Happy Monday my friends, and welcome to another Smattering of SEO news, this time covering the week ending August 16th. There’s some interesting stuff that happened last week, so let’s get right to it:
- Google Updates Mobile Guidelines, Page Speed Tool – Google released new guidelines for mobile browsers to help achieve the goal of loading a page in less than a second. They also updated their Page Speed Insights to reflect these guidelines, as the tool now shows scores for both mobile and desktop browsers. The guidelines are similar to the desktop site speed guidelines, such as minimizing redirects and server roundtrips, and will no doubt become more important as ranking factors in the future.
- Google Enables “Quick Answers” in Google Now – For a while, Google Now has been pushing contextual information to users’ Android phones, such as the time it’ll take to get to one’s next appointment, or the local weather. Now Google is allowing for answers to quick, relevant questions based on the information in your Gmail inbox or Calendar. You can now ask, “what are my plans this weekend” or “when will my package arrive?” and Google Now will tell you. This is another step towards Google’s “conversational” type of search, and will roll out over the next
few days. I tried it on my phone and it worked quite well!
- Google Lays Out How to Earn “Link Trust” – In some new Webmaster videos, Google has laid out how to properly deal with unnatural links and build “link trust” with them, which goes beyond a simple disavow request. They want documented proof of your efforts, which should include multiple removal requests and evidence of these requests. After two or three requests, you should then submit a disavow request followed by a reconsideration request.
- Site Search Service Swiftype Acquires More Funding – Swiftype is a site search tool that allows result reordering, analytics, mobile compatibility and more. Recently they’ve received more funding through groups such as Kleiner Perkins and Andreesen-Horowitz, and report clients such as Best Buy and Facebook. This will definitely be a service to keep an eye on if you want to see what people are searching for within your site.
- Yelp Launches More Paid Review Alerts – Yelp recently launched another batch of “Customer Alert” messages on businesses they found to use unacceptable tactics such as paid reviews, continuing the trend they began in October when several businesses found similar alerts on their pages. These alerts will remain on these profiles for ninety days, and it’s unclear how many businesses have received these alerts.
- Facebook Purchases Speech Translation App Jibbigo – While Google and Bing both have voice translation apps, Facebook has now entered the fray by purchasing Jibbigo, which is available for both iOS and Android. With web services becoming more and more global, especially one as big as Facebook, a move like this makes sense.