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Hey folks, welcome to another weekly Smattering of SEO news! Again, with Google’s recent massive algorithm update, the bulk of the news of late is Google-focused, as reflected here. There’s just a ton of stuff to talk about, report on and speculate about, but hey, if SEO wasn’t a roller coaster, we’d likely not be in the industry in the first place. With that said, let’s dive into some Google-riffic news!

Google News

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  • Mueller: We Likely Won’t Notice When Panda Updates – Since Panda was integrated into Google’s core search algorithm, there have been a bevy of questions about it, such as will it ever be real time, how long are rolling out periods, how volatile will its fluctuations be, and so on. John Mueller answered a couple of these in a Google Hangout, saying that it’s not entirely updating in real-time every second, but it is updating constantly. The bigger tidbit acquired from Mueller is that Panda will now be a rolling update, and he doesn’t even think we’ll notice when it updates. Hello? Has he met us? Of course someone will notice. I hope. Gary Illyes also had something to say on the matter of Panda rollouts. So much new information, folks, it’s amazing.
  • PageRank Will Likely Never Update Again – In another Google Hangout, John Mueller (again, that guy is everywhere I swear) was asked about whether he thinks the Google Toolbar PageRank indicator will update again. He said, “So Toolbar is something we haven’t updated in a really long time. So I would expect this to probably never update. That’s not something I would really focus on in a case like this.” So there you go, don’t expect to see the visible PageRank numbers change again.

Google Technical Tidbits

  • Google’s Cache Begins To Roll Out Into HTTPS – It was only a matter of time, but Google’s cached pages now appear to be rolling out HTTPS-based cache results for HTTPS pages. This seems like something that’s been a long time coming, so it’s unsurprising to see it finally rolling out.
  • Google Shutting Down Several APIs In February – Google is shutting down around half a dozen APIs next month. This includes the News Search API, the Video Search API, the Blog Search API, and many more. Back in 2011, Google said they would be depreciating these APIs, but now they’re being shut down entirely. In their announcement on the subject, they suggest using their Custom Search API as an alternative to any of these.

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  • Mueller: SEO Weather Tools Aren’t Always Right – Both John Mueller and Gary Illyes recently told Barry Schwartz that they felt that SEO weather tools such as Mozcast and Algoroo weren’t really accurate since, according to the Google folks, they pick up different signals than Google themselves would deem as important. One wonders if this is just some diversionary tactic to keep us guessing, or if it’s truly accurate. Regardless, we’ll likely keep using these types of tools to help us gauge the volatility of the SERPs for a long time to come.

Google Algorithm Update Analysis

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  • Searchmetrics: Search Intent The Big Winner Of Recent Algorithm Update – Search tracking firm Searchmetrics put out a pretty lengthy blog post talking about the winners and losers of the recent big algorithm update. Interestingly, the losers were sites with a lot of content that also happened to have branded elements. The winners didn’t necessarily have a whole lot of content, but seemed to have a better grasp of the intent of the searchers. It’s interesting stuff and you need to read it.
  • Distilled: Recent Algorithm Updates Will Hurt Sites Reliant On Third-Party Lead Generation – Wow, that’s a mouthful huh? What that title means is that the folks at search marketing firm Distilled are concerned that because Google seems to be getting better and better at identifying a searcher’s intent – hey, Searchmetrics said kind of the same thing – they feel that sites getting traffic from third-party lead generation will be in for a big downturn as Google susses out these middlemen and begin to give credit to the companies or sites that benefit from the actual lead, not just the acquisition of the lead. It will be interesting to see if this comes to pass, but it’s neat to talk about.

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