This Week In SEO 17
No More Autocomplete API + Panda is Finally Here

This week’s Quick SEO Tip is all about using SERP IQ to get a quick, thorough overview of how difficult it would be to rank your site for any given keyword.


Google to shut down the Autocomplete API on August 10


We built autocomplete as a complement to Search, and never intended that it would exist disconnected from the purpose of anticipating user search queries. Over time we’ve realized that while we can conceive of uses for an autocomplete data feed outside of search results that may be valuable, overall the content of our automatic completions are optimized and intended to be used in conjunction with web search results, and outside of the context of a web search don’t provide a meaningful user benefit.

Right.  They don’t have a benefit outside of all the people that use keyword tools like TermExplorer and UberSuggest.  Those meaningful benefits don’t count.

I mean, it *is* their API and they can do what they want.  Maybe I’m cynical, but this feels like either an opportunity to mess up the established flow of people doing SEO (that heavily involves keyword research), or they want all the search data (ALL OF IT) to go through their system so they can pin searches through search data to a Gmail address.

Either way, your favorite 3rd Party Keyword Tool will be increasingly less fresh after August 10th except for those who start getting aggressive with proxies and such (which will up the price).

Panda Refresh is Finally Here, Taking It’s Sweet Damn Tim to Roll-out

Good news, everyone!

good news
The Panda refresh is finally here.

The bad news is it’s taking it’s sweet time to roll out.

Google tells Search Engine Land that it pushed out a Google Panda refresh this weekend.

Many of you may not have noticed because this rollout is happening incredibly slowly. In fact, Google says the update can take months to fully roll out. That means that although the Panda algorithm is still site-wide, some of your Web pages might not see a change immediately.

Keep an eye on your site’s traffic to see how it responds to this latest showing.  Or, you could just monitor the poor suckers who got killed during the last update to see what they’re up to, like…

Fallout From Google Panda Already Starting to Show

Here’s one way to monitor the progress of Panda: monitor sites that were greatly affected (positively or negatively) by the last Panda refresh:

 Hallmark was one company that was hit particularly hard last time, losing 20 percent of its keywords, according to AJ Ghergich, founder of content marketing agency Ghergich & Co. When there’s a new update, Ghergich judges Panda’s rollouts based on the fluctuation of the sites that were most affected during the last update. He notes that in mid-July, before Illyes’ announcement, Hallmark went from ranking for 29,000 keywords to just 17,000.

“That’s a brutal hit,” Ghergich says. “It seems really weird to me that these sites are getting hit a little bit earlier so maybe [Google was] testing it on those sites. Google is probably not going to tell us, but there’s no doubt in my mind it’s related to this update.”



How Not to Kill Your SEO Mojo When Rebranding

This is one of those things you don’t pay any attention to until you need it yourself, then… DISASTER!

But now you know where to find this info when you really need it.  Rebranding is, no doubt, a catastrophe for your SEO.  In the best of cases, it will take a few months to get your rankings where they used to be.

Hubspot put together a solid guide on how to make your switch go as smooth as possible, strictly SEO speaking.  Can’t nobody help you with that new logo you think looks so good…

We found it easiest to manage this process with a spreadsheet. We listed the URLs for every page on the old site in one column, and then dropped in the corresponding URLs on the new site in the next column. Of course, any pages that generate a lot of traffic or have a lot of backlinks should take priority, so organize your spreadsheet to update the most important pages first.

It’s important to note that if you have a blog, landing pages or any other content on a different subdomain that is hosted elsewhere; you’ll have to create a separate .htaccess file for those URLs. Fortunately, our blog is hosted on Hubspot and they have a seamless URL mapping tool that took care of all that for us.


Pixel Width vs. Character Count: How to Know WTF to do with Meta Data Length

size matters

It’s a common misconception that meta data needs to be a certain character count.  But this is just an approximation of the amount of characters it takes to smartly fill up the allotted space in the SERPs.  In reality, there is a pixel based size that your meta data needs to fill.

Paul Shapiro has created a pretty nifty tool to bulk search your meta data and make sure that it is the right size–based on pixels and not character limit.

TWS18: Search Analytic API, How to Do Competitor Research, and More
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