Google’s Pigeon Update Solves Yelp Problem, Boosts Local Directories

google-yelp-maps-600 As the analysis continues on yesterday's Google local search algorithm changes -- that we're calling the Pigeon update -- one thing appears to be clear: Local directory sites are getting better visibility in Google's search results. More specifically, it looks like Google has fixed its "Yelp problem" and is now showing Yelp pages at the top of search results when queries specifically include the word "Yelp." You might recall Yelp's recent accusations that Google was manipulating its search results to show Google's own local listings and content ahead of Yelp pages even when users spe [...]


Google “Pigeon” Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties To Web Search Signal

maps-pigeon-600 Google has released a new algorithm to provide a more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. The changes will be visible within the Google Maps search results and Google Web search results. Note: We've named this update the Pigeon update. The core changes are behind the scenes, but it does impact local search results rankings and some local businesses may notice an increase or decrease in web site referrals, leads and business from the change. Google told us that the new local search algorithm ties d [...]


Google Penalty Hits eBay’s Bottom Line, May Cost Up To $200 Million In Revenue

ebay-600 Earlier this year, eBay was hit with a search penalty by Google. The loss of traffic resulting from that has been noticeable enough that eBay acknowledged it in a financial call this week, suggesting it may have cost up to $200 million in revenue. eBay also said it plans to improve its efforts in paid search, something that was underway even before it hit a penalty -- and a seeming rejection of an eBay research report that said paid search doesn't work well. eBay's Google Problem On the earnings call yesterday, eBay's chief financial officer Bob Swan said that Google wasn’t drivin [...]


The 10 Most Important Paid Search Developments So Far In 2014

money-mouse-ppc-600 It's been a big year so far for product listing ads on both Google and Bing. Google started putting more ads in the Knowledge Graph. Bing followed Google's lead on combining tablet and desktop traffic. And Google said it would begin stripping paid search queries from referrer strings. Now that we're halfway through the year, let's step back and look at what's happened so far in paid search. These were the 10 biggest announcements and changes to come from Bing Ads and Google AdWords in the first half of 2014. Bing Ads There were three announcements made by Bing Ads in the first hal [...]


The Most Popular Presentations Of SMX Advanced 2014

25advanced-900x672 SMX Advanced this June was, as usual, rich in forward-thinking strategy and tactical advice from experienced leaders in SEO, social media, PPC and mobile marketing. Expert marketers and industry insiders including Bing's Anna Hughes, Bigdoor's Joanna Lord, Disney's Jeff Preston and even yours truly took the stage, each to share their unique experience and knowledge with attendees. Out of every SMX show comes a ton of awesome content you can use again and again to guide your online marketing strategy. Attendees often ask if the presentations are available while we're still in the conferen [...]


The Feature Google Killed The + Command For — Direct Connect — Is Now Dead

google-plus-signs-600 Cast your mind back to November 2011, only a few months after the launch of Google+. That's when Google made one of its biggest Google+ification moves. It demoted a long-standing search feature involving the plus symbol so that searchers could instead more easily reach new "Google+ Pages" that had been launched. Today, this "Direct Connect" feature is forgotten and broken. How Direct Connect Worked When Direct Connect launched, Google promised that people could go directly to popular pages on Google+ by beginning their searches with a + sign followed by a few characters of the page's name. F [...]


Up Close @ SMX: Link Acquisition & Auditing For The Advanced SEO

25advanced-900x672 Link acquisition and auditing issues for the advanced SEO was probably one of the most popular sessions at SMX Advanced. The panelists framed the discussion around three areas: Preventative Link Building, Link Earning  and Site Auditing. However, the tips -- at least as far as I could tell -- did not number the exact “25” described in the session title, so, for the sake of this post, I am going to pick those twenty five "nuggets" that I thought would be useful to Search Engine Land readers. Elisabeth Osmeloski of Third Door Media did moderating duties, and panelists included: K [...]


Up Close @ SMX Advanced: Amazing Paid Search Tactics

Paid search continues to get exceedingly complicated, but the expert panel, the last session of this year’s SMX Advanced, blew the audience away with understandable and valuable tips.  Amazing Paid Search Tactics & Tools featured four expert speakers, and it was the first time I’ve ever heard cheers and whistles after a PPC session.  “I’m A Freakin’ Google Analytics Leprechaun” Heather Cooan of Clix Marketing kept the crowd rolling with her hilarious quote. She also blew everyone away with her incredible Google Analytics tips. After walking through the benefits of imp [...]


Up Close @ SMX Advanced: What Advanced SEMs Should Be Doing About Mobile

slide-2-1024 Every year is the year of mobile, and 2014 hasn’t been a disappointment. Mobile screen time now exceeds TV in the United States. Fifty percent of paid-search clicks on Google will come from mobile devices in 2015, according to one forecast. So what do advanced SEMs need to know about mobile, and what should they be doing about it?  Mobile device marketing is undergoing drastic change, particularly as it relates to understanding how multiple screens effect targeting and desired action behavior. Yahoo is making big advances with its Gemini program. We now have plenty of data on the cha [...]


Up Close @SMX Advanced: The Periodic Table Of SEO Elements

Periodic-Table-of-SEO-flip This SEO ranking factors session has become a much-anticipated tradition at SMX Advanced, as the substantial early morning crowd in attendance this year testified. Each year, a panel of SEO data experts present their up-to-date findings, test results, and best guesses as to what factors are primary in Google’s ranking algorithm. There are always surprises, interesting revelations, and a touch of controversy in this session, and this year did not fail to provide those elements. Panelists for the 2014 session were: Matthew Brown, Moz (@MatthewJBrown) Marianne Sweeny, Portent (@m [...]


