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UGC Can Be Susceptible To Google Panda, Matt Cutts Talks Rel=Author, AdWords Tests Image Extensions, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

User-Generated Content Could Get You Panda-Mauled

If your site features a lot of user-generated content and is moderated like Alcatraz, can it be penalized by Google? Yes, according to a recent Google Webmaster Help discussion between Google’s John Mueller and a very old, heavily moderated site that fits the aforementioned description, yet received a recent Panda attack.

Mueller seemed to imply that the site in question should noindex their lowest quality pages, but it does go to show the perils of relying heavily on users to create content for your site.

Source: Search Engine Roundtable

The Future Of The Rel=“Author” Tag, According To Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts recently answered a question about whether Google will be tweaking the influence of the rel=“author” tag in the future. Cutts responded in the affirmative, and said Google’s ultimate goal is to mesh identity and authority in such a way that users and their algorithm can clearly tell the difference between a spammer and an expert on a given subject.

Source: YouTube

Matt Cutts Dispels A Handful Of SEO Myths

Matt Cutts’ most recent video touched on what he perceives to be the most commonly held misconceptions and wrong practices in the SEO industry. Among them: SEOs confuse algorithm updates with data refreshes, their belief that Panda and Penguin are both short-term money making schemes for Google that force people to buy ads, and the fact that SEOs spend too much time link building and worrying about search engines.

Source: Search Engine Land

AdWords Tries Out Image Extensions

In a nod to the adage that seeing is believing, Google announced that Image Extensions are now part of an official beta in AdWords. How the images display on results pages is still in flux, but without a doubt this is a boon for advertisers whose products or services don’t fit the mold of Product Listing Ads.

Source: Search Engine Land

Jeff Bezos Is Probably Pumping C.R.E.A.M. In The Amazon Mothership Right Now

Amazon’s ad revenue is heavy on the roll, heavy on the dough, and it’s certainly a steady grow. Jumping 45% in volume between 2011 and 2012, Amazon’s revenue hit $600 million last year, and is likely to see continued growth thanks to a wealth of user data and further integration directly into websites.

Source: Marketing Land

Twitter Partners With Ad Data Aggregator

Coming in the wake of their April deal with Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest Group, Twitter announced a new partnership with advertising giant WPP. The deal gives WPP access to Twitter’s user data, which they plan on using to “deliver more effective campaigns, enhanced targeting and more real-time insights to clients.” WPP also hopes the partnership will help guide their media investment management operation’s growing spend on Twitter ads on behalf of their clients. It’s also a nice move for Twitter if they plan on going public.

Source: Marketing Land

Nutrition Facts Added To Knowledge Graph

Google is now displaying basic nutrition facts for 1,000 common foods in the Knowledge Graph that appears on the right hand rail of results pages for informational queries. Now there’s no reason to call your mom the next time you’re wondering if those nachos are really the best choice for your caloric intake.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Tumblr Integrates Sponsored Posts Onto Desktop Site

After adding sponsored post ads to its mobile app in April, Tumblr announced it has done the same to its desktop site. The move is not in response to Yahoo’s purchase of the blog site, and was crafted before the buyout took place. Users will only see four ad posts per day (at most) and Tumblr has already claimed profitable returns on its mobile ad platform, so it appears the outcries over ad overload are currently premature.

Source: Marketing Land

Pretty Much Every U.S. Adult Has A Mobile Phone

According to a recent Pew Internet & American Life Project study, 61% of U.S. adults have smartphones, and 91% of U.S. adults own a mobile phone. Unsurprisingly, a large majority of higher-income people under 60 years of age own smartphones. Of all mobile phone users, 25% own an iPhone, 28% own an Android, and 5% own a Blackberry or the Windows Phone.

Source: Marketing Land

President Obama Speaks Out On Patent Trolling

Nothing called a “troll” is good for anyone. Such is the case with technology patents filed in the United States, many of which have been the subject of a rising number of individual company lawsuits in the last couple years. Over 50% of patent infringement lawsuits filed in 2012 involved shell companies owning these types of patents. Patent reform is certainly needed, and the president affirmed as much on Tuesday.

President Obama issued an executive order aimed at limiting frivolous patent lawsuits over commonplace technology, such as Wi-Fi and podcasting. The Patent and Trademark Office will now force companies to provide more specifics about their patent and how it is being infringed before heading to court.

