SEO industry update for March 2014
So far this year we are already seeing a number of changes within the SEO world. This month we saw the internet mark its 25th birthday with a number of other changes including Statistics that show second-screening, real-time marketing, guest blogging, paid search, online video and The Guardian’s record-breaking month for traffic.
No algorithm updates were made this month; however, there are lots more to talk about as other changes were made.
New version of Google maps officially unveiled
Google launched a new version of Google maps although this has been around for a few months they have made this version to default with the new look very map orientated showing results within the map. Some people used to us this to help them in the rankings, however, everyone is now on an even playing field which means if you are ranking 9th or 10th you may benefit from this.
Google have introduced a new appearance update which could influence Search as the title on the top (old design) has a small amount of room to spare. After the redesign (bottom), it’s lost six full characters from 73 down to 61.
Scraper sites are websites that copy content that other people have created. They post that content on their own website as their own content.
It seems logical that the original website should rank higher on Google than the website that copies the content. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Scraper websites often rank higher on Google than the original websites. Sometimes, the original website isn’t displayed at all in the search results while the scraper site gets high rankings.
Until now, Google has tried to filter scraper sites algorithmically from the search result pages. It seems that this hasn’t worked very well. Google’s Matt Cutts announced a new tool that enables webmasters to report scraper sites:
How important are links?
Despite penalizing large guest blogging site ‘MyBlogGuest’ Matt Cutts says links are still important.
At the same time, a huge topic of conversation and debate in recent months has been Google’s continual efforts to crack down on outbound links that might be paid. For example, Cutts’ recent pronouncement that guest blogging is ‘dead’ in terms of SEO.
On March 3rd, 2014, Cutts released another video condemning link-related SEO practices, titled “What is a ‘paid link’?” in which Cutts states, “Anything that’s deceptive, or manipulative, or abusive, we reserve the right to take action on.”
Bing have made two announcements this month the first being an update on ‘Keyword stuffing’.
‘When creating content, make sure to create your content for real users and readers, not to entice search engines to rank your content better. Stuffing your content with specific keywords with the sole intent of artificially inflating the probability of ranking for specific search terms is in violation of our guidelines and can lead to demotion or even the de-listing of your website from our search results.’
If you use keyword stuffing techniques on your site, Bing may give your site a “demotion” or even worse “de-list” your site from the Bing search results.
The other update meaning if you have poor grammar then you might also find yourself being penalized, although Google is less bothered about this. But either way – having poor grammar may upset your users and push them away from your web site. This can have a long term negative impact on your search traffic.
Yahoo is now officially showing reviews, ratings and business information in local search. The search engine has teamed up with ‘Yelp’ to help users decide where to spend their pennies. Yahoo have also added internal maps for larger venues such as ‘football stadiums’ alongside Bing and Google.