Hello friends, and welcome back to another Smattering! It seems the rollercoaster is moving forward again, as we’re noticing yet another serious update in the works, according to tools that monitor SERP volatility. It’s a busy news week this week, so let’s get right to it.
- Possible Google Algorithm Update Underway – Yesterday, SEO Roundtable’s Barry Schwartz reported murmurings of an upcoming update. So slight were these chatterings that he called it the “cricket update.” Well, it seems those murmurings might’ve been right, as volatility tracking tools such as Mozcast, SERP Metrics, and Algoroo are all reporting recent and severe volatility in the SERPs. The big topic of discussion surrounding these updates is whether they’re Panda-based or not, some say ‘yay’ while other say ‘nay’. We’ll be keeping an eye on this and let you know if anything more concrete or official pops up.
- Google Trends Gets A Redesign And Real-Time Tracking – In a massive update, Google Trends just might have become a lot more useful than it already was (and believe me, it totally is useful). Trends now can report on data from YouTube and Google News in “minute-by-minute” real-time, allowing users to see comparative trends as they’re happening and determine which stories and topics are getting more eyeballs on them. They’ve also allows datasets to be published via Github, allowing an even deeper dive of the data. This, along with a fully redesigned homepage, should make Google Trends and even more useful tool to marketers, webmasters, and site owners in the future.
- France Gives Google Two-Week Ultimatum To Apply Right To Be Forgotten Worldwide – The head of France’s Internet regulating body – the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés – said that Google’s Right to be Forgotten laws should be applied worldwide for the delistings to be effective. They they issued an ultimatum – which you can read here – that they’ll impose sanctions on Google if they don’t apply this right worldwide within 15 days of its issuance. Therefore, Google has until June 27th to comply. One wonders what these sanctions are, and how they’ll be applied, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
- Google Tests “Slow To Load” Warnings In Mobile Search Results – In an even further attempt to shame…er, I mean push site owners toward having faster sites, Search Engine Land is reporting that Google is toying with warning labels on mobile sites they consider too slow to load. This includes a bright yellow warning triangle and the words “Slow to Load” underneath the domain. The example shown in the article is from YouTube, so Google isn’t afraid to even mark their own services as slow.
- YouTube Gaming Video Game Livestreaming Service Announced – Any gamer worth their salt knows what Twitch is, and if you don’t, it’s basically a livestreaming video service where people stream games as they play them for an audience, sometimes consisting of thousands of viewers. It’s become a very popular way to both market a game as well as for individuals to become prominent in video game streaming and promotion. Well, now Google apparently wants a piece of that pie (which is big enough for Amazon to have acquired Twitch some time back). Google announced during the ongoing Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) that they’ll be launching their own livestreaming service simply called YouTube Gaming, which will allow users to not only follow specific channels, but specific games as well. As someone who does this regularly – and finding YouTube provides better viewing experiences for users than Twitch – I’m super excited about this.
- Bing To Begin Encrypting Searches This Summer, Expanding The Not Provided Problem – Years ago, Google announced that they would begin encrypting searches, so that in Google Analytics, rather than seeing actual keyword data, we began to see “Not Provided” more and more. It’s now to the point where Not Provided dominates search data in Analytics, unfortunately. Well, it looks like Bing will be following suit starting this summer, as they also move to encrypt all search data as well. While Bing said you’ll still be able to get “limited query term data,” it’s still a sad loss of data for marketers to base their strategies and tactics upon.
- Facebook Updates News Algorithm To Take Time Reading Stories Into Account – Facebook has added an interesting new metric to their newsfeed algorithm, basically measuring how much time you take viewing a story in your feed. This will apparently measure how much time you spend looking at one piece of content compared to other pieces, and might rank that content more prominently. While this means little for branded page owners, it’s still an interesting technical item to talk about.