Hello my friends, and happy Thursday! Welcome to another smattering. This week was shortened by the Labor Day holiday here in the US, which resulted in something of a slower news week than our usual. Nothing huge this week, which is actually nice as it gives us poor SEO folks some breathing room in-between algorithm updates. 😉 With that said, here’s the news! Enjoy!
- Google Updates Site Index Count Numbers – A little while back, Google made a change in how they display the proper amount of indexed pages they have for a specific site. This was, in many cases, a lower number than had been shown before the update. However, around the same time, many webmasters reported the numbers then went back to the old, higher values. Google’s John Mueller admitted this was a “normal data glitch” which was a result of poor timing.
- Google’s John Mueller: “Avoid Using Noindex” In Robots.txt – While the specifics of this aren’t really known, it’s something good to know regardless. In response to a Twitter user’s statement that one can use noindex rather than a disallow command in one’s robots.txt file, Google’s John Muller replied, “I’d really avoid using the noindex there.” Again, no further details as to why, but I’m sure there’s plenty of speculation going around already.
- Search Console’s Search Analytics Report Maxes Out At 999 Keywords – If you recall, the good ol’ Search Queries report in Search Console would show thousands upon thousands of keywords in a 90-day period. Unfortunately, the new Search Analytics report maxes out at just 999 keywords, which is far less data. Google’s John Mueller stated that, if you want to go through the API, you can download data for up to 5,000 keywords, but that’s a bit cumbersome for the average webmaster, to be sure.
- Be Wary Of Malicious “New Owner” Search Console Notifications – According to the folks at Sucuri, black hat SEO folks are now taking to hacking sites, and then using those sites to gain control of users’ access to the Search Console. They could be doing this for a few reasons, such as submitting spammy XML sitemaps or gauging how well Google’s spider can detect spammy doorway pages. Regardless, if you get one of these notifications, be on your guard.
- Yandex Reportedly Penalizes Hundreds Of Sites For Link Buying – According to sources, Russian search engine Yandex has begun penalizing hundreds upon hundreds of sites for buying links. Apparently hundreds of sites, large and small, are now having their organic rankings lowered as a result of this penalty. While we’ve yet to hear anything from Yandex themselves, we’ll keep an ear out for any official announcements.
- According To Survey, Consumers Can’t Differentiate Sponsored And Original Editorial Content – The folks at Contently recently did a study involving several hundred participants, to see if they could spot the differences between sponsored content and original content. Sadly, in most cases, the respondents thought that the sponsored advertisement as article was an actual article, especially when found in a source such as The New York Times or BuzzFeed. This shouldn’t be surprising, but saddening? Definitely.