Even Matt Cutts has taken a sabbatical this season, and you may have found yourself soaking up the sun at some point in the past few weeks.
Need a refreshing gulp of search engine news to get you prepped for your return to the office?
Maybe it’s more like a splash of cold water waking you up for the real world, but we have compiled a handy roundup of what you may have been missing while lounging poolside.
So without further ado, here are four of the top July search stories, from Sixth City with love.
July’s Top Four Search Engine News Headlines
1. Search Engine Land Breaks Google “Pigeon” Algorithm Update News
The wonderfully creative brains at Search Engine Land have detected a dynamic new algorithm update dedicated to boosting local search. Pigeon pecks out local business results over big brand names, bettering the search carousel’s selection.
What’s the big deal? For a long time, “barnacle” results were outranking original listings. Barnacle results refer to smaller businesses using profiles on big whales like Google+ to float to the top of listings.
So far, Google Pigeon has brought these smaller businesses and more niche local directory sites to the top all by themselves.
The most notable example of this outlined by Search Engine Land shows how Yelp listings have now been placed in their rightful allotment of #1 (over previous Google+ top results) for search queries including the phrase “Yelp”.
If you have local clients or are a local business yourself, be sure to peruse your Urbanspoon and Yelp profiles. Encourage your customers to rate you on these sites.
Have you noticed an uptick in traffic from sites like Yelp? Even we at Sixth City have seen a boost. Coincidence? We may never know.
2. SEO by the Sea Digs Up New Entity Audit Algorithm Patent
To strip it to its very basic bones, Bill Slawsky found a patent Google filed to make syntax in searches produce even stronger results. It goes beyond Hummingbird in evaluating conversational queries, in that it allows a variety of variables relating to one entity to be assessed when determining the ordering of results.
The patented process also takes your previous searches into account if they occurred over a threshold frequency. Finally, it demonstrates a checkbox UI to guide users to define more variables to include or exclude. Sound confusing? The example of an illness makes it more basic.
Users can type in an ailment along with several symptoms in order to be delivered results on possible responsible illnesses. Symptoms may be suggested using checkboxes when searching. If you’re still scratching your head, I would highly suggest reading Bill’s write-up and even the patent application itself.
3. Search Engine Watch is Bullish on New AdWords Free Dynamic Sitelinks
Free links in AdWords?! Yep, you read that right. Some sources are actually a bit salty about this, but to keep it high-level, we will give you the good news first.
AdWords is automatically inserting dynamic CTA links in the bottom of AdWords results such as, “Schedule an appointment for car cleaning today.” These are shown to increase CTR on the top link by 10% (the one you pay for). But, if someone clicks on the CTA link, the click is F-R-E-E for you. These are typically generated for sites users have visited before. Keep your eyes peeled for them on your ads.
4. Moz Research Study Backs Up Link Building as Healthy Part of an SEO Diet
Ahh, link building. While some SEO’s would compare this to the grains on the bottom of the SEO pyramid, others use it sparingly.
Whether or not you are using links as the staple of your SEO diet first depends on what your definition of link building is. Some include content strategy within this domain. Any way you build your strategy sandwich, the tactic is actually getting a good chunk of the typical budget. This survey from Moz goes over the tactics under the link building umbrella perceived as the most effective, the most common, the typical budget allocated per month, and more.
Spoiler alert: 37% of respondents said they spent $10-$50k per month on link building. That is a lot of dough.
There’s No Drought in Search Engine News
To wrap things up, you might have missed…kind of a lot while cutting out the world for a week or two this summer. This article should remedy that.
But for those of you who have been soaking up air conditioning and fluorescent light at your desks, did I miss anything? Please let me know what stood out to you in the comments!