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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A Smattering of SEO News: 7/9/14

Hey folks, happy Wednesday. I hope all my fellow Americans had a wonderful 4th of July holiday, and that everyone else had a wonderful regular weekend. The holiday here in the States slowed down our SEO news a little, but there is still some good stuff, so let’s dive in!

Google News:

  • Matt Cutts To Go On Leave – Google’s head of web spam, Matt Cutts, announced on his blog that he’s going to be taking something of a sabbatical. Apparently he’ll be taking off until roughly October. But he says not to worry: the spam team is “much better at spam fighting than I am.” We’ll miss his regular videos, but it’s good to know things on the web spam team at Google will be moving forward unabated.

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  • Companies Such As Yelp Join Fight Against EU “Right To Be Forgotten” Ruling – Recently, local search giant Yelp joined the growing chorus of voices set against the recent ruling in the EU court that allowed individuals and corporations to ask Google to have certain search engine results removed. Theirs is the latest voice among individuals and corporations alike calling to have the ruling revised to be tougher and more specific. Search Engine Land has a great follow up article on the ongoing results of the ruling, which have been tantamount to broadening censorship. We’ll bring you more as this develops.

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  • Google Adds Killer-Robots.txt File To Protect Page And Brin From Terminators – Google has a new file at http://www.google.com/killer-robots.txt that basically disallows user agents “T-800” and “T-1000” from indexing “/+LarryPage” and “/+SergeyBrin”. We’re not sure why this was added, but it’s pretty funny just the same.
  • Possible Recent Google Update? – Barry Schwartz noted on Search Engine Roundtable that there was some severe SERP volatility around June 28th and July 5th, but isn’t sure if any kind of serious algorithm update occurred to cause it. While Google has stated they update their search engine algorithms pretty much weekly, those small changes usually don’t cause that kind of volatility. We’ll keep an eye on this for further developments.
  • Report: YouTube Falling Short Of Its Own Internal Goals – According to aYouTube-300x109 report by The Information, internal goals at the video giant project that they will reach one billion hours of “watch time” each day by 2016. However, YouTube currently has less than 300 million watch time hours each day (although these numbers are up around 100 million from 2012). The report cites intensifying competition from video providers which now also produce content of their own, such as Netflix and Hulu, as one of the causes of this slow growth.

Other News:

  • Report: Mobile Internet Usage Exceeds PC Usage For First Time Ever – According to a recent report from comScore, in early January of this year, mobile internet usage – which includes smartphones and tablets – overtook and exceeded desktop usage for the first time in history. The study also surveyed the time of day users engaged with these devices, and found that the majority of people accessed them during evenings, followed by workdays and weekends. Thankfully the amount of engagement during commutes was low. This shows, more than ever, the importance of having a viable and usable mobile site to complement your desktop site.

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A Smattering of SEO News: 4/30/14

Hey folks, welcome to another Wednesday and another Smattering of SEO News! It’s been a fairly busy week for Google, and many still wonder what the future of Google+ holds, among other things. Check it all out in this week’s news!

Google News:

  • Google Explains Why Google Sometimes Ignores Title Tags – In a recent webmaster video, Google’s Matt Cutts addressed the question of why Google sometimes ignores a set title tag and uses something else on its own. Cutts said that they want to see a title tag that, on some level, is relevant and matches the query of the searcher, and is also relatively short with a good description of what the page and site are about. If your title tag doesn’t fit within these criteria, Google may use anchor text from links pointing to your page, content from the page, or info from DMOZ. This fortifies the importance of writing good, relevant title tags.

