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Monthly SEO round-up – January 2017

Justin Fox
Justin Fox
SEO Executive
30th January 2017

5 of the Biggest SEO News Stories – January

In SEO-land, it’s vital to keep ahead of the trends in the industry as well as to keep on top of any updates to Google that may impact performance and strategy. As ever, there’s been loads of developments in January. Here’s 5 of the main stories since the turn of the year that you ought to know about.


GoDaddy Goes Big Thanks to Knowledge Base Transfer

A graph recently Tweeted by Mark Porter of Screaming Frog fame showed the value of having a blog hosted on your own site compared to one on a sub-domain.

As shown below, in 2015, GoDaddy shifted their knowledge-base to a sub-folder on their site from a sub-domain entitled and the rise in online visibility since has been meteoric.


The value and authority of the pages are now boosting the strength of the main domain, leading to an increase in ranks and online visibility.

There are advantages and disadvantages of hosting a blog on a sub-domain, but in general, we recommend keeping it together on one site in order to maximise the SEO value of the great content you are producing.


Duck Duck Growth: The Avian Titled Search Engine Continues to Expand its User Base

The most ambitious story this month comes from DuckDuckGo (DDG). Despite sounding like a primary school game, the search engine’s success has quickly established its reputation as more than just a junior equivalent to Google, Mozilla, and co,. with DDG totaling more than 10 billion unique searches since its establishment in 2008. On January 10th, they posted a record figure for just 24 hours, with 14.26 million searches that day alone, as more and more web users are swayed by their unique approach to Internet usage.

As for what’s fuelled this increase in users, it’s been primarily put down to the fact that DDG does not track searches, unlike their competitors. They’ve already made more than $200,000 in donations to numerous groups advocating a greater right to privacy, and whilst admirable, is sure to somewhat skew SEO data going forward.


Pop-up Penalty for Mobile Sites

Long having been the scourge of mobile browsing, advertising pop-ups are set to be clamped down upon by Google’s latest internal tweaking. Having been forthcoming for a number of months, anything deemed unnecessary to the streamlined access of a site is now deemed an offence to be punished as a result.


Direct to Doorstep: Google Home & its Impact on Analytics Traffic

Thanks to some Twitter-based detective work, it’s come to light that Google Home is having an unforeseen consequence for SEOs data gathering. Despite being seemingly omniscient, the speaker, in fact, is gathering information the same way as any other Google search, via a scouring of the web.

Categorising this new intake as direct web traffic, Google Analytics may soon see data fluctuations within this field. Now that we know, though, we can proceed safely in the knowledge that voice-based searches will not significantly compromise our results. Keep an eye on changes to this method of recording data, which may very well gain its own category as the technology becomes more prevalent in homes around the globe.


March of the Penguins Comes to a Halt (for now)

In a dialogue with a user, Google’s Webmaster, Gary Illyes confirmed that the company is not currently ‘planning any more numbered releases for Penguin’.

Since the last Penguin 4.0 update in September, Google has been unwilling to commit more to the discussion about such a vital cog in the SEO industry. Whilst some comparatively minor amendments are likely to always be going on behind the scenes, it’s highly unlikely that they would roll out a fifth iteration of the algorithm without a grand announcement giving interested parties time to prepare. Regardless whether or not there are more sweeping updates in the pipeline, the tenants of SEO are set in stone for the time being, and the essence of quality optimization remains the same as always.

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