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Hello friends, and happy Wednesday! Sorry for the lack of A Smattering last week, but I was on vacation! Looks like I came back just in time for a possible Google algorithm update. Read all about it and other SEO news below!


Google News:

  • Big Algorithm Update Last Friday? Google Won’t Say – Late last week, SEO reporters and webmasters alike noticed what some are calling the secondgoogle-sad-panda-ss-1920-800x450 largest update in SERP volatility this year. The usual tools such as SERPMetrics and MozCast agree, and show increased volatility around last Friday, and even more since then. Google hasn’t commented on the update, nor do we know whether it is related to Panda, Penguin, or Pigeon. However, the proof appears to be in the pudding. We’ll bring you more as we get it, and you can find more great coverage at Search Engine Roundtable along with the link above.
  • Google Revises Webmaster Guidelines To Further Target Low-Quality Content – Google recently updated their webmaster guidelines to be more specific about content violation. Whereas the previous version of the document mentioned “scraped content,” the document is now much more specific: “Content from other sources. For example: Scraped content or low-quality guest blog posts”. As Google has been strengthening its resolve against these guest blog posts, such as devaluing and penalizing guest blog post networks, this isn’t much of a surprise, but it’s still interesting to see them be so specific about it.
  • Google Sends Out Faulty Mobile Redirect Notices – Google recently begansearch-result-faulty-redirect sending out alerts via Webmaster Tools about problematic or faulty redirects to mobile versions of sites. Along with these alerts are notifications in Webmaster Tools’ URL Errors page itself. However, Search Engine Roundtable reports that a user on Google’s Webmaster Forums reports hearing from Google that the notices might have been a bit “over-enthusiastically” sent and that if you’re happy with how your mobile redirects are implemented, the message can be ignored. We’ll bring you more on this story as it develops.

Other News:

  • Bing Strives To Make Results More “Developer Friendly” – Bing recently rolled out several intriguing updates to its search results, API, and other search features to make results more “developer friendly.” This includes actual code snippets/examples when searching for coding-related queries, strengthening its software search functionality to make results both safer and more relevant, and more instant answers for technology queries relating to Microsoft products. In doing an example search for “c# hashtag example,” we did note the inclusion of specific code at the very top of the results. Doing a search for the popular “ccleaner” also produced specific software-related results including official sites and trusted download links. Overall, this is pretty cool.
  • Local Discovery App Zofari Acquired By Yahoo – Calling itself “Pandora forlogo_z Places”, popular local discovery app Zofari – which allows users to create customized “stations” showing recommended places in your area based on a user’s favorite places – has been acquired by Yahoo. This acquisition seems to bolster Yahoo’s quest to become an even stronger player in the local space.


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