Hello, and welcome to the new weekly feature here on Wpromote that we’re calling a Smattering of SEO News. Each week we’ll present a rundown of the most important SEO news pieces from the previous week, and we’re starting with a doozy. This week you’ll find quite a bit of news from Google, as well as news from Yandex, Facebook and Twitter. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. Have a great weekend!
- Google Reaches Deal with EU, Will Label Own Results – Google has reached a deal with EU regulators who accused it of anticompetitive practices in regards to ranking Google’s own services higher than its competitors. According to the deal, Google will clearly label all search results that are theirs, making them easier to spot and distinguish from competitors.
- Google Faces Two New Anticompetitive Lawsuits – British mapping service Streetmap has filed a lawsuit against Google, complaining that it gives its own results preferential treatment. Also, FairSearch Europe – which includes Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle – are filing suit accusing the Android operating system of being a “Trojan Horse” and complaining on how it promotes its own apps.
- Google Fined $3,100 in Japan for Incorrect Autocomplete Suggestion – A court in Tokyo has fined Google $3,100 for associating an anonymous Japanese man with a crime he claims he didn’t commit in Google’s autocomplete feature. The fine is much less than the $144,000 originally asked for in the complaint.
- Referrers See 63% Drop in Traffic from Google Images, According to Study – The results from a new study by Define Media Group show that, in testing eighty seven websites with results on Google Image, these sites saw an average decline of 63% in traffic. Some industries saw an even greater decline. Google blames this on “phantom visits” where publishers counted impressions from the old Google design even if their images weren’t clicked.
- Google Shuts Down Affiliate Network – Publishers have begun to receive emails informing them that Google will be winding down their Affiliate Network over the next few months and will disable ad partnerships on July 31st, 2013. This comes as a surprise to no one as the affiliate game continues to dwindle into obscurity.
- Google Site Speed Study Says Web Getting Faster – Google has released a follow-up study to last year’s Site Speed study, and the results are very encouraging. On the whole, sites on the desktop went from six to seven seconds down to three seconds, and on mobile, sites dropped from eight to ten seconds to three to five seconds, an enormous difference.
In other SEO news…
- Yandex Takes Issue to Search Engine Malware Study – In an email to Search Engine Land, the people at Russian search engine, Yandex questions the results of a recent test by AV-TEST in which they state it serves ten-times the amount of malware in its results as Google and twice as much as Bing. They claim the study lacks in-depth information, and claims they test 23 million pages a day for malware.
- Brands Can Now Target Facebook Users On and Off the Social Network – Thanks to the help of data brokers such as Acxiom, Datalogix and Epsilon, Facebook is now offering brands the ability to target users based on what they know about them both on and off the social network. This allows brands even more granular targeting, while Facebook maintains no private information is shared with advertisers.
- Bing and Yahoo Market Share Grow in March – Google’s market share of search engine search traffic in March dropped to 67.1% from 67.5% in February, while Bing rose from 16.7% to 16.9% in March, and Yahoo rose to 11.8% from 11.6%. In the “powered by” results which pit Google vs. Bing, 69.2% of searches were powered by Google (down from 69.7%) while Bing powered 26.1% (up from 25.9%).
- Twitter Enables Timeline Keyword Targeting for Promoted Tweets – Twitter has enabled a feature in which promoted Tweets will show up in a user’s timeline based on recently used keywords. This apparently won’t increase the amount of promoted tweets, only their accuracy, according to Twitter.