Hello friends, and welcome to a smattering of SEO news! After taking a break for the Thanksgiving holiday, we’re back with the latest and greatest in news! A decent amount of stuff has happened of late, so let’s get to it!
- Cutts: Don’t “Stitch” Content – In a recent webmaster video, Google’s Matt Cutts was asked about the practice of copying small quotes from other articles, using them to make a new article and citing the original sources. According to Cutts, this practice – called “stitching” by the folks at Yahoo who apparently used to hate it – is not a good practice at all and won’t lead to any ranking benefits in Google. A much better technique would be to write a unique summary of the content and then cite the article, as Wikipedia does on their entries.
- Cutts: Google Can Handle More Links Per Page, but Be Wary – When I began in SEO nearly ten years ago, the rule of thumb at the time was never to have more than 100 links per page, or Google’s spider would simply stop crawling and move on. Matt Cutts was recently asked about this limit in a webmaster video, and while he said Google’s spider can handle a lot more links per page now, it’s not a good practice to have tons of links on a page as it dilutes outgoing Page Rank and can also look spammy. The bottom line, unless there’s a contextual reason to have a lot of links, such as news aggregator, try to avoid it.
- Webmaster Tools Now Features Phone-Related Crawl Errors – Webmaster Tools recently added new tabs to its crawl errors report page that shows both smartphone and feature phone-related crawl errors, such as faulty redirects, blocked pages and soft 404s. With mobile browsing becoming more and more important, this is a welcomed addition.
- Android Search Results Now Highlight Apps – Google recently rolled out a new feature on Android phones that incorporate apps in search results. For example, searching for “pizza” will also list several pizza-related apps, and if they’re installed on your phone, will allow you to open that app directly from the search results. This includes Etsy, IMDB, Newegg and Wikipedia, with many more promised.
Facebook Updates News Feed to Focus on Quality Content and Comments – Facebook recently updated the way stories are presented in its news feed. The biggest change focuses on “high quality content” as they say people appear to click more on articles regarding shared interests rather than memes. Articles will also be prioritized based on how many times they’re clicked in the mobile app, and will also start to see a moderate number of stories bumped based on new comments as well.
- Bing Webmaster Tools Incorporates Social Data via Connected Pages – Bing Webmaster Tools has added a feature called Connected Pages which allows users to track which social sites are sending your site traffic. Supported social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and even MySpace of all things. These pages are easy to add in the dashboard, and only took a few moments to verify.
- Engines Once Again Compete for Best Santa Tracking Website – Both search engines have launched competing Santa tracking websites that offer some nifty features. Bing’s Official Tracker (in partnership with NORAD) has a 3D globe you can spin and follow Santa on Christmas Eve night, along with a village theater to listen to music and view movies. The Google Santa Tracker offers an advent calendar and has interactive games and other elements. Both pages are pretty awesome, so you can’t go wrong with either.
That’s it for this week, join us next Monday for another serving of the Smattering!