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  • Google Admits No Limit On Links Present On A Page – For a very long time,no-limit-1398686287 the rule of thumb on how many links could be on a page was around 100, but that stopped in 2008. Since then Google hasn’t admitted how many links one can have on a page until recently, when Google’s John Mueller said in a Google Webmaster Help thread, “There’s no limit to the number of links on your pages, so that wouldn’t be affecting how your site shows up in search results.” While this doesn’t mean you should now put hundreds of links carte blanche across the pages of your website, it’s good to know that if you need to have hundreds of links on a page for some reason, you won’t be penalized for doing so.
  • Study: 25% Of Google+ Reviews Are “Empty” Of Content – Piper Jaffray isreviews-240px conducting a study of Google+ and Yelp reviews, studying nearly 1,000 places in twenty cities. So far they have found that Yelp has a significant advantage in both number of reviews and the depth of those reviews. While that shouldn’t be a surprise, what is a surprise is that they found 25% of the Google+ reviews they looked at had no text, only a star rating and nothing else. This coincides with a study by Search Influence stating that Google+ review counts can positively impact search results. Some wonder if Google is allowing these empty reviews to exist for that and other reasons.
  • Google Testing Non-Google+ Login Button? What Does This Signal For Google+? – When Google’s Vic Gundotra stepped down from his position as the head of Google+, many thought this signaled the struggling social network’s demise. Furthering these notions is the fact that some are now seeing Google’s sign-in functionality telling people they can “Sign in with Google” rather than Google+. With Google+’s controversial integration across the entire Google platform, it’ll be interesting to see if they can unravel this integration, if that’s even their intention at all.

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Other News

  • Study: Pages With Schema Markup Rank Higher Than Those Without – In a recent study by Searchmetrics, they found that while less than one percent of sites have implemented any kind of Schema.org markup, those pages rank more highly by an average of four positions over similar pages without the markup. The report also said that results with Schema.org markup show up over 36% in the search results they tested. It’ll be interesting to continue to watch and see if Schema.org markup continues to benefit sites in the future.

That’s it for this week’s Smattering! Thanks for stopping by!

A Smattering of SEO News: 4/16/14

Hey folks, happy after-taxes day! I hope the tax season was easy and rewarding for you all, and that you got huge refunds! With that said, we’ve got some great SEO tidbits this week, so let’s dive in and help you forget about tax season that much faster!

 

 

Google News:

  • Several States Threaten Legal Action if “Illegal” Sites Aren’t Delisted from Google – The attorneys general in over twenty states are threatening legal actiongoogle-legal-action against Google if the search engine doesn’t remove videos and ads promoting illegal products, such as those selling fake prescription drugs. While Google has hired over 100 people to flag these “rogue ads and videos,” that isn’t enough to satisfy the AGs apparently. We’ll keep you apprised as this situation develops.
  • Google Analytics To Diagnose Own Tracking Code – Google is rolling out a beta test version of new feature of Analytics in which you will now be alerted to problems with your website’s Google Analytics tracking code. This will now alert you to pages that are missing the tracking code, missing data, and data discrepancies. While this is slowly being rolled out to a specific group of testers before going out to everyone, you can apply to help with the beta test if you want to try this out.
  • Google Describes How It Handles 404 And 410 Error Codes – While the 404 error header code is fairly well known (this code tells spiders and browsers that this page is an error and doesn’t exist), the 410 error code (which tells spiders and browsers the page ismatt-cutts-video permanently gone) is much less prolific, and yet the two can be seen as very similar to each other. In a recent video from Matt Cutts, he said they sometimes treat the two codes a little different. If Google’s bot sees a new 404, they’ll put that into a protective queue for 24 hours in case it’s a “transient” or temporary error, and if they return and still see a 404, it will then be classified as an error. However, if a webmaster sets a page as a 410 – which pretty much has to be done manually – then no protection will be used and the page will be reported as an error. For the most part, however, Cutts says you don’t need to worry about setting pages as 410, as 404s typically get the job done.
  • Informal Poll: Only 13% Of Respondents Say Disavow Tool Works – In angoogle-disavow-machete-1395835709 informal poll done by Search Engine Roundtable involving nearly 700 people, only 13% of respondents said that the Disavow tool helped them regain rankings or remove penalties. On the flip side, 50% said the tool didn’t work for them and 37% said they weren’t sure. I’m guessing the people who said no just haven’t had their cases dealt with yet? It’s hard to say, but these are interesting results nonetheless.

Other News

  • Yahoo’s Market Share Falls Close To Single Digits – Between February andyahoo-search-app March, Yahoo’s market share dropped from 10.3% to 10.1%. On the flip side, Microsoft’s share went up the same amount, from 18.4% to 18.6%. If this trend continues, Yahoo’s market share will dip below 10% soon and be in the single digits, which…I don’t even remember the last time that happened.
  • Facebook Graph Search Has A Five Year Plan With Milestones – In a recent interview, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg discussed how Facebook is taking a very long-term approach to its relatively new Graph Search capabilities. Knowing it would be a five-year investment before they got a really solid product, they set up milestones. The first of which was “search over structured connections”, which means search for data relevant to your friends and the like. The next milestone will involve searching posts, a daunting task that I personally can’t wait to see come to fruition. These enhancements will come to both mobile and desktop, while the big push is mobile, apparently, which makes sense as a lot of people access Facebook via mobile devices.

