Google, Yahoo & Microsoft Unite On “Canonical Tag” To Reduce Duplicate Content Clutter

The web is full of duplicate content. Search engines try to index and display the original or "canonical" version. Searchers only want to see one version in results. And site owners worry that if search engines find multiple versions of a page, their link credit will be diluted and they'll lose ranking. Today, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft (links are to their separate announcements) have united to offer a way to reduce duplicate content clutter and make things easier for everyone. Webmasters rejoice! Worried about duplicate content on your site? Want to know what "canonical" means? Read on fo [...]

A Quick January 2009 SEO Update

Many SEOs and SEMs have been noticing updates at Google, Yahoo and this past week. I thought I catch you up on what has been noticed at each engine. On the Google front, as reported at the Search Engine Roundtable, many webmasters noticed their PageRank scores drop. After a lot of discussion, concern and debate, Matt Cutts of Google commented explaining that the PageRank scores are fluctuating due to the canonicalization updates Google is pushing through. He said, as long as you are not selling links, "Don't Panic." These things will work themselves out and your rankings should [...]

Yahoo November Search Update

Yahoo has informed us that they will be rolling out a search update over the weekend. Yahoo said, that you can expect "some changes to our crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms over the next few days and expect the update will be completed soon." As always, expect the ranking to change, hopefully not too much and expect things to settle down over the course of a few days. I have heard only one blip about a change at Yahoo in the forums, but that individual soon retracted his statement. So as of right now, it does appear nothing has yet changed or at least, no one noticed a change yet [...]

What Is Search Engine Spam? The Video Edition

Search engines tell marketers not to spam them. Many search marketers also advise newcomers not to spam. Spamming issues get debated online. But what is search engine spam? What's it look like? How's it smell? And why do search engines (not to mention users) hate it? At our recent SMX East search marketing conference, representatives from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo tackled the topic. Below you can learn more about search spam, as well as reinclusion tips for each search engine. I've divided the formal presentations into three parts posted via YouTube, so that you can watch what each parti [...]

Yahoo Search Update & Google Toolbar PageRank Update

Search Engine Roundtable reports based on a WebmasterWorld thread that Yahoo Search is undergoing an update. Several webmasters have noticed significant changes in the Yahoo Search results. We do not have confirmation from Yahoo on this update, while the last Yahoo update was the first week of this month. Also, over the weekend we have reports of a Google Toolbar PageRank update. We have discussion around this update at our very own Sphinn forums. This toolbar PageRank update does not seem to be accompanied by any actual search update at Google, which is now normally the case. I co [...]

Yahoo Search September 2008 Index Update

Expect the Yahoo Search Blog to make a blog post announcing a weather report sometime today or tomorrow. As I reported at the Search Engine Roundtable a couple hours ago, there are reports of Yahoo Search updating the index and search results. This is a typical sign of a "weather report" coming from the Yahoo Search Blog. Many of the early reports discuss major increases in search traffic from Yahoo. I have yet to see people complaining about the update - so this is early signs of a positive update. The last Yahoo Search update was just about a month ago, in August. Postscript: Yahoo an [...]

Yahoo Search August 2008 Index Update

The Yahoo Search Blog announced the August 2008 weather report today. Sharad Verma of Yahoo Search said, "We'll be rolling out some changes to our crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms over the next few days. As you know, throughout this process you may see some ranking changes and page shuffling in the index, but expect the update will be completed soon." This update is much more substantial when compared to the June update. I reported that webmasters were noticing major changes at Yahoo throughout the weekend. I noted at the Search Engine Roundtable that these changes seem to have tr [...]

Yahoo Search June 2008 Index Update

Yahoo has warned us of an up and coming Yahoo Search index update. Priyank Garg & Sharad Verma of Yahoo Search said Yahoo will "be rolling out some changes to our crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms over the next few days, but expect the update will be completed soon." The last Yahoo update was just about a month ago and Yahoo typically conducts updates monthly. I have not seen any discussion on fluctuations at Yahoo Search within the forums yet. Yahoo does explain we may see "some ranking changes and page shuffling in the index" during this update. [...]

Yahoo Search May 2008 Index Update

The Yahoo Search blog posted a new weather report today. The report tells us to expect some fluctuations in the search results found at Yahoo Search. Priyank Garg & Sharad Verma of Yahoo said, that they are releasing "some changes to our crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms over the next few days." Expect some "ranking changes and page shuffling," they added. I have not seen much of any discussion from SEOs and SEMs on any Yahoo changes in the past few days. [...]

Yahoo Adds SearchScan Alerts To “Risky” Search Results

Yahoo Search has begun a partnership with McAfee, Inc. to provide SearchScan, which uses McAfee's SiteAdvisor technology to flag URLs it deems "risky" in the search results. Results are flagged with the type of danger below the title. This new feature is primarily aimed at preventing spyware and other malicious software from being downloaded on searchers' computers, as well as at preventing searchers from falling victim to sites that employ spammy email tactics. The Yahoo Search Blog provides more information. Below, more details on what types of pages are flagged and how site ow [...]

