SEO Updates for November 2012

Posted by in SEO

With the ever so changing world of SEOSearch Engine Optimization, post after post on changes and alerts going crazy, it can sometimes be somewhat of a challenge to stay updated with the super important changes in the online search world.

Today, I’d like to start a series to help us digital marketers out by providing the most important SEO updates for November 2012 and what they mean to you and I.

Search Options Move Above SERPs

Google confirmed that all U.S. users are now getting the new interface with the search options moved from the left-hand rail to above the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). They recently tested this change and felt it performed well enough to make it stick.

What this means to SEO: The organic search results are just that much lower which could lead to less users clicking on organic listing while more users click on the Paid listing.

This also means that if you’re NOT in positions 1-5 (and sometimes 1-3 due to SERPs 7 results page) you’re more likely not to see a ton of organic traffic.

In summary: Either you above the fold or bust (in a lot of cases).

Related resources:

Study’s Show “Not Provided” Continuing to Increase to 39%

It’s not a massive surprise to most of us (since we’ve been seeing it in our reports for quite some time now) but according to the study Optify conducted, “Not Provided” search referrers are now up to 39%.

“Not Provided” represents the search queries that are no longer being reported by Google due to locked security, etc.

If that isn’t enough, their study also shows that 64% of companies see 30%-50% of their traffic from Google as “Not Provided” – making any SEO performance tracking harder than ever. It’s time to get creative in our reporting to ensure we’re providing the best search recommendations and strategies.

Related resources:

Google Page Rank Updated

Google Page Rank, a ranking metric used to measure the quality and quantity of inbound links a given website or page has, was updated on November 8, 2012 – the fourth update this year.

Should you care? It’s a subjectable question but I still say “Yes, you should care…a little”. While Google Page Rank is NOT the end all be all it still is a good indication if a given URL has any authority and is a valuable site.

Google Webmaster Tools Security Bug Re-Opens Access To Old Accounts

Google Webmaster Tools experienced a big security issue which gave users access to old accounts and websites that they no longer should have access to. Hours later they announced that the issues were fixed and corrected, saying…

For several hours yesterday a small set of Webmaster Tools accounts were incorrectly re-verified for people who previously had access. We’ve reverted these accounts and are investigating ways to prevent this issue from recurring.

Related Resources:

Bing Reveals Webmaster Guidelines

Similar to Google, Bing has published it’s Webmaster Guidelines which really follows a lot of the same paths as Google (no surprise here).

They’ve now publicly mentioned that they value quality content, hate link buying but still values quality links, and is very clear that they put a good bit of weight on social metrics saying ” If you are influential socially, this leads to your followers sharing your information widely, which in turn results in Bing seeing these positive signals.” and that these signals can have an impact on your rank.

Related Resources:

Last but not least, Google Panda #21 Update

On November 5, 2012, Google continued its war on low-quality sites with yet another update “Panda #21” which follows the 4-6 week schedule we are used to seeing. This update in particular is said to impact about 0.4% of queries with a higher rate for users in the US at 1.1% of queries.

There’s been some chatter about Panda #22 already toward the end of November but haven’t saw any confirmation on that just yet from Google.

That’s a wrap guys in our SEO updates for November 2012. If anything comes up between now and the end of the month (tomorrow) I’ll be sure to update this post so that we are all aware and 100% updated.

Anything you feel I missed for November? Comments are more than welcomed as the goal here is to provide you guys with the best SEO updates possible.

Additional SEO Updates for November:

  • November 30th (1AM) – We just received confirmation that Google Panda #22 DID hit the algorithm November 21st, the second Panda update this month. Google has not confirmed how many queries were impacted with this update.