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  SEO Newsletter | Volume 137 | September 15, 2015 This Month's News

Google's Gary Illyes Describes the ​What, When and How of Coming Algorithm Updates

Author: Bruce Clay, Inc.

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes joined Bruce Clay for a candid conversation this week, sharing his insights into topics vital to SEOs in a live video Hangout. Gary answered Bruce's questions on everything from how off-page ranking factors stack up against each other to the latest with Panda, Penguin and ranking algorithm updates.

There were several important takeaways that came out of the interview, including:

  • Google considers Panda part of the core algorithm now, and Illyes admits he'd like to change the perception of Panda as a penalty.
  • In the future, Google plans to slowly update the Panda algorithm updates with refreshes, while meanwhile, the plan is to have Penguin updates happen in real time. We are also "months away" from the next Panda update and Penguin update, Illyes said.
  • HTTPS can be a tiebreaker between otherwise equal sites in search result rankings.

Read more

  Conference Showcase

Fall Brings SMX East and Pubcon — Search Industry Events Not to Miss

Author: Bruce Clay, Inc.

Conference season returns after summer break with SMX East in NYC and Pubcon Las Vegas in the coming weeks. Why do these digital marketing events drawing thousands of attendees matter to you?

Here's why we go to conferences and recommend digital marketers keep their knowledge and rolodexes fresh from live events.

  • Inspiration and education: Get an injection of ideas and tactics that are so motivational and next level that you can't wait to get back to start implementing.
  • Expertise development: Be better at your job. Grow your value to your team and your personal professional cache.
  • Networking: Rub elbows with some of the sharpest minds, future mentors and door openers.
  • Sales leads: Connect with potential clients who stand to benefit from your tools, services, and skillset, if only they know who you are and what you do.
  • Business development: You never know where your business love story is about to begin. At a conference you may meet personalities who are the peanut butter to your jelly.
  • Industry standards development: Be on the front lines of best practices as they're created as the digital marketing community comes together to acknowledge, study and adopt them.

It's not too late to get your ticket to SMX East and Pubcon and to save with discount codes for each show. Receive a 10 percent discount on any pass type and/or workshop at SMX East, Sept. 28 – Oct. 1, with the code SMX15BRUCECLAY. Use the code ex-6104410 to get 10 percent off your pass for Pubcon Las Vegas, Oct. 5 – 8.

Not everyone will make it to every conference every time. If you can't make it to SMX East in New York City or Pubcon Las Vegas, you can do the next best thing — follow the sessions (near) live on our blog! See the sessions you can get liveblog coverage of here, and bookmark the page. We'll update it with links to the liveblog posts as they happen.

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Hot Topic


TV's Evolving, Video's Expanding

The Latest TV is “Appening”

“We believe the future of television is apps,” predicted Apple CEO Tim Cook at the start of the highly anticipated Apple product event last week. Fully embracing this forecast, the company launched a revamped Apple TV along with a new Apple TV App Store that’s open to third-party app developers. The result is a TV experience that blends traditional network programming with content that’s usually found only online.

With the latest Apple TV, users can search for content across third-party apps, shop for and purchase products, and play games. By opening its Siri-powered Apple TV to third-party developers, Apple has laid the groundwork for unlimited apps, games, and other new content types.

Video’s Growing

Video has taken center stage online, and it seems to be paying off, particularly for advertisers.

Facebook, which claims 4 billion total video plays daily, is venturing into live-streaming video. Facebook’s live-streaming video feature, Live, was made available starting in August to people with verified profiles only; now the company is offering it to journalists as an ideal tool to project live videos straight into News Feeds and receive real-time reaction from viewers. Unlike those of competing video-streaming services Meerkat and Periscope, Live posts remain on Facebook indefinitely.

Native video ads have been possible in Facebook’s Audience Network since last year. Recently, Facebook expanded the advertising types and formats available, following a trend that will no doubt continue.

Do people even watch online ads? They not only watch video ads online, they also share them. A survey conducted by Unruly revealed that 51 percent of responders who watched a Super Bowl XLIX video ad saw it online only. The study also found that the Super Bowl ads were shared on the web a whopping nine million times — a 73 percent increase over the previous year.

Search engines are also taking video ads seriously. Both Bing and Yahoo have been showing sponsored video ads since August, and Google was spotted testing sponsored video ads directly in search results.

