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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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