Digital Marketing News Round Up: Penguin’s First Birthday, Google Penalises Mozilla and Instant Preview Axed from SERPs

Written by Will Barnes - 29 Apr 2013
It seems there hasn’t been too much going on in the digital marketing world over the past week – today we’ve only a trio of stories to relay:

One year since Google’s Penguin update implementation

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On 24 April 2012, Google rolled out its Penguin algorithm update, which was designed to target low quality backlinks and associated SERPs manipulation. With the update’s first birthday passing just a few days ago, SEOs now anxiously await the next update. Perhaps the lack of digital marketing news this week is the calm before the storm… According to a 2012 SERoundtable readers’ poll, 65.71% have experienced negative effects on the visibility of their sites as a result of Penguin. In a subsequent poll by SERoundtable, conducted in January 2013, 94% of those affected said their sites still had not fully recovered. These results are likely swayed by the fact that those affected were more likely to have participated in the poll, but nevertheless the stats do illustrate just how powerful Penguin’s impact was (and continues to be). Google’s next update is expected very soon, which is a concern for those in the industry since the visibility of certain sites might once again be under threat.

Google penalises Mozilla for ‘About’ page spam

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Google recently penalised the website of free software community Mozilla for spam. It turns out this was due to the low quality of its 'About' page, which has been hit hard by comment spammers. While this method is is generally shunned by experienced digital marketers, more than 22,000 comments – containing "no follow" links to sites discussing everything from pay day loans to cosmetic surgery (and of, course, pornography) – were submitted on the page. The site’s webmasters have obviously been working hard to remove the dodgy comments – the count at this time is 9,390. While user-generated content is considered beneficial as far as aiding audience engagement on websites goes, Mozilla’s penalty highlights the importance of comment moderation and spam filtering.

Google axes Instant Preview from its SERPs

A few weeks back, we reported certain Google users were noticing the Instant Preview feature had been removed from SERPs and been switched for a drop-down menu (see the image below). When clicked, Instant Preview would provide a visual snapshot of webpages to help users decide if they wanted to click through to them. It appears the switch has now been fully rolled out. The replacement drop-down button sits next to each search result, much like it does in Bing’s current SERP layout:

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This move could be interpreted as Google trying to mimic their closest search engine rival. However, axing Instant Preview is more likely to be Google’s way of keeping adverts visible in its SERPs. Previously, adverts to the right-hand side of the screen would get covered by the preview image. However, now the feature can be accessed without ad intrusion.

Be sure to come back and check the Fresh Egg blog every Monday for details of the latest digital marketing news.

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