Hello my friends, and welcome to another Smattering of SEO News! This week, a lot of the news is focused on Google’s RankBrain as well as some more of Google’s mobile stuff like AMP and the upcoming mobile-friendly update. It’s all good stuff, so check it out!
Google RankBrain News
- RankBrain Doesn’t Impact Your Site’s Crawl Budget – If you were somehow worried that Google’s new RankBrain machine learning thing was gonna impact your site’s crawl budget, well you’re a loony. According to Google’s John Mueller, RankBrain has no impact on the crawl budget assigned to each domain, so now you can all breathe a massive sigh of relief. Bullet dodged, am I right?
- RankBrain Meant To Understand Queries, Not Crawling Or Ranking – This might have something to do with that last story, ‘eh? The day after the one above was reported, Google’s Gary Illyes tweeted that RankBrain has, “No effect on crawling nor indexing or replace anything in ranking.” This is likely why it won’t affect the crawl budget. Makes sense, really.
- May’s Mobile-Friendly Update Not Targeting Fake App Interstitials – A little while back, I reported that Google was cracking down on sites with fake app interstitials, or sites that make it look like the user needs to download an app to continue using their service. Google’s Gary Illyes responded to a question about this and the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm update recently by saying the two have basically nothing to do with each other.
- Google Hopes AMP Will Work For All Published Content – Since Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) launched about a month ago, a lot of folks have been asking Google about their use and about their plans for the future. A new blog post answers several of these questions, the most interesting answer being, “The goal is for all published content, from news stories to videos and from blogs to photographs and GIFs, to work using Accelerated Mobile Pages.” It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes to make that a reality.
- Report: Right-Side Ad Removal Not As Detrimental As First Thought – A little while back, Google outright removed ads from the right side of its results pages, which just seemed craahaaaazy. Many marketers panicked at the potential loss of traffic and revenue. Search Engine Land’s Larry Kim took a look at a bunch of data to see how things were coming along for a lot of sites and, apparently…it’s not so bad. While impressions via ads are down (which seems obvious), surprisingly (again, according to the provided data), traffic is steady, as are costs-per-click, but amazingly, clickthrough rates are up! Click the link to see all the fun data!
- FTC Announces Settlements & New Rules Regarding Influencers – You might recall a while back that the FTC charged Machinima with paying a couple of high-profile YouTubers to create game-specific content without disclosing said payment. Well, in their second announcement of a settlement this week (the first was with Lord & Taylor over a similar incident regarding Instagram), the FTC announced that Machinima can’t engage in this kind of promotion without not only having recipients clearly specifying the endorsements publicly, but that Machinima needs to follow up in 90 days to make sure the disclosures are made public. This hopefully sends a clear message that future incidents like this will not be tolerated. Between this and Google’s new crackdown on links for promoted items on blogs, it’s kind of fascinating to see the hammer coming down on undisclosed promotion. I dig it.
- Yahoo Releases Top Search Trends For Spring, 2016 – Didn’t Spring just start? Well, regardless, apparently Yahoo knows what they expect their searchers to be…ahem…searching for in the coming months, with their top predicted searches revolving around, “DIY,” “Painting,” “Organization” and…shudder to think…“Outdoors.” It’ll be interesting to see if they’re right.