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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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