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That’s it for this week! Be sure to stop by next time for more SEO news!

A Smattering of SEO News: 3/20/14

A day late, but hopefully not a dollar short! Howdy folks, and welcome to this week’s Smattering of SEO News. Sorry for the late entry, I completely lost track of which day it was yesterday, which can happen when one is super busy with SEO awesomeness. The news never stops though, so without further delay, here’s the big news from the last week. Enjoy!

 

 

Google News:

  • A Cornucopia of Cutts: Because there was a ton of Matt Cutts-related news out of SMX West and beyond last week (and I love a chance at some alliteration), I’m doing a quick summation of all the Cuttlery, which includes:
    • Cutts Would Give A Ranking Boost To SSL Enabled Sites If He Could – Atgoogle-ssl-algorithm SMX West, when pressed on the issue, Cutts said that an important trend in 2014 was to make one’s site SSL enabled. When asked if Google said this would give SSL enabled sites a ranking boost, he said that if it were up to him, it would, but there are others at Google who don’t want it to happen.
    • A “Softer” Panda Update In The Works – Also at SMX West, Cutts said thatpanda-poll a “next generation” update to Panda was on the way that would “soften” the algorithm. This is specifically aimed to help small businesses that have been adversely affected by the algorithm.
    • Mobile Websites Only Affect Mobile Rankings – At SMX West, Cutts apparently said something along the lines that mobile sites would affect a site’s rankings. When Barry Schwartz tweeted about it, Cutts replied “For the most part, mobile should only affect mobile ranking.” Certainly the words “should” and “most part” leave a lot of wiggle room for further changes in the future.
    • Multiple Breadcrumbs On One Page Okay, But One Trail Encouraged – In a recent Webmaster video, Cutts answered the question on whether it was okay to have multiple breadcrumbs on a page if a product was in multiple categories. While Google apparently encourages only one breadcrumb, having multiple sets can help give Google a better sense of a site’s hierarchy if one does choose to use it.
    • Cutts Details How To Deal With Inactive Products – Ecommerce sites have products come in and out of their inventories all the time, so in answering a question on how to deal with inactive products, Cutts explained that inactive products that are removed from a site’s inventory should be replaced with the site’s 404 page. However, if the item is merely out of stock and might return, Cutts suggest to keep the page active but clearly display that the product is temporarily out of stock.
  • Google Penalizes Guest Blog Service MyBlogGuest – Matt Cutts announced that Google has penalized MyBlogGuest for, apparently, not changing their links to NoFollow links, even after Cutts wrote a blog post suggesting guest blog networks do so a little while back. Site owner Ann Smarty says they’re big enough to be used as an example by the search engine in order to show other networks that guest blogging shouldn’t be abused.

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Other News

  • Twitter Releases Results Of Engagement Study – Twitter studied over two million tweets to see which tweets received the most engagement, and the results are interesting. First off, if your tweet has a picture, it could see up to a thirty-five percent boost in retweets. Videos gave tweets a twenty-eight percent boost while quotes from TV shows would get a nineteen percent retweet. They also released information on the types of tweets and how they got retweeted, such as a photo relating to news getting a twenty-seven percent boost, or a photo relating to government or politics getting a sixty-two percent boost. While we knew photos were the most shared pieces of content on the Internet, this more granular data is pretty fascinating.

That’s it for this week; come back in another seven days to see what else I can glean from the Internet!

 

A Smattering of SEO News: 3/5/14

Hello folks, and happy Wednesday! I hope you’re ready for another round of piping hot SEO news, because I’ve brought it right out of the oven. Enjoy!

