing how big the impact will be. Since more and more of Google’s traffic comes from mobile, one can guess that it’s going to be a big deal. We’ll bring you more as we get it.

  • Google Updated Their Doorway Page Algorithm – Google has never been fond of doorway pages, previously calling them “poor-quality pages”. Now, Google has gone ahead and updated their doorway page algorithm to be increasingly aggressive against them. Google now defines them as, “sites or pages created to rank highly for specific search queries.” They go on to say these pages are outright bad for users. If you have an Ecommerce site that uses this tactic to try and expand your search engine coverage, now might be the right time to stop.
  • google-doorway

    Speculation: Google’s Upcoming Algorithm Targeted At Ecommerce Sites – Over on RocketMill, author Yousaf Sekander took a look at both the data known about the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm, as well as the aforementioned doorway page algorithm and came to one conclusion: Ecommerce is the big target of the upcoming algorithm. He notes one of Google’s new “questions we should ask ourselves” specifically asks, “Do the pages duplicate useful aggregations of items (locations, products, etc.) that already exist on the site for the purpose of capturing more search traffic?” This, to him, specifically goes after Ecommerce sites, who’ve been using this doorway tactic for a long time now. It’ll be interesting to see if he is right.

  • Penguin Not Updated Regularly Or Monthly – In a recent Google Hangout, a viewer asked Google’s John Mueller about Penguin updates, whether they’re regular or monthly. Mueller replied that he didn’t think the algorithm is on any kind of schedule at the moment, but it’s something they want to be more regular about. That just doesn’t mean monthly.

 

Regular Google News:

  • Google Says Mobile Autocomplete Forms Useful For Users, Not Rankings – In a recent update, Google stated that, “We hope to see many forms marked up with the ‘autocomplete’ attribute in the future.” When Search Engine Roundtable’s Barry Schwartz asked Google’s Gary Illyes if this was a hint about using these forms for rankings, Schwartz was told that nothing is being hinted at at all. Regardless, it’s good usability to make sure these forms work, so they should be implemented regardless.

autocomplete

 

Other News:

  • Yahoo Market Share Falls As Firefox Users Fall Back To Google – While the numbers are quite small, it’s fascinating to watch Google slowly creep back up in market share. Firefox users are returning to the search engine giant after Yahoo was made its search engine by default late last year, according to comScore’s recent February Search Share Report. According to the report, Yahoo’s share dropped to 12.8%, while Google’s rose to 64.5%. comScore went on to say that Yahoo lost 10% of its search volume between January and February.
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A Survivor’s Guide To The Google Penguin Update [Infographic]

Having any kind of algorithmic penalty or manual action applied to your website is undoubtably one of the most frustrating problems any webmaster or site owner can have. This infographic breaks down why somebody would receive a penalty and, most importantly, what to do if you find yourself with this dilemma. While this infographic WILL answer your questions about penalties, it will NOT be answering how one of the scariest algorithm updates received quite possibly the cutest mascot.


Like this infographic? Feel free to copy this code and put it on your own blog.

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A Smattering of SEO News: 2/27/15

Hey folks, welcome to another week and another Smattering. Kind of a weird week for news, as there must not have been much going on since much of the coverage was on Google’s testing of stuff. Take a look:

Google Testing News (There Was a Lot of News About Google Testing Things This Week)

  • Google Testing Red “Slow” Labels In SERPs – Reports are coming in that Google has been testing an addition to the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) that would show a bright, red, and clear “Slow” label next to sites it feels aren’t performing speedily enough. This is honestly an excellent incentive for site owners and webmasters to take site speed a lot more seriously, which is awesome.

slow

  • Google Testing Live Hangout Chats In SERPs – Reports are also coming in that Google is testing incorporating Hangouts directly into SERPs. This will allow local businesses who support the functionality via their Google Places. Questions remain on how this will work for site owners, such as will it be available at all times of the day or night, or whether it’ll be available on desktop or mobile or both, but what a neat idea!
  • Google Testing Green Colored Star Reviews – Users are reporting that Google has been experimenting with the colors of their starred reviews via sites using Schema (if you’re not, and you have reviews on your site, you should). While users are reporting a green color instead of the traditional orange/yellow, Google says more color experiments are coming.

green-stars

 

Regular Google News:

  • Webmaster Tools Sending Out WordPress Plugin Update Notifications – A little while back, Google began sending webmasters notifications to update their WordPress installation to help with security. They’ve now taken this a step further and are alerting webmasters that they should update their plugins as well. As security issues can abound due to old, outdated plugins, this is an excellent usability move.
  • Google Most Discussed Brand, But Disney Most Loved – A firm named Infegy – which tracks conversations online to determine the popularity of brands – has named Google the most talked about brand for the second year in a row (covering 2013 and 2014). However, only about 70% of the chatter surrounding Google was positive. For most loved brand, that would be Disney with 86% positivity.
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A Smattering of SEO News: 2/23/15

Hey folks, welcome to another Smattering! Sorry for the lateness, but the holiday threw me off. That said, it was a pretty quiet news week, but there’s still fun stuff to talk about, so let’s have at it.

