Google Panda 20 Has Claws, AdWords Rotations Are Now Unlimited, Google Is Hunting Rich Snippet Abusers, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Panda Update 20 Is Meaner Than Your Average Panda

There have been some rumblings over the past week about Google’s battle against low-quality exact-match domains, as well as their efforts to better diversify their search results. However, the bigger news seems to have been lurking in the bamboo fields, as Google confirmed they rolled out Panda Update 20 last Thursday. Matt Cutts said this was a complete algorithm update, versus a data refresh, and it will affect 2.5% of all English searches, which is a pretty high estimation compared to previous updates.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Updates Ad Rotations…Again

Around June Google had announced they were changing the ad rotation settings so that after 30 days any ads set to rotate evenly would shift to optimizing for clicks. There was a lot of complaining about this change so Google extended the rotate evenly period to 90 days with the option to opt out. Now Google is just giving you the option to rotate evenly indefinitely right in the interface.

Source: Google Inside AdWords Blog

Google Cracks Down On Rich Snippets Abuse

Where there’s an SEO opportunity, there’s abuse and a Google Webmasters Central warning about said abuse. The latest update concerns rich snippets, which are increasingly popular ways to give a search engine specific descriptions/information about your website. If Google deems the content in a rich snippet misleading or spammy, its algorithm is likely to just ignore the text and potentially disable the tag if it’s abusive enough.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Targets Low Quality Exact Match Domains

Google continues to hone its algorithm, this week rolling out a “minor” change that aims to identify and remove low-quality exact-match domains from search results. Matt Cutts said the change will noticeably effect 0.6% of search queries. The change is no surprise, though it took awhile to come to any sort of fruition. Cutts said almost two years ago that Google was working to identify why low quality EMDs still held a prominent position in search results.

Source: Search Engine Land

Insights For Search And Google Trends Become One

Google has combined Insights for Search with Google Trends. The combine search/keyword tool will retain the Google Trends name and be accessible at the same www.google.com/trends address. The new Google Trends still offers many of the features popular with Insights for Search users.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Tool Streamlines Snippet Tag Implementation

Google released Google Tag Manager on Monday, making the tag modification process much easier. The tool removes the need for someone in IT on the client side to implement snippet tags and code. Apparently, you can also do non-Google tags here as well.

Source: Google Analytics Blog

Google Catalogs Reopens As Desktop Utility

In 2009, Google closed the doors on its Google Catalogs program, a service that offered users the chance to browse through an online “catalog” for participating companies. They have since reopened the project for tablets, and will soon be resurrecting a markedly redesigned version for desktop computers.

Source: Search Engine Land

Wal-Mart Poaches Costco Traffic Thanks To Botched Redirects

Costco’s website recently underwent a redesign, and it seems the bulk retailer failed to follow some redesign best practices. In a nutshell, Costco chose to 301 a bunch of pages to their homepage, which effectively confused Google’s algorithm. As a result, Wal-Mart stood to benefit with improved rankings for their internal search results pages (which are indexed, at the behest of Google).

Source: Intrapromote

Some Revelations From Bing’s ‘Bing It On’ Challenge

After a month of Bing’s Bing It On Campaign (that’s really what it’s called), a kind of Pepsi/Coke inspired taste test between Bing and Google, Bing is now touting that the test has changed the attitude of many users. According to Bing, 64% of the 4,700 people surveyed said they were surprised by the quality of Bing’s search results. Of the people who claimed Google was their primary search engine, 33% said they would use Bing more often after taking the challenge and 17% of those who found Bing more favorable said the comparison revealed flaws in Google’s results.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Cuts More Services

Google continues to trim its service offerings, bring the total number of services they’ve closed down this year to 60. This time it’s the publisher tool AdSense For Feeds, Classic Plus-which allowed users to add a background image on the Google homepage, and Places Directory, and Android app that helps users find things locally.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Notable Commentary

Ready To Pump…You Up

The Google Knowledge Graph And You (The SEO)

As Google’s Knowledge Graph continues infiltrating information-based query results, it also continues to influence how SEOs tailor pages and websites to meet Google’s evolving standards. Bharati Ahjua runs down its current and future impact, and how we can prepare for further Knowledge Graph integration.

Analysis By: Bharati Ahjua, Search Engine Watch

More Depressing Insight Into How Content Farms Work

Bleacher Report is one of the web’s most successful hub for sports content. Unfortunately, as this article explains, most of their success is derived from content farming tactics that, while not illegal, are unethical and depressing at best. WARNING: Anyone writing for a legitimate newspaper sports section or blog may have a coronary reading this piece.

Analysis By: Joe Eskenazi, SF Weekly

Getting Your PPC Account Back Into Shape

PPC campaigns usually start out well-organized, lean mean conversion-inducing machines. But after years of growth and change, without consistent restructuring, they tend to start losing a step. Brad Geddes at Search Engine Land details the five most common PPC accounts start to lose their edge.

Analysis By: Brad Geddes, Search Engine Land

SEO Is Dying…Again

Someone falsely trumpeting the death of SEO has become a nearly annual tradition. Search Engine Land offers up an entertaining infographic via SEO Book that breakdowns what types of people having been making the claim and why they are deluded.

Analysis By: Search Engine Land

The World Isn’t Black And White, And Neither Is SEO

The original title of this piece proclaims it Pulitzer Price-worthy, but that’s all part of the overarching point: Doing something right/well doesn’t always mean it’s going to be as successful as you want it to be. Rick DeJarnette discusses why SEO strategies are never fool-proof, A doesn’t always lead straight to B, and how to communicate those unknown variables to black-and-white clients/marketers.

Analysis By: Rick DeJarnette, Search Engine Land

B2B PPC Advertising Is (Supposedly) Close To Death

That’s the gist of this post from Uri-Bar Joseph, who argues that paid search trends and morphing B2B marketing preferences are soon rendering traditional PPC advertising somewhat useless. He does offer some expectations for paid search strategies that are getting popular among B2B businesses.

Analysis By: Uri-Bar Joseph, Search Engine Watch

Apparently, Facebook Is A Chair Even Though You Can’t Sit On It

In the wake of hitting the 1 billion user mark, Facebook has released its inaugural ad campaign, questionably likening the use of chairs to worldly interactions on social networks. Because this is the Internet, it was bound to be spoofed, and thankfully Mashable is here to help.

Analysis By: Bianca Consunji, Mashable

A Plethora Of Custom Alerts At Your Disposal In Google Analytics

Do you use Google Custom Alerts in Analytics? If not, Sayf Sharif has a list 55 deep of some really useful, easy to set up alerts for any metrics you or your clients consider important.

Analysis By: Sayf Sharif, Luna Metrics

The Anatomy Of The Perfect PPC Ad

Oli Gardner of Unbounce treats people to an infographic depicting the anatomy of the perfect PPC ad.

Analysis By: Oli Gardner, Unbounce

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