Online Marketing News this Week – 2nd Mar 2012

Share to Reddit

Google – 40 Search Changes plus Panda 3.3 Update

Recently on the official search blog, Google announced 40 changes to their search system.  This is for February alone.  Interestingly, 4 of the changes which cause the most discussion come at the end of the list:

Panda update. This launch refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.

Link evaluation. We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable.

SafeSearch update. We have updated how we deal with adult content, making it more accurate and robust. Now, irrelevant adult content is less likely to show up for many queries.

Spam update. In the process of investigating some potential spam, we found and fixed some weaknesses in our spam protections.

Improved local results. We launched a new system to find results from a user’s city more reliably. Now we’re better able to detect when both queries and documents are local to the user.

And related to the last one:

Improvements to ranking for local search results. This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.

Changes to link evaluation and local search have the potential for major consequences. With the mention of spam, the early signs are that Google is continuing to clamp down on cheap link building for ranking. We will be returning to this subject in an up-coming post.

Google’s New Privacy Policy Comes into Effect this Week

You may have seen the announcement of Google’s new privacy policies all over the Google network in recent weeks. This is the week it comes into effect. It is hugely controversial, the EPIC advocacy group have tried to block it and Japan and countries in Europe are saying that it may violate local privacy laws.

Google insists it will improve your search experience and give a nice innocent example:

So in the future, if you do frequent searches for Jamie Oliver, we could recommend Jamie Oliver videos when you’re looking for recipes on YouTube—or we might suggest ads for his cookbooks when you’re on other Google properties.

They go on to say:

The new policy doesn’t change any existing privacy settings or how any personal information is shared outside of Google. We aren’t collecting any new or additional information about users. We won’t be selling your personal data. And we will continue to employ industry-leading security to keep your information safe.

They point at if you don’t like the idea you can switch off the features which lead to personalised search results. You don’t have to sign into Google either. But many of these features are default and many will not realise when they are being used or how. Much is being written on how to prevent Google ‘watching you’ and this is a story which is not going to go away.

Related posts:

  1. Online Marketing News this Week – 20th Mar 2012
  2. Online Marketing News this Week – 3rd Apr 2012
  3. Online Marketing News this Week – 19th Jan 2012
  4. Online Marketing News this Week – 26th Apr 2012
Share to Reddit

Comments are closed.