Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s installment of A Smattering of SEO News! This week we have algorithm updates, datacenter updates, and much more, so let’s dive in!
- Google Rolls Out Version 3.0 Of Its Payday Loan Algorithm – Last last week, Matt Cutts tweeted that Google had begun rolling out the latest version of its Payday Loan algorithm, which is meant to specifically target spammy queries associated with excessive web spam. While version 2.0 of the algorithm was said to have affected around 0.2% of English search queries, there’s still no word on how many queries 3.0 will affect.
- Reconsideration Requests Results Now Include More Feedback – Recently Google began to try to make its reconsideration request reviews more clear. By including more detail in the reviewer’s note, webmasters can get a more specific idea of why the reconsideration requests are denied. In the example shown at the Search Engine Roundtable story linked here, the note was pretty succinct, but it should definitely help point webmasters in the right direction to get their sites reconsidered properly.
- Google Doesn’t Crawl Most Penalized Sites Less Often Than Other Sites – Not so much news as an interesting technical tidbit I want to share. Yesterday, Google’s John Mueller said that most penalized sites that are just of slightly lower quality than others will continue to be crawled regularly so Google can assess their situation and keep their data up to date. If, however, a site is particularly bad, they might reevaluate and slow down the crawl significantly.
- SearchMetrics: Universal Results Appear In 85% Of All Search Results Pages – According to a new study by SearchMetrics, they found that some form of universal results – such as videos, maps, and shopping – appear in 85% of all searches. At the top of the list was video, which appeared in 65% of searches, followed by images at around 40%. Surprisingly, Maps showed up for around 1% of all search results. This overall shows a slight uptick in overall Universal Search result integration from previous years.
- Bing Launches The Catapult Project For Faster Results – Bing recently announced it is undertaking a new project to make their search results faster than ever before. Codenamed ‘Catapult’, it involves redesigning, improving and expanding its data centers. The plan is to increase throughput by 95% while increasing electricity usage only slightly, around 10%. They also intend to use this project to scale their infrastructure across other Microsoft platforms, so you might see an improvement in Outlook mail and Office 365 as well.
- Yelp Customers Can Now Send Messages To Businesses – In a move that seems obvious now, as in “Why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?”, Yelp has added the ability for users to send messages to businesses through their site, giving business owners one more excellent way to engage with their customers. This feature is available to all business owners with a free account or higher, making it pretty much site wide. Messages are then sent via Yelp and email. Overall, this is a great feature for both customers and businesses.