Summary of Search, August 2013

Summary of Search

Is Google backward compatible? The previous advice from Google, given in their 2008 Starter Guide for SEO, is now “out the window.” Google previously recommended that the underlined text of a link (aka “anchortext”) contained keywords, but now finds that somewhat spammy. The new Google direction is all about authority link building, not keyword-focused link building.

It’s nice to occasionally say: “There was only one major update this month in Google.” It’s an as-yet unnamed update that changed the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in a way similar to Penguin 1.0.

Google did, however, roll-out out an exciting new feature with this update: Special placement in search results for “high-quality, in-depth content” that is properly tagged. See their example:

google in-depth content

How do you take advantage of this special placement? Try this:

Tag everything to make it easy for google to figure out:

Create compelling in-depth content (so easy, right?)

  • Lengthy – Google has given no numbers, specifically, but we recommend text content of 1000-3000 words in length.
  • Engaging – Google is likely looking at many metrics, including time on page, as signals of engagement.
  • Popular – Content that is popular has inbound links, shares, likes, plus-ones, etc. And it probably has links to it from the site’s homepage or other important pages on the site.

See more about the announcement at:

Google is communicating about penalties much better than in the past, too:

  • They have added a feature to Webmaster Tools which will alert webmasters if a manual penalty has been levied.
  • Recent interviews have revealed that disavowed links are not stored. This means that old disavowed links must be included in every new batch submitted.
  • Disavowing some links appears to be a normal part of modern SEO.
  • Multiple reconsideration requests are okay, and are considered independently of past requests every time.

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