Google updates and more SEO news from week 45
By Jan-Willem Bobbink on
Last week there were several changes in the world of Google. Below you can find a summary of the most interesting developments of week 45.
Google updates search results page layout
Last week Google has launched a new version of the search result pages. The filters for, for example, images, Google Shopping or news have been moved above the search results. Google started rolling out the changes in the US and will proceed in other languages during the next couple of days. They talk about more focus on the “answers” users are searching for in combination with the shift to users which use mobiles or tablets, which needed an adjusted layout.
Data refresh based on the Panda algorithm
On November the 6th, Google tweeted about a new data refresh based on the Panda algorithm. Again this is a refinement based on quality signals, in which quality is the main factor. The first comments from the US are mainly positive, but there are always negative stories. Based on more than 1500 keywords I am tracking for the Dutch market, I see some interesting development which are not always positive. For some queries, there are a number of notable results. A good example are the results for the popular query “Uggs”. Google returns a lot of controversial results in the first three pages. Some domains have specific redirects for visitors coming from Google to domains on which automatically translated content can be found. I see the same thing happening in Germany. For now it seems that Google has put some filters offline and will included them in a algorithm update within the upcoming weeks. We will see what will happen within the SERPs.
Is your hosting down? Use a 503 status code
Via Google+ John Mueller posted a message how to handle server downtime and preventing indexations problems within Google. Instead of serving alternative pages or redirecting it to other websites, you should use to return a 503 status code. By doing this, Google knows there are temporarily problems. The robots will actively return to the website to check if the problems have been solved.
Enhanced Link Attribution for In-Page Analytics
- Distinguish between multiple links to the same destination page, attributing the right number of clicks to each link.
- Provide click-through information even when redirects are being used.
The Most Creative Link Building Post Ever
Jon Cooper, known for his weblog about linkbuilding, published an extensive blog in which he summarized the answers of more than 50 SEO consultants. The question was easy: what is your most creative link ever? It resulted in a very long and especially inspiring blog. Do you need ideas for linkbaits? Looking for new way to collect links? Then you definitely should take time to read his post!
A Beginners Guide to Rel Attributes
Mainly webbuilders get lost sometimes in all the new HTML tags which can be added to highlight certain relations that Google can easily read. Given the fact taht Google is moving more and more to the system of a semantic web (where relations between data are the most important factor) it is important to be aware of the possibilities. Nichola Stott summarized some of the options with Rel-attributes on the State of Search weblog.
Algo Hunters – An Interview with Barry Schwartz
Dr. Pete and Barry Schwartz started a conversation about the shared interest in the Google Algorithms. It is a interesting discussion about how these two talk and think about certain aspects of the SEO world.
Duplicate content, which page shows up in the SERPs?
Dan Petrovic published a nice case in which he, in consultation with the website owners, tested what happens when your website or specific pages are copied to a website with more authority. His results show that it is indeed possible to “hijack” a by copying a website or page and turn up in the SERPs instead of the original page.
Does Google Use Reachability Scores in Ranking Resources?
Based on a newly rewarded patent to Google, it appears that Google is or has been looking at possibilities to use reachability as a ranking factor. This will primarily involve the on-site behavior of the visitor and the question is if Google has enough data to calculate these scores. In the comment section there are already some interesting discussions about this patent.