Latest Developments in Search – 14th November


It’s time to take a look over the past week in search. We’ll take a look at what’s been happening and what’s rumoured to happen next.

In algorithm news we’ve had a Disney search patent and continued talk about Panda, Penguin, Pirate and their respective roll out rates. The Disney patent is interesting but other than using it on their own site it seems more of a proof of concept than anything else. It tries to reduce piracy by determining which pages are authoritative as opposed to popular. Their implementation returns only results from other Disney properties – I imagine they’ve got an eye on how much it could help their bottom line if it was implemented by Bing and Google. If so will they do so in a friendly, collaborative way, or take it to the courts in a complaint over ‘lost sales’?

Over on Moz, Glenn Gabe wrote about the danger of crossover between algorithm updates. It’s a very long and very interesting read. It reinforces the suggestion not to think in terms of algorithms. We know what the quality markers are, by consistently working on improving these you shouldn’t need to worry about if you were hit by an algorithmic penalty and which one it was. That’s not to say you won’t have priorities if you experience a sudden loss of traffic, but remember not to treat problems in isolation.

Search Engine Watch brought us news of the new Facebook local search and discovery tool. Users simply type in the name of the city they are interested in and several categories of interest to visitors will appear: Restaurants, attractions, bars, hotels etc. The rankings will be based on the business’s Facebook reviews – particularly any from Facebook friends, or friends of friends. This kind of social proof should have a measurable effect on click through rates for businesses.

Twitter has recently been in the news for some small changes that had big effects. By making results pages – such as for popular hashtags – more indexable they saw a huge growth in organic traffic – a 10 times increase in site visits by logged out users. Imagine the potential for growth if they went back to the deal they used to have with Google!


That’s all for this week, but if anything’s caught your eye let us know in the comments!