Google News:

  • Google Webmaster Tools Data Currently Delayed – Last Friday, several websites were reporting that data for Webmaster tools hadn’t updated since 2/7/15, which at the time was a week without valuable Webmaster Tools data. Looking today, the data has been updated up to 2/12/15, but as I write this, that’s still about a week behind. As far as I can see, Google has issued no statement or update about this outage, but we’ll keep you posted if we find out more.
  • Restlessness Over Lack Of Any Recent Panda Update – Over at Search Engine Roundtable, Barry Schwartz noted that it’s been around four months since the last Panda update, and he found that webmasters on Twitter and Webmaster World are getting restless over the lack of an update to the algorithm. Since many webmasters claim to have worked hard and cleaned up any problems they previously had with Panda, they are hoping an update would put them back in stronger positions amongst the SERPs. Unfortunately Google hasn’t talked about Panda in a while, so it’s anyone’s guess as to when the algorithm will be updated again.
  • Google’s John Mueller Gives A Direct Answer On Link Building – In a recent Google Hangout, Google’s John Mueller was asked, point blank, whether he thought link building was “in any way good.” In response he said, “In general, I’d try to avoid that.” He went on to say that basically your content should stand on its own and be easily shareable, rather than focusing primarily on links. It’s actually refreshing to get a direct answer like this.
  • GoogleBot Can’t Crawl Recursive Redirects – In the “not really news but still technically interesting department” this week, in another Hangout, a webmaster asked Google’s John Mueller why his website isn’t being indexed. Mueller pointed out that the webmaster’s homepage was redirecting to itself, and Google can’t crawl sites that do that at all. Again, not really news to anyone who has run into this problem, but it’s interesting to read an official response to the issue.

google_loop

Other News:

  • Facebook Hopes To Fix The Mobile Reading Experience – In a discussion with Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, he said that Facebook has been approaching content publishers with offers to help host their content in order to offer a better mobile experience to Facebook users. Apparently these unnamed publishers have been “wary” about Facebook’s perceived control over their content, so right now all of this is VERY early. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone takes Facebook up on their offer.
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Amazon SEO – An Introduction to Vertical Search on Amazon.com

One of the primary areas of focus for any SEO or content strategy is that of user intent. Whether you are B2C Ecommerce, B2B lead generation, or anything in between, it is very helpful to consider the sales or lead “funnel” relevant to your business. For example, a potential sale in retail starts with awareness, the forming of an opinion, a period of consideration, determination of preference, and then, if those hurdles have finally been overcome, the purchase.

Being aware of this funnel is important when selecting the keywords to target in search and the relevant content you can create to speak to potential buyers at every stage. It is something we look to on the SEO team and across all Wpromote digital marketing service channels to dictate our clients’ content strategies and attract qualified visitors to their sites.

That sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it? Especially when, as a B2C Ecommerce brand, you’d rather just skip straight to the sale. However, people use search engines like Google and Bing for a whole host of reasons including answering queries, research, consideration, comparison, and post-sale follow up. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a search engine that was, for the most part, just for those people that wanted to buy something?

Well – There is one. You already know it, and probably use it pretty often, but it is regularly neglected when it comes to “search optimization”. Does this look familiar?

 

amazon

 

 

It’s the behemoth that is Amazon. For product searches, Amazon has about three times the search volume of Google and has the obvious benefit of being purely product-focused. Obviously, to take advantage of this, you have to sell your products on Amazon which can eat into your profit margins more than if you were selling directly from your own site. However, if you are already an Amazon seller, there are plenty of Amazon SEO tactics you can employ to get the top “ranking” in this search engine too. These tactics are very different from traditional SEO. Here’s a high-level overview:

 

1. Amazon Conversion Rates

The objective under-mining the Google algorithm (and the basis for every strategic decision in your organic search campaign) is to display the most relevant pages for any given search query. That furthers Google’s business goal of being the most helpful search engine so people choose Google over other competitors. Amazon, on the other hand, wants to sell as much as possible, as it makes money off each sale. Therefore it wants the products that are most likely to sell to appear at the top of its search results. This means that when it comes to Amazon, conversion rate is king.

amazon-seo-experts-logo

Obviously, that leads to something of a catch-22. You need high conversion rates in order to appear at the top of the search results, where people are more likely to find your product to buy it. However, you will struggle to get higher conversion rates without that sort of visibility.

So how can you improve conversion rates quickly?

