Weekly SEO news: 9 October 2012
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Since Google's release of Google's +1 button, webmasters have wondered about the effect of this on their web page rankings. In an interview, Google's Matt Cutts commented on this and on the effect of authorship on your rankings.

In the news: Another Google Penguin update, Google's John Mueller on the effect of your Google Plus profile on your rankings, Google updates the snippet guidelines, 1-2 algorithm updates per day, and more.

Table of contents:

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Official Google statement: your rankings, Google +1 clicks and authorship

Since Google's release of Google's +1 button, webmasters have wondered about the effect of this on their web page rankings. In an interview, Google's Matt Cutts commented on this and on the effect of authorship on your rankings.

 Google Plus One

At this time, +1 clicks are not that important

In the interview, Matt Cutts said the following about the importance of +1 clicks:

"In the short term, we’re still going to have to study and see how good the signal is. Right now, there’s not really a direct effect where if you have a lot of +1s, you’ll rank higher."

Authorship seems to be more important

In the same interview, Matt Cutts commented on the effect of authorship:

"There are things like, we have an authorship proposal, where you can use nice standards to markup your webpage, and you’ll actually see a picture of the author right there, and it turns out that if you see a picture of the author, sometimes you’ll have higher click through, and people will say, ‘oh, that looks like a trusted resource.’

So there are ways that you can participate and sort of get ready for the longer term trend of getting to know not just that something was said, but who said it and how reputable they were.

If you look further out in the future and look at something that we call 'social signals' or 'authorship' or whatever you want to call it, in ten years, I think knowing that a really reputable guy – if Dan has written an article, whether it’s a comment on a forum or on a blog – I would still want to see that. So that’s the long-term trend."

What does this mean for your website rankings?

1. Google +1 clicks:

Google +1 clicks have no direct impact on your rankings but they can still help you to get more conversions. Many people see Google's +1 button in the search results and a high number of +1 clicks could create more trust. If the number of overall +1 clicks increases, Google could also use +1 clicks as a more important ranking signal in the future.

2. Authorship:

Authorship could be a more important ranking signal in the future. If your website provides content that can be attributed to a particular author, authorship verification could help your site. At this time, the effect of a verified authorship on the rankings of your website seems to be low.

This could simply be an attempt to get more Google+ users.

Google +1 clicks and authorship can be the icing on the cake if your web page already has good rankings. These signals alone won't get your website on Google's first result page.

If you want to see your website in the top 10 results, your web pages must have all the signals that are necessary to please Google's algorithm. Google uses more than 200 ranking signals in its algorithm.

The Top 10 Optimizer in IBP will tell you how to change the elements on your web pages so that your pages have all the signals that are necessary. You can download the free IBP demo version or buy the full version risk free.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Matt CuttsGoogle releases Penguin update 3

Google's Matt Cutts announced another Google Penguin update on Twitter:

"Weather report: Penguin data refresh coming today. 0.3% of English queries noticeably affected."

Google's John Mueller: your Google profile does not affect your rankings

In an online discussion, a webmaster asked if the ranking of his other website could be affected if he contributed as a verified author on spammy sites. Google's John Muller said that the other sites would be safe:

"No, there generally wouldn't be a connection with regards to crawling, indexing, or ranking between two websites that are both linked from your Google Profile."

GoogleGoogle AdWords: an update on ad rotation options

"Fewer than 1% of accounts have opted out of the ad rotation changes. But we’ve decided to provide the option for ads to 'Rotate indefinitely' in the AdWords web interface anyway.

If you select 'Rotate indefinitely' option for your campaign, we will show lower-performing ads about as often as higher-performing ads. For most advertisers, this may result in fewer, more expensive clicks and your ad appearing in a lower position. So we generally don't recommend 'Rotate indefinitely.' But the choice is yours."

Google updates the rich snippet guidelines

"If the rich snippets markup on a page is spammy, misleading, or otherwise abusive, our algorithms are much more likely to ignore the markup and render a text-only snippet. Keep in mind that, while rich snippets are generated algorithmically, we do reserve the right to take manual action (e.g., disable rich snippets for a specific site) in cases where we see actions that hurt the experience for our users."

Google continually updates the algorithm

In a tweet, Google's Matt Cutts confirmed that Google releases 1-2 ranking algorithm updates per day:

"500+ algo launches/year mean 1-2 a day. I know of at least one other algo rolling out over same timeframe for example."

Editor's note: if you want to find out if your web pages are compatible with Google's latest ranking algorithm, analyze your pages with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer. The Top 10 Optimizer is based on the analysis of Google's current top 10 results and it always represents Google's current ranking algorithm.

Search engine newslets
  • Local searches constitute 43% of Google queries – 18% above Bing and Yahoo!
  • 64% of mobile restaurant searchers convert within an hour.
  • 33% of Google primary users say they would use Bing more after taking the Bing challenge.
  • Google launches a new ad format.
  • Google poised to let users buy web content with Google Wallet.
  • MAD magazine: Apple Maps wreak havoc with New Yorker cover.
  • Google now informs webmasters about critical website issues.
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3. Recommended resources

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