Hello my friends, and happy Wednesday! Sorry for the lack of A Smattering last week, I got knocked out cold by some bug that’s going around, and boy did it do a number on me. Thankfully, I’m almost back to full strength, and have enough to do a Smattering for you covering all of the most recent SEO news this week. Look out for that first story, it’s a doozy…
- Google Brings “Not Provided” To Paid Search – As many suspected over the last week, Google announced today that they’re making ad clicks SSL enabled, which will eventually lead to the same “not provided” problem we’ve been seeing in organic search for the last year. Google says you can still see useful data in their AdWords search terms report and their Webmaster Tools search queries report. But, as with organic, these will likely be no substitutes for the loss of data (unless they’re significantly enhanced). We’ll bring you more as we get it.
- Google Says Misattributed News Content Result Of Canonical URLs – A little while back, several news publishers were reporting that their news pieces were being misattributed with the wrong URLs. Google’s Matt Cutts recently addressed the issue to Search Engine Land saying, “In response to URL or site: queries, we occasionally show URLs that would otherwise be canonicalized to a different URL.” This means that if a canonical URL was used, Google chose to show the canonical URL. We’re unsure if this is an experiment or a permanent fix, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
- Google Says Its Updated News Spider Is Smarter, Results In Fewer Crawls – In late March, many news site webmasters were reporting that their site was being crawled less by Google than had been previously. Google’s Matt Cutts said that the news crawler was recently updated to support the “if-modified-since” header. This header tells search engine spiders when the last time a page has been modified, and the crawler can now determine whether a page needs to be crawled again or not based on this information. Honestly, this is pretty nifty, if you ask me.
- Cutts: Not Every Manual Action Is A Ranking Demotion – While this should come as little or no surprise to experienced SEO professionals, it’s still nice to have Google admit that manual actions can take several forms, as Matt Cutts did in a tweet just yesterday.
- Bing Testing Cleaner SERP Redesign – Search Engine Roundtable reports that Bing is testing a new redesign for their search engine results pages. This should lean towards having a cleaner look and different colored elements (like the Bing logo and search button). It’s a pretty eye catching design, I think, so go check it out.
- Study: Local Mobile Searching Results In A Conversion Eighty Percent Of The Time – In a new study by Neustar, who surveyed 4,000 local search users, they found that four out of five local searches on mobile devices end in a purchase. Nearly seventy-five percent of these purchases are at local brick and mortar locations. They also found that over sixty percent use multiple devices to do searches on local businesses, and tablet usage in search has increased over twenty percent since 2013.
That’s it for this week, check back in next Wednesday for more SEO news!