 

 

Google News:

  • Cutts: Focus On Clarity Of Content Rather Than Technicalities – In a recent webmaster video, Matt Cutts answered a question regarding whether someone’s content should be more technical or more approachable. Cutts said it’s always best to focus on clarity in your content, so as to make it as approachable and readable as possible for the widest possible audience. This will help keep users engaged in your site. You can also offer more technical resources to supplement this content if you choose, but make sure your main focus is clarity and readability above all else. Makes sense to me.
  • Google Gives Details On How They Identify Paid Links – Google recently releasedgoogle-war-links-featured-300x142 a nearly eight minute video, again with Matt Cutts, detailing how the web spam team determines whether a link is a paid link or not. There are basically five over all things they look for. The first and easiest to spot is whether there is an explicit link sale, which is the easiest to spot. They then look at more subtle factors, such as whether a link seems to have been exchanged for something highly valuable, or whether a link was exchanged for something that was a gift or a loan. It’s pretty fascinating, so check out the video to learn about all five ways, as it goes into quite a bit of detail.
  • Were Movie Sites Penalized By Google For Video Copyright Infringement? – Search Engine Watch has an article covering a study by Glenn Gabe of G-Squared Interactive, in which he set out to discover the reasons why certain movie sites had severe traffic drops around the middle of February. His study pointed to embedded videos which represented problematic copyright issues, which have been becoming a larger and larger problem on YouTube and other sites such as Yahoo Video. These sites had their traffic restored which apparently coincided with many videos being removed, adding credence to the theory. You can read the findings in their entirety at the G-Squared website.
  • Voice Search Feature “OK Google” Now Enabled On Desktops Via Chrome – Google is now rolling out its voice search features to desktops via a built-ingoogle-hot-wording Chrome extension. When you enable this extension by visiting Google and giving it permission to use your webcam or microphone for voice commands, the plugin will listen for the user to say “OK Google,” in which it will prompt the user for a question. This natural voice search has been enabled on Android devices for a little while now, and I’ve used it often on my Nexus 5, where it works brilliantly. Whether this will bring about more voice searching to the desktop remains to be seen.

Other News

  • Bing Launches Web Search On Xbox One – Several months after the launch of the Xbox One, Bing has finally implemented its web search functionality into the system, which includes voice search similar to “OK Google” noted above. Now along with product-specific searches, web results will now also be available to Xbox One owners.
  • Twitter Shares Impressions Metrics For First Time After Oscars – Oscar night wastwitter-tv-250px a big night for Twitter, as it had its biggest retweeted tweet ever – Ellen’s multi-celebrity-infused selfie – with over three million retweets alone. Twitter is moving beyond tweet reporting now, however, and reporting impressions, or as it describes, “how many times tweets are displayed to users”. This therefore includes people with Twitter accounts who don’t post anything, but still look at the Twitter stream. Using this metric, Ellen’s tweet was seen nearly thirty-three million times. These numbers also don’t include third-party apps, only the official Twitter site and app, so it could be a much larger figure. This raises the stakes in the social media space for even more transparency, and it will be interesting to see how, or if, Facebook responds.

That’s it for this week! Please check in next Wednesday for even more SEO news!

A Smattering of SEO News: 2/3/14

Hello folks, happy Monday, and happy February! I hope January was awesome for you all, and may February be even better. It’s been a busy year for SEO so far, and the past week has had some awesome stories, so let’s dive in!

 

Google News:

  • Google And Bing Agree: Previous Successes Don’t Guarantee Success In SEO – In a recent webmaster video, Google’s Matt Cutts deals with what owners of older sites can do to maintain their site and keep their high search rankings. Basically, he says a lot of webmasters are nervous about making changes to a successful site, and eventually sites can look dated, run slowly, or be cumbersome to navigate. All of these are usability problems which can cause users to move to newer, more up-to-date sites that are just as hungry for high rankings. Cutts suggests to take a fresh look at your site and keep it as fresh and updated as possible. Bing’s Duane Forrester said something similar in a blog post, noting sites that have been around for a while and rely on few tactics or even a singular SEO tactic can be left behind.
  • Cutts: Don’t Link From Article Directories – Upon being asked whether links from article directories such as Ezine were good or bad, Matt Cutts said in the past several years those directories have relied on lower and lower quality content, and that one shouldn’t rely on them in order to build valuable links.

