This Week In SEO 34
Content Standards, New HTTP Status Code, Yahoo Search Updates, & More


Content Standards from the New Google Search Guidelines

Google quality guidelines

Content written by experts will now be used as a signal for manual reviews to determine page quality. This is from the new Google search quality guidelines document they released in November. This excerpt, from the 160 page quality guidelines, includes the following related to expert content:

Complex medical advice should only be given by people or organizations that possess appropriate accreditation. It should, likewise, be written in a professional style and will need to be reviewed, updated, and edited regularly in order to ensure that it remains current and authoritative.

Complex financial advice, tax advice, or legal advice should be written by expert writers and will need to be updated regularly.

Important advice pages that may affect a person’s finances or well-being (this includes investment pages, home remodeling pages, and parenting pages) needs to be written by an “expert” source.

Hobby pages on topics like hockey, horseback riding, or photography, require expert writers.


New HTTP Status Code


For the first time in a while there’s a new status code for use on web pages. Probably the most-used status code is “404,” or “page not found.” Another popular one (used especially in SEO) is “301,” or “page moved permanently.”

Now we’ll also be able to use “451” or “page taken down due to legal request.

In a blog post by Mark Nottingham he says that it became apparent that there would be benefits from adding a new status code, even with the concern that they are limited to the 400-499 range, and once they are gone, they have no more in the 4xx range. But he felt it was more important as censorship issues become more prevalent as well as sites wanting the ability to crawl and discover pages that have been removed via legal takedowns and displaying a specific status code that represents that.


Bait and Switch Hacking

google hack

Hackers are now taking advantage of a site’s age and authority to execute their spammy-redirects. Danny Sullivan breaks it down:

With bait-and-switch hacking, someone gains access to a site and begins publishing pages on topics that the site itself doesn’t normally cover. The site might not even be aware that the pages exist.

The hackers are hoping to leverage the authority of the sites they hack. The idea is that publishing such content on an existing site might do better than trying to publish it on a new site.

Interesting to see site authority being used against Google in a hack.

How to Change Your Google Local Location

How to Change Your Location for Local Search Results – The Always Up-To-Date Guide

google search location

Recently, Google disabled the ability for users to perform a search as if they were in a different location. Presumably, lots SEOs used this feature for research, but the official party line from Google claims there weren’t enough users to keep this as a search tool.

Go Fish Digital has published a step by step guide for changing your location, but fair warning: it’s not easy. Where before you could change your location in a few clicks, this process has you starting by right-clicking “inspect element” in the search results–and it’s all downhill from there.

The good news is you’ve got a way to perform this search again if it’s critical go your business. The bad news is it’s a pain in the ass.

The next step requires that you open a new tab and load Google Maps. We need to get the latitude and longitude for the location you’d like to search from. In Google Maps search for the city and state of the location you’d like to get local search results. Once you perform the search in Google Maps, look again at the URL and you’ll see the latitude and longitude for your desired location.


Yahoo! Search Updates


a possible new Yahoo! logo

In this month’s “there are other search engine besides Google?” feature, Yahoo makes an appearance.

After a recent announcement by Google about AMP (accelerated mobile pages), Yahoo announces they have made several updates, including AMP, twitter integration, and “fresher and more updated news results” a.k.a. things Google has been doing for a while now.

Still, having a choice is important, and it’s nice to see some Google competitors upping their game.

Yahoo also added top tweets and relevant tweets from Twitter in the mobile search results. Yahoo said based on what is going on in the world, Yahoo Search on mobile will now “connect you to the top tweets related to your celebrity searches right on the results page.”

It’s always nice to stay up to date with what Yahoo! is doing regarding search, so you can keep those one or two visitors per month they send you!

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