Top SEO News, 2018
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 will no longer trust WoSign and StarCom certificates July 25/2017
Google reports that in the coming months, it will completely stop cooperation with certificates issued by WoSign and StarCom certification centers. The change will take effect with the release of Chrome 61, which is expected in mid-September. It will affect the certificates issued before October 21, 2016, the period of validity of which has not yet expired.
Last year, Google Chrome 56 stopped trusting the certificates from WoSign and StarCom, released later October 21, 2016. After the release of Chrome 57, the browser partially stopped trusting the old certificates. An exception was made for websites that are among the first million in the Alexa rating. From now on, all certificates from these centers will be banned.
"Starting with Chrome 61, the white list will be removed, which will lead to a complete cessation of trust in the existing root certificates of WoSign and StarCom and all certificates that they have given out. Websites that still use certificates from StarCom and WoSign should urgently consider replacing them, so as to minimize any inconveniences to Chrome users," reports Google.
It should be recalled Mozilla announced about freezing its cooperation with WoSign and StartCom in September 2016. Starting with the Firefox 51 the certificates are considered to be invalid. At the same time, the support of certificates issued before October 21, 2016 is still preserved.
Google uses ccTLD for geotargeting and Search Console settings July 25/2017
John Mueller, Google spokesman described the way the search engine targets search results for users living in different regions of the globe.
According to Mueller, geographic targeting uses factors such as ccTLDs or Search Console settings.
For geotargeting we use mostly the ccTLD or search console setting, so place the server.
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) July 7, 2017
Earlier Google analyzed the server location determining the region where the website should be ranked best. Apparently, now this factor is not counted.
Google Search Console sends thousands of verification requests to webmasters by mistake Aug 14/2017
The webmasters who work with Google Search Console have been receiving numerous letters from the service in the last two days asking them to confirm the data. In some cases, thousands of such messages are going to inbox.
Google’s search quality department specialist John Mueller suggested that the problem may be related to the beta version of Search Console, and apologized:
"I also noticed that it was happening. I think it started yesterday or the day before yesterday. We sorted out the problem together with the Google Search Console team, and, in our opinion, it does not mean that there is something wrong with your websites. It seems that the problem is on our side, we have confused something, I think this is related to the beta version of Search Console. Perhaps there are some processes that need to be re-tested. But this does not mean that you have to make any changes on your websites, or that you have been attacked by hackers, or something like that. I'm embarrassed and apologize for all these messages that dropped to you inbox mails."
It should be recalled that Google is working on a new version of Search Console, which became known in July. The company officially confirmed this information in early August and shared the details of the two reports for testing. The new Search Console version will not only change the interface, but also make more data available.
Google Image Search loses market share to Amazon and Facebook Aug 14/2017
The share of Google in the search market grew from 58.84% in October last year to 64.8% in March 2017. At the same time, the share of Google Image Search fell to 21.8% in favor of Amazon and Facebook. This information has come from analysts of the American company Jumpshot in partnership with co-founder Moz Rand Fishkin.
During the research, they analyzed search data in Google Search, Images, Maps, YouTube, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon, Facebook, Reddit and Wikipedia for the period from October 2016 to May 2017 with a sole purpose to determine the resources that accounted for the largest number of search engines Sessions and traffic.
Generally, at this period Amazon's share went up from 0.4% to 2.30%, and Facebook's 0.8% to 1.5%. Bing and Yahoo both showed growth of up to 2.4%, while Google Maps was ranked up to 1.2%. The activity of Google Search, Bing, Amazon and Facebook showed growth, while Google Images, YouTube, Yahoo and Google Maps lost their positions.
The report also included data on search volumes and CTR in the US. The number of search sessions in Google has exceeded 30 billion a month (as of October 2016). By May 2017, the growth trend remained at the level of 10-15% compared to the previous year.
The results of the organic search in 2016 went down to the bottom. In December they were ranked at 54% (despite the fact that in January and February of the same year their level was at 57% and 56%, respectively, and taking into account the traditional activity stop after the winter holidays).
November 2016 gave the highest rates of search activity without clicks and was ranked at 45.5%. At the same time, the lowest indicator was in October, which is only 40.3%.
According to Jumpshot, the largest traffic is generated by Google: about 63% in May 2017, with about 60% in October 2016. During this period, YouTube also showed better results and went up by 0.2%, while Amazon rose by 0.1%. Traffic from Facebook, Yahoo, Reddit, Imgur and Bing almost died, and that’s only Wikipedia that remained at the same level.
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 Drive will become a backup tool June 17/2017
Google plans to make a backup tool out of Google's cloud service. Soon it will be available to track and archive files inside any folder the user specifies. This can also be the contents of the entire hard disk or the Documents folder.
The backup function will be available from June 28 after the release of the new Backup and Sync application, which is the latest version of Google Drive for Mac / PC.
It is assumed that users will have the opportunity to open and edit files located in the cloud. It is still not clear whether they will be able to synchronize information between multiple PCs using Disk as an intermediary.
Since the auto update to Backup and Sync is not planned, the company recommends installing a new application immediately after being released.
The new feature is primarily targeted at corporate Google Drive users.
Seo Facts #67
1 in 3 smartphone searches were made right before a store visit. (Source: Google)
Seo Facts #69
50% of consumers visit a store within a day of their local search on a smartphone. (Source: Google)
Seo Facts #132
Facebook and other social media sites ranked as the second most effective marketing method among US small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) surveyed in January 2015. (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)
Seo Facts #76
On average, B2B influencers do 12 searches prior to visiting a specific brand’s site. (Source: Google)
Seo Facts #28
Having video on the landing page of your site makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of Google. (41 Stories)