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SMX Advanced made this an important week for digital marketing news, with a host of updates announced for Google. Meanwhile, Apple WWDC brought the announcement of iOS 7, which will see some changes to the way Siri works.
Matt Cutts’ biggest news this week was in regards to manual penalties. Previously, if a webmaster received a manual penalty, there would be no indication of what page or pages were causing the penalty. Thus, for a site with thousands of pages it becomes almost impossible to fix the problem.
Cutts announced that with most manual penalties, a few example pages will be given to help the webmaster with the clean-up. Cutts also makes it clear that only a few examples will be shown, firstly because Google doesn’t want to aid spammers and secondly because, for some sites, the notification e-mail could be huge.
This additional information for manual penalties could be a great help for those sites which have inadvertently crossed the spam threshold, and need some help getting back to a stable position. There’s some scepticism about how useful these examples will be, as it’s expected the examples given by Google will most likely be the obvious contributors. However, it’s worth remembering that any extra communication can only be a good thing.
Cutts announced a new algorithm that will be targeted at cleaning up results for spammy search terms, especially where illegal tactics have been used to increase organic visibility. The update won’t happen all at once but will be, as Cutts writes, “a multifaceted rollout that will be happening over the next 1-2 months”. This update will be of most help to searchers in Turkey, who’ll be expecting a 4% change in their results pages, which is in contrast to just a 0.3% change in the US.
Cutts announced that Google Panda is being rolled out on a monthly basis and that implementation happens gradually over a 10 day period. While it might make it harder to identify specifically what’s going on (although the signs are often obvious), this is great news for those of us who are creating great content and keeping our audience engaged: hopefully it means those sites that have made the effort to fix problems will see the benefits quicker. It’s arguably great news for searchers too, as it will hopefully result in more rich content at the top of the Google SERPs.
As this is a monthly rollout, changes are expected to take place each month in the SERPs. As such, Barry Schwartz is calling this series of rollouts a Panda Dance, referencing the Google Dances of the early millennium.
The final important thing to note from Cutts at SMX is that badly mobile optimised sites may see themselves dropping in mobile search results. This is to curb the spate of un-optimised, or badly optimised, mobile sites that are ranking well in mobile search and causing user frustration.
The targeted sites will be those that offer faulty redirects (Google may even fix this for users) and smartphone-only errors. This is great news for mobile users who may be infuriated with suboptimal mobile pages that load large images or just load the wrong page. It should also be noted that this will only affect mobile users and not those on a desktop.
Does this step go far enough though? If it’s a site with no mobile-optimisation at all, or it’s not RWD (responsive web design) should it be in the mobile SERPs at all?
Apple WWDC this year saw the announcement of the redesigned iOS 7, which is going to integrate Bing instead of Google as a default search engine for Siri.
This is another example of Apple trying to circumvent Google and cut off all dependencies between the two giants, who are direct competitors in the mobile technologies industry. This is good news for the market share of Bing and the move will hopefully not involve as difficult a transition as the switch to the Apple Maps application in September 2012. It should be additionally noted that Twitter and Wikipedia will both now be integrated with Siri, which should help give more accurate responses to user queries.
Don’t forget to head back to the Fresh Egg blog every Monday for the latest round up of digital marketing news.
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