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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.


  • 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.


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!


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