In the News This Week

So, as of yesterday it’s now officially autumn! But while there are some drawbacks to darker evenings, there are certainly loads of great things about them: big, open fires, huge hot chocolates and best of all, it’s finally time to dig out that fluffy dressing gown! Ah, we feel cosy just thinking about it.

And just as the year’s rolling by at what seems like the speed of light, so the SEO updates keep coming in thick and fast. Honestly, nothing stops in the world of SEO – and here’s some of the week’s biggest news…

We’ll start by talking about spam – no, not that kind! Push thoughts of deliciously greasy Spam fritters to the back of your mind and instead focus your attention on a different kind of spam: the kind that has you pulling your hair out on an almost daily basis. Over on Search Engine Watch, keen blogger Mike O’Brien touches on the latest news that repeated spammers will receive harsher penalties via Google. If you’re a spammer reading this, take note! But we suspect you’re a business instead, rubbing your hands together at the fact your site may no longer be compromised.

But you’ve also got to be careful you don’t inadvertently spam your own site – or others’ – with content or links that just aren’t relevant. The piece explains how, according to Google Inside Search’s ‘Fighting Spam’ page, the most common form of spam is ‘pure spam’; it results in almost 200,000 actions per month and is defined as a site that aggressively makes the most of multiple spamming techniques. Don’t get caught out, swot up over on Search Engine Watch!

In fact, you could do a lot worse than having a good browse around the site in general. While putting this very blog together we discovered more than a few articles well worth taking a few minutes out of your day to read. This one, in particular, made for interesting reading. It’s by Graham Charlton and it asks: ‘Is Your Content Working Better for Someone Else?’

The piece explains how sites which scrape and ‘pinch’ content from other sites can often outrank the original source, which is certainly something to be aware of if you spend a lot of time populating your website with great blogs. But that’s not all; Graham explains how these ‘content thieves’ are able to inflict lasting damage by affecting your site’s rankings. Don’t let it happen to you; set aside 10 minutes or so to get to grips with the article – it could well save your site, as well as ensure the time and hard work you’ve invested in it hasn’t been in vain.

Meanwhile on the same site – and we promise this is the last one for Search Engine Watch for this week – Mike O’Brien (the man’s had a busy week!) talks Facebook’s rich snippets. In short, the social media site’s rich snippets and their corresponding review stars are no longer appearing in Google search results – bad news for those who’ve spent time building up their feedback. Make sure you click the link to read more; it could be worth researching other ways to make the most of those well-earned reviews while you’re at it, too.

Sticking with social media, Search Engine Journal has put together a very informative post to help you identify the best social media influencers when it comes to promoting your brand, services or product. The blog’s author suggests that, thanks to social media’s ever-growing influence, making sure you utilise some of the most powerful influencers amongst your target market really is a no-brainer. No time to read it? Bookmark it to come back to – it could be the difference between engaged customers and a lot of uninterested followers.

Finally – though it’s not strictly SEO-related – we thought we’d leave you with this, via Moz Blog. It’s a really great piece about how you can cut down the amount of business meetings you sit through, yet still ensure the same, positive outcome.

Now, go and get the kettle on and grab that dressing gown. Don’t pretend you haven’t been thinking about it.

Until next time…