January 20, 2017 in SEO news.

Today In SEO & Search News: January 20, 2017

Here’s what happened over the past 24 hours in SEO news …

Amit Singhal joins Uber
Darrell Etherington over at Techcrunch covered the announcement that Google’s former Head of Search Amit Singhal is the new SVP of Engineering.  Amit left Google last February replaced by John Giannandrea who was clearly about to take search in a whole new direction – a direction guided by machine learning. The article covers why Amit joined Uber and some of the huge challenges they have.

Google Turning Up The AMP
Barb Palser over on Search Engine Land illustrates and discussed the increase in AMP carousel results and the new single-source news carousels being added (that is – carousels from only one news source). Personally I’m pretty sure this’ll lead to publishers spamming topics to be a single source but time will tell.

AI Software Learns To Make … AI Software
Tom Simonite over at MIT Technology Review published on the 18th (sorry – just crossed my radar but worth covering) discussing Google’s tests on having software design a machine learning system. It turns out the software did a better job than the humans. I have to wonder who builds a system that puts themselves out of a job but that’s their call not mine. I also wonder how good an idea it is to put the machines in charge of programming the machines as they approach the stage of self-awareness.

Worst & Best Clickthrough Rates
A study done by Siege Media and using ahrefs data uncovered some of the best and worst keyword phrases for clicktrough rate. It’s an interesting list to look at and an interesting study as it can illustrate the impact that featured snippets and knowledge graphs have on clickthrough rate.

Use Nofollow When Linking To Bad Sites
While it may fall into the “tell me something I couldn’t have guessed” category Google’s Gary Illyes has confirmed that if you’re linking to bad sites you should use the nofollow. If you need a rule of thumb – think of a link as a vote. If you wouldn’t vote for the site you’re linking to as a good one to visit them use the nofollow attribute.

And that was the past 24 hours in SEO news.  We’ll be back Monday with a 72 hour update.

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