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The past fortnight has seen the launch of Panda 4.0, Google updating ‘Fetch as Google’ while also being forced to once again comply with the Euopean Courts . Find out more in the latest edition of Fresh Egg’s digital marketing news.
Over the last two weeks, Google’s Webspam team released two updates: Panda 4.0 and a payday loans refresh. The big one here is Panda 4.0, which Matt Cutts surprisingly announced on Twitter:
Google is rolling out our Panda 4.0 update starting today.— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 20, 2014
The update is, according to Barry Schwartz, set to be softer than previous iterations and should affect around 7.5% of English queries. Panda is an important update which removes a lot of the weak content from the search giant’s SERPs; it is key to keeping strong and relevant content ranking highly. Therefore, those brands that are creating engaging and relevant content really have nothing to worry about. In fact, such sites may actually see increases in visibility as weaker pieces of content slowly get filtered out of the SERPs.”
Shimi Salant of Google’s Webmaster Tools team announced, on Tuesday 27 May, an update to its ‘Fetch as Google’ feature within Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). This update added the ability to ‘Fetch and Render’, which basically shows the webmaster what Google sees when visiting a particular page and which directives are blocked by robots.txt. The exciting part of this new feature is that it allows error checking by device with the ability to switch between desktop and three types of mobile: smartphone, XHTML/WML and cHTML. This update is primarily designed to make diagnosing issues easier for those who aren’t particularly technical. Salant writes that:
"The server headers and HTML shown are useful to diagnose technical problems and hacking side-effects, but sometimes make double-checking the response hard: Help! What do all of these codes mean? Is this really the same page as I see it in my browser? Where shall we have lunch? We can't help with that last one, but for the rest, we've recently expanded this tool to also show how Googlebot would be able to render the page."
Image source: Googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk
‘Fetch as Google’ can be found by going to Crawl > Fetch as Google in Google Webmaster Tools.
Following a ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union, Google has been forced to comply with takedown requests of content that is inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant. These takedown requests are designed primarily for an individual who may have had truthful information circulated about themselves that they no longer feel reflects their character.
It is important to note that URLs will only be removed from European versions of Google. Where a URL is removed a message will be given, much like its DMCA complaint message, which discloses the fact that a removal has been actioned.
An example of the current DMCA complaint message in Google SERPs
Some webmasters were at first worried about this being exploited but Google does make it clear that it “often receives fraudulent removal requests from people impersonating others, trying to harm competitors, or improperly seeking to suppress legal information”. As such, strong justification and a proof of identity need to be supplied along with a list of the offending URLs.
To request a takedown Google has created a new form that lets interested parties upload their list of offending URLs.
Much like Google did back in March, Facebook has now integrated restaurant and café menus into its platform offering a richer way for its potential customers to become engaged with the establishment’s offerings.
Image source: Facebook.com
Unfortunately this service is not yet available outside of the US and Canada but does, by going to Settings > Page Info > Menus, allow establishments outside of North America to upload PDF versions of their menus:
This is a great way to add richer content to an establishment’s Facebook page and is something Fresh Egg highly recommends for encouraging engagement with potential customers.
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