In order to kick-start an Amazon SEO campaign, some sellers deliberately undercut the competition (and even their own website) to get the initial boost to conversion rates, before adjusting prices to more realistic levels once a higher position is secured. Obviously that strategy has inherent risks. While this article is not necessarily advocating this approach, it is worth noting for the sake of completeness.

You also have the option of Amazon paid search – or “Sponsored Products,” which might be a smart way to drive traffic and sales for a new product. Unlike Google search, utilizing Amazon paid search should have an impact on the organic side due to improved conversion rates through increased visibility (whereas paid search success is not a ranking factor for the organic algorithm in Google).

 

2. On-Page Factors

Given that selling at a loss is not the most appealing prospect, and a Sponsored Products campaign would involve a larger upfront investment, let’s focus instead on other elements an Amazon seller can control, such as the Amazon equivalent of “on-site optimizations”.

One cool thing about Amazon is that every product page already has the equivalent of schema (i.e. structured fields) that its search engine uses to organize listings. Therefore it is extremely important to fill out as many of the filter fields as possible so that Amazon’s algorithm knows exactly what you are relevant for.

Here are some other helpful hints for adding pertinent on-page information:

  • Product Category – Choose this carefully as it is commonly used to refine searches or in the “Browse” search feature. Few things will hurt your product visibility more than being lost in the wrong category.
  • Search Terms – These are like the meta keyword tag of SEO-past. You have 5 fields of up to 50 characters each, and you shouldn’t be shy to use as much space as possible. There is no room for keyword repetition or misspellings, but the order of words may matter (as it does for Google with regular Page Titles) and synonyms or correct spelling variations may also be useful.
  • Product Titles – The character limit for this field varies by category, so take a look at your top competitors to see what the standard is. The title can include the brand, description, product line, material, color, size, and even keywords, but focus on clarity and don’t be tempted to add offer language to the title. Amazon offers title guidance for certain categories, so be sure to leverage that information, as well as seeing what’s working well for that category already.
  • Images – Images are very important in Amazon listings. Be sure to follow all the guidelines Amazon gives you. They recommend a minimum size of 1000 x 1000px to ensure effective zooming, and it’s good to have at least 4 or 5 images in the selection. All pictures of products should have a plain white background and 80% of the image should be the actual product. We also recommend adding product videos if you have them.
  • Price – Much of Amazon’s functionality is based upon providing extensive options for prospective buyers, so choose your price carefully, as this is the easiest metric for instant comparison. It is also key (along with shipping costs) for winning the “Buy Box,” i.e. the list of sellers Amazon displays for the same product.
  • Bullet Points & Description – The product details are broken down into bullet points up near the top, then a longer description further down the page. The bullet points appear to carry more weight in Amazon’s algorithm, so pay careful attention to the information you use here. It is always helpful to explore your other digital marketing channels for data on what might play well with buyers. For example, you can utilize the most successful ad copy from your paid search campaign or the email marketing subject line with the highest clickthrough rate.

Another benefit of Amazon is that there is plenty of advice, so make the most of the resources they give you to optimize your page. Their Getting Started Guide is particularly helpful.

 

3. The Customer Experience

Reviews are huge in the Amazon universe, and the feedback in them also seems to contribute to Amazon’s algorithm (as well as having a big impact on conversion rates of course). Have you ever noticed that a significant number of the poor reviews have nothing to do with the product itself, but are more geared towards customer service issues?

Here are some of the most common complaints seen in Amazon reviews and definitely things to look out for:

  • Item is out of stock
  • Item is not as described
  • The shipment was late
  • The incorrect item was shipped
  • The product didn’t match the image exactly
  • The return process was overly complicated

The main takeaway is that optimizing your product pages is only step 1 to Amazon success. Pay close attention to availability, the ongoing accuracy of the description and images, and the customer service element of delivery or returns for sustained Amazon success.

 

4. Other Considerations

Obviously the idea of appearing at the top in Amazon is an attractive one to get those sales rolling in, but there are a number of other elements to consider before embarking on an all out Amazon SEO campaign.

  • Competing Against Your Own Site – Although the point of Amazon SEO is to appear high in Amazon search, keep in mind that Amazon product pages also appear in other search engines, like Google and Bing. You could end up competing against your own site for product-related keywords.
  • Duplicate Content – Amazon does not appear to mind if your product description is identical to other listings on the site or indeed, other pages on the web, but be warned, Google definitely still cares a lot about this. Be careful not to use the same product descriptions on Amazon that you use on your own website.
  • Tracking – Do you ever get frustrated with Google Analytics? Does implementing tracking code correctly drive you to distraction? Well, after a little time with Amazon, you’ll be begging GA for forgiveness because Amazon tracking for sellers is woeful in comparison. Some metrics Amazon does provide that may be helpful are the “Best Seller Rank” where you can find your ranking within a certain category, and the “Unit Session Percentage” which is equal to the number of units sold divided by the number of relevant sessions. A quick point to note is that a “session” is actually a specific user’s activity within a 24-hour window, not per visit like in Google Analytics. There is also no search volume data for Amazon, so you’ll have to rely on your standard SEO tools such as the AdWords keyword planner for relative comparison data.

