12 Jun 2015

Industry Scandals and Juicy SEO Secrets: Weekly Forum Roundup

Google-JuiceLast week will seem quiet compared to this week in our communities – and that’s just how we like it! News broke this week that Thumbtack, a website for professional development and also recipient of a lot of money through Google Capital, was busted for unnatural links.

Twitter is making its feeds easier to read, a Panda refresh is on the horizon (at last!) and the impact of Mobilegeddon continues to rumble on – right into your local Mom and Pop. This is one week where you don’t want to be left behind. Check out these threads to stay caught up on all the action!

Backlinks, Syndication, and Guest Blogging

In January of last year, Matt Cutts declared on his blog “Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.” His take-down of guest blogging made a lot of waves in the SEO community, and the impact of his pronouncement is still being felt today. It’s a tricky subject with a lot of different angles – if you’re looking for backlinks, you couldn’t do worse than guest blogging some say.

But if you’re just trying to promote yourself and get your content in front of the most eyes…is that acceptable? Where is the line drawn? Take a look at this thread on SEO Chat, where two users take opposing stances and duke it out over the nitty gritty bits of guest blogging.

Thumbtack, a Google Capital Backed Website, Smacked For Unnatural Links

Read the post and the comments on this Threadwatch update for the full details and speculation. To make it short, the story goes like this: Thumbtack is backed by Google Capital for $100 million. They began sending users who signed up to list their jobs on Thumbtack emails, which effectively said “Link to our website and we’ll give you a way to better promote your services through us!”

GoodOnMaps published a blog post reporting about this, and not long after – POW – Google lowered a penalty onto Thumbtack’s shoulders. How long will the penalty last? What does this kind of situation mean for the ethics of search engines? How much is Google a business, and how much is it a public service?

Google Announces A Continually Updating Penguin Update Coming In Next Months

Da-da-da-DA! Presenting Google’s amazing, handy-dandy, self-updating Penguin update! Coming…this summer? According to reports, the algorithm itself will also be tweaked and reworked.

What do you think they’ll be changing? Do you think this will actually happen – or is it just like the once rumored “Panda Everflux?” Either way, it’s something you’ll definitely want to pay attention to.

Twitter Now Makes Conversations Easier to Follow

Conversations on Twitter are notoriously hard to follow – even today, when people have had years to learn how to do it. It was just never that intuitive. Thankfully Twitter has added a new feature to its feeds. Now some tweets will be followed by “highlight” responses, ordered in an easy-to-read way, so that you can quickly get the gist of a conversation without having to search through multiple profiles.

Panda Refresh in 2-4 Weeks – Finally After 6+Months!

WebmasterWorld has a great thread for keeping up with the new Panda update, which was announced at SMX Advanced by Google’s Gary Illyes. Opinions are divided. “Nightmare,” says user webmuppet, “a 6 month refresh for a Panda kicking is just too long.” WMW member supercyberbob adds, “Never believe anything Google says, ever.”

But others are more optimistic. “Well I’m hoping for a flood of happy webmasters on the next rollout! I have a couple sites that I’ve stripped and will be watching intently. A bit of hope would be appreciated,” says senior member MrSavage. What do you think?

Mom and Pop Got Whacked In Mobilegeddon

Google-JuiceMobilegeddon ran roughshod over Mom and Pop. “It seems like Google is dictating two or three expensive jobs to webmasters every year. Lots of businesses who did convert their sites to mobile-friendly suffered rankings drops…I don’t think Google should dictate rankings based upon geek metrics, because geeks view the world differently than most other people,” explains Cre8asiteforums user EGOL.

User earlpearl also has a fascinating story about his time back in the “Wild West” days of the official Google local forum. An absolute must-read for understanding local business and SEO.

Google Says They Are Knowledge Panels And Bye Bye Webmaster Tools

There’s been a lot of rebranding in the Google world, lately. The latest are Knowledge Graphs – Gary Illyes wants you to know that they are, in fact, called “Knowledge Panels.” You’ll also remember the recent renaming of Webmaster Tools into Search Console.

“I am guessing this has a lot to do with rewriting their privacy terms but essentially doing what they always do, mind you,” says user glyn. Why do you think Google is changing so many names and redefining terms which have existed for years so far? Join the discussion over at Cre8asiteforums!