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Hey y’all, how are ya? Welcome to another Smattering of SEO News, your news digestest with the mostest. A ton of stuff happened in the last couple of weeks, so I’ve got a lot for y’all to go through, and it’s all good (or let’s be honest, I wouldn’t waste my time and yours with it). 😉


Google News

  • All Recoveries From Penguin Have Rolled Out – According to a very detailed Tweet (spoiler: I’m lying) from Google’s Gary Illyes, he said that all recoveries from Penguin’s recent update/switch have now occurred and been rolled out. Therefore, if you didn’t recover from this last change, you have more work to do.
  • Google Is Prepared For SEO Folks Trying to Game Penguin – In yet another Tweet by Gary Illyes, when asked about SEO people trying to manipulate links and what not, he basically said, “We got this.” Sure, that’s not actually what he said, but I like my version better. 😉


  • Sitelinks Demotion Removed From Search Console – After being available to webmasters as part of their tool set for nearly a decade, Google has decided to remove the ability to demote sitelinks. Their reasoning? They want to “simplify things.” For whom, exactly?
  • Simplified AMP Validation Tool Launched – If your site is AMPed (AMP = Accelerated Mobile Pages) up, and you want to make sure your pages are valid, Google has launched a new simplified AMP Test to make sure your pages are valid and prettified. Check it out! I’m happy to report that the pages on my personal blog passed! Yay!
  • “Mobile First” Possibly Index Coming Within Months – At a recent conference, Google’s Gary Illyes (that guy again) said they are mere months away from launching their mobile index. According to Illyes, the mobile index will apparently be their primary index, with the desktop apparently being a secondary index. This harkens back to the lovely days of the “supplemental index” which I’d blocked out until this story came out. Hopefully this will be…better…


  • What The Heck Is Google Posts? – There’s been some buzz about a new content/social initiative by Google called Posts. This apparently would let verified brands and individuals post information, oh, DIRECTLY TO GOOGLE. This will let these folks provide real-time updates to Google directly, which could be craazzzzzyyy for SEO. We’ll keep an eye on it as we learn more.
  • HTTPS Ranking Boost Given Based On URLs – Google’s Gary Illyes basically admitted that the little algorithm that gives HTTPS sites a boost basically just looks for HTTPS in the URL and that’s it. It doesn’t check its certificate or whether it’s actually securely implemented or anything. Nope, just the basic URL. That’s not infuriating at all, really. Now excuse me while I punch some holes in my desk…
  • Illyes: Focus Where Links Come From For Penguin…Maybe – Giving scant details as he doesn’t want their algorithms to be “easy to mess with,” Gary Illyes still gave some fascinating tidbits as to something we should focus on: where links come from. That’s a big part of the decision in how Penguin values links, so if you thought domain variety and authority were important BEFORE, then dang, they’re apparently super important now. If we can trust Illyes, that is. 😉
  • Panda Demotes, Rather Than Devalues – One of the big dealios about Penguin is that it devalues the links that can point to your site, or your own links, meaning that your site loses value and authority from those links. When asked if Panda did something similar, Google’s Gary Illyes – yup, him again – basically said that Panda will demote your site based on quality, rather than devalue it like Penguin. Less “news” and more “good to know” I suppose.


  • Google Labels Links To Help Manual Action Team Determine Penalties – It recently came to light that Google has been labeling our links for a while now, and in a variety of categories. In a chat with Gary Illyes – for real this time – he mentioned three categories: Penguin real time (penguin-affected links), footer (self-explanatory), and disavow (on a disavow list). Apparently these can help Google’s Manual Action Team help do deep dives into a site’s links to see if any actions are needed against the site. I wonder what the other labels are…

Other SEO News

  • Yahoo Data Breach Could Kill Verizon Deal – Verizon is apparently looking to declare Yahoo’s 2014 data breach a “material” event, which has the makings of killing their recently-announced merger. This could also be a scare tactic from Verizon to get a better deal on the buyout, ultimately. Either way, it doesn’t look great for Yahoo, but when has it of late?


  • WordPress.com Adds SEO Features, Finally – While we’re likely all familiar with the awesome flexibility of self-hosted websites that use the WordPress CMS, there are still plenty of folks who blog on WordPress.com. Therefore, it should be welcome news that they recently added the ability to use custom title formats, meta tags, special search, and social previews. This should make those businesses – this is for folks on the WordPress.com Business Plan after all – using WordPress.com a little bit better equipped to make their sites search engine friendly.


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