Latest Developments in Search – 3rd October 2014



It’s time to take another look at the latest developments in the fast paced world of Search. This week even features some news from search engines that aren’t Google! Imagine that!

DuckDuckGo, the privacy conscious search engine that enjoyed significant traffic in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations, appears to now be blocked in China, Search Engine Watch reports. The block seems to have started around a month ago. Are you blocked in China? The Search Engine Watch article introduced me to a new tool,, that will check if your site is blocked.

We’re used to a lot of talk about Google’s many and varied zoo of algorithm changes, but a post on Search Engine Roundtable talks about the possibility of a recent change to Bing’s algorithm after noticing traffic drops. We’ve seen a few drops around that period, but all of them recover around a week later, so it’s hard to say with any certainty.

Back to Google – over on Moz Philip Petrescu has taken an interesting and extensive look at Google Organic Click-Through Rates in 2014. The post covers the methodology and approach of the study, with the full study available here (you’ll need to provide your email address).

In an historic move this month, the venerable Yahoo Directory was unceremoniously canned. This service was really one of the originators in search. Before you had a search feature as such, you had a hierarchical structure of topics grouped into categories. In fact, Yahoo! stands for  “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”. It was a sad day for search, with only a vague promise of what’s to come next for site owners from Yahoo!

Elsewhere, webmasters are still wondering just how beneficial for SEO switching to HTTPS is. We’d say don’t do it to chase rankings, do it to make your site better and more secure for users. Bing have shot back at this decision by Google and stated that they have no current plans to copy this idea.

What’s next for the world of search? Well, after a recent much anticipated update to Panda (to 4.1) that’s said to affect 3-5% of queries, we’re now wondering if a Penguin update is in the works. Watch this space!

What’s caught your eye in the world of search recently? What do you think of the death of the Yahoo! directory and the continued interested in switching to HTTPS? Let us know in the comments!