If Google understands the content on your pages, we can create rich snippets—detailed information intended to help users with specific queries. For example, the snippet for a restaurant might show the average review and price range; the snippet for a recipe page might show the total preparation time, a photo, and the recipe’s review rating; and the snippet for a music album could list songs along with a link to play each song. These rich snippets help users recognize when your site is relevant to their search, and may result in more clicks to your pages.
For companies leveraging content strategies, there’s an especially large benefit of having mark up for authors being displayed in the SERPs with the emergence of AuthorRank. For instance, a “know” based query (informational search) that displays an author with a photo, name, and a link other articles they’ve written creates a feeling of trust and authority. It can also encourage them to click-through and read other articles they’re written, essentially making that author a new resource.
Great Post on Rich Snippets Here
Google’s Android Market Place recently thought to have been loaded with 21 malicious applications, which is now thought to actually be closer to 58 applications, will soon be cleaned up. The Android Market operates on a trusted-developer model: Once you’re in, you can publish and update software at will.
Google’s latest reaction, Saturday night by Android security head Rich Cannings, is the remote removal from users’ phones of applications identified as malware. Google also plans to release a security update “”Android Market Security Tool March 2011″ to infected phones.
The kill switch is actually software that’s downloaded onto an Android smartphone and installed automatically, removing the apps in question with no user action required. In its Google Mobile Blog, the company announced:
“We are pushing an Android Market security update to all affected devices that undo’s the exploits to prevent the attacker(s) from accessing any more information from affected devices. If your device has been affected, you will receive an email from [email protected] over the next 72 hours. You will also receive a notification on your device that “Android Market Security Tool March 2011” has been installed. You may also receive notification(s) on your device that an application has been removed. You are not required to take any action from there; the update will automatically undo the exploit. Within 24 hours of the exploit being undone, you will receive a second email.”
Google downplayed the harm caused by these malware apps, assuring users that none of their personal data has been compromised:
“For affected devices, we believe that the only information the attacker(s) were able to gather was device-specific (IMEI/IMSI, unique codes which are used to identify mobile devices and the version of Android running on your device). But given the nature of the exploits, the attacker(s) could access other data.”
Android devices are still vulnerable because of existing security holes at the system level, which must be fixed by cellular carriers and hardware manufacturers. The problem is made worse by cellular providers sticking with older versions of Android, unfortunate because the security exploit only affects Android versions 2.2.1 and older.
Over the past few weeks Google has taken some serious measures to eliminate web spam from its organic search results. Early February, JC Penny was hit with a manual and algorithmic penalty for “buying” links with very specific targeted keywords. More recently Overstock and Forbes have been penalized for participating in both “buying” and “selling” links respectively.
We knew it was not going to be long before Google released a major algorithm update to combat the very prevalent web spam and link farms we have seen growing over the past couple of years. Well the time has come; today Google’s Matt Cutts & Amit Singhal unveiled an algorithmic change that claims to impact 11.8% of search queries.
According to Singhal, this update is targeted to “reduce the rankings for low quality sites while increasing the ranking for high quality sites.”
What exactly is Google’s definition of “low” quality and “high” quality? The official definitions from Google are:
“Low-quality sites – sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.”
“High-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”
Google is also claiming that the update does not rely on the feedback that it receives from the “Personal Blocklist Chrome Extension”. They do however claim to have compared it to the Block List Data they have gathered to date and show a staggering 84% match with the algorithm update. Coincidence?
Finally this update is currently only being rolled out in the United States Only, other countries will follow over time.
You can read the Offical Blog Post from Google here.
Yesterday, Google shed light on a sting operation they conducted and said they had proof that Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google’s results, then uses that information to improve Bing’s own search listings.
Today Mehdi, Microsoft’s Senior VP of Online Services responded.
We do not copy results from any of our competitors. Period. Full stop. We have some of the best minds in the world at work on search quality and relevance, and for a competitor to accuse any one of these people of such activity is just insulting.
Mehdi, then took it one step further and accused Google of performing “Click Fraud”
Google engaged in a “honeypot” attack to trick Bing. In simple terms, Google’s “experiment” was rigged to manipulate Bing search results through a type of attack also known as “click fraud.” That’s right, the same type of attack employed by spammers on the web to trick consumers and produce bogus search results. What does all this cloak and dagger click fraud prove? Nothing anyone in the industry doesn’t already know. As we have said before and again in this post, we use click stream optionally provided by consumers in an anonymous fashion as one of 1,000 signals to try and determine whether a site might make sense to be in our index.
Read the full post here
Is Google just trying to redirect focus from the recent discussions surrounding Google’s SERPS being full of spammy results? Maybe, they chose to wait 30 days before going public with thier findings.
What are your thoughts? Is Bing cheating from Google?
Last week both Google and Microsoft confirmed that they do in fact take in to consideration social media links (links within Facebook and Twitter) in their ranking algorithms.
I thought it would be interesting to try a little albeit slightly selfish experiment to see if I can gather some data to support what both search engines have confirmed. This is an informal experiment that will both help start to answer the questions these changes have brought and at the same time promote my wonderful wife’s website.
Below is a pre-crafted tweet with Keywords built in to the structure of the tweet, simply click the share button below to participate in the experiment.
I will be tracking the results with topsy.com and will publish a findings post once the experiment has concluded and I have had time to correlate the date.
I need your help!
If tweeting or linking is not your thing what are you doing reading an SEO blog?
Full Disclosure / Disclaimer – Participating in this experiment will promote a site that is owned by my wife, I do not want to hear from people that I was performing a selfish experiment. Though I fully believe the results will be useful to all SEO’s out there.