Here’s the first edition of our monthly news digest devoted to the world of online marketing. In case you don’t have time to keep tabs on everything that’s going on in the SEO industry, going through this concise and info packed recap will definitely come in handy.
Let’s have a look at this month’s news!
New Generic TLDs Are NOT a Ranking Factor
Google rarely provides us with direct intel about their ranking factors. Nevertheless, just recently, they’ve published a post on the Webmaster Central Blog that clarifies misconceptions about new gTLDs and their influence on rankings.
The good news is that the new generic TLDs won’t be treated differently from the standard TLD s by Google’s algos and, pay attention here: “keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search”.
Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that Google use country code top-level domains like .uk, .be, etc. as a signal that these websites are location specific, i.e. they are more relevant for certain regions.
Map Maker says: “I’ll Be Back!”
Google will reopen* Map Maker for editing in early August. And while the moderation process will still be community-based it will be somewhat updated against map vandalization. Google will select “mappers” as “Regional Leads” and all edits will be reviewed by these guys and Google’s automated moderation system. The concerns here are that the reviewing process may take a bit longer and thus the changes may come live with a certain delay.
(*Map Maker was closed in May given a sudden outburst of some racist listings on the platform. The issue was believed to be a result not only from the fact that Map Maker is open for free public editing and reviewing, but from the assumption that Google is using content from across the web to update their map data.)
Panda 4.2 On The Go
Last fall Google released the 4.1 Panda refresh and the hit websites have been looking forward to the next update ever since. Finally this month we are able to observe the slow global roll out of Panda 4.2.
Some enjoy recovery of their lost organic traffic, others suffer the consequences of their low quality duplicate on-site content. Don’t rush into any conclusions just yet though, this update is said to take months before it’s completed, so you won’t see a drastic drop or spike in rankings.
Keyword Not Provided 2
Remember the huge stress all webmasters faced in September 2013 when Google decided to encrypt all search data and add a “keyword not provided” tag to the organic referrals in our site analytics? Well, thanks to some neat keyword idea generating tools, the Keyword Planner, and every once in a while – the manual semantic research conducted on a selected topic we used to convince ourselves that we had at our disposal “almost good enough of a substitute” to the expired keyword data in Google Analytics.
Things are changing though: Google announced that they are to shut down their Auto-complete API on 10 August. This act will undoubtedly affect some of the current keyword research tools, which will add yet another challenge to the SEO industry.
Google + : “To Be, Or Not To Be”
Google and social medias – a project that once again proves to be more of an oxymoron than a successful and well-accepted product. First there was Orkut, then Google Buzz, then Google Wave, and now it seem that Google Plus is drawing its last breath.
Google are gradually taking the “shine” off the Google+ product: the authorship photos (Google+ profile images of Google users) were removed from SERPs, the major part of the Google+ team was relocated to other Google projects, and finally this month Google announced that the Google Plus profile will no longer be the user’s identity in all Google Products.
Nevertheless, the social medias is too big of a market to be easily forfeited by Google, so Google+ remains live and kicking. As Google put it, they are trying out “a more focused Google+ experience”. Will that resurrect Google+’s social network though, only time will tell.
Facebook to rival with Google on yet another level: Video Content
Facebook is gradually becoming a serious contender of Google. Facebook’s actually forbidding Google to both crawl and index their likes, shares and content and this is only a steppingstone towards the open rivalry between the two companies.
They compete as it comes to offering advertising opportunities to their users (Facebook Ads vs Google AdWords), social networking platforms (Facebook vs Google+), local business listings and now they are yet to compete with video content.
In July Facebook have introduced new features to its users that allow improved video customization. This is a direct attack against Google’s video platform YouTube. The curious thing is that the YouTube team has developed pretty neat growth strategy too. Following Google’s mantra: “Content is king” they have just recently employed an MTV executive to create original online series for the platform.
The war is fierce, we will keep a close look at how things will turn around, so don’t forget to check our August News Recap. Have you stumbled upon other important industry news from the past month, don’t hesitate to add them in the comments!