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Hey folks, welcome to another Smattering! It’s been an interesting week in the SEO news arena, especially with word that news sites got a nice boost after Google’s most recent little algo update. I’d love to say I had something to do with that, given my focus on news and all that, but I doubt I can take any credit for it. 😉 With that said, let’s dive into the news pool, shall we?!

Google News

  • Report: News Sites May Have Benefited Most From Recent Algorithm Update – The folks at Searchmetrics have been studying the results of many sites since Google’s most recent – and still unnamed – update, and found some interesting results. Basically, the sites that saw the largest uptick in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) visibility were primarily news-focused sites. NBCNews.com, for example, saw a 30% visibility increase, Fortune.com a 45% increase and TechCrunch.com a 26% increase, for example. Maybe now the phrase should be, “Frequently Updated Content is King.”


  • Google’s John Mueller Reveals Two Ongoing Google Search Bugs – In two different forums on two different topics, Google’s John Mueller admitted that two Google search tools are having issues. The first is relating to their Structured Data Testing Tool, which apparently is having a hard time parsing open graph data, while the second relates to the Search Console’s Fetch and Render feature, which is misreporting certain pages as blocked. Mueller said Google is working to fix both of these issues.
  • Google Sees Flash Game Sites Being Lower Quality Sites – Google’s John Mueller (that guy is everywhere this week) this week talked a bit about Flash game sites in a Webmaster World forum thread, saying that most sites that offer Flash-based games do little to differentiate themselves from other sites that offer the same games besides maybe placing ads in different places. He goes onto say that, if one wants to enter that space, one should strive to really differentiate themselves from the competition as best they can.
  • Google Testing Another Mobile Version Of Their Search Engine – Reports are coming in that Google is testing yet one more version of their mobile site, this one offering more white space, a larger search box and a large, blue navigation menu. This is just one of many of these tests Google has done to their mobile site in recent months, so it’ll likely change again soon.


Other News

  • duckduckgoDuckDuckGo Reaches 10 Million Searches A Day – Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo is celebrating a new milestone for their relatively young search engine, as they’ve now passed 10 million searches a day. Apparently they’ve seen around 600% growth just in the last two years, thanks to growing privacy concerns. That’s pretty impressive, honestly.
  • Instagram Makes Searching More Comprehensive With Place Search – Instagram has upgraded its popular app with a new feature they’re calling Place Search, which now allows you to search for photos by specific places, people, and tags. This will hopefully make it much easier for users to find photos based on much more granular search filters, as it sounds like it was fairly difficult to find specific photos before this update.



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