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Check out the latest news from the world of search in this week’s Search News Round Up.
At the ‘How to Rank Better in Google and Bing’ SMX West conference, Google’s head of Web Spam Matt Cutts said Google will potentially be looking at improving search results based on the quality of merchants later this year. Cutts said:
We have a potential launch later this year, maybe a little sooner, looking at the quality of merchants and whether we can do a better job on that, because we don’t want low quality experience merchants to be ranking in the search results…
We are trying to ask ourselves, are there other signals that we can use to spot whether someone is not a great merchant, and if we can find those, and we think that they are not all that spammable, then we’re more than happy to use those.
This news is significant for SEO as sites could suffer from a loss in organic visibility if their on- or offline customer service is poor, and they’ve received bad online reviews as a result.
In another SMX West panel revelation, Matt Cutts announced new information regarding Google’s Panda, Penguin and link network updates. Cutts revealed:
Of particular significance is the news regarding the Penguin update, as Cutts has said he expects it will be one of the most talked about updates in 2013. Also of significance is the pre-emptive announcement of a Panda update. Maybe Matt is being kind, as this may be the last ever Panda announcement?
Reports this weekend indicate there may well have been a Panda update, which has been propagating since Friday. However, as yet there has been no confirmation of this from Google.
What is not a surprise is Cutts' mention of Google's concentration on taking down more link networks. It’s also of little surprise that Panda is to be integrated into rolling algorithm updates but it’s worth noting that this may make it more difficult for SEOs to analyse losses in organic visibility.
Image source: Stateofsearch.com
Google has launched a new help centre for webmasters whose sites have been hacked. The help centre includes:
This is good news for the SEO community and any webmaster in general who may have been hacked. Google has produced really simple to follow video instructions that may prove particularly useful for those who don’t know what to do if their site has been hacked.
As reported on Searchengineland.com this week, Google appears to be testing a couple of new SERP features:
Since these features appear only to be being tested within Google.com at this stage, the effect of these features is as yet unknown. However, the search within feature certainly makes sense and, if rolled out worldwide, could radically change search behaviour.
And that’s it for this week! Check back every Monday for the latest instalment of the Fresh Egg Search News Round Up.