A Smattering of SEO News: 5/20/13


Hello, and welcome to the Smattering of SEO News for the week ending May 17th! There was even more than the usual amount of Google news in the last week, due to both the I/O conference and other newsworthy happenings, as well as some good news for Bing. Let’s get to it.

Google NewsGoogle-Penguin

  • Matt Cutts Details Upcoming Google Algorithm Changes – In a  recent video, Matt Cutts detailed ten changes we would be seeing from Google in the coming months that would seriously affect SEO efforts. These include the next major version of Penguin (being labeled Penguin 2.0), a stronger stance against advertorials, stronger targeting of link spammers and a softening of Panda. We will definitely have to keep an eye out on these changes in the coming months.
  • Polls Claim Only Small Number of Sites Recovered from Penguin – In an informal poll taken on Search Engine Roundtable, respondents were asked if their site had recovered from the big Penguin update which hit a year ago. Out of over 500 responses, only 9% of respondents claimed to have a full recovery, while 61% recorded no recovery, 18% said they partially recovered and 12% said they
    weren’t affected at all.
  • Google Wants to Understand Multiple Types of Authorship – During a panel at a recent SMX conference, engineer Matt Cutts was asked if Google planned to expand authorship beyond written content. Cutts responded by saying while most content is written, Google does want to understand other types of content for which authorship applies. For example, the author of the article at Search Engine Land found that authorship applies to PDF files now, so with the growth of services like YouTube and Pinterest, might videos and pictures be next?
  • Google Takes Manual Action Against Several Thousand Linksellers – In a recent tweet by Matt Cutts, he said, “In fact, we took action on several thousand linksellers in a paid-link-that-passes-PageRank network earlier today.” The link network wasn’t specified, and while this was a manual action, it would not be surprising if upcoming algorithm changes also targeted these kinds of linksellers.
  • German Court Orders Google to Block Libelous Words in Autocomplete Searches – In an odd turn of events, a German court overturned the ruling of two lower courts and says Google now must block autocomplete entries that could be seen as libelous. The owner of an unnamed nutritional supplements company, for which autocomplete entries for this company included words such as “fraud” and “Scientology”, brought this case. A Google spokesperson said it’s “incomprehensible” that Google should be held accountable for the searches of its users, which they can’t control.
  • Google to Launch Conversational Voice Search called “OK Google” – At Google I/O, it debuted the next version of its voice search called “OK Google”. This update will allow you to have a conversation of sorts with Google. For example, if you say, “OK Google, what’s the weather like in San Francisco?”, it will vocally tell you. If you then ask, “How far is it from here?”, it will tell you the distance to San Francisco from where you are, as it understands where “here” is contextually. This will be available on the desktop and mobile devices eventually.
  • Google Reports 82% of In-Store Shoppers Use Mobile Search to Make Buying Decisions – In a recent report, Google stated that 82% of users use mobile search to begin the process of buying a product, rather than using shopping apps or going to a brand’s website. The survey said 1 in 3 respondents also used mobile search rather than speaking to a store’s sales associate, and 53% of users use search to make price comparisons before a purchase. This data is similar to that in other recent reports showing a higher use of mobile search while making purchasing decisions.

In other SEO news…

  • Bing Rises Above 17% of Search Market Share in April for First Time – According to comScore’s April 2013 qSearch report, they reported that Bing’s share of the search market grew to 17.3% (up from 16.9% in March), passing 17% for the first time. Google’s share of the market dropped to 66.5% in April from 67.1% in March. Yahoo also saw a slight increase, up to 12% from 11.8% in March.
  • Delaware Least Likely State to Use Google, Yahoo Used More in Southern & Midwestern States – In a recent study by WebpageFX, it studied 35 million queries across all fifty states and found Google had a +70% market share in every state except Delaware, where it had a 69.49% market share. Google was used most in Hawaii, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington D.C. and Colorado. Bing was used most in North Dakota, with 14.68% of the market share there. Arkansas was the state that used Yahoo most, with 11.69% market share, and was followed by Oklahoma, West Virginia and Ohio.

Did you hear any other SEO news that you thought was relevant last week? Feel free to comment below. And I’ll see you again next week!