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  • Study: Thirty-Four Percent Of SERPs Share Traditional Results With News, Images And Shopping Results – In a recent study by Conductor, in which they looked at the search engine results pages (SERPs) of 1.5 million keywords, they found that thirty-four percent of the time, search results shared space with news, images and shopping results, twenty-eight percent to images alone. They also found that eighty-eight percent of SERPs show nine or more blue links, or actual search engine results, beyond the images and news. This shows that not only are traditional SERPs still full of hopefully relevant results, but that images especially are playing a larger part in search.
  • Google Slaps Down Another Bad Link Network – Matt Cutts recently Tweeted that they had taken manual action against a French link network called Buzzea for violating quality guidelines. In response, Buzzea both tried to defend its practices as well as saying they would move onto new practices. Cutts later Tweeted, “today France; Germany soon”, so we can expect news of another link network falling soon.
  • Google Warns Affiliate Networks With “Thin” Content – In a Googlegoogle-penalty-square Webmasters blog entry, Chris Nelson warned that if you run an affiliate network that relies on thin or scrapped content, and don’t provide value to the user through unique added benefits, their site may be penalized for frustrating searchers and violating quality guidelines. This apparently has been a problem of late in the adult industry, as both Nelson and Matt Cutts called that industry out specifically in discussing the issue.

Other News:

  • Study: Facebook Most Visited Social Network – According to a study by Forrester, in which they surveyed over 60,000 respondents, they found that Facebook was the most visited social media site, with seventy-two percent of respondents saying they visit the site at least monthly. Respondents were split up into generations, and eighty-five percent of those who visited Facebook the most were from Generation Z, while the numbers dipped slightly as the respondents aged increased, down to fifty-seven percent for the Golden Generation. YouTube – would anyone call that a social network – with fifty-seven percent, while Twitter and Google+ were tied for third with twenty-two percent of respondents visiting them the most in a monthly basis.
  • Study: Pinterest Generates 400% More Pay Per Click Money Than Twitter, Twenty-Seven Percent More Than Facebook – In a recent study byCoxBlue-Pinterest-1 QuickSprout, they found that even though fewer businesses used Pinterest than Twitter or Facebook, users engaged in Pinterest are much more likely to engage with companies through the image-based social network than other networks. For example, forty-seven percent of respondents claimed they bought something as a direct result of a Pinterest Pin, and are ten percent more likely to buy something they found through Pinterest than through any other social network. This is because Pinterest, apparently, has a tighter focus on its audience, as the study suggests eighty percent of Pins are from women, and eighty-seven percent of those pins are fashion related, for example.

That’s all for this week folks! Join me next Monday for more SEO news!

A Smattering of SEO News: 9/30/13

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…

 

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Google News:

  • 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.

Other News:

  • 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 fake-stamp-320x198“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!

 

A Smattering of SEO News: 8/26/13

Hello my friends, and welcome to another look at some of the top news stories that happened in the world of SEO this past week. There’s some good stuff in here from Google this week, and a surprising but of news about Yahoo, so let’s get to it:

Google News:

  • Moz Study: Correlation Between +1s and Higher Rankings – In a recent “scientific correlation study” Moz studies the qualities that have a strong association with high rankings in Google. They found that +1’s are the second most important factor behind the authority of the page itself and they found that posts shared on Google+ are indexed nearly instantly. Google+ posts pass link and truss equity, and thus Google+ posts have more SEO benefits in general than other social media posts. Matt Cutts chimed in to say there’s no correlation and that +1’s have no impact on ranking, simply stating that it should be obvious that posts with more +1’s and likes rank more highly, as this usually denotes more compelling content.
  • Cutts: Page Speed Not More Important for Search – A lot of brouhaha has been made lately of Google’s increased focus on mobile page speed, such as a new mobile test and new guidelines. In a recent video, Matt Cutts was asked if mobile speed has more weight than desktop speed in terms of rankings. Cutts said that speed is no more or less weighted on mobile than it is on desktop, even though they know speed matters more on mobile to many people.
  • Google Appears to Go Beyond Webmaster Tools Links in Assessing Illegal Linking –  A little while back, Google engineers stated that disavowing and removing links found within Google Webmaster Tools should be enough for Google to reconsider a website’s value. Now, however, after Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz discovered a Google Help thread in which an unnatural link alert was sent to a webmaster containing a link not found in Webmaster Tools, he emailed Google for more information. Matt Cutts responded saying that if there’s a really good link that illustrates their linking problem, they’ll share it regardless of it being in Webmaster Tools or not, in order to help a webmaster diagnose their linking issue.google-logo
  • Google Outage Causes 40% Drop in Global Internet Traffic – Google had a small blackout recently that lasted less than five minutes. However, as all Google services were down, there was an overall drop of 40% in global Internet traffic during the period of the blackout, which is pretty astounding.

