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Google is shutting down another of its fairly useful tools, the autocomplete API. While not crucial to SEO in any means, it was a neat API that led to tools that could be helpful in a lot of situations. All this and more in this week’s smattering.

Google News

  • Google to Shut Down Autocomplete API on August 10th – Google recently announced that it would be shutting down its long-running autocomplete API in a few weeks. When asked why, they cited that they never anticipated it being used outside of a search context, and feel that it’s so fully disconnected from providing users with a valuable search tool that it no longer “maintains the integrity” of their search functionality. It will be interesting to see which tools and websites this ultimately affects once shut down.
  • Google Reports 180% Increase In Hacked Sites Over Last Year – As part of the launch of their #NoHacked campaign, one of the pieces of data Google dropped on us is that they’ve seen a 180% increase in hacked sites over the last year alone. That, my friends, is simply staggering. As part of this new campaign, Google will provide insights into how to prevent being hacked on their blog every week, along with actionable tips and security-themed Hangouts with their staff. This will hopefully bring this crazy number down over the next year.

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  • Panda Update Fallout Begins To Be Noticeable – The latest update to Panda has been slow, and while many webmasters aren’t yet noticing much in the way of fluctuations, some are starting to see some volatility in their search results, mostly in the amount of keywords being ranked. For example, one marketing agency noticed that, before it was officially announced yet after the update had begun, card-maker Hallmark went from ranking for around 29,000 keywords to around 17,000, which is a massive drop. It’s still relatively early days, but it’s fascinating to try and gain a handle on what’s happening after this latest update. We’ll keep you posted as we get more information.
  • Google Will Search For Large Discrepancies Between Desktop And Mobile Site – When asked on Twitter about the differences between mobile and desktop platforms, Google’s Gary Illyes stated that while they use mostly the desktop site for its rankings, they’ll look to see if there are big differences between the desktop and mobile site to see if there’s any foul play going on. While this seems like this would be one of those things that is obviously a given, apparently it happens enough that they check. So keep the content on your sites the same, I believe is the takeaway.
  • Google Ignores Dynamic, Tab-Based Content – A little while back, Google dropped something of a bombshell, in which they informed us that they don’t value the content hidden behind tabs or accordion scripts as highly as fully visible content. Now Google’s John Mueller has given even more information on this phenomenon, stating to Stack Overflow that if content behind a tab is dynamic – meaning it’s not rendered until the tab is clicked – then it wont be indexed at all. It makes sense really: If a user can’t see it even in the source code, then Google will ignore it as well.

Other News

  • Bing Traffic Drop Caused By HTTPS Switch – A week or so ago, many webmasters noticed that their traffic from Bing was dropping in their analytics tools. Bing has now admitted this was a result of their recent switch to encrypted search results, but hasn’t been clear on whether this is a bug or a permanent change. We’ll keep you updated as we find out more.

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