The Week In Search & SEO: April 27, 2018

The Week In Search & SEO: April 27, 2018

This has been a volatile week for many webmasters with their sites going up and down with the Google-confirmed algorithm updates. PageRank also got important updates this week. Meanwhile, Google announces higher-than-expected profits and SEMRush raises $40 million to expand its program. Learn more about what happened this week in SEO by reading this roundup.

Top Global Search News

How Google Autocomplete Works in Search
While the number of searches available depends on your screen size, Google Autocomplete Suggestions is designed to predict what you are trying to enter into the search box. There are some types of content that are not shown, however, including sexually explicit predictions, hateful predictions against a group, violent and hateful suggestions.

Google Confirms Rolling out a Broad Core Search Algorithm Update Earlier This Week

Google finally confirmed that they released a broad core search algorithm update. While many suspected this, Google says there is nothing webmasters can do about it except keep writing great content.

Google Exploit: Canonical Negative SEO
While sites have been encouraged to use canonical tags for years, negative SEOs may steal them to hurt competitors. Google has issued several contradictory statements about the problem that many hope the company will fix during the Google Search Console update.

Hreflang Tags: How to Serve Correctly Regionalized Content
There is no doubt that trying to rank a site in multiple languages and in multiple countries can be complex, but hreflang tags may be the solution. In the last of a three-part series, Marcus Miller explains the advantages of using these tags along with how to implement them using HTTP headers, HTML and XML Sitemaps.

Google Expanding Types of Predictions They Remove From AutocompleteGoogle expanding types of predictions they remove from autocomplete

Google says that their autocomplete saves people over 200 years of typing each day, but it has also gotten the company into hot water on more than one occasion. Read what we know about this program that Google is going to do in the next few weeks to eliminate more examples of discrimination from its autocomplete program.

Google Showing Titles on Some Featured SamplesGoogle Showing Titles On Some Featured Snippets

Mordy Oberstein from RankRanger discovered that Google may be showing titles on some featured samples. In fact, the company may be writing them while eliminating H1 titles that the webmaster has placed on them.

Google Posts $31.1 billion in Total Revenue, Beats Top- and Bottom-Line Expectations
Revenue growth at Google is up 26 percent year-over-year, and the company brought in more than $26.6 billion in advertising revenue. While profits were down in the first quarter compared with the holiday season in Q4, year-over-year profit continues to rise.

Google Shows Date Of Content In Search Results From The Future
If you enter a future date and a keyword phrase, then Google may show you content from that future date, according to Gary Hainsworth who posted about it on Twitter.

Google Ranking Algorithm Update Continues On For Over A Week
Webmasters and others are still buzzing about the volatility that they have seen in their rankings. While some pages have gained up to 20 percent more traffic, others have lost considerably.

PSA: Google Is Able To Figure Out Different Languages Without Hreflang
Google’s John Mueller says that the search engine giant can usually figure out what country to send a person’s search to without a hreflang attribute. Some webmasters, however, point out that just because Google can do it, does not mean that they will do it.

Top Local Search News

Sorry – no news in this section today.

Top PPC News

Google To Replace Assistant Featured Snippet Answers With How To Ads?
As CNBC first reported, Google has confirmed it is replacing its assisted featured snippets with how-to videos, and they are encouraging companies to make these videos in their niche. Many believe that Google will start charging companies to feature these videos on Google Home devices with a screen sometime soon.

Google Announces Its Testing One Line Brief AdwordsGoogle Test One Line Brief AdWords Ads

Some users are reporting that Google is testing one-line brief AdWords ads on some pages. There may be up to 10 of these at the bottom of certain pages with the ads containing little more than the company’s domain name.

Look Ma, no Keywords! Phrase-free AdWords Campaigns are Here
Google has confirmed that they are running select tests on AdWords that use no keywords, but use Google My Business addresses to provide relevant information instead. Google has also recently made some changes to Google My Business to allow businesses to take full advantage of this program including allowing businesses to add 750-character-business descriptions and allowing business to create a structured format showing their services and products.

Top Social Media News

Facebook Publishes Internal Enforcement Guidelines & Announces Appeals Process
Facebook’s Monika Bickert, Vice President of Global Policy Management, announced that the company uses a team of over 7,500 people, artificial intelligence and user reports to find posts on their site that go against their Internal Enforcement Guidelines that they have recently made public for the first time. Users who have violated one of the guidelines can ask for their post to be reviewed, and the company tries to do the review within 24 hours

Snapchat’s Betting Its Future on Augmented Reality Ads — Here are all the Different Types

Snapchat's betting its future on augmented reality ads — here are all the different types

Recent changes including the introduction of augmented reality ads to Snapchat may enable small-to-middle-size companies to use the the program more effectively. Snapchat suggests that AR ads are perfect for driving traffic to see previews, bringing a mascot to life, driving app installs, providing three-dimensional product demonstrations and boosting brand engagement.

Internet Marketing-Related Tech

Search Marketing Firm SEMrush Raises $40 Million to Fund Expansion
While SEMrush already has revenues between $50 million and $100 million, it is expanding its operations in the United States to properties owned by Amazon and to China’s popular Baidu. The company plans to use the $40 million raised by working with venture-capital firms Greycroft, and Siguler Guff to purchase more software and to purchase search data from emerging markets. In the story that originally broke in the Wall Street Journal, they report that Google is responsible for over 50 percent of all traffic sent to publishers while Facebook only accounts for 26 percent.

Critical Drupal Core Vulnerability – Upgrade NowCritical Drupal Core Vulnerability – Upgrade Now

Drupal websites may be under attack, so it is urgent that you update your Drupal programs immediately. The company has released several security patches on their website, and you can find the ones that you need in this article.

Study: Google Assistant Most Accurate, Alexa Most Improved Virtual Assistant
According to a study by Stone Temple, if you want accurate results when voice searching with a virtual assistant, then you need to be using Google Assistant, but they tested Alexis, Cortana, and Siri all show vast improvements over one year ago. Additionally, a ROAST study finds that Google Assistant does not always rely on a featured snippet even when one is available

Best Opinion Pieces

PageRank Updated – SEO by the Sea

PageRank Updated

While the first patent for PageRank was issued in 2006, the new version explains in much more detail how the company builds trust into a link graph starting with seed sites. The new patent also covers a summary of crawling, ranking and searching procedures.

Google: Negative SEO Via Canonicals Redirects Don’t Really Work
Bill Hartzer’s column on canonicals last week pointed out the dangers of this negative form of SEO, but John Mueller of Google insists that they really do not work. Join the lively debate on Search Engine Roundtable.

An Ex-Google Employee’s Novel Set Inside a Fictional Search Firm got Made Into a TV show- and it’s a Bacchanal of Sex, Drugs, and Data

An ex-Google employee's novel set inside a fictional search firm got made into a TV show — and it's a bacchanal of sex, drugs, and data

Simply titled The Show, this show available on Black Pill is based on Filip Syta’s novel by the same title. It takes a look behind-the-scenes of a fictional search engine firm, and the book’s author says that 90 percent of the book is true.

How to Find the Date Google Associates to Any URL (and Why You Need to Know)
If Google sees your webpage as fresh, then it can result in a big page boost, but until Glen Allsapp discovered a trick it was hard to tell if Google saw your material as new. . You can create a custom search engine by going to, and use an option in the top right corner to see when Google says the site was last updated. If you want to know the date of just one site, then add &as_qdr=y15 after the address in the address bar.