New Yahoo Search Weather Report

Yahoo Search says it's rolling out a new search update. Yahoo's post says the company will be "rolling out some changes to our crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms. While we expect the update will be completed soon, as you know, throughout this process you may see some ranking changes and page shuffling in the index." This update also fixes issues with the Yahoo! Site Explorer delete URL functionality. There had been reports of a Yahoo index update last week, and this update looks to be confirmation of those observed changes. Yahoo recently introduced a new crawler as well. Yahoo has be [...]

Yahoo Updates Crawler: Introduces Yahoo Slurp 3.0

Yahoo has announced the launch of their new crawler, Yahoo! Slurp 3.0. 3.0 is slowly being pushed out over the course of the "next several weeks," including "some infrastructure updates," Yahoo said. I suspect the recent changes we reported with the Yahoo Search Tax Day update is related to the "infrastructure updates." The new spider will contain the same user-agent and all robots.txt directives, but will be named "Slurp 3.0" as opposed to "Slurp 2.0." Yahoo notifies us to expect two changes: (1) The crawlers will reside on a new set of IP addresses, but will still reverse DNS lookup to [...]

Yahoo Search Update: April 2008 ‘Tax’ Update

At the Search Engine Roundtable, I reported about a Yahoo Search update that started this weekend. It appears that there are major shifts taking place in the way Yahoo Search ranks and indexes some sites. A WebmasterWorld thread has several SEOs and webmasters tracking the changes in details. We have yet to see an official post from the Yahoo Search Blog, but I believe it is safe to say an update is going on. Yes, tomorrow is Tax Day in America, so I named the update "Tax Day" to remind those to pay your taxes. The last Yahoo Search Update was in early March, but most webmasters didn't n [...]

iProspect: Blended Search Resulting In More Clicks On News, Images, And Video

Since the advent of "blended" or "universal search" last year across the major engines, there's been ongoing discussion and speculation about its impact on user behavior and search marketing. Gord Hotchkiss last year wrote extensively about how blended search (on Google) has in fact shifted the user focus from the so-called "golden triangle" at the upper left of the page to a more distributed pattern that resembles an "E." Now search marketing firm iProspect has released a study (conducted by JupiterResearch) that shows users are responding to the various specialized content types within sear [...]

Google Dance Is Back? Plus Google’s First Live Chat Recap & Hyperactive Yahoo Slurp

Is the Google Dance back? Well, not really, but I am noticing Google Dance-like behavior from Google based on reading some of the feedback at a WebmasterWorld thread. The Google Dance refers to how years ago, a change to Google's ranking algorithm often began showing up slowly across data centers as they reflected different results, a sign of coming changes. These days Google's data centers are typically always showing small changes and differences, but the differences between this data center and this one seem to be more like the extremes of the past Google Dances. So either Google is prep [...]

More Yahoo Search Monkey Details: Creating A “Developer Ecosystem For Search”

Two weeks ago at SMX West, Yahoo! announced a new project code named "Search Monkey" that would enable content owners (and in some cases, searchers) to add rich content to search results. Today, Yahoo has released additional details about the program, which has not yet launched. The announcement describes how developers can provide Yahoo with this rich content about their sites by either including structured markup in their pages or by submitting structured feeds. In addition, Yahoo! is announcing a "developer ecosystem for search" so third-party developers can create " [...]

Yahoo Search March ’08 Weather Report

Yahoo Search sent me a note that tomorrow they will be rolling out a new update. Yahoo told me that they made "some changes to their crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms." The update is expected to be a quick one, but you may notice "ranking changes and page shuffling in the index," according to Yahoo. I personally did not see any changes as of yet, nor did I see any reports of changes in the forums. Yahoo has a post at the Yahoo Search Blog. [...]

The 2007 Paid Links War, In Review

The paid links debate is back, this time about whether Google wants all links in a paid post to have a nofollow attribute. Below, a look at the latest round, plus a recap of this year's "War On Paid Links" by Google and where the other search engines stand on the subject. The current round was sparked by an IZEA (previously Pay Per Post) post inviting the major search engines to clarify their stances on links in paid posts. Ted Murphy blogged that he talked to Matt Cutts at Pubcon, who told him that all links in a paid post should have the nofollow attribute, not just links to the [...]

Webmaster Support Forum For Christmas (& All Year Round) From The Search Engines

Last year on Christmas Day, Barry reported over at Search Engine Roundtable how Adam Lasnik and I spent a bit of time answering questions on the Google Webmaster Central forums. This year, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller keeps up the tradition. In the spirit of the season, I thought it might be fun to take a look at the webmaster forums offered by the various search engines: a Christmas gift of search engine support. Google The Google Webmaster Central forums began as a Sitemaps-specific discussion area (originally launched in June 2005 in English and German), and in August 200 [...]

Yahoo Search Updates Algorithm, Index, & Crawl

The Yahoo Search Blog has posted that they are currently undergoing an index, crawl, and algorithm update. Priyank Garg of Yahoo said: Over the last few days, we've been rolling out some changes to our crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms. While we expect the update will be completed soon, as you know, throughout this process you may see some ranking changes and page shuffling in the index. I posted signs of this update this morning at the Search Engine Roundtable, and linked to several forums discussion, which highlight what appears to be a pretty significant update. [...]

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