Marketing News

SEO News: App Interstitials, Facebook Reactions, Panda Update 4.2 — Conductor 30/30

In our first edition of 30|30 — our monthly webinar series breaking down updates in the search marketing industry in the last 30 days in 30 minutes. We discuss:

  • Google saying that giant app intersitials are no longer mobile friendly
  • Google rolling back on Panda 4.2
  • Google may begin to use structured markup in algorithm in the future
  • Facebook developing a “dislike” button (Update: Instead of “dislike,” Facebook launches “reactions”)
  • Google saying that manual penalties will be worse for repeat offenders

Read below to get the details. And of course, watch and sign up for the monthly webinar here.

1. Google Says Giant App Interstitials Are No Longer Mobile Friendly Come Nov 1st

Google is taking a stand against huge app interstitials that are used as transitions from SERPs to a web page. Google will make them not mobile-friendly starting November 1st.

In my opinion, this is a bold move by Google. It directly affects websites promoting their apps on mobile phones when users don’t already have it installed.  I personally hate these interstitials, as they provide a frustrating user experience, usually making my phone crash or stall out.

app-interstitials

Google apparently agrees and has come out guns blazing by saying these interstitials are going to start negatively impacting rankings. Which means, people will stop doing it in a very short period of time.  This only affects the full page interstitials, and not pop ups that display at the top or bottom of the screen.

2. Google Rolling Back on the Panda 4.2 Update?

Out in the wild, people have been reporting signs that Google’s Panda 4.2 update has actually kicked it into reverse and rolled back on any updates that have taken effect over the course of the last 40 or so days.

Many webmasters are huffing and puffing that all the gains they’ve seen since the beginning of this rollout have been washed away over the last couple of weeks and have gone back to pre-update levels.

While many people are mad about this (as SEOs tend to get), this in my opinion is simply Google following the same pattern they have since they began rolling these types of updates out.

They historically test, tweak, and rollback changes after their updates, so this really isn’t anything out of the ordinary.  If anyone asks, I would just say this is part of Google’s process to make the search experience with their engine better.

3. Google May Use Structured Markup In Algorithm In The Future

Google may add structured markup and data to its ranking algorithm in the future.

For those who are unfamiliar with structured markup and data, it’s a type of data that can be placed on a web page to display very specific details about its content.

For example, you can mark up a page with tags about reviews, prices, stock levels, events, and so on and so forth.  There are countless tags that can be added.

Once the tags are implemented, Google may display them in the SERPs like this:

Prices / Stock Levels:

stock-level-tag

Events:

events-tag

Reviews:

reviews-tag

I emphasize the “may” because Google doesn’t necessarily “have” to display anything you code in. But this gives your pages the opportunity to show up looking like the above, which improves CTR and draws more eyes.

There is no timeline around this, but when stuff like this leaks, it usually means it’s already in the works. This markup could be used as a major ranking signal because it helps Google and other search engines determine what a page / site is about.  While they would also use the content on a page to figure that out, it’s just another lever for them to pull.

4. Facebook Launches “Reactions” Instead of “Dislike” Button

Facebook has launched their new “reactions” emoijis that will accompany the “like” button.

While it may not be a true “dislike” button, it certainly gives the option to be angry at something, which is pretty close.  It also has six other reactions: Sad, Wow, Yay, Haha, Love, and the traditional Like.

facebook-emoji

It is currently in beta in Ireland & Spain.

While this has absolutely nothing to do with organic search yet, this may become something that Google and other search engines look for when dealing with content, and its users’ feelings towards a particular brand.

The great news is that most of the assumptions that we made are true and this article even goes into a detail about what businesses will be able to gain from this.

For example: if you create a great piece of content and it’s shared and liked, you ultimately gain better rankings because links are created and social markers increase awareness and authority of that content.

This could open up the door for content that gets disliked to actually lose rankings because users find it unhelpful, off-topic, or offensive. Of course this is all speculation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this starts to work its way into algorithms.

Here is an excerpt:

There’s a business side to the new feature. Half of Facebook’s blog post about Reactions is aimed at what the change means for businesses. “We see this as an opportunity for businesses and publishers to better understand how people are responding to their content on Facebook,” wrote Mr. Tosswill. During the test, Page owners will be able to see Reactions to all of their posts on Page insights.

So while I won’t be able to truly dislike something, I can still be angry with it, or let my bestie know I think something is funny.

Overall, it looks like businesses will still get valuable data about users’ reactions to their content, so it’s a win / win for the most part.

We’ll be covering this more in next month’s webinar.

5. Google Lays The Smack Down on Repeated Webmaster Guidelines Violators

Google has announced that people who are repeat violators of their webmaster guidelines will face harsher penalties in the future.

This new development only applies to webmasters who have received manual penalties in Google Search Console, and not algorithmic penalties that are automatically applied to sites.  So this will only affect someone whose site has been reviewed by an actual Google team member.

Repeat offenders will face stricter penalties, and will have to go through a much harsher reconsideration process, which is already a very time-consuming task.

This is another step to deter spammers from using black-hat methods to gain rankings, which is always a good thing.

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated. This was a great first edition; we received some great feedback and I’m already looking forward to the next one.

Don’t forget to join the next webinar on November 12th!

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