Weekly SEO news: 30 September 2014
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

In a post on Google+, Google's Pierre Far announced the latest version of Google's Panda update. How will this update affect the rankings of your web pages on Google? What can you do to make sure that your web pages get better rankings?

In the news: an improved ranking monitor, Yahoo retires its directory, popups might trigger a ranking penalty, and more.

Table of contents:

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google announces another Panda update

In a post on Google+, Google's Pierre Far announced the latest version of Google's Panda update. How will this update affect the rankings of your web pages on Google? What can you do to make sure that your web pages get better rankings?

New Panda update

What is Google's Panda update?

Google's 'Panda' algorithm is a filter that Google designed to penalize web pages with thin or poor content. If the content of a website has been copied from other web pages, or if the content has very low quality, it won't rank well on Google.

What's new in the latest Panda update?

Here's Pierre Far's official announcement:

"Earlier this week, we started a slow rollout of an improved Panda algorithm, and we expect to have everything done sometime next week. 

Based on user (and webmaster!) feedback, we’ve been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely. This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher, which is nice.

Depending on the locale, around 3-5% of queries are affected."

What does this mean for your website?

1. If your website was penalized before

If your website was penalized by the last Panda update, your rankings might recover if you have changed your web pages in the meantime.

If your rankings recovered by October, 5th, you made the right changes. If not, you have to improve the content of your web pages.

2. If your website was not penalized before

If your website statistics show a significant traffic drop from Google, it might be that Google's new algorithm decided that your website content was not good enough.

In that case, you have to improve the content of your web pages to get better rankings.

Google's Panda algorithm targets websites with low quality content. If you have a real website with real content, you don't have to worry about this update.

High Google rankings are the result of good web page content and good backlinks. The tools in SEOprofiler help you to get both. If you haven't done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
New in SEOprofiler: keyword groups and improved filters in the ranking monitor
"Starting today, the ranking monitor in SEOprofiler enables you to filter your rankings by keyword groups and many other filters. The ranking monitor in SEOprofiler enables you to keep track of the Google, Yahoo and Bing rankings of your web pages in many different countries and regions."

YahooAfter 20 years, Yahoo retires the Yahoo Directory

"Yahoo was started nearly 20 years ago as a directory of websites that helped users explore the Internet. While we are still committed to connecting users with the information they’re passionate about, our business has evolved and at the end of 2014 (December 31), we will retire the Yahoo Directory."


Bing Ads is launching close variants in Exact Match (US only)

"Starting this week, Bing Ads will roll-out the inclusion of close variants in exact match in the US market. Exact match will now permanently include minor grammatical variations, such as plurals, abbreviations, acronyms, spacing and misspellings."


AdWordsGoogle AdWords: customized creatives at scale

"For advertisers with thousands, or even millions of products, showing tailored messages for each product and promotion you’re offering can be a time-consuming and difficult process. [...]

With ad customizers, advertisers get to save time while showing fresher and more relevant ads, and customers see ads with pertinent, up-to-date information that’s closely tied to their search. This is a better user experience for your customers, and helps you drive better performance on your text ads."

Large popups on websites could trigger page layout algorithm penalty
"[Google's] John Mueller does give a great suggestion on how marketers should utilize popups so that they don’t affect the page layout algo.  Because Googlebot doesn’t use cookies, he suggests not showing the popup until a visitor’s second visit to the website.  Otherwise, Googlebot will see the popup every visit, which could impact the page layout algo on the site.

So bottom line, pop-ups won’t trigger the page layout algo penalty IF you set a cookie that will mean the pop-up is displayed only on subsequent visits."

Search engine newslets
  • Russia asks Facebook, Google, Twitter to comply with law on data storage.
  • Social network Ello gets boost.
  • EU privacy watchdogs give Google guidelines to change privacy practices.
  • Twitter to launch targeted ads for movies.
  • Yahoo transparency report: data requests drop, but FISA stats are worrying.
  • New interface for Google Takeout.
3. Recommended resources

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4. Previous articles
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