Former Googler: Links That Change Are Trusted Less By Google’s Algorithms

google-links-featured A former member of the Google search quality and web spam team, Pedro Dias, said publicly on Twitter yesterday that "Google is less likely to trust a link once it has changed from the first time it was seen." So if you changed the anchor text or URL path of the link, the value and trust of that link will be less than it was before you made any changes. Here is Pedro's tweet: Did you know Google is less likely to trust a link once it has changed from the 1st time it was seen? — Pedro Dias (@pedrodias) July 1, 2014   Is This True? As I covered, I asked Pedro what his source o [...]


Report: Apple Accelerating Crowdsourced Maps Improvements

apple-maps-featured According to a couple of reports (Reddit and MacRumors), Apple has stepped up the pace of map-data corrections and improvements. The MacRumors report, from a couple of weeks ago, says that changes are being implemented weekly. The Reddit thread says they're happening nightly -- at 3 a.m. Eastern: Over the past month, Maps were being updated once a week (every Friday) for me, but now, that has improved further. Over the past few days, I've noticed an update occur every single day at 3 a.m. Eastern. At exactly 3am, Apple pushes out new data and corrects many of the problems that users had p [...]


Bing Adds Khan Academy Courses & Book Finding Results

Bing logo large Bing has added two new search features for the school break season. (1) The ability to search for free online courses offered by the Khan Academy. (2) The ability to search for books that you can buy online, pick up at a local library and/or view fully online. Khan Academy Courses On Bing Through the Bing knowledge repository, Bing has indexed Khan Academy courses and then mapped the courses relationships with popular subjects. So now when you search for a particular school subject, such as [geometry], Bing will show you "popular online courses" that you can attend online for free. [...]


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 [...]


Google Webmaster Tools Beta International Targeting Reports

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Google is currently beta testing a new international targeting report within Google Webmaster Tools. The new International Targeting report is designed to help webmasters who have international sites and use lang markup understand common mistakes and learn what errors they need to fix, in order to better communicate the language settings across the webmaster's internationalized web site. The tool offers debug details on missing return links from specific language codes, to unknown language codes in general. Here are some screen shots of the beta tool that was shown by Google during their [...]


Supreme Court Rules Street View “Wiretapping” Class Action Can Proceed Against Google

google-street-view-fleet-1343994208 According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Supreme Court will not review a U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision allowing a class-action lawsuit that argues Google violated the federal “Wiretap Act” when it intercepted private email and other personal data. The appellate court decision thus stands and Google must confront the lawsuit. The case followed 2010 revelations that Street View cars had captured private “payload data." The plaintiff class argues that Google violated federal wiretapping laws when it intercepted their email and other communications during Street Vie [...]


Google: Redirecting A Penalized Site To Penalty Free Site Likely Won’t Negatively Impact The Site

redirect-change-directions-arrows-600 On Friday, Google's John Mueller answered a question I proposed in a Webmaster/Search Helpdesk Hangout about the issues around a penalized site being redirected to an unpenalized site. The question was: What if a competitor takes a site that has a severe penalty and 301 redirects it to my penalty-free site -- would it cause my penalty-free site to get a penalty? John Mueller basically said he has never seen a case like this where it ended up hurting the site. He said that Google is usually catches these situations fairly easily. He did add, if you are worried that you can disavow all the [...]


Robots.txt Celebrates 20 Years Of Blocking Search Engines

googlebot-at-the-beach-1403523511 Today is the 20th anniversary of the robots.txt directive being available for webmasters to block search engines from crawling their pages. The robots.txt was created by Martijn Koster in 1994 while he was working at Nexor after having issues with crawlers hitting his sites too hard. All major search engines back then, including WebCrawler, Lycos and AltaVista, quickly adopted it; and even 20 years later, all major search engines continue to support it and obey it. Brian Ussery posted on his blog about the 20-year anniversary and documented the most common robots.txt mistakes he has seen [...]


Bing Ups Its Twitter Game: Rolls Out Hashtag & Twitter Handle Search Features

bing-twitter-600 Starting this week, Bing users are going to see even more Twitter content in search results. As a result of an exclusive partnership between the two companies that started in 2009, tweets have been showing up in Bing search results for some time. With Bing's latest round of new Twitter-related search features, users now can perform hashtag searches to find topics trending on the social media platform, as well as search for specific Twitter handles and celebrity-related tweets. To find topics currently trending on Twitter via Bing, users can enter a hashtag symbol at the start of a search [...]


Foursquare To Charge For Local Database — Will Partners Balk?

foursquare-featured According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Foursquare will soon be charging a small number of partners to use its Venue Database. Recently Microsoft and Foursquare agreed to a $15 million investment/licensing deal that brings Foursquare content to Bing search results and Windows Mobile. According to the WSJ article: The New York startup is negotiating with the heaviest users of its data to pay fees or offer services in return, Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Glueck said. Deals will be reached on an ad-hoc basis with each developer and will affect under 1% of the 63,000 compan [...]


