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Top SEO News, 2017
Google will keep in secret the number of search quality algorithms
How many search quality algorithms does Google use? This question was put to the John Mueller, the company’s employee during the last video conference with webmasters.
The question was:
"When you mention Google's quality algorithm, how many algorithms do you use?"
Mueller responded the following:
"Usually we do not talk about how many algorithms we use. We publicly state that we have 200 factors when it comes to scanning, indexing and ranking.
Generally, the number of algorithms is a casual number. For instance, one algorithm can be used to display a letter on the search results page. Therefore, we believe that counting the exact number of algorithms that Google uses is not something that is really useful [for optimizers].
From this point of view, I can’t tell you how many algorithms are involved in Google search."
Gary Illyes shares his point of view on how important referential audit is
At the Brighton SEO event that took place last week, Google rep called Gary Illyes shared his opinion about the importance of auditing the website's link profile. This information was reported by Jennifer Slagg in the TheSEMPost blog.
Since Google Penguin was modified into real-time update and started ignoring spam links instead of imposing sanctions on websites, this has led to a decrease of the value of auditing external links.
According to Gary Illyes, auditing of links is not necessary for all websites at the present moment.
"I talked to a lot of SEO specialists from big enterprises about their business and their answers differed. These companies have different opinions on the reason why they reject links.
I don't think that helding too many audits makes sense, because, as you noted, we successfully ignore the links, and if we see that the links are of an organic nature, it is highly unlikely that we will apply manual sanctions to a website.
In case your links are ignored by the "Penguin", there is nothing to worry about.
I've got my own website, which receives about 100,000 visits a week. I have it for 4 years already and I do not have a file named Disavow. I do not even know who is referring to me.
Thus, in the case when before a website owner was engaged in buying links or using other prohibited methods of link building, then conducting an audit of the reference profile and rejecting unnatural links is necessary in order to avoid future manual sanctions. It is important to remember that rejecting links can lead to a decrease in resource positions in the global search results, since many webmasters often reject links that actually help the website, rather than doing any harm to it.
Therefore, referential audits are needed if there were any violations in the history of the resource. They are not necessary for many website owners and it is better to spend this time on improving the website itself, says Slagg.
Googlebot still refuses to scan HTTP/2
During the last video conference with webmasters Google rep called John Mueller said that Googlebot still refrains to scan HTTP.
The reason is that the crawler already scans the content that fast, so the benefits that the browser receives (web pages loading time is decreased) are not that important.
"No, at the moment we do not scan HTTP / 2. We are still investigating what we can do about it. In general, the difficult part is that Googlebot is not a browser, so it does not get the same speed effects that are observed within a browser when implementing HTTP / 2. We can cache data and make requests in a different way than a regular browser. Therefore, we do not see the full benefits of scanning HTTP / 2.
But with more websites implementing push notification feature, Googlebot developers are on the point of adding support for HTTP in future.”
It should be recalled that in April 2016, John Mueller said that the use of the HTTP / 2 protocol on the website does not directly affect the ranking in Google, but it improves the experience of users due to faster loading speed of the pages. Therefore, if you have a change, it is recommended to move to this protocol.
Google does not check all spam reports in manual mode
Google employee named John Mueller stated that the search team does not check all spam reports manually during the last video conference with webmasters.
The question to Mueller was the following:
"Some time ago we sent a report on a spam, but still have not seen any changes. Do you check each and every report manually?"
The answer was:
No, we do not check all spam reports manually. "
Later Mueller added:
"We are trying to determine which reports about spam have the greatest impact, it is on them that we focus our attention and it is their anti-spam team that checks manually, processes and, if necessary, applies manual sanctions. Most of the other reports that come to us is just information that we collect and can use to improve our algorithms in the future. At the same time, he noted that small reports about violations of one page scale are less prioritized for Google. But when this information can be applied to a number of pages, these reports become more valuable and are prior to be checked.
As for the report processing time, it takes some considerable time. As Mueller explained, taking measures may take "some time", but not a day or two.
It should be recalled that in 2016, Google received about 35 thousand messages about spam from users every month. About 65% of all the reports led to manual sanctions.
Google tests a new search results format with ready-made answers July 11/2017
English-speaking users noticed that Google is testing a new format for the search results that would include ready answers.
From now on the website, the content of which was used to generate a response will no longer be displayed in the search results. The reference to it is contained only in the block with the answer.
"Google removed the result from the search on the page that was already shown in the block with the answer for this query. Now the block with the answer is the only result for the page on a specific request, "says The SEM Post blog
It is noted that the new feature is currently available for many users, but not all of them. This can mean a large-scale testing or a gradual launch.