Why is everyone on board with video ads? Because there’s huge value for advertisers. YouTube TrueView ads, for example, offer advertisers a lower CPC (cost per click) than regular paid search ads. Making them even more appealing, Google announced that you can now manage TrueView YouTube campaigns within AdWords, right next to your other campaigns.

While video ads are showing promise, it’s still smart to be cautious. Advertisers shouldn't put all their eggs in one basket.


Education Matters


Announcing Edition 3 of Bruce Clay's SEO For Dummies

The third edition of Bruce Clay's "Search Engine Optimization All-In-One for Dummies" hits bookshelves this month! This treasure trove of SEO education, tips and tricks has 700+ tactic-packed pages sure to delight every DIY digital marketer. It's called the "All-In-One" because this book is actually a collection of nine individual books:

  1. Putting Search Engines in Context
  2. Keyword Strategy
  3. Competitive Positioning
  4. SEO Web Design
  5. Creating Content
  6. Linking
  7. Optimizing the Foundations
  8. Analyzing Results
  9. International SEO

The new edition is a major update, reflecting the latest algorithm changes and penalties. Plus, as you might have expected, there is a huge focus on mobile SEO. Readers will learn about mobile users' search patterns, mobile SERP features, mobile's impact on rankings, building a mobile-friendly site, designing for the mobile user and more.

You can pre-order your copy now on Amazon! The book will be available Sept. 21 in paperback and for Kindle. "Search Engine Optimization All-In-One for Dummies, 3rd Edition" will help you fully grasp search concepts and develop strategies to constantly improve your digital marketing efforts. You can't go wrong when you learn from the man whose search engine consultancy predates Google and is synonymous with white hat techniques.




We have to give top billing to David Szetela, who joined the Bruce Clay, Inc. team this month as our first VP, Search Marketing Operations. Voted one of the top 25 PPC experts by PPC Hero three years running, David brings a wealth of experience as an author, podcaster, speaker and paid search expert. Welcome, David!

Yahoo’s CMO and media unit manager, Kathy Savitt, is leaving after three years with Yahoo and is joining STX Digital. Savitt is one of many top executive departures recently. Scott Burke left his position as Yahoo SVP of advertising and data platforms to co-found Bay Area startup Helix in August. Longtime staffer Aiden Beanland is giving up his post as head of SEO at Yahoo. And Dawn Airey is leaving after just two years as Yahoo's SVP overseeing Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Search researcher and tools developer Russ Jones is leaving his 10-year position with Angular (formerly Virante) to become principal search scientist at Moz, where he will work alongside Dr. Pete Meyers and others.

The White House has hired Josh Miller to a newly created position, director of product. Miller, who founded tech startup Branch and worked at Facebook, will "add to and improve" the White House's portfolio of digital products in order to better connect people with their government.




SMX East comes to New York Sept. 29–Oct. 1, with special workshops offered Sept. 28. It's your chance to learn SEO from Bruce Clay himself at the Bruce Clay SEO Workshop, all day Sept. 28! Save 10 percent on any conference registration using the discount code SMX15BRUCECLAY.


The Digital Summit Detroit event for digital marketers happens Sept. 22 and 23 in Detroit, Michigan.

The social media-focused SocialFresh Conference is set for Sept. 23–25 in Tampa Bay, Florida.

The eMetrics Summit Boston is happening Sept. 27–Oct. 1, and includes events on Predictive Analysis for Business and for Healthcare.


The DMA 2015 event &THEN is set for Oct. 4–6 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Pubcon Las Vegas 2015 descends on the Las Vegas Convention Center Oct. 5–9.

The US Search Awards happens in Las Vegas on Oct. 7, where Bruce Clay, Inc. proudly sponsors the bar for the evening.

Toronto, Canada, is hosting InboundCon 2015, a Canadian inbound marketing conference, on Oct. 8.

The digital marketing conference Swivel, formerly known as Bend Webcam, is set for Oct. 12 and 13 in Bend, Oregon. Our own director of training, Mindy Weinstein, is a speaker. And for the first time, we're pleased to bring our renowned One-Day SEOToolSet Training Workshop to this conference.

On the East Coast, Washington, D.C. is the site of Predictive Analytics World for Government Oct. 13–16, