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Because Google gives out such little information about the internal workings of its algorithms, it's nearly impossible to say with certainty what issues webmasters can expect to face in 2013. Digital marketers failed to predict the widespread changes that would result from 2011's Panda update, just as they couldn't foresee the scope of the 2012 Penguin change. Google typically does about 200 algorithm updates each year, but there's no way to know if another Panda or Penguin is in store. But based on the changes we have seen recently, it's possible to make a few predictions about how the field of search engine optimization (SEO) could change during the coming year. Related: 5 Deadly Sins of SEO and Online Marketing The Issues A few fundamental shifts have occurred recently that will likely continue throughout 2013:
Next week Google Analytics team members will be presenting on several key areas of measurement, both online and in-person. Be sure to mark your calendars and join us as we share ideas and best practices about everything analytics. Google Developers Live Event (Online) Make the Web Fast: Measuring performance with Google Analytics Site Speed reports
Yesterday, At SES San Francisco during the Matt Cutts keynote , Matt answered some questions about the Penguin update that has many SEOs and webmaster shaking in their boots. Update from Matt Cutts: Matt clarified and gave a lot of context to what he said at SES SF. Here is his comment : Hey Barry, I wasn't saying that people needed to overly stress out about the next Penguin update, but I'm happy to give more details. I was giving context on the fact that lots of people were asking me when the next Penguin update would happen, as if they expected Penguin updates to happen on a monthly basis and as if Penguin would only involve data refreshes.
Not feeling lucky? Maybe you’re feeling stellar? Maybe hungry or perhaps puzzled? Google has added a few new options to its I’m Feeling Lucky button. Simply hover over the button and Google will send you to one of Google’s various other properties such as Hot Searches or Google Earth.
Unlike searching on a desktop or laptop computer, when you're searching on a touch-screen mobile device it’s often inconvenient to type. So we strive to give you a variety of ways to interact with Google, be it by speaking your queries , getting results before you finish typing , or searching by image . Now there’s a new way for you to interact with Google: Handwrite for web search on mobile phones and tablets.
Google’s results are getting even more deeply intertwined with Google+. New links are now showing under results that show “Actively Discussed On Google+.” The link is expandable and brings in Google+ comments or posts when clicked. The “Actively Discussed on Google+” displays much like a sitelink with a blue “Show” button that will expand the discussion without taking users off the results page: When the show button is clicked we’ve spotted either comments or posts from Google+ displaying. Comments look quite similar to the Google+ execution and are nested as responses.
Alex Chitu reports Google is testing a new feature for the Google Knowledge Graph . The new feature is a way to show an expanded version of the knowledge graph in the top of the search results. Currently, when you search in Google and the knowledge graph comes up, it shows you up to five related people, books, albums, movies and so on. If you want more, you are out of luck. But with this test, Google is adding an “explore more” more link that gives you a lot more related topics to scroll through right at the top of the page.
Google has rolled out a pilot program in which advertisers can display relevant search items before a consumer has finished typing a query. Called "Search as You Type," the initiative is aimed at AdWords advertisers. Google has so far partnered with two brands — Hasbro and Lowe's — for the program.
Google is testing a new format for Sitelinks. We received official confirmation from Google on this test at Search Engine Land. The new sitelinks format gives you several categories of Sitelinks in a tabbed format. Many are calling this Tab Sitelinks. Here is a picture from the Warrior Forum : I personally cannot replicate it but I wonder if this clutters the interface more than it is useful?
Bing has announced a new configuration area in Bing Webmaster Tools called "Disavow Links." The tool is for submitting URLs of spammy or low-quality sites that link to you or links to your site that seem "unnatural." The new tool can be found under the Configure My Site area of Bing Webmaster Tools. The tool allows you to provide Bing with signals that alert Bing to links you don't trust, according to Bing's blog post . There are no limits to the links you can disavow.
(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog ) You may already be familiar with some shortcuts for Google Search, like using the search box as a calculator or finding local movie showtimes by typing [movies] and your zip code. But there are many more tips, tricks and tactics you can use to find exactly what you’re looking for, when you most need it. Today, we’ve opened registration for Power Searching with Google , a free, online, community-based course showcasing these techniques and how you can use them to solve everyday problems. Our course is aimed at empowering you to find what you need faster, no matter how you currently use search. For example, did you know that you can search for and read pages written in languages you’ve never even studied?
I've been wanting to write about this topic for a long time, but I have not seen a thread on this topic until this week (we have writing policies ). For the past couple of years, the WebmasterWorld forums have been huge supporters of Bing. For the most part, WebmasterWorld (as I see it) is anti-Google and very pro-Bing. It is just the tone of that forum and that forum is a very important forum. Almost all (not 100%) of the official Google reps have left and do not participate but we do have some limited Bing participation. And the tones of most of the threads are pro-Bing and anti-Google, especially from the owner and most of the leaders of the forum.
Webmaster Level: Beginner to Intermediate Wondering how to be search-friendly but lacking time for SEO research? We’d like to help! Meta keywords tag? Google Search ignores it .
Remember Google's secretive X Lab , a place where Google engineers work on futurist projects in fields such as artificial intelligence and robotics? The New York Times reports on one of those projects — a neural network built from 1,000 computers that simulates the human brain. The "brain" was then sent to complete a task familiar to most humans: Find cat videos on YouTube.
Tecno-net spotted yet another new Google user interface test. This one has the search navigation, options and filters across the top of the the search results page. It leaves the left hand side wide open and blank for a lot of other uses such as maybe ads? Here is a picture what it looks like: This is what it may look like in the future with ads on the left and data on the right: Here is a video of how it works: