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Hey folks, welcome to another Smattering of SEO news! This has been an odd week, with deleting posts, expectations dashed, and businesses changed at their very core. Seriously, it’s all over the place. Check it out!

Google News

  • Google Confirms Local Results Influenced By Clicks, Then Deletes Post – A longstanding theory amongst SEO folks is that clicks have an effect on local rankings, but that’s never been confirmed by Google…until recently. Kinda. You see, a Google employee named Rahul recently posted in a forum about optimizing local search results that, when it comes to search history as a factor, “In the past how many times has the listing been clicked on by users searching with the keyword.” Seems pretty cut and dry, except that a short while later, that particular passage was changed to, “The number of times it has been useful historically on the basis of relevance, prominence, and distance.” Why the ninja edit? Did Rahul say too much?! IS HE EVEN STILL WITH US IN THIS MORTAL COIL? Sadly we’ll never know the answer to any of these, most likely.

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  • Penguin Not Happening This Year – In what should come as a surprise to totally no one, a Google spokesperson recently told Search Engine Land that, “With the holidays upon us, it looks like the penguins won’t march until next year.” As it’s been well over a year since the last Penguin update, folks affected by the last update will have to keep waiting, sadly.
  • Google Revamps Search Console With Data Anomaly And App Index Error Reporting – Google appears to be rolling out some interesting changes to Search Console that will hopefully help site owners identify mobile and app problems more effectively. The new reporting shows up under the “Data anomalies in Search Console” section under “Crawl Errors Report” and will be including app indexing reporting, giving webmasters (and, of course, marketers) more data into problematic areas of one’s site or apps.
  • Google Introduces New Language To Reconsideration Request Responses – Many webmasters are reporting that they’re receiving new versions of official responses to reconsideration requests, including using the actual word “reconsideration.” Whereas previous messages were titled, “Manual spam action revoked,” now webmasters are receiving messages entitled, “Reconsideration request approved.” It looks like the new denial emails give more details as well, which is likely a good thing overall.
  • Google To Integrate Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Into Google Index In February 2016 – Google announced that it will begin adding accelerated mobile pages – a project backed also by Google – into its index this coming February, and also hinted that these pages might get a ranking boost as well. These pages will likely be labeled “Fast” in mobile search results, so it makes sense to consider using the AMP project to accelerate your mobile site’s pages not just for this improved indexing but improved usability as well.google-amp-speed-fast-ss-1920-800x450

Other News

  • Yahoo Confirms Reverse Spinoff Of Core Business To New Company – Last week we talked about rumors circulating that Yahoo might spin off its core business units into something else entirely. Well, after initial talks of spinning off the company’s shares in Alibaba and its Small Business Units, their board decided to halt those plans and instead do a “reverse spinoff” of the rest of Yahoo’s assets to another separate company. This will result in two publicly traded companies, but the exact makeup of those companies is unclear at this point, and we’re not sure how this will effect the struggling search portion of Yahoo, but we’ll keep you apprised as we learn more. Strange times, my friends. We live in them.

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