Google Goes All-In With “OK, Google” Hands-Free Search

google-conversational-search-featured The evolution of voice-controlled search into a virtual personal assistant took another step forward with Google's announcement that all Android-powered devices (KitKat or above) will now respond to the "hotword" OK, Google. Users can initiate a search or control and carry out any function on the device simply by saying "OK, Google" first and then asking the question or stating the command: "Call XYZ . . . open my email": Starting today, you can say “Ok Google” on your Android device whenever the screen is on or your device is charging. If you’re reading your email, browsing the web [...]


Google Beefs Up AdWords Location Extension Reporting And Targeting

google-adwords-local-map-featured Google has rolled out a couple of enhancements for paid search advertisers with brick-and-mortar locations. A new distance report for ads with location extensions show performance broken out by distance from your businesses, ranging from 0.7 miles to over 40 miles. The distance report is located from the Dimensions tab. Separate Settings For Location Extensions Within A Campaign Instead of having every every location extension within a campaign restricted to using the same setting, now location extensions can have different radius settings for targeting and bidding. For example, s [...]


Google Analytics Now Separates Brand And Non-Brand PPC Traffic

google-analytics-600 Brand and non-brand paid search terms typically perform very differently and most paid search teams analyze these sets of keywords separately. To make this task easier, Google has added a handy feature to Analytics that automatically segments brand and non-brand, or generic, paid search terms into distinct channels. No more building custom segments or filter strings. Analytics makes assumptions about which keywords are brand terms based on factors such as click-through rate, text string and domain name and buckets them in the Brand Paid Search channel. Non-brand terms are grouped under [...]


PR Newswire’s Answer To Their Google Panda Troubles: Taking Action On Press Release Spammers

google-panda-featured When Google released its most recent modification to the Panda algorithm, Panda 4.0, on May 20th, one of the sites reportedly hit hard by the update was the large press release distribution company, PR Newswire. The company's answer to recover from the algorithmic penalty is to "take action" against press release spammers through new internal quality guidelines for press release submissions. SearchMetrics showed a significant drop in SEO visibility for PR Newswire, a drop ~63% after Panda 4.0 was released: PR Newswire announced "new copy quality guidelines" that their editorial st [...]


Remarketing Lists For Search Ads Can Now Use Conversion-Based Automated Bid Strategies In AdWords

google-adwords-600 Now when you enable AdWords conversion-based automated bid strategies in your Remarketing Lists For Search Ads campaigns, the predicted conversion performance of those remarketing lists will influence the bidding. Google announced on its Google+ page that remarketing list performance is now among the real-time signals such as location, browser, time of day that affect automated bid strategies in AdWords. Conversion Optimizer, target CPA and target ROAS automated bid strategies will each take into consideration the conversion performance of your RLSA lists and modify the bids when vis [...]


Android TV Shows Knowledge Graph Search Results

Search via Android TV Google's just announced Android TV is a significant improvement over the original Google TV. It doesn't require a game controller or bulky remote to work (though a game controller can be used for Google Play Games). And you can search for content with your voice. The UI is simple and much more intuitive than Google TV. It's controlled by an app for Android phones. Voice search works by using the Android handset rather than a mic on the TV. Smartwatches running Android will also be able to act as a remote (as I understand it) for Android TV. Beyond the onstage demo during the Google I/ [...]


Google Drops Profile Photos, Google+ Circle Count From Authorship In Search Results

google-authorship-featured Google's John Mueller has announced that Google is making a major change in the search results around authorship. Specifically, Google is dropping the profile photo and circle count from the search listings where authorship is assigned to a web page. Mueller said that the "click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one." For some reason, I highly doubt that, but webmasters can be the judge of that as this gets rolled out. Here is the new design for authorship. Notice that all you see is a clickable author name: Here is the old format, where [...]


Google Bringing App Indexing To All Android Apps

mobile-apps-search-featured Among the numerous announcements at the Google I/O developer conference this morning, Google said it was expanding its app indexing program to all Android apps and developers. App indexing allows for deep linking of app content from mobile web search results. Previously, Google had only been indexing selected apps, although the program has been steadily growing and recently expanded into multiple languages. If the user has the app in question installed, say OpenTable, and does, for example, a restaurant search, she can be linked from search results directly to the profile page within the [...]


Now You Can Apply AdWords Conversion Settings To Goals Imported From Analytics

new-google-adwords-logo The ability to import goals from Google Analytics into AdWords just got even more useful. Now you can tailor them to your paid search objectives by adjusting the conversion settings on each imported Analytics goal and transaction within AdWords. Flexible conversion counting, customized conversion window and editable conversion values can now be applied to any goals and transactions imported from Analytics. Conversion windows can be set between 7 to 90 days. Flexible conversion counting gives advertisers the option to count unique conversions only or every conversion action that occurs [...]


Google Releases AdWords Quality Score Primer Aimed At Dispelling Misconceptions

google-adwords-600 There has always been a healthy amount of debate over the importance of Quality Score as an indicator of Google AdWords success and the amount of focus that should be devoted to it. Today, Google issued a whitepaper called "Settling the (Quality) Score" to help advertisers use Quality Score to guide optimizations. Will it settle the debate? Maybe not, in fact it may just spark more conversation, but if you're involved in paid search at all, you'll want to check it out. Google describes Quality Score being like a "warning light in a car's engine" as opposed to being a "detailed metric [...]


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