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October Roundup: The News in Search

The good, the bad and the most captivating news in SEO and search marketing.

Written by Jarrod Miller-Dean
on 10.30.18

The End of Google+ After a Data Breach

Summary:

Time to say, “goodbye” to Google+. Google recently decided to pull the plug on the platform, after announcing a data breach that occurred earlier this year.

Last week Google published a blog post announcing that a bug was found in the application program interface (API) of Google+. It allowed third-party developers to access 500,000 users with unauthorized permission. To add, Google+ is one of the company’s least popular products in years.

It’s reported that Google discovered the breach in March. However, they didn’t make a statement until the Wall Street Journal recently covered it in a post.

Impact:

Google+ failed to rise above mediocrity compared to other social networks. Let this be a lesson to not rely on individual platforms, especially if it’s owned by Google. Marketers should focus on building authority and expertise on their own pages.

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New Google Sitelinks Update Shows More Content in Search Results

Summary:

Google is testing a new feature that allows searchers to see more content from websites, without visiting the homepage.

If rolled out, sitelinks will appear similar to Featured snippets with dropdown boxes containing more detailed information.

Impact:

If and when rolled out, this may change click-through rates for Google searches. More website content will appear in search engine results pages (SERPs), which may increase or decrease website traffic. Time will tell the benefits and drawbacks.

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How to Rank in Google Dataset Search

Summary:

Google’s AI blog recently published an article discussing, how data search works and the signals used to rank for it.

If you’re wondering, “What is a dataset?” It’s exactly as it sounds. A set of data. Google uses this information to better understand the content on web pages. By turning content into data, search engines are able to analyze and improve the delivery of relevant answers for search queries.

Google takes the data and links it through the Knowledge Graph and considers other ranking signals like links, then creates a dataset search index. Search results are becoming more and more structured. The analysis of semantic information has led Google to develop rich snippets, local search packs, and other unique results that offer more value for searchers.

The Knowledge Graph plays a role in ranking dataset information. Presently, Google is using regular ranking algorithms to rank datasets in searches.

Impact:

Most websites have datasets. They should be regularly fine-tuned. Datasets will become a new ranking factor for search visibility and allow people to engage with and links to websites.

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Google Returns to China

Summary:

Google is going back to China. In the past, Google has been unwilling to comply with Chinese laws regarding which search results can be displayed.

With 772+ million users in the Chinese market, Google is now changing its tune and has agreed to tweak its search engine results pages to comply. The expected rollout will depend on the right political and commercial moment, but should be available in the next 6 to 9 months.

Google will be partnering with the Chinese tech firm Tencent, which is the parent company for WeChat (social media) and Sogou (search). Google will launch its Android search app on WeChat’s social platform. This will open Google up to new opportunities not found anywhere else in the world.

The Chinese-style digital marketing model focuses on seamless user experiences. WeChat is an “all-in-one” app that focuses on ultrapersonalization, elimination of ads, conversational queries and visual search. In time, these techniques will be introduced to international markets.

Impact:

China is a unique market. With the help of Google, WeChat will attempt to expand into non-Chinese markets. Digital marketers should prepare for new opportunities on the horizon and the development of a new ecosystem.

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