This Week In SEO 25
Voice Search, Local Pack, Social Search Engines, and SERP Displays

This week’s update features several pieces of news directly relating to moves Google is making.  Not surprising.  If you’re really on top of your Google algorithms, you’ll know that Hummingbird has a lot to do with natural language searches.  If you’re *not* familiar with it, here’s a  pretty comprehensive slideshare deck.


Better Google Voice Search


There’s a lot of audio science in this post that won’t mean a lot to most (every?) SEO. However, the message is clear: Google is heavily invested in mobile. Of course, we already knew this from this April’s Mobilegeddon, among other things.

Since May of this year Google mobile searches have outpaced desktop searches. As Google gets better and better at voice and conversational searches, good, in-depth content is going to matter more and more.


Google Fighting Against Keyword Stuffed Business Names

Hijacking Google Maps, or MapSpam is the process of using a prominent or successful business’s contact info in your listing so that the “host” business’s high rating and high visibility help your listing show up when someone searches for a related keyword. For example:

So a business title that includes the words “Locksmith Restaurant” would have a higher surprisingness value than one that contains the words “burger restaurant.” If that surprisiness value was above a certain threshold, the business listing with that phrase in its title might not be displayed as a search result.

Google’s new patent works to detect this odd combination of words, such as “locksmith restaurant.” So if you were doing this to rank well, or inadvertently doing this (sucks if you have a weirdly named business) things are about to change.


The Return of Phone Numbers and Addresses to Local Packs

Title says it all. A benefit to both end users, businesses, and SEOs, the listings no longer require an extra click or to to get relevant info.





Google’s removal of phone numbers and full addresses was one that many local marketers found annoying when Google made their major changes to local results earlier this year. It required users to make an extra click if they wanted to know either the phone number or exact address – Google would only show the street but not the street numbers in the 3-pack.


Ranking In “Other” (Social) Search Engines

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Google is the king of search — no argument there. But aside from Bing (and ocassionally Youtube), most people don’t really think of big social sites as search engines. But there are some intersting statistics to consider:

Obviously, Google is the largest search engine.

The misconception, however, is that social search engines aren’t large themselves.

Take Twitter, for instance, which gets an impressive 2.1 billion queries per day. That’s not far behind Google.

Consider that Facebook reached 1 billion searches per day back in 2012, which has only grown since then.

And finally, YouTube—the largest video site—gets over 3 billion searches per month. It may not be as big as the others, but 3 billion searches is still a lot.

This article takes you through how to capitalize on each social site to see that your content is getting found as a part of these billions of daily searches. A lot of this advice is kind of… standard and well known, but there’s probably some things your’e neglecting here that would make a difference…


Revenge of the Mega SERP

A hell of a resource, this long post covers all the ways that Google displays results in the SERPs. From several different kinds of knowledge panels, snippets, video thumbnails, and more.

google serp links

TWS 26: New Spam Algorithm, Optimizing for iOS 9, and More
Apple Blocking Ads, Reconsideration Requests, Penguin, and More

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Sean Markey

Obsessive consumer of SEO news and strategies, writes the This Week in SEO column. Loves playing drums and writing fiction. Bets you he can throw a football over them mountains.
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