Google Won’t Rank Your International Domain, AdSense Caters To Responsive Designs, & More

Google Won’t Rank Your International Domain, AdSense Caters To Responsive Designs, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Don’t Buy A Domain Hosted In Another Country And Expect To Rank In The U.S.

If you’re considering purchasing a keyword-friendly domain hosted in Japan, France, Germany, or elsewhere, you might want to explore other options if you’re hoping to rank in Google. That, according to Matt Cutts, who said Google reads ccTLD locations and geotargets content respectively.

Source: YouTube

Google AdSense Unveils Responsive Design Ads For Beta

Google announced the release of AdSense ad units that cater to responsive design sites. Because it’s only in beta testing mode, Google recommends caution to make sure they’re being tested properly. They also include a few best practices to follow in order to ensure the full capabilities of responsive ad units.

Source: Marketing Land

Google Updates AdWords Quality Score Reporting

Google is changing how Quality Score is shown in AdWords accounts. Set to roll out over the next couple days, the update is intended to improve the transparency and visibility of three key sub factors: expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google Tests ‘Mini-Sitelinks’ Under Organic Sitelinks

Google is testing a feature with its sitelinks that, when one larger sitelink is clicked, opens a gray drop-down of sub-sitelinks within that directory of the website. It’s unclear how Google determines when this feature is activated, but it’s possible we never speak of this test again, so…

Source: Search Engine Land

Twitter ‘Universal’ Search Results Are Go

Twitter has revamped their search function and layout, adding tabs for photos, people, and general results. The site also features recent searches, and any connections to relevant accounts you might have, depending on the query.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Updates Link Building Best Practices For Webmasters

Google recently came down from Mt. Sinai to add a few previously unspoken best practices to their Webmaster guidelines. Located in their link schemes document, Google now officially frowns upon large-scale guest posting (basically, spinning content), advertorials that pass PageRank, and optimized anchor text. None of this is new news, but it always bears mentioning when Google notarizes something as officially spam.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Testing Local Reviews Pop-Up That Keeps You On Google

In other testing news, Google has changed the layout of its business reviews when clicked within the search results. Rather than send you to the business’s Google Plus Local page, the new format pops up within the results and implores you to write a review yourself. The change, if made permanent, would clearly reduce or delay traffic to the Google Local business page.

Source: Local SEO Guide

Google Analytics Real-Time API Reporting Now In Beta Mode

Google has announced they are opening their Google Analytics real-time reporting API for beta testing. The API allows webmasters to add a content widget to pages displaying active users on the site, among other things. It also allows you to create a custom executive dashboard for key metrics.

Source: Marketing Land

Facebook Migrates To Secure Browsing, Preserves Referral Status For Marketers

On Wednesday, Facebook announced that nearly all of their user accounts have switched from http to https browsing. The move improves the site’s security, but also runs the risk of creating more (not provided)-related issues for marketers. However, Facebook assured that referrals will still show up as Facebook in Google Analytics and other platforms by redirecting the URL through http.

Source: Marketing Land

Yelp Beats The Books In Q2

Wall Street is pleased with Yelp’s performance, as the local business listing and review site posted a higher-than-anticipated revenue of $55 million in the second quarter of this year. While the startup occupies a small footprint in the overall online local advertising space and competition from Google and others is fierce, investors are seeing that Yelp’s introduction of new features and acquisitions of local delivery services make it a good place to plunk down some bullion.

Source: All Things D

Safari’s Google Referral Problem Is Now Fixed

Because Safari does not support Google’s meta referrer tag, visits from Google via the iOS device-based browser display as direct traffic in Google Analytics. Well, no longer, according to multiple reports, as the iOS 7 update remedies this kind of dumb issue.

Source: Search Engine Land

The Singularity Approaches: Announcing Google Starbucks

In its never-ending quest to expand and enhance Internet connectivity, Google is going where the people are: Starbucks. Now that the Kansas City area has had its Mbps amped up by Google Fiber, the search engine giant has announced a partnership to increase Wi-Fi connection speed by over 10x at the over 7,000 Starbucks cafes in the U.S. If you’re lucky enough to frequent Starbucks in places like Mountain View or Manhattan, your caffeine-induced rapid-fire web surfing will speed up by over 100x.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google Now Hyperlocal News Card In Testing

Google is reportedly testing a new hyperlocal news card for the Google Now function of the Google app for mobile devices. Right now the test is only available to Google employees, who report seeing updates on Miss Mexico visits to local schools, burrito giveaways and stabbings in nearby parks.

Source: Search Engine Land

Facebook To Sell TV-Style Ads

In an attempt to pry more companies’ advertising dollars away from televisions, Facebook plans to offer 15-second television-style advertising spots on its site sometime later this year. The potential move is part of a growing trend among online entities, like Google and AOL, of trying to siphon off ad money that would have traditionally gone to television. According to sources the commercials will be sold on a full-day basis and can only be targeted to users by age and gender. Depending on the audience they want to reach, ads will run from $1 million to $2.5 million per day.

Source: Bloomberg

LinkedIn Unveils Analytics For Business Pages

Now companies will be able to get a better picture of how other users are interacting with their LinkedIn page with LinkedIn Company Page analytics. The platform is similar to Facebook’s, with data on traffic, competitors, profiling and demographics.

Source: Marketing Land

Peoples’ Love Of TV And Netflix Is Not Mutually Exclusive

According to a recent TiVo study, Americans LOVE their TV and Netflix together. The study, which did focus on DVR owners, discovered that “House Of Cards” viewers watched 85% more HBO and 125% more “Homeland” than non-Netflix households. If anything, this study only confirms the predictions set forth by Idiocracy and Wall-E.

Source: All Things D

Microsoft Goes Wah-Wah-Wah All The Way To Google

26,000 is the number of removal requests for copyright infringement that Google receives from Microsoft on an average day, according to Google’s Transparency Report. The software giant’s small army of removal request firms will have to be a little more careful going forward, though, as a number of pages on were hauled up in the dragnet for removal in July.

Source: Search Engine Watch

NSA Director + Black Hat Security Conference Keynote Speech = Fun

SPOILER ALERT: It was slightly uncomfortable for Gen. Keith Alexander.

Source: Threat Post

Don’t Google Anything At Work That Could Be Construed As Terrorism-Related

In what is likely to become the next Rick Rolling (h/t to Rand Fishkin for the reference), Googling “pressure cooker” and “backpacks” at work (separately) will likely produce a friendly visit from your local joint terrorism task force.

Source: The Atlantic

Notable Commentary

Saturated With Knowledge

Leveraging Google’s Similar, Related Search Options For SEO

This week, Webmaster World hosted an interesting discussion about the SEO benefits and methods of using Google’s Related and Similar Search features for competitive and keyword analysis.

Analysis By: Webmaster World

The Five Signals Of Massive SEO Failures

The godfather of site audits, Alan Bleiweiss, was kind enough to stop by Search Engine Journal and drop some knowledge on his faithful SEO serfs. Regardless of the specifics at hand, Bleiweiss says it all boils down to an acronym – QUART.

Analysis By: Alan Bleiweiss, Search Engine Journal

Improve Engagement, Revenue With Three Controversial Changes

Not every revenue-driven decision about conversion optimization has to be popular or safe. Unbounce has three interesting conversion tactics that, while somewhat questionable, have proven to increase user retention and revenue.

Analysis By: D Bnonn Tennant, Unbounce

How Google Diversifies Blended Results With Merged Listings

Bill Slawski examines a Google patent intended to better diversify blended local search results by merging two same-site authority listings into one. We’ve seen this in the wild for some terms, but Slawski provides some much-needed clarity into how Google sets the bar for these results.

Analysis By: Bill Slawski, SEO By The Sea

Site Speed And Ranking In Search Engines

Ever wonder how site speed can influence your rankings within Google and Bing? Wonder no more, thanks to this Moz blog post.

Analysis By: Mark From Zoompf, Moz

A Friendly Reminder About Google Penalties And Scrapers

If your site happens to get hit with a penalty or Google demotion and a competitor or spammer has scraped your content, it’s irrefutable that those sites are going to rank higher than yours for your target keywords. It’s not fun, but it’s a reality.

Analysis By: Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Roundtable

Broken Link Building Like A Boss

Broken link building can be a clever and ethical way to poach links from your competitors by taking advantage of links pointing to now-404 response codes on their site. It’s also a good way to reclaim some link juice from links back to 404s on your site.

Analysis By: Ken McGaffin, Search Engine Watch

Here Are 10 Examples Of Pure Spam, According To Google

With a plethora of screen shots, Dave Davies has a great breakdown of 10 pages that qualify to Google as “pure spam.” If any of these sites are yours, we’re not sorry.

Analysis By: Dave Davies, Search Engine Watch

Here Are 10 Robots More Athletic Than You

Behold, the first iteration of robots preparing to hunt humans!

Analysis By: Colin Lecher, PopSci