Up Close @ SMX: Enhancing Results With Structured Data & Markup

Jay_Myers-SMXAdvanced2014 When you think about the job the search engines have to do it’s pretty daunting. Given a collection of mostly wildly unstructured data from an endless number of sources, Bing, Google and the others have to somehow make sense of all that information and then give it back to us on demand in a way we’ll understand. Fortunately, web masters have more tools than ever to present that data, and the search engines are getting smarter about how they accept it. Using structured data and markup including RDFa, schema, hCard, Open Graph, and Twitter Cards. In my personal experience, hCard a [...]


Up Close @ SMX Advanced: Local Super Therapy Session

Local SEO is a tough beast to tame, so it wasn't surprising that the room was packed for the Let’s Talk Local Search: Super Therapy Session For Advanced Local Marketers session that kicked off SMX Advanced 2014. Moderator Matt McGee, editor in chief of Search Engine Land, decided to make the session a slide-free discussion panel, since the basics of local search are well documented. Instead of making the panel prepare the same old slides, we were treated to an hour and twenty minute in-depth Q&A session. Google My Business With the announcement of the new Google My Business platfor [...]


Google’s Matt Cutts: MetaFilter Hit By Previously Undisclosed Algorithm Filter

google-flyswatter-penalty-600 Last month, MetaFilter, a news and discussion site from back in the old days, told us they got hit by a Google penalty years ago that had a major impact on their business. We posted our theories and details on this penalty in our post named On MetaFilter Being Penalized By Google: An Explainer. Last night, at SMX Advanced, Matt Cutts, Google's head of search quality, confirmed MetaFilter was indeed hit by a previously undisclosed algorithm filter or "update," as they are often called. Such filters aim to prevent a wide range of sites from ranking well on Google. For example, the Panda u [...]


Google Reconsideration Request Rejections May Include More Details

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google's Matt Cutts, the head of search spam, announced at SMX Advanced that they are updating how they handle reconsideration rejection requests with more details from Google Search Quality analysts. That means when a Google search quality representation reviews and responds to a reconsideration request with a rejection notice, that Google representative has a new box where they can enter more details. Hasn't Google provided more detailed responses to webmaster who have submitted these requests? Yes. Matt Cutts explained they have offered a couple link examples for link issues and gener [...]


Google Launching Payday Loan Algorithm 3.0 Targeting Spammy Queries This Week

payday-loan-search-600 Google's head of web spam, Matt Cutts, announced at SMX Advanced tonight that the third version of PayDay Loan algorithm is launching this week, as soon as tomorrow. This algorithm specifically targets "very spammy queries" and is unrelated to the Panda or Penguin algorithms. Didn't Google just update the PayDay Loan algorithm a couple weeks ago? Yes, version 2.0 was launched a couple weeks ago. Matt Cutts explained that this goes after different signals. The 2.0 version targeted spammy sites, whereas version 3.0 targets spammy queries. Again, this is launching as soon as tomor [...]


Bing Says “Right To Be Forgotten” Request Info Coming Soon

mistakes-forget-forgotten-erase-600 The EU's new Right To Be Forgotten doesn't just apply to Google. Microsoft's Bing search engine has to obey it, as well -- and Microsoft says today that it expects to provide information on how to request removals "soon." In a short help file page that went up today, Bing said that it is working on a system for how those in the European Union can request removals. Here's Bing's full statement: We’re currently working on a special process for residents of the European Union to request blocks of specific privacy-related search results on Bing in response to searches on their names. [...]


Google My Business: A Visual Tour Of Google’s New Tool For Local Businesses & Brands

Google My Business is Google's new unified interface designed to make life easier for local businesses as well as brands to be better found within Google. It's a big, huge change. Our visual tour below is designed to give you an overview. Getting Started Google My Business was announced today. You'll find our overview story here about it. Google's main entry point for those wanting to use Google My Business is here, where you're greeted by this page: New, Existing Or Non-Local Business? The "Get on Google" buttons are most prominent, and you can use those rather than "Sign in" even if [...]


Apple Drops Google For Bing As “Spotlight” Search Provider In iOS 8 & Mac OS X “Yosemite”

apple-spotlight-600 Bing has gained another win with Apple, becoming integrated into a new version of Spotlight in Apple's forthcoming Mac OS X "Yosemite" operating system and in the coming iOS 8 mobile operating system. Spotlight will also tap into a wide-range of search resources similar to how Siri works on iOS. During Apple's WWDC keynote today, the company shared how a revised version of Spotlight will allow typing on the desktop (rather than clicking on small magnifying glass in the menu bar) in order to search your computer for apps and documents. Beyond that, Spotlight is gaining search smarts that [...]


On MetaFilter Being Penalized By Google: An Explainer

Google Cop Big MetaFilter is a news and discussion site dating back to the early years of the web. Founded in 1999, it's attracting attention this week after coming forward about how a Google penalty has severely harmed its business, to the degree of having to let staff go. It serves as a poster child of problems with Google's penalty process, despite all the advances Google has made over the years. Google Hits Sites Large & Small If you just can't wait to get to the specifics of what happened to MetaFilter, scroll further down in this story now. But I'd encourage you to go through the background e [...]


Google Begins Rolling Out Panda 4.0 Now

google-panda-xcu-600 Google's Matt Cutts announced on Twitter that they have released version 4.0 of the Google Panda algorithm. Google's Panda algorithm is designed to prevent sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results. But didn't Google stop updating us on Panda refreshes and updates since they are monthly rolling updates? Yes, but this is a bigger update. Panda 4.0 must be a major update to the actual algorithm versus just a data refresh. Meaning, Google has made changes to how Panda identifies sites and has released a new version of the algorithm toda [...]


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