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Wow, A Lot Of Stuff Just Happened In SEO

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It’s been a pretty big week for search and SEO news. There have been a lot of announcements, not only from Google, but from Google competitors. Let’s recap, and discuss in the comments.

Which of the latest announcements do you believe will have the biggest impact on webmasters? On your SEO strategy? Let us know what you think.

On Monday, Apple had its big Worldwide Developer’s Conference keynote, where it unveiled the latest versions of its Mac OS X and iOS operating systems. Within these unveilings were a few pieces of noteworthy search news. For one, its adding more search options to Safari, which is significant given that it has made moves in recent memory to distance itself further from Google. The big piece of news here, however, was the addition of Bing (Google’s biggest search competitor) to Siri as the web search provider. We discussed the implications of this in more depth here, but suffice it to say, this could lead to a lot more people accessing your content from Bing if you’re ranking there. In other words, you now have more of a reason to optimize for Bing.

Also on Monday, Google released a video discussing mistakes webmasters are commonly making when using the Disavow Links tool.

The most common mistake is that people are uploading the wrong kinds of files.

Yelp, a frequent critic of Google’s (which generates its own share of criticism) is making moves to become a better local search tool. See its newly revamped “Nearby” mobile feature. Local businesses now have even more incentive to be found in Yelp. Speaking of Yelp, Greg Sterling at Screenwerk shares an anecdote in which a plumber claimed that 95% of his leads come from the service. This caught the attention of CEO Jeremy Stoppelman:


Clearly some are finding Yelp well worth it, despite those decrying the service.

Google made a major announcement in that it is readying ranking changes for mobile content. Basically, if you’re not providing smartphone users with the relevant content you’re providing them on the desktop, you’re going to be in trouble.

“Some websites use separate URLs to serve desktop and smartphone users,” explain Google’s Yoshikiyo Kato and Pierre Far. “A faulty redirect is when a desktop page redirects smartphone users to an irrelevant page on the smartphone-optimized website. A typical example is when all pages on the desktop site redirect smartphone users to the homepage of the smartphone-optimized site.”

“This kind of redirect disrupts a user’s workflow and may lead them to stop using the site and go elsewhere,” they add. “Even if the user doesn’t abandon the site, irrelevant redirects add more work for them to handle, which is particularly troublesome when they’re on slow mobile networks. These faulty redirects frustrate users whether they’re looking for a webpage, video, or something else, and our ranking changes will affect many types of searches.”

More on all of this here.

In addition to that, Google’s Matt Cutts hinted at SMX Advanced that mobile site speed could soon become a ranking factor. Google made site speed a signal several years ago, and it looks like they’ll be taking that a step further with mobile in mind.

Cutts revealed quite a few things at SMX Advanced, actually. Here’s the whole discussion he had with interviewer Danny Sullivan:

One thing he mentioned at the conference was that Google started rolling out a new ranking update to clean up more spammy queries. It’s been unofficially referred to as the “payday loans” update. Google had previously warned about forthcoming efforts in this area, and these efforts are now taking effect.

In other algorithm update news, Cutts also indicated that Google hasn’t rolled out a Panda data refresh for a month and a half. Panda is apparently being run about once a month, and rolling out slowly over the course of roughly ten days.

He mentioned a new structured data tool Google is beta testing, which allows webmasters to report structured data errors. Giving webmasters as much control over structured data is going to be increasingly important, as Google is turning to this kind of data more and more for its search results. Optimizing structured data could be considered a vital part of your SEO strategy these days, for better or worse. At least Google providing more and more tools in this area.

Finally, Cutts announced that Google is now including example links in its messages to webmasters regarding manual penalties. Those who have to deal with these penalties find the addition very welcome. Cutts put out a video discussing this:

Facebook, as I’m sure you’ve heard, has launched hashtags, which pretty much turn the giant social network into a real-time search engine, for all intents and purposes. That has some pretty big marketing implications. The hashtags, by the way, can be searched via Facebook’s Graph Search. On a separate note, Facebook is killing its sponsored search results.

So those are some of the biggest stories in a very busy week for search. The mere fact that all of this stuff just happened over the past week really illustrates how rapidly the search game is evolving, and this doesn’t even take into account that Google makes changes to its algorithm every day.

Out of all that was announced this week, which item are you most concerned about? Which are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments.

Wow, A Lot Of Stuff Just Happened In SEO
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  • http://www.thenet.ie scott graham

    certainly has been a busy week for google.

  • John P

    Double wrist scratch in the video means, come on Spammers don’t waste your time with disavow tool go build ten brand new Spammy sites.

    MC is struggling to suppress evil laugh at the end – ha ha ha we take all website contents for free and use them for selling advertisements until webmasters learn to ask money for indexing websites.

  • http://www.sem-advance.com Clint Dixon

    Site speed has been a signal since day one!!!!

    Can Google really penalize small business owners over IT issues?? How stupid are they?? Page and Brin have lost touch with the SMBs….