Other News:

  • Yahoo Receives More Visits than Google in July – comScore has reported that Yahoo and its associated properties received 197 million unique visitors in July, while Google only received 192 million. This is the first time since May, 2011 that Yahoo has achieve comScore’s top spot, and this also is a twenty percent increase in traffic from a year ago. Microsoft, Facebook and AOL took the third, fourth and fifth spots respectfully.
  • Vine Hits 40 Million Users – Last week, Vine – which allows you to record short six second videos – announced that it had passed a milestone of 40 million users, which is quite a lot of growth since it launched in January.
  • Bing Provides Ad-Free Searching Experience to Over 800,000 Students – Bing recently launched its “Bing For Schools” program which allows participating schools to receive ad-free searches, safe filtered searches and the possibility to earn Bing Rewards credits toward Surface tablets.

A Smattering of SEO News: 7/8/13

Hello folks, and welcome to the latest Smattering of SEO News. It’s been as busy as a beehive here at Wpromote, but we’ve been doing our best to keep an eye on the news. So, here is the news for the week ending July 5th. Enjoy!

Google News:google-reader

  • Google Reader Shuts Down: Save Your Data by July 15th! – The sad day recently arrived wherein, on July 1st, Google shut down its much beloved Reader RSS. While many Reader refugees such as myself have found safe harbor elsewhere (Feedly, in my case), if you haven’t downloaded your RSS feeds from Google Takeout to use in a new reader by July 15th, they’ll be lost forever, so get them while you can.
  • Google Keyword Planner Tool Requires AdWords Account – In the next few months, the popular Google AdWords Keyword Tool is going to be replaced with the newer (and I feel less flexible) Google Keyword Planner. While the original Keyword Tool could be used by anyone, the Keyword Planner now apparently requires an AdWords account to use.
  • Google Webmaster Tools Cleans Up Navigation – Google has reorganized the navigation in Webmaster Tools to be a bit cleaner and more efficient. For example, under the “Crawl” section is where one will now find crawl errors, while the “Search Appearance” section now includes the HTML Improvements section. Overall, it’s a nice change.
  • Disavow Tool Can Help With Penguin, According to Cutts – In a Tweeted answer to a recent question on whether the recently created link disavow tool can help with sites affected by recent Penguin changes, Google’s Matt Cutts simply said, “disavows can help for Penguin.” Not surprising, but definitely reassuring.
  • Mail.ru Drops Google, Launches Own Search Engine – Mail.ru, also known as My.com, which serves 86% of Russian Internet users, has announced it has dropped Google in favor of starting its own search engine, which has to sting Google a bit. We’ve not tested the engine, but it’s apparently been in the works for years.

Other News:

  • Bing Images Launches By-License Filter – Bing has launched a new filter on its image search which allows users to search for images by usage rights, which is handy for bloggers such as myself who want to use pubic domain or free-to-use images on our blogs. Hopefully Google will adopt a similar feature.
  • Celebrities Leaving Twitter, Finding Vibe Too Negative – Celebrities such as Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Love Hewitt have recently rallied against Twitter, saying the service has become too negative. Hewitt mentioned threats in her final Tweets, and in an interview, Baldwin called the service a “waste of time”. It will be interesting to see if other celebs will follow in their footsteps.
  • Yahoo Shuts Down Pioneering Search Engine AltaVista – As of July 8th, Yahoo will shut down one of the first search engines of the modern web era, AltaVista. AltaVista began in 1995 and for a while was the premiere search engine around, until it was dethroned by Google. Yahoo purchased the site in 2003 and now, after ten years, is shutting it down, along with a piece of Internet history.
  • The SEO Industry Mourns the Loss of a Giant, Warren “Tedster” Ulle – Any SEO professional worth their salt has spent time either posting or lurking on WebmasterWorld over the years, and one of the most prolific, most knowledgeable posters there went by the handle “Tedster”. Tedster was as knowledgeable as they come, but he was also patient, polite and kind, and always took the time to answer questions as best he could. The industry has truly lost one of its best and brightest.

See you again next week!