Source: New York Times

Google Says No To Facial Recognition Apps On Google Glass

Terminator vision is not coming to Google Glass anytime soon. That, according to Google itself, in a Google+ post attempting to assuage fears that developers could create facial recognition software that would automatically bring up information about a person without their consent.

Source: Marketing Land

Safari’s (Not Provided) Mobile Browser Problem Has Been Sol-ved!

The iOS 6 Safari browser has recorded search visits as direct since its September launch, and many assumed Google’s secure search function was the accessory after the fact. Not so much, apparently, as the mobile Safari browser does not support the meta referrer tag, and rather reports all search traffic as direct.

Source: Search Engine Land

eBay’s New Project Is Actually Pretty Interesting

eBay may be down 20 points against Amazon with two minutes to play, but their new storefront project could spark a rally. Called “shoppable windows,” eBay will open stores featuring window touchscreens that allow people to purchase products right from the sidewalk. Starting in the busiest parts of New York, eBay is attempting to capitalize on the mobile shopping boom by placing a virtual storefront within immediate reach of oft-compulsive shoppers.

Source: Reuters

So Much For That eCommerce Sales Tax Bill

The U.S. House of Representative has the Marketplace Fairness Act dead to rights, according to Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte (seriously, that’s his name), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. If the bill makes it anywhere near the President’s desk, it’ll likely be gutted McCain-Feingold style.

Source: Marketing Land

Notable Commentary

Black, White, & Red All Over

Both Sides Of The Link Removal Coin

Since the introduction of Penguin last year, millions (if not trillions) of emails have flown around the world asking for links to be removed. Marie Haynes offers useful insights and best practices for baffled owners of legitimate websites receiving these requests, as well as for the webmasters and SEOs sending them.

Analysis By: Marie Haynes, Search Engine Watch

Retargeting Should Be Like Dancing A Polka

Todd Mintz of Search Engine Watch shares how you can make your retargeting campaigns more like a polka and less like the krump, including some fancy search retargeting strategies that make use of clever exclusions. Just beware the cookie overlaps before you roll out the barrel.

Analysis By: Todd Mintz, Search Engine Watch

Learning Code In Just Two Months

Apparently it’s possible, according to David Sinsky at Lifehacker. So, if you’re looking for a really useful summer project indoors, this could be it.

Analysis By: David Sinsky, Lifehacker

Here Are 200 Google Ranking Factors, Visualized

Search Engine Journal has a lengthy infographic outlining the 200 known ranking factors in the Google algorithm.

Analysis by: Brian Dean, Search Engine Journal

31 SEO Experiments You Should Read About, Pronto

The marketing world is no stranger to testing strategies against each other. Search Engine Journal has a list of 31 SEO experiments, and if you don’t have time to dig into all of them, a short recap of the results is included.

Analysis By: Mikhail Tuknov, Search Engine Journal

Site Search As A Keyword Tool

Benjamin Spiegel at Search Engine Land writes about the uses of site search for keyword and market research. It’s a lot of things that we already know: site search can be used to refine keyword targeting and evaluate how well or badly your site is performing, conversion-wise. In other words, you can use site search to check whether there’s a mismatch between the number of site searches and the number of conversions related to a particular product. But it is presented in detail, with examples.

Analysis By: Benjamin Spiegel, Search Engine Land

Verifying Link Removal Success With Screaming Frog

Not only is Screaming Frog a sweet name for anything, but the crawling program does far more than compile and organize headers, tags, response codes, etc. Glenn Gabe explains how it can be a nifty way to double check whether or not a site has removed a link back to yours.

Analysis By: Glenn Gabe, Search Engine Watch

Segmenting Direct And Bookmarked Traffic

Garry Przyklenk (have fun pronouncing that) at Search Engine Watch writes about how to break down the composition of direct and bookmarked traffic, such as would come from billboards or direct mail. His advice appears to be to use different URLs for each campaign that redirect to the site and associate a consistently named set of parameters for each campaign type to them.

Analysis By: Garry Przyklenk, Search Engine Watch

Peeling Back The Local Business Listings Curtain

In Moz’s latest Whiteboard Friday, local SEO expert David Mihm tracks how Google constructs its business listings in search results, and how businesses can ensure their information is accurate on the web.

Analysis By: David Mihm, Moz

Google+ Changes And You

Kelsey Jones has a brief but informative post outlining the most recent Google+ changes and how you can take advantage of them to best optimize your brand page.

Analysis By: Kelsey Jones, Marketing Land

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