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Hey folks, happy holidays! As the year winds down to a close — and what a year it’s been, huh? — the SEO news also seems to be winding down, as I wasn’t able to find much this week. What I did find was pretty good though, so I hope you enjoy it. This will be the last Smattering of 2015 as we’re off the next two Thursdays, so to all of you and yours, happy holidays and a very fun, safe, and festive new year. Now, onto the newsiness!

Google News

  • Unconfirmed Update Bonanza – According to Search Engine Roundtable in two different articles, Google not only has had an unnamed update going since mid-November, but also has another one starting today as I write this. The first article talks about many webmasters still noticing fluctuations they feel are related to some unnamed update they began seeing in mid-November. The second article discusses even more fluctuations occurring on December 16th. We’ll keep an eye on the volatility tools to see if these fluctuations keep occurring. Have you seen fluctuations in your traffic or rankings?


  • Next Penguin Update On Track For January 2016 Release – While it’s become clear that Penguin isn’t being released this year, Google’s John Mueller also gave us some hope that the update would happen sometime next month. He recently stated that he feels confident that it’ll be ready in January. If they indeed stick to that schedule, it’ll be a joyous month indeed, and a great start to the new year.
  • Google Revamps App Indexing Documentation – Hot on the heels of the release of the Search Quality Rater’s Guide a month or so ago, Google has now revamped their app indexing help documentation as well. Changes to the docs include clearer product overview info, updated FAQs, better-supporting URL guidance, and a lot more. You can read the release notes and access the documentation itself here.
  • Google Adds Actual Bubble Level To Mobile Search Site – Hey, it’s a slow week, and I didn’t want to end with three stories, so I figured this was cool enough to share. If you type in “bubble level” in Google’s mobile search on your smartphone, you’ll be presented with an actual, interactive bubble leveling app right in the search results. I tried to test this, but I was told that my device was not supported. I have a Nexus 5, for Pete’s sake, and it’s not supported, so I suppose it won’t work with all phones, but it’s pretty nifty, right?



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