Today In SEO & Search News: February 28, 2017

Today In SEO & Search News: February 28, 2017

It’s been an interesting 24 hours in search and SEO with recommendatiosn from Google in some areas I’ve often wondered about so some incredible (and frightening) advances in technology. Let’s jump in …

AI Taught To Steal To Write Code
Matt Reynolds over at New Scientist covered a very interesting and perhaps even more frightening story about AI.  Researers at Microsoft and the University of Cambridge created a system called DeepCoder. The goal of the system is to allow people to simply describe what they want a probram to do and DeepCoder would build it. The system uses an approach called “system synthesis”.  That’s a nice way of saying it takes code from other places and uses them to create it’s own.

Users Signed Out Of Their Google Accounts
Google has responded to their “epidemic” of mass signing out of users from their Google accounts and the inability to sign back in that took place last Thursday.  Matt Southern covered the story over on Search Engine Journal and notes that Google wants to assure us all that our accounts have not been compromised.

Say Allo To Your Little Desktop

Allo coming soon to desktop
Nick Fox from Google revealed on Twitter that Allo and it’s accompanying personal assistant will be coming soon to the desktop. Not sure how it’s going to go for Google in this round but it appears to me they’re like to replace Cortana if possible and get their claws a little deeper into Microsoft’s terrain … the desktop. Here’s the Tweet:

Google Testing Horizontal Scroll Map Search Results
Mike Blumenthal revealed on his blog that Google is testing out horizontal scrolling of search results on mobile. This is a very interesting test that makes a lot of sense for users but let’s stop and think for a second what this really means to Google.  With only one results visible at a time it’s easier to make a paid result take up 100% of the first page of results.  Here’s what it looks like:

Horizonal scroll in map search results.

Some Help With Local SEO
There’s a good article by Wesley Young over on Search Engine Land with 5 tips to improve your local search rankings based on actually known signals and testing. Covers some fo the basics and also gives some tips on more advanced strategies (answering what to do when all your competitors have also done the basics).

Google Assistant Rolling Out To Newer Phones

Google Personal Assistant Rolling Out On AndroidGoogle has announced that the Google Assistant will be available on Android phones running 7.0 Nougat and 6.0 Marshmallow. For those who haven’t toyed around with the Assistant previously on one of the other devices (Google Home, Allow, etc.) it’s basically an effort by Google to get into your everyday and offer information and services/service access more conveniently.

Find Out How You Measure Up On Mobile
An excellent read on what people expect on mobile and what not measuring up does to your site.  The stats are straight from Google and are based on analysis on 900k mobile landing pages across 126 countries. the data is based on ad clicks so not 100% necessarily accurate for organic but they’re probably not too far off.  I reacommend reaging the full piece but if you just need the Cliff Notes ..

How page speed impacts mobile users.

What To Do When You Need To Bring Your Site Down Temporarily
Google put up a post on what to do when you need to pull your site or portions of it offline temporarily. While it doesn’t apply to everyone it’s still valuable information to have and get this … one of the recommendations is an interstitial.

Google Reincludes Natural News
In a story by Barry Schwartz over on Search Engine Land he discussed Google’s rare confirmation of a penalty and a confirmation today of reinclusions. Natural News posted a childish response that it was some type of coup. I’m nofollowing this link as it’s rubbish but good for a chuckle if you’re interested.  The penalty it turns out was caused by sneaky mobile redirect.  A Webmaster Guidelines violation.  I notice Natural News hasn’t posted a retraction of their claim is was, “In a Communist China-style crackdown on free speech, Google has launched a PURGE to take down sites supportive of President Trump.”

How Facebook Uses Your Reactions To Impact What Appears In Your News Feed
Karissa Bell over on Mashable covered an interesting bit of info out of Facebook – they’re talking about the impact your Reactions have on your news feed now that they’ve turned 1. Basically the assumption is that a Reaction is stronger than a Like and so things you react to will send a stronger signal. Karissa brings up the valid point – the question of how it will be used by advertisers.

Google Unveils Their Latest Robot
Google just released what Alex Hern over at The Guardian refers to as a “nightmare-inducing robot.” It’s name is Handle and this four legged creation is a large step forward in robotic engineering.  Why you might ask, you can read the article above but before you do take a peek:

And that’s “it” for the day. Goodness only knows what tomorrow will bring.

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