 

OK, so what are the main takeaways for businesses selling on Amazon?

  • Conversion rate is king!
  • Use every field you can when creating a product page.
  • Pay careful attention to images.
  • It’s very different from organic search so don’t feel weird about getting keyword-happy.
  • Remember that ultimate Amazon success may come at a price when it comes to product keywords on Google.

 

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A Smattering of SEO News: 2/12/15

Welp, the algorithm roller coaster keeps on moving forward, upwards, downwards and all over the place! While many guesses keep coming out as to what kind of update Google has going on, the search engine giant is still being hush-hush about it. All this and more, so check it out!

Google News:

  • Searchmetrics: Recent Google Updates Seem To Affect Ecommerce And Branded Terms – While Google is still obfuscating details about the recent search engine update (more on that in a second), the folks at Searchmetrics noticed that much of the fluctuation is coming from branded terms (both correctly spelled and misspelled). This has led them to believe this update is granular and that it is attempting to clear up Ecommerce and branded-related terms. We’ll keep you posted as we find out more.

searchmetrics_insights

  • Google Says They’re Making Tweaks To The Algorithms, Rather Than A Specific Update – Google recently stated to Search Engine Land that the recent fluctuations are happening due to continuous “tweaks” to the search engine algorithms, and that they have no specific update to announce. SEL also speculates these recent shifts have nothing to do with mobile warnings, as we reported as a possibility last week. This sure is a roller coaster, isn’t it?
  • Google Uses No Whitelist For Panda Or Penguin – In a recent Hangout, Google’s John Mueller was asked whether Panda or Penguin have whitelists similar to some of Google’s other algorithms, such as SafeSearch. Mueller confirmed that, “We don’t have that for a lot of the other algorithms like Penguin and Panda.”

google-yellowg

  • Google: ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Should Only Be Applied To Europe – Recently, when looking at the implementation of the recent European ruling, a Google-appointed panel stated that – unlike the wishes of certain French officials as we reported a while back – Google’s implementation of the recent ‘Right to be Forgotten’ ruling should apply only to Europe and not the rest of the world.

Other News:

  • Facebook: We Can Track Your Mobile Searches Outside Of The App – Facebook has recently updated its privacy policy to state that even searches you perform outside of its app can be tracked by Facebook. Facebook said, “It takes into account pages and places visited on Facebook, alongside browsing on the internet at large.” This seems like a really serious privacy issue, and we wonder if it’ll come under any scrutiny in the weeks to come.
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A Smattering of SEO News: 2/5/15

Well February is certainly starting off with a bang, and by that I mean serious algo-shifts in Google. We’re still seeing the quakes from this, so we’ll likely have more about it next week, but for now, here’s some news in your eye!

Google News:

  • Google Releases Detailed Reconsideration Request Documentation – Seemingly out of nowhere, yet very much appreciated, Google recently released updated information regarding reconsideration requests which covers them in more detail than ever before. This includes a step-by-step process on how to submit a reconsideration request, what happens before, during, and after the request, and even common examples of what might occur if you happen to have a request fail. It’s honestly a pretty great read, so go check it out.
  • Further Ranking Shakeups Might Be Related To Mobile Algorithm Update – As we reported last week, many webmasters and algorithm-tracking tools are seeing volatility in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) as the possible result of a yet-unannounced algorithm update. Matt Southern at Search Engine Journal postulates that this volatility might be intertwined with many webmasters receiving warnings recently about their sites not being mobile friendly. It’s a very viable theory to be sure.

powersuite-cognitive-seo

  • Google Answers Launch New Action Links For Third-Party Sites – Google recently updated their answer boxes in the search results with more links to third party sites, such as WordPress, Quickbooks, and more. This will help users go directly to what is probably the exact search result they were looking for.  It is quite a nice usability addition to the SERPs.
  • Google Disabled Half A Billion Ads In 2014 – According to a recently released “Bad Ads” report, Google announced that in 2014, they disabled more than 524 million bad ads. This is way up from around 350 million ads in 2013. Over 43 million ads were of the “trick to click” variety, while nearly 10 million were health-care violations. Crazy stuff.

google-bad-ads-760x400

Other News:

  • Twitter Launches Quick Promote Promoted Tweet Feature – Have you ever tried to promote a tweet on Twitter and thought to yourself, “This is just too dang hard”?  Well, you’re in luck! Twitter released a new Quick Promote feature which basically reduces the process to two steps: Pick a tweet. Pick a budget. Done. I’ve been thinking of doing this for my own personal sites, so I might try it out myself. It sounds nifty.

twitter-ads