Today In SEO & Search News: April 3, 2017

Today In SEO & Search News: April 3, 2017

This content is 5 years old. Please, read this page keeping its age in mind as SEO changes rapidly and while the past is useful to remember and reference, it often doesn't provide the best strategies to apply today.

It’s been a big few day in search and SEO but before we jump in to the top stories let’s start with big congratulations and a happy anniversary to Motorola.

On This Day …
Martin Cooper of Motorola holding first cell phone.

On this historic day in 1973 (that’s 44 years ago) Martin Cooper, researcher and executive for Motorola made the first cellular phone call.  Perhaps just a bit has changed in the world of mobile but that’s the moment a revolution in technology and a massive shift in social behavior began.

Google Announces New In Store Measurement Enhancements
Matt Southern over on Search Engine Journal covered an announcement I missed last week by the AdWords team of some significant enhancements to their in-store conversion measurement capabilities. Some of the changes are impressive ranging from simple gains based on increased data to the use of machine learning to aid in behavior analysis.  Definitely worth the read whether your interest is organic or paid search as the cores ideas cross both.

Minimum Viable SEO
I headed into watching the latest Whiteboard Friday from Moz rolling my eyes but I have to say the advice was pretty solid.  The premise of it is, “If you only have 3 hours per month for SEO what do you do?”  Rand actually outlines a pretty solid strategy for sites in low-competition sectors or tips for sections of a larger whole to utilize to ensure they’re working consistently to the same goals. You can visit their site using the link above or watch it below:

Bing Releases Allo Competitor
Bing iMessenger

As Matt Southern reported for Search Engine Journal, Bing has launched what he considered better than a messenger service, Bing has announced the launch of an extension for Apple’s iMessenger giving them access to a technology people are already using rather than going the Google route of trying to get people to adopt a communications system they’re not already using. It’s reportedly not as evolved as Allo at this time (no AI personal assistant for example) but it gets the job done in sharing information and only one party has to have it installed for both to communicate using the benefits.

New Reply Format From Twitter
Danny Goodwin for Search Engine Journal reported on the wonderful news from Twitter – replies to individuals and groups will no longer count the usernames in the character limits giving us all 140 to work with.

39 Questions With Google At SMX West
Eric Enge documented and published for Search Engine Land 39 questions that were asked of and answered by Google at SMX West.  From their answers on Domain Authority to penalties you can hear what Google has to say across a variety of SEO issues and decide for yourself how much you trust the answers and also – what else you can read into them.

New Menu Markup
TouchPointDigital wrote for the Moz blog about the addition of new menu markup to Schema Structured Data.  Replacing the very limited ability to use Schema to indicate what URL was the menu business owners or their SEOs can now use the new markup to include details on the menu items such as name, price, etc.  The article includes some sample markup and links to the change on the Schema site as well as some other changes in this latest Schema update.

Google Testing ‘Tags’ Label
Google Testing Tags In SERPs

Barry Schwartz reported for Search Engine Land about a confirmed experiment Google is performing on the search results.  They are including tags that are relevant to the page content but which don’t seem to perform a specific function.  Google has confirmed it is an experiment but no word as to what the end game on it might be.

Google Training AI To Be Offended
The New York Times reported on an interesting development in the YouTube advertising issues Google is facing.  With advertisers pulling out of ads on YouTube due to Google being unable to reassure them that their ads wouldn’t appear on content companies wouldn’t necessarily want their brand associated with (read: hate, racist, sexist, etc) Google is training their AI to be offended.  The loss of significant ad revenue from major brands is obviously a huge issue but I can see this technology having other applications including targeting specific types of content that other brands may not want to advertise to (read: addiction programs targeting videos about gambling, etc.)

RIP Map Maker
The Google Maps editing tool Map Maker dies on Saturday.  As of April 1 the tool is no longer available and edits will now be submitted directly through the map interface.  It’s a bit more limited and I’m curious to see how long things will take to correct, submit and adjust. As a perk – there are areas in the world that map Maker didn’t cover that Maps does (though again – who knows how long things will take in those areas). either way – it will be a missed tool for Local SEOs.  RIP Map Maker.

That’s the news for the day.  If you think we missed anything be sure to mention it in the comments below.


  1. mian nouman says:

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