Google Buys Nest Labs, The Days Of Anonymous Trolling On Yelp May Be Over, & More

Google Buys Nest Labs, The Days Of Anonymous Trolling On Yelp May Be Over, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Bing Begins Rollout Of Secure Search

Jennifer Slegg of Search Engine Watch reports that Microsoft is slowly switching their search traffic to encrypted SSL, leading to yet another loss of keyword referral data for webmasters. A rep from Microsoft says they will keep the SEO community needs top of mind and balance them with consumer privacy and security concerns.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google Cuts Back On Authorship In Search Results

In December Google started limiting the number of authorship-tagged results in the SERPs, giving preference to higher quality authors. So this isn’t exactly new news, but now that the change has been implemented Search Engine Watch provides a comprehensive post mortem.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google Image Expands Search Capabilities

In good news for bloggers, Google Image Search now lets you find images by usage rights without digging through multiple menus of advance options. It can now be done in the image search interface under “Search Tools”. Of course, it’s not exactly a perfect system — some images labeled for reuse may be stolen from sites that do not allow reuse.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Nest Labs Acquired For $3.2 Billion

In the second largest acquisition in Google’s history the search giant announced its purchase of Nest Labs, developers of the sleek thermostat that tracks data and automatically adjusts temperatures. This is further evidence that Google is expanding into new markets as they seem to be acquiring many innovative companies in a variety of industries. A Nest Labs co-founder is a former Apple employee and is responsible for the iconic design of the iPod.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Search Engines Drove 40% Of Holiday Traffic

Over the course of their consumer insights webinar last week, Experian revealed data showing that search engines were responsible for 40% of holiday traffic to retailer websites. While still accounting for the largest chunk of upstream traffic, the figure actually represented a 13% dip when compared to the numbers from 2012. Uggs was the top branded product searched, followed by PS4 and Xbox One. Searches for retailer-specific coupons dropped during the 2013 holiday season as well.

Source: Search Engine Land

Algorithm Doesn’t Change Depending On SERP Position

This week someone asked Matt Cutts if results in different SERP positions are determined by different algorithms. Matt Cutts’ answer was no. For example, slots 4 and 5 aren’t reserved for fresher content determined by an algorithm different than the one determining which sites will show up in spots 1, 2 and 3.  Instead, Google’s algorithms rank all search results and are not assigned to specific positions.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Releases WordPress Plugin

On Thursday, Google announced via its Webmaster Central Blog that it has released an official Google Publisher Plugin for WordPress.  The plugin is still in the beta stage, but it should allow users to more easily integrate Google products within their WordPress sites. At this point, the publisher plugin supports two products: AdSense and Webmaster Tools.

Source: Search Engine Journal

European Commission Wants More Search Concessions From Google

The EU is seeking a final round of concessions from Google to settle potential antitrust claims against the company. They are demanding that Google delivers revised proposals within weeks to avoid an antitrust proceeding. Google maintained that it is compliant with European privacy standards and has continued to decline making any changes in response to French demands. It is expected this will go to France’s highest administrative court.

Source: Search Engine Land

Thousands Of Hotel Listings Hijacked

A large number of hotels listed in Google+ Local appear to have had links leading to their official sites hijacked and replaced with ones leading to third-party booking services. and appear to be behind the hijack. It remains unclear how they were hijacked, but Google claims it has already begun fixing the issue.

Source: Search Engine Land

Anonymous Yelp Reviews Under Fire

A Virginia court published a ruling that declares Yelp must divulge the real names behind reviewers who criticized a local business under anonymous monikers. This happened after an owner of a carpet company realized the customer experiences brought up did not align with anything in his database. The court ruled in his favor. It boils down to this: if you can’t prove you were there, you can’t bad-mouth the venue.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Twitter Releases Several Updates

Twitter is partnering with Epsilon to offer new ways to target ads via tailored audiences. By matching CRM data, advertisers can push highly targeted promoted tweet campaigns. Twitter will also be releasing a new design for its website that mirrors its iOS and Android apps.

Source: Search Engine Watch


Notable Commentary

Worth More Than Its Weight In Bitcoins


Using Excel To Spot SERP CTR Trends

Chris Liversidge of Search Engine Land offers a guide to better visualizing impressions vs. clicks in Excel instead of the Webmaster Tools interface. Google recently announced improved details for Search Query reports, but the difference is minimal. Use this guide for both visual benefits and additional reporting that is otherwise unavailable in Webmaster Tools.

Analysis by: Chris Liversidge, Search Engine Land

Free Local SEO Tools

If you’re in need of new SEO tools to help you get more local listings, visit the Moz blog. Miriam Ellis lists all of her favorite local SEO tools. Some you may have heard of, but it’s worth looking at because you’ll probably find a couple of new ones. She goes through the benefits of each one so that you can be as effective as possible with each.

Analysis by: Miriam Ellis, Moz

A Step-By-Step Guide To LinkedIn Advertising

Online marketers usually think of LinkedIn solely in terms of B2B advertising, but it can actually be useful for many kinds of B2C campaigns as well. Benjamin Spiegel offers up a thorough introduction to paid advertising on LinkedIn, with useful questions you can use to figure out if it’s a good fit for your target audience as well as details on how to set up a campaign.

Analysis by:  Benjamin Spiegel, Marketing Land

To Automate Or Not To Automate

As paid search pros know, bid management can be a huge time suck. Thankfully, though, it doesn’t have to be that way. In a recent contribution to the Certified Knowledge blog, Lauryan Feijen explores various approaches to automating bid management and explains the pros and cons of each.

Analysis by: Lauryan Feijen, Certified Knowledge