Hello my friends, and welcome to another Smattering of SEO news! This week there’s a big kerfuffle about local results fluctuating all over the place as Google tries to remove racist results from local and Maps search. This and more in this week’s Smattering!
Google Local News
- Google Drops A GoogleBomb Of Racist Local Listings – Apparently there’s been a growing number of Google Local listings showing up under racist searches, bringing up results for Howard University and The White House. Since Google uses the entire web to find relevancy in local listings, this has led to problems such as these and others over the years. Google has thus implemented the GoogleBomb once again – the last time being the whole “miserable failure” debacle – to help curb Google Local of racist and offensive listings. This bombing might have caused some other issues, such as…
- GoogleBomb Possibly Related To Local Web And Map Results Fluctuations – Several days after news of the GoogleBomb began to surface, many webmasters noticed rankings fluctuating wildly in both local web results as well as Google Maps. While the recent announcement of the GoogleBomb could be mere coincidental in relation to the timing of these fluctuations, Google isn’t outright saying what’s causing the fluctuations as of yet. However…
- Google Looking Into Possible Location Bugs – Two theories have arisen as to the cause of the aforementioned local ranking fluctuations, including the recently announced GoogleBomb along with problems with Google’s location algorithms. Apparently, according to a Tweet from Google’s Gary Illyes – responding to a question from Screaming Frog’s Dan Sharp – he says they’re receiving numerous reports of Google’s IP overriding a searcher’s in the search results, and are investigating the matter. We’ll bring you more on this as we get it.
- New Head Of Web Spam Team Announced, But Not Named – For over a decade, Matt Cutts was the head of Google’s Web Spam team, and in that time he became an integral part of the public face of Google, answering questions via video, conferences and so on. Cutts went on an extended leave many months ago, from which he still hasn’t returned. This has led Google to replace Cutts as head of the Web Spam team. Interestingly, while we know there IS a replacement, we don’t yet know WHO the replacement is. Many think Google is trying to temper expectations that this person will simply be the “New Matt Cutts,” intimating that the new person will simply be head of the Web Spam team rather than a public face of Google. I’m fascinated to see who they chose.
- Student Launches “World White Web” To Help Diversify Google Image Results – A student at Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, Sweden named Johanna Burai recently noticed something interesting when doing a Google Image search for “hand”: All the results she found – over 800 of them – were white. Apparently searches for other body parts turned up similar results. Burai has since launched “World White Web”, which involves the sharing of six pictures of non-white hands across social media channels in the hopes that Google will eventually pick these up and have them show up in their image results. It’ll be interesting to see if this works given this sort of thing is just what caused Google to drop a GoogleBomb on local results. We’ll keep you posted.
- Facebook Targets Yelp With Internal Restaurant Reviews – Facebook recently announced partnerships with companies such as Grub Street and Eater.com to showcase restaurant reviews inside of the Facebook interface. This will also be coupled with user reviews, showing reviews from friends when searching for local places to eat. Some see this as direct competition for the “crowdsourced” reviews on Yelp, helping make these reviews more useful for users. It’ll be interesting indeed to watch how this changes the local landscape.