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Hey folks, welcome to another Smattering of the SEO news that matters the most! This week, the European Union once again sets its sights on Google, and we get some more fun info about Panda and Penguin while also finding out what the mobile-friendly algorithm will and won’t target. Check it out!

 

Google News:

  • European Union Opens Antitrust Investigation Targeting Android – In the latest of what seems to be a long line of antitrust actions against the search engine giant, the European Commission – the executive legislative body of the European Union – has opened an antitrust probe looking into Android’s apparent dominance of the marketplace, and whether that dominance unfairly hurts competition. Google has ten weeks to respond to the Commission’s “Statement of Objections,” so we’ll bring you more as it happens.
  • google-penguin

    Panda And Penguin Are Manual AND Automatic AND Manual AND Automatic And… – So Google’s been sending out some contradictory information as of late regarding whether updates to Panda and Penguin are manually pushed or whether they’re automatic. When recent news of the updates being manual raised something of a kerfuffle, John Mueller took to the airwaves (Hangoutwaves?) to say that some things in the algorithms are automatic, like checking for issues in disallow files, while other things are manual. It’s very confusing, so hopefully this gets sorted soon!

  • What The Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Will And Won’t Affect – Recent murmurings out of Google state that the effect of the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm will be relatively narrow, compared to other updates. Apparently the update will only affect the “10 blue links”, which are the 1-10 results in Search Engines Results Pages. This from Google’s Gary Illyes, who confirmed in a tweet that other portions of Google won’t be affected. While that’s likely a relief to some folks who aren’t fully ready for what the mobile-friendly algorithm is planning, they have to realize this is just likely a first step toward more changes in the future.
  • google-sitemap

    You Likely Don’t Need A Mobile Sitemap – With all the hubbub over the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm update, webmasters are scrambling to make their sites more mobile-friendly. At one time this included a mobile sitemap, but according to John Mueller this is no longer the case. Apparently you only need a mobile sitemap if you have a feature-phone version of your site, but who has those anymore? This will likely come as a welcome reprieve for those working hard to make their sites as mobile-friendly as possible.

 

Other News:

  • Yandex Brings Back Links As A Ranking Factor – After making a big brouhaha about not needing links as a ranking factor some time back, Russian search engine Yandex announced they would be bringing them back as both a positive and negative ranking factor. It seems that “Yandex was disappointed with the inertia shown by the search industry, which showed only a 16% reduction in the acquisition of paid links even despite them being told that Yandex was ignoring them.” Apparently the market, they claim, was too slow to react despite how technologically sound their algorithm was.

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