Google Releases Another Panda Update, Google Search Preferences Are Now Universal, adCenter Introduces Ad Rotation, & More

Google Releases Another Panda Update, Google Search Preferences Are Now Universal, adCenter Introduces Ad Rotation, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Panda 3.9.1 Goes Live, Changes ~1% Of Searches

Yada, yada, yada. That’s essentially the reaction you can expect from the SEO world as Google start rolling our more regular, minor updates to its Panda algorithm. The latest tweak went into effect this past Monday, complete with the obligatory “affects less than 1% of searches” rider attached and a significantly less amount of outrage from the industry.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Webmaster Tools Offers More Specific Traffic Alert Emails

Google’s Webmaster Tools Traffic Alerts have been ambiguous since their launch, explaining that there’s an issue but really failing to provide any clarity as to where you should start looking. However, the search engine recently updated the alert system to better inform webmasters of what the problem is and how much attention it deserves.

Source: Search Engine Land

Your Google Search Preferences Are Now Universal Across All Devices And Browsers

Google is now allowing users to save their search settings within their Google account, which makes it easier to transfer between devices and browsers (as long as your account is logged in). This is incredibly useful if you happen to switch between browsers frequently, but it’ll be interesting to see how much this could alter user behavior on the search engine.

Source: Search Engine Land

adCenter Now Includes True PPC Ad Rotation Option

Microsoft’s adCenter now allows PPCers to choose their ad rotation strategy, by optimizing for clicks or rotating ads evenly. This has been a huge knock on the platform for some time, as it is a common and very popular feature in Google’s AdWords, so it’s nice to see adCenter should up to the party.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google+ Offers More Personalized URLS for Pages And Profiles

Google announced that Google+ users will soon be able to utilize more personalized URLs on their social network. The feature is only available to major brands and verified celebrities at the moment, but will be offered to all Google+ users in the near future.  The shortened URLs will take the form of’s Name), which Google says will make locating and connecting with other users on the network easier. Google also launched its “Studio Mode” feature which optimizes audio settings for specifically listening to music.

Source: Search Engine Watch

SEOMoz Releases Survey On The State Of SEO

SEOMoz has released the latest results from their second biennial SEO Industry Survey. The survey offers a wide look at salaries, the most popular paid and free tools and what tactics SEOs are employing. The survey showed SEOs prefer free tools (who would have thought?) with Google Webmaster Tools leading the pack by a wide margin. Google Analytics led paid tools by an equally lopsided margin. The article is chock-full of other interesting highlights from the survey with a link to the complete results included as well.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google’s SERPs Are Shrinking, And So Are The Domains That Occupy Them

File this under a hybrid of analysis and news, but SEOmoz has an excellent article confirming what you’ve probably already noticed if you’re a committed SEO: the SERPs are getting smaller in numbers (7 is the new 10) and domain diversity. Dr. Pete backs up this conjecture with some thorough data dives, and explains some of the implications for the future of SEO and why, from Google’s stated philosophy, this change makes sense.

Source: SEOmoz

Quora Gets Full Integration Into Bing’s Social Sidebar

Quora, especially among tech savvy searchers, is a popular question and answer website that has been partnered with Bing since May. This is good news for both Quora and Bing, as it essentially serves a similar purpose as Google’s Knowledge Graph and encourages further quests for information on that particular topic.

Source: Search Engine Land

Users Overwhelmingly Prefer Clicking On Organic Vs. Paid Search Results

Google organic search results may be shrinking in size, but cheer up, SEOs. According to a recent study by eConsultancy that analyzed 1.4 billion searches in the U.K., users click on organic search 94% of the time compared to a 6% allocation for paid search on both Bing and Google.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Judge Sets Friday Deadline For Release Of Google’s Paid Media Contacts

Google has denied paying media members to write positive things about their August 17 Java patent and copyright lawsuit, but it really doesn’t matter now. A U.S. judge is forcing the search engine to unveil any bloggers, journalists, and commentators to act as glorified mouthpieces for Google during the lawsuit. Oracle was also part of the suit, and has already released the names of a few media members that were paid for their input or written opinions.

Source: Search Engine Watch

DexOne And SuperMedia Merge

DexOne and SuperMedia, two of the US’ largest yellow pages publishers and local search providers, are merging.  The merger was partly motivated by the need to speed up the transition from print advertising to digital. Currently, print revenue still exceeds digital for both companies, with print directories still being more widely used than you might expect. If stockholders approve, the merger would whittle down the number of large yellow pages distributors in the US to three-YP, Yellowbook and the combined Dex-SuperMedia.

Source: Search Engine Land

MLB Star Caught Using PEDs Creates Phoney Website, Gets Caught

Giant’s outfielder Melky Cabrera didn’t take the tried and true chain of custody defense Ryan Braun used to win an appeal of his 50 game suspension for testing positive for testosterone. Instead he opted for the uncharted waters of the fake website approach. Juan Nunez, a paid consultant of Cabrera’s agents, took full responsibility for paying $10,000 for a website advertising a fake product Cabrera used as an excuse for the positive test. The ruse didn’t take very long for MLB officials to sniff out.

Source: Mashable

Notable Commentary

That Is Definitely A Free Tool

There’s Something Kind Of Strange About The 2012 SEO Industry Survey Answers

If you look at the top tools used by SEOs, according to the 2012 SEO Industry Survey, you’ll notice a somewhat ominous trend: complete dependence on free tools, mostly provided by Google. It’s not necessarily an awful thing, but it does illustrate the weird dichotomy relationship SEOs have with Google. Free tools are fine and good, but it’s always good to have a backup plan should Google decide to charge money for some of their great programs.

Analysis By: Matt McGee, Search Engine Land

A PPC Campaign’s Latent Message About Your Business

From product popularity, keyword choices, and customer demographics, there is a lot of information to be gleaned from PPC campaigns. Jeremy Decker has a list of five things PPC tells you about your business that you may not recognize immediately.

Analysis By: Jeremy Decker, Search Engine Journal

My, How Link Building Has Grown Since 2005

Google has focused a gargantuan amount of its algorithm efforts on hunting spam linking tactics and those that produce short term results and long term problems. Alex Juel looks back on the last seven years of link building, what has changes, what hasn’t, and why white hat link building is gradually becoming your only, albeit difficult, option for ranking on Google’s Page One.

Analysis By: Alex Juel, SEOverflow

Social Signals And Google Rankings: Correlation Or Causation?

It’s no secret that social media has some say in how Google’s algorithm operates. What it influences and how much it influences rankings remains unclear to anyone outside of Mountain View, California. Will Critchlow opens this question up for discussion in a recent SEOmoz post, and takes a very scientific approach to his research into the topic.

Analysis By: Will Critchlow, SEOmoz

5 Areas Where adCenter Wins And AdWords Loses

Mike Nelson breaks down 5 areas where adCenter outpaces Google AdWords while still expressing his disdain for the program as a whole.

Analysis By: Mike Nelson, Search Engine Land

(500) Links To Your Website

Rand Fishkin weighs in on how much your first 500 links matter to your site. He admits it’s an arbitrary number, but his points are very valuable.

Analysis By: Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz