Matt Cutts Declares Guest Blogging Dead, Expedia Appears To Be In Google’s Penalty Box, & More

Matt Cutts Declares Guest Blogging Dead, Expedia Appears To Be In Google’s Penalty Box, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Click’s Staff

Matt Cutts Says Guest Blogging For SEO Is Done

“Stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done.” That’s what Matt Cutts had to say on his blog earlier this week, the primary reason being that the tactic has gotten very spammy. After a social media firestorm erupted on social media, Cutts clarified by pointing out that guest blogging solely for links is what he was talking about. High-quality, multi-author blogs are still A-OK.

Source: Search Engine Land and Marketing Land

Google Announces Update For Webmaster Tools

John Mueller announced that an update to Google Webmaster Tools will make it a little easier to spot URL redirects on crawl error reports. The error will now show on the final destination URL instead of the redirecting URL.

Source: Search Engine Land

Expedia Listings In Google Have Plunged

Many believe Expedia has been hit by a Google penalty related to unnatural links. Searchmetrics showed that the visibility of Expedia listings in Google appears to have plunged. This comes after accusations that Expedia was obtaining links in a way that goes against Google’s guidelines. Google and Expedia’s PR agencies have both declined to comment.

Source: Search Engine Land

Facebook Plans To Show Fewer Text Posts From Business Pages

An update to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm will result in fewer text posts being shown for business pages, and instead more text posts from friends will be shown. After numerous tests, they found that users post more text updates themselves when they see more posts from friends. It is part of an ongoing effort to make sure users see more of the content they want.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Google Now Now Available For Your Desktop

The helpful Google Now service is now available for your Mac, Windows, or Chrome OS desktop. The service features Google Now cards that are run through the latest Chrome build and will work for those currently logged in to Chrome.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Drops Several Search Filters

A number of filters have been removed from the vertical menu options right under the Google results page search bar. Places, blogs, discussions, recipes, and patents are among those that have been removed. A Google spokesperson said the changes will help users find the most useful things more easily. The options will vary depending on what makes the most sense for a given search.

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

New Look & Simpler Navigation For AdWords

After working on a gradual redesign for many Google products like Search, Maps, and Gmail, Google has finally started rolling out the new navigation for AdWords. Not much has changed, but charts, tables, and tools do have more space on the page and information in your campaign management tabs is now above the fold.

Source: Inside AdWords

Google Remarketing Ads Broke Canada Privacy Laws

Google agreed to overhaul its remarketing system by June 2014 after Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner found them in violation of privacy rights. The finding comes after an investigation brought on by a Canadian man who complained that his private health information was being used to target ads to him. The ruling means that advertisers could be facing major changes in the performance and methods of remarketing they use.

Source: Marketing Land

Social Signals Not A Ranking Factor

Matt Cutts had more to do this week than simply rain on guest blogging’s parade. Cutts also reiterated how Google treats social media sites. Twitter and Facebook pages are like any other page on the Internet: if it’s crawlable, it will be included in the search results. He also said that to his knowledge there is nothing in Google’s algorithm that takes social media engagement into account when determining rankings. In other words, more Facebook Likes and Twitter followers aren’t going to help your site rank better in the SERPs.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Google Rolls Out AdSense Direct

This week Google announced the U.S. rollout of AdSense Direct, a system that allows publishers to implement campaigns for ads they sell direct to advertisers with no code changes.  One potential drawback for advertisers is that payments go though Google Wallet and are paid out through regular AdSense installments, so they won’t be able to set up separate payment plans for direct ad sales. Google will set a minimum campaign price and recommended price, and will also approve the ad creative.

Source: Marketing Land

Marin: Smartphone PLA Clicks On The Rise

This week, Marin Software released research suggesting that PLA performance this past holiday season will set the trend for 2014. Like other firms that study such things, Marin also sees smartphones playing a greater role in PLA performance in 2014. They expect retailers to allocate roughly a third of their PPC budgets to PLAs, and estimate that 40 percent of all PLA clicks will come from smartphones by December 2014.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Killed Tons Of Bad Ads in 2013

In 2013, Google removed 350 million bad AdWords ads as part of its efforts to prevent abuse of AdWords by both advertisers and AdSense publishers. This is an increase from the 224 million ads removed in 2012. The most common reasons ads tend to get removed are for things like products that violate AdWords terms, ad copy issues, or having a display URL that doesn’t match the destination URL. In contrast to the increase of ads removed year over year, the number of advertisers Google removed dropped significantly. Google disabled more than 850,000 advertisers in 2012 and only 270,000 in 2013.

Source: Search Engine Watch


Notable Commentary

Like Chicken Soup For The Search Engine Marketer’s Soul


Link Building Tactics Discovered From Competitive Analysis

Kaila Strong has a post on the Moz blog discussing the competition-based link building tactics that she has found work best for her. She explains 31 different techniques, but you’ll find even more effective ideas if you browse the comments.

Analysis by: Kaila Strong, Moz

Say No To Commercial Creep

Kevin Ryan of Marketing Land addressed commercial creep in search results during his latest column. He defines commercial creep as the ads infiltrating natural listings within search results. He advises that although it is tempting to go with whatever the latest ad model is, it’s best to focus on getting desired search results the right way.

Analysis by: Kevin Ryan, Marketing Land

What The Death Of Guest Blogging Really Means

Yes, crappy guest blogging is dead (actually, it has been for a while). But it’s not all doom and gloom. John Rampton at Search Engine Journal explains what Matt Cutts’ proclamation really means for the future of guest posting and link building in general.

Analysis by: John Rampton, Search Engine Journal

Six Tips For Mobile Ads

Developing unique mobile ad strategies is becoming more important than ever.  Of course it’s no secret that people behave differently in mobile search than they do on their PC or tablet. With that in mind, Rocco Baldassarre of Search Engine Journal reveals six tips for strengthening your mobile advertising efforts.

Analysis by: Rocco Baldassarre, Search Engine Journal

Critical Factors For Optimized Mobile PPC Targeting

There’s no denying that your target audience is incorporating mobile devices into their lives more with each passing day. As most of us have experienced, capturing the most value out of mobile can be both a challenge and a huge opportunity. Joseph Kerschbaum from Search Engine Watch discusses 5 critical factors that can help optimize PPC campaigns for mobile traffic.

Analysis by: Joseph Kerschbaum, Search Engine Watch