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Monthly SEO industry round up – everything you need to know from our experts this August

Justin Fox
Justin Fox
SEO Executive
11th September 2017

Two top tier sites make their links ‘no-follow’

As any SEO link builder will know, identifying sites willing to include a link to a client’s site whilst maintaining strong metrics is a difficult and often time consuming challenge. Sites that do meet these requirements are therefore immensely valuable, yet recently it would appear that Forbes and Entrepreneur & Inc. have changed their policy in this regard.

With all external links on the sites now seemingly no longer handing out ‘link juice’, word is that the decision was made in order to remove content that was tenuously relevant to the respective website’s main themes. Link sellers are always sending emails looking for customers they can entice with access to such highly regarded domains, so the move to no-follow links should see such business rapidly evaporate.

Google agrees to EU demands to stop favouring their own content

Having been embroiled in a lengthy legal dispute with European authorities which has already seen Google slapped with some huge financial penalties, the corporation has at last agreed to stop favouring their own content within shopping searches.

Deemed as unfairly non-competitive earlier in the year, the use of such methods by Google to ensure maximum visibility for their own offerings has been regarded as highly controversial, especially when, in essence, it means that those sites that engage in wholly ‘white hat’ practices are losing out through no fault of their own. With similar legal cases pending, a rethink of Google’s methods may be a requirement sooner rather than later.

Oxford defeats Cambridge in search optimisation

Seemingly always finding more and more activities to compete in, it would appear that Oxford currently holds the advantage when it comes to optimisation for search rankings.

In an event dubbed ‘The SEO Shutdown’, seven institutions from each city had their sites analysed and a range of factors examined in order to determine which was better optimised for performance on SERPs. Overall, Oxford took the victory four times and Cambridge twice, with the final outcome a tie. Later examination revealed that sites from both institutions still had plenty of areas to improve upon, with SEO basics such as optimisation for mobile devices lacking across the board.

Websites around the world take advantage of the solar eclipse for ranking purposes

With the solar eclipse sweeping across the USA a topic on everyone’s lips and keyboards last month, many sites sought to took advantage of this with keyword stuffing, looking to include a mention of the event in a unnatural way alongside content that related to what they had to offer.

At the height of the eclipse, more than four thousand articles were being created per day as sites relating to all issues looked to piggyback on the success of a such a global phenomenon. For a temporary rankings boost, focusing on topical matters is definitely an avenue to target, providing the content is relevant, accurate and answers any questions being asked by curious searchers.

Google tests updating mobile search with the ‘Infinite Scroll’ feature

It wouldn’t be an SEO round up without some discussion of mobile search, so it comes as little surprise that Google has mulled over adding the Infinite Scroll feature to searches carries out on mobile devices.

Instead of simply showing the option to click ‘next’ at the bottom of such results, the ‘Infinite Scroll’ feature replaces this with the option to ‘see more results’. Doing so will keep the page which is currently open loading new results in perpetuity, making for a more user friendly experience and potentially proving a slight boost to the impressions received by those sites ranking quite a way down on SERPs.

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