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Hello my friends, welcome to a new week and, with that, a new smattering of SEO news! This past week turned out quite a few bits of news covering Google, but also surprising news about Twitter and Facebook. Let’s take a look!


Google News:

  • Cutts: To Recover from Panda, Write Great Content – Less of a news item and more of a “reiterating what we should already know” item, Google engineer Matt Cutts recorded a video in which he was asked how to recover if one’s site has been negatively affected by the Panda algorithm. In short: write great, high-quality content. Nothing new here, but it reiterates the old adage that “content is king”. This would be a good video to show friends or clients if they ever question the value of content.Matt-Cutts-NoFollow-Links-Video
  • No Follow Links Can Be Damaging If Abused or Overused – In another video from Matt Cutts, he was asked whether using no follow links to gain direct traffic rather than for SEO can hurt a site. Cutts says that typically no, these links can’t hurt. However, if you spam these links in blog comments, forums and the like and there are so many links that it’s abusive or manipulative, they can take a manual action for such huge scale abuse.
  • Increased SERP Volatility Indicating Another Update? – SERP volatility tools such as Mozcast and Algoroo are showing increased volatility in the latter part of the week (9/11-9/12), indicating another Google update might be taking place. There has been no announcement on this, of course.
  • Unlinked URLs Used for Discovery Rather than Ranking – In a recent Webmaster Central Google Hangout, Google engineer John Mueller said that unlinked URLs found in the body copy of a web page will be used for purely discovery purposes and won’t have any affect on rankings. Why someone would put an unlinked URL in visible copy is beyond me, but there you go.
  • DMOZ Link Cited as Unnatural by Mistake in Link Warning Alert – After an SEO agency reported that a client of theirs received an unnatural link alert that included a link from DMOZ as an example, Google’s John Mueller chimed in to say that was likely an internal mistake on Google’s part. However, even though that was a mistake, he went on to say that a manual action caused the link alert in the first place, so the client should continue to check for other issues before submitting a reconsideration request.
  • Google Adds Automatic Authorship to WordPress and Typad, Lets Bloggers Embed G+ Posts – Google recently announced that it’s launched a pilot program with WordPress.com and Typepad that allows authors to link their profiles to their Google profiles, automatically enabling authorship. As authorship is becoming more and more important, this is an excellent way for bloggers to make sure they’re properly cited in Google. Google also announced that you can now embed public Google+ posts as well, making it easy to share posts on one’s site or blog.

Other News:

  • Twitter Announces IPO Filing On Thursday afternoon, Twitter announced that it had filed confidentially with the S.E.C. for an initial public offering. Since the filing is confidential, no financial information will be disclosed to the public until closer to the actual I.P.O. date.
  • Facebook Privacy Changes Herald F.T.C. Inquiry – Facebook recently made changes to its privacy policy, changes it claims merely “further clarify and explain our existing practices.” As these changes were shared with F.T.C. right before they were posted to the website, the agency is concerned with compliance of several previous court orders. To that end, the agency has begun an inquiry into the changes, which state users must grant permission to advertisers before their information can be used for advertisements on the site. The changes were posted on August 29th and were to be put into effect on September 5th, and caused a flurry of comments bashing the new rules.
  • Facebook Gives News Outlets Access to Public Feed API – Facebook recently granted several news outlets, such as CNN, The Today Show, Slate and Buzzfeed access to their public post feed API so that they could use posts based on specific keywords to gauge public opinion on a specific person or event. This seems to have worked fine for Twitter, but some question whether it will work for Facebook as well given the issues people have with the network’s privacy policies.
  • Bing Updates Bing Video Search (and It’s Really Nice!) – Bing announced that it’s updated its video search, and it is surprisingly awesome. It now has a very clean look, pop-up hover previews, pop-up video viewing with related videos and an easy way to return to the original results, related category searches and fantastic filters. I have to say, I’m very impressed.

Same place, same time for more SEO news next week!


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