Summertime SEOness: The Hottest SEO News Of Summer 2014

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While Matt Cutts is on his extended vacation, the Google team kept the SEO community busy. Summer was hot and eventful. Let’s recall some of the most dramatic updates that happened this summer in the world of SEO in order to make some amendments to your online marketing strategy.

It’s been almost two months since the latest Google Pigeon Update release. It caused a lot of business owners to overhaul their local business marketing strategy. Particularly, local business listing sites and review websites are now very much in favor with Google, so being listed there is now a must. We have highlighted the possible effects of the Google Pigeon Update on local businesses in one of our previous posts.
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Should You Switch to HTTPS right now?

A few weeks ago Google officially announced that HTTPS would now become a ranking signal, for now a very lightweight signal. This news provoked a lot of discussions in the industry.  Google has also updated Google Webmaster Tools to better handle HTTPS sites and the reporting on them.

We’ve investigated what are the pros and cons of moving your site to HTTPS, and are ready to share some good tips with you.
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Updated Google Alerts and Guest Blog Directories Penalty

Now you can use two more filters to refine your Google Alerts by language or region. You can select all regions or languages or you can be specific and specify one language or region. You cannot currently select a specific array of regions or languages; it is either all or one. This new feature is what all local SEOs need!

google-alerts

Ann Smarty, the owner of guest blog integration service MyBlogGuest.com, confirmed recently that her site has received a penalty. The main question that disturbs Internet marketers is whether the publishers who participate in MyBlogGuest.com would also be penalized. It seems they could. Matt Cutts tweeted that it is likely. Ann Smarty also says she will continue to develop MyBlogGuest.com. She will give publishers more flexibility to nofollow byline links. If you are going to take part in MyBlogGuest, label your site as “using nofollow attribution links” for authors to know what to expect.
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The Most Important Google Updates of the Year and How They Changed SEO

Google changes its algorithm almost every day. However, search results were affected greatly by some major updates this past year. When you know the dates of the most important updates, you can understand changes in your rankings and organic website traffic and ultimately improve search engine optimization. Let’s see how Google changed SEO in 2013:

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Panda

The year started with the animal that frightened every search marketer. The Google Panda update was meant to stop sites with low quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results. Websites that used scraped content were penalized by Google and disappeared from the Google search results pages. Google says it only takes a few pages of poor quality or duplicate content to hold down traffic on an otherwise solid site, and recommends such pages be removed, blocked from being indexed by the search engine, or rewritten.
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SEO News: Russian Linkless SEO and More

Leading Russian search engine Yandex announced they are going to cease attributing any ranking factor value to links for commercial queries in its Moscow regional results. Alexander Sadovsky, the Head of Web Search at Yandex, explains that they see a lot of paid links where there is no human actually involved. These links are often off-topic and are cheating users.

This change will come into effect during 2014 in Moscow and potentially other regions in Russia thereafter. Links have been a crucial factor in search. Now Yandex says they will use human behavior and interaction with sites. Link building may not die after all, but the metrics will be very different and only links that drive real user traffic will have any value at all.
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