    Stupid is as stupid does, Googles so bright theyre stupid…

    .

    • Eric S

      Larry, Sergy were tricked to sell their goog stock to financial companies aka Banksters

  • http://www.londoncoatingcompany.co.uk www.londoncoatingcompany.co.uk

    As a small business owner i just cant keep up with all the changes! Not all of us are SEO gurus! Are these algorithm updates to benefit the big boys or do small businesses get a look in too?

    • greenhorn

      Small business – no chance. Got some deep pockets? Then you could survive.

  • http://www.bd-shop.co.uk Barney Douglas

    Fascinated by the “plumber’s leads from Yelp” bit. Let’s put this in perspective. The “testimonial” was provided by Yelp themselves, it came from a third party, (not the actual plumber), and didn’t name the plumber or his geographical location.

    I find that very suspect and extremely unconvincing.

  • http://kidstoysmalaysia.com.my Kids Toys

    What happen to content and relavance? I’m seein quite a bit of irrelavat results in Google websites. For instance you type in toys here in Malaysia and I’m seeing used toy shops in England! Tell me the average Malaysian user will continue to use Google.com.my as a search engine!

  • http://serpiq.com Matt

    It seems like Google is playing a constant game of whack a mole, the smart SEOs will be fine and adapt, but there’ll be a lot of collateral damage.

  • http://www.caneswords.net John B

    RANKING IN BING : Large quantities of good quality, relevant content, well defined site structure and clear navigation.

    RAKING IN GOOGLE : Dead cats, crystals, half-truths, and being a giant bloated well-known corporate entity that neither needs nor deserves high ranking for keywords.

    • Gareth

      You obviously haven’t looked at my graph of bing rankings over time. I go from #1 to not being listed every couple of days. Some days bing returns 4 pages of results for children’s photography WORLDWIDE!

  • http://www.webhosting.com.sg/signetique-cloud www.webhosting.com.sg

    Whether the changes by Google will bring about an actual improvement in the user experience remains to be seen. Since the initial Panda and Penguin updates, Google is still serving up sites with spammy links. Thus, it appears that Google still relies very much on external links. What happened to “content is king”?

  • http://www.greatwallchina.info great wall china

    google always made SEOers learn and adjust, and will keep on doing that.

  • http://astonishingacademy.com/education.html Nail Tech

    I simply don’t like faecebook hashtags. Don’t get the idea with them – do fb people really try their hardest to keep users from escaping?

  • http://www.fmeextensions.com Simon

    I guess Google is becoming more strict than ever. I believe the long term strategy in future will be to develeop a social circle rather than totaly depending on search engines.

  • http://www.nuclearchowder.com Mike Brooks

    It is important for SEOs and webmasters to look at the true long term strategies here: Mobile and social.

  • http://www.googlepandaseo.com/ googlepandaseo

    This is one of the good articles you can find in the net explaining everything in detail regarding the topic. I thank youfor taking your time sharing your thoughts and ideas to a lot of readers out ther

    • Alex

      That’s one great example of what is happening…

  • http://cazue.com Stuart

    I really think Google are trying to make it hard for smaller companies to compete for search results so they turn to PPC and actually spend money with Google. It’s all a game and we have to play!

  • http://www.biglousbouncies.com BigLousBouncies

    Frustrating keeping up with the constant changes! Especially when you are trying to run a small business. I also don’t like when a change comes your places or site drops in rank and you have idea why.

  • http://www.transpanish.biz Lissa

    I am sick and tired of Google dictatorship system (we are all responsible for that). And, anyway, no matter what we do to our site, all our rankings are gone once again.

  • http://webdesign.ducktoes.com Ducktoes Web Design

    It seems that sites with no links and no content are at the top of Google search while more quality, established sites with a lot of good content are lower in results. I doubt if this is what Google intended.

  • http://www.computer-repairs-gloucester.co.uk/ Rich – Computer Repair Gloucester

    I added a video to my site recently, it suddenly dropped from page 1 on search to nowhere except as a video lissting. had to remove video to recover.

  • http://river-sand.com/ River sand

    Thank you for posting this post, we apperciate your post on It’s been a pretty big week for search and SEO news. There have been a lot of announcements, not only from Google, but from Google competitors. Let’s recap, and discuss in the comments.

  • http://harikrushna.com/prefill_syringe_filling_stoppering_machine.html Pre filled syringe filling machine

    I am doing job as a SEO from last 3 years and I found new updates everyday in SEO. I think SEO has no any limit and you also must be updated your knowledge day by day.

  • http://river-sand.com/ River sand

    Thank you for posting this post, we apperciate your post on Yelp, a frequent critic of Google’s (which generates its own share of criticism) is making moves to become a better local search tool. See its newly revamped “Nearby” mobile feature. Local businesses now have even more incentive to be found in Yelp.

  • http://www.gitexpertgroup.com/ nextpolin

    I guess Google is becoming more strict than ever. I believe the long term strategy in future will be to develeop a social circle rather than totaly depending on search engines.

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