This week: Google wants you to make spam reporting easier, there’s a new search tool on the horizon, and TLD keywords don’t do anything to improve your rank.
Here’s what happened this week in SEO.
Google Announces Springboard: A Search Engine for Apps
This week, Google announced Springboard: a search engine that searches through all of Google’s apps – including Drive, Calendar, Docs, and even Gmail.
Google said that the tool will act as a digital assistant by “proactively providing useful and actionable information and recommendations.” The company didn’t provide any examples of specific recommendations, though.
Springboard will offer benefits to business and enterprise users of Google’s suite of apps, especially those who need to search through emails and documents to find specific information.
Right now, Springboard is being tested by users who are part of Google’s early adopter program.
Confirmed: Google Ignores TLD Keywords for Ranking Purposes
Some SEOs have been under the impression that they can rank sites better by including certain keywords in the top-level domain (TLD). This week, Google set the record straight.
Lately, webmasters have been purchasing top-level domains with keywords relevant to their niche. Examples include .live, .attorney, and .news.
They were under the impression that Google would use the words in the domain as a ranking factor.
During a Google+ hangout this week. John Mueller made it clear that the search giant “completely” ignores the words in the TLD.
“The TLD is not something we take into account there,” he said.
You Can Now Compare Queries in Search Analytics
There’s a new feature in the Search Analytics section of the Search Console.
Search Analytics enables you to see how well your site is ranking for specific keywords and how much search traffic you’re getting.
Now, you can compare search queries within the report.
To check out the new feature, just view the Search Analytics report as you normally do. Then, click on the “No Filter” drop-down underneath “Queries” towards the top of the report.
You’ll see an option that reads “Compare Queries.” Click on that and a popup will appear.
Enter the two queries you want to compare in the popup. Then click the “Compare” button.
You’ll see a report that shows you how those two queries stack up against each other. You can configure the comparison just as you would any other report: to show CTRs, position in the SERPs, impressions, or clicks.
Some Webmasters Think a Google Algorithm Update Occurred This Week
There were more than the usual number of webmasters who reported drops in rank this week according to a report at Search Engine Roundtable.
All the chatter has fueled speculation that another algorithm update was just released.
“Could it be that this last updated was a new Panda round?” asked one exasperated site owner. “It feels and smells like Panda. Traffic from google is so bad, no user engagement, no user interaction, bounce nearly 90%. This is the first time we see something bad for 10 month now.”
“Seen more movement than I have in almost 1.5 years on a penguin hit site,” wrote another. “Maybe its coming for a visit? Nothing significant especially just from 1 site, but if you guys are seeing it too that might mean something.”
Other complaints echoed similar sentiments.
Maybe Google will let us know what’s going on the near future.
Google Wants You to Help Make Spam Reporting Easier
“[W]e’d like to learn more about that to improve our process and make your reporting easier and fun,” Google posted on the Google+ Google Webmaster channel.
The company is inviting you to fill out a form so you can help streamline the spam reporting process. That form asks the following questions:
- How often do you report webspam?
- What motivates you to report websites that violate Google webmaster guidelines?
- When you report sites which segment or niche do you mostly report?
- How can we further enable you to spot and report spammy websites showing up on search results?
- Have you ever wanted to tell the webspam team something directly?