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Hello my friends, and welcome to a new Smattering of SEO News, the weekly news digest that gives you news you can yews. Yews? Use. Yes, use. Anyway, the big news this week is that the Penguin update might not be so far away! Yay? Well, yay for some I reckon. Read this and more below!

Google News

  • Mueller: Penguin “Getting Closer and Closer” – In a recent Google Hangout, rather than his usual tight-lippedness about it, Google’s John Mueller actually shared an opinion on when the next Penguin update might slap us all in the face. Basically, “We don’t have a specific date on the update for the Penguin algorithm but in talking to the team, they feel they are getting closer and closer and I am hoping that is not all too far in the future.” So get ready to batten down those hatches sooner rather than later, my friends.
  • New, Friendlier Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool Released – Google has released the new version of its Mobile Testing tool, now located at https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/. The tool has a much more pleasing interface, gives as much or as little info as you’d like, and can even email you your report. It’s pretty nice, so go check it out!

Think With Google

  • Google Ignores Spam Reports from Those Overtly Sending Poor Reports – Recently, Google’s Gary Illyes stated at a conference that Google will not only prioritize reports from users who consistently provide good spam reporting, they’ll also eventually ignore reports from those clearly reporting falsified reports overtly. While no details were shared on HOW they’d do this, one can imagine they have multiple ways of determining who’s who these days.
  • Google Reiterates: Social Doesn’t Help Rankings – This is less “news” and more “duh.” A whiiiiiiile back, Google’s Matt Cutts (remember him?) made a video stating that Google basically doesn’t use social media as a ranking factor. Cut to today, where people are asking if Google is using social media as a ranking factor. Gary Illyes (half of the new show “Illyes and Mueller”, Thursday’s on Fox) stated that again, for the record, Google does not use social media as a ranking factor. I figured it’s handy to include this for the sake of knowledge.
  • Software Site Softonic Hit with Manual Penalty – Softonic.com, a software portal that has been around for eons now (at least in Internet terms) found itself on the receiving end of a manual Google penalty of late. The reasoning? Thin content. Softonic is a pretty massive site, so if they can get hit for thin content, anyone can. Hint. Hint.

Other News

  • Facebook Looking to Hire SEO/SEM Engineer – Now you may be asking yourself, “What does God need with a starship?” Er…no…I mean…”What does Facebook need with an SEO professional?” Before you think of sending them your CV, just look at the reqs. They’re kinda insanely technical, which makes one wonder what this position is all about. Will they be releasing their own search engine? Are they trying for even more visibility in existing engines? WHO CAN SAY? It’s fun to theorize (i.e. make stuff up) though.

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