Google updates the guidelines for assessors third time this year Aug 05/2017
It's third time this year that Google has updated the guidelines for assessors (experts assessing the quality of search results and the pages displayed in it). This time, the changes are even smaller than in the previous version of the document, which was published in May 2017.
The latest innovations will mainly be interested to SEO specialists who work with non-English pages.
For instance, the pseudoscientific and fake content details have been clarified, comments displaying pornographic ads on websites that do not contain adult content have been removed, new examples of pages with the lowest quality have been introduced, as well as a completely new section on the display of results in English for non-English-speaking locales.
There are changes that are purely of a natural style: for example, the selection of some words in italics has been removed. The section on using the Foreign Language label for pages in a foreign language like Ukrainian and Russian is replaced with an example of Catalan and Spanish.
A complete guide for assessors Google is a 160 pages book.
It should be recalled that the Google assessors guide has already been updated in March and May this year. The main changes aimed at combating dubious content in search results took place this March. The largest May updates affected the assessment of the quality of news websites, in particular the use of the "Upsetting-Offensive" label that was introduced in March.
Google My Business has added a tool for website creation June 17/2017
Google My Business has launched a new tool using which users will be able to create a free business card website for their company.
You need to verify ownership of the company page in My Business to access the tool. The data and photos placed on it will be used to create the website. The website appearance can be configured, and its contents supplemented.
If you change the company’ data, the website will be automatically updated. In addition, it will be optimized for cross-platform devices.
Having created a website you can publish it immediately or do that later.
A window that offers you to create a website appears after the confirmation of the company page. This function is also available in the "Website" menu.
For more information about this feature see the Help Center.
According to Google, 60% of small businesses do not have their own website. With the help of a new tool they will be able to create them.
AdWords launches a new keyword-level bidding interface July 11/2017
Google AdWords users all around the world noticed that is a new keyword-level bidding interface is launching soon.
Google will show recommended bids for different ad positions on the page, even if the bid simulator for this keyword is not available.
Some phases were also changed a little bit. Instead of the "top of the page" is now replaced by "over all organic results"; instead of "first position" the tab "over all other ads" will be now used.
There was no official launch announcement yet.
Let us remind you that Google AdWords changed algorithm of work of the Optimizer of the price for conversion last week. Earlier this tool could raise the maximum bid for prospective clicks by no more than 30%. Now this restriction is lifted.
How Google processes pages with the Canonical and noindex attributes Aug 14/2017
During the last video conference with webmasters, John Mueller answered the interesting question: how does the search engine process pages that both contain the Canonical and Noindex attribute?
The question to Mueller was:
"I once was at a seminar where I was told that if you use rel = canonical and Noindex on a page, then Canonical will transmit the Noindex canonicalized page. Is that true?".
"Hmm. I don’t know. We discussed this issue for a long time, at least inside the team. In particular, what should we do in this case.
Using Canonical, you are telling that two pages should be processes identically. Noindex reports that the page that contains it must be removed from the search. Therefore theoretically our algorithms can get confused and decide that you need to delete both pages. Correct? Or they can process them in different ways, taking into account Noindex attribute.
As a matter of actual practice, it is most likely that algorithms will decide that the rel = canonical attribute was added by mistake."
Google tests a new format for price extension in Product Listing Ads Aug 04/2017
Merkle agency specialists noticed that Google is testing a new format for price expansion in product listings.
Testers put the product price, which is shown at a discount, and the crossed-out original price on the right side. As a result, users immediately see that the product participates in the promotion. Testing is carried out in the mobile and desktop Google versions.
As noted in Merkle, this format of displaying information about the discount allows you to save space in the ad and show other extensions (free delivery, product rating). In addition, it helps to increase CTR ads and highlight company offers among competitors' ads.
Testing is conducted on a limited scale. Google representative said to the Merkle Company that they are constantly testing various formats to give users the most useful information.
Seo Facts #122
Young adults (ages 18 to 29) are the most likely to use social media with 90% using one or more platforms. (Source: Pew Research)
Seo Facts #53
February 2015 polling by Econsultancy showed that 73% of in-house marketers and 76% of US agencies said SEO provided excellent or good return on investment (ROI). (Source: eMarketer)
Seo Facts #73
48% Identified keyword/phrase research as a most effective SEO tactic with 34% citing frequent website update. (Source: MarketingProfs)
Seo Facts #43
U.S. spending on paid search and organic optimization will top $45 billion by 2019. (MediaPost)
Seo Facts #126
April 2015 polling by Manta found that nearly 6 in 10 US small-business owners (SBOs) still weren’t seeing ROI from social media activities. (Source: eMarketer)
Seo Facts #45
In the same Ascend2 report 48% of respondents identified keyword/phrase research as a most effective SEO tactic with 34% citing frequent website updates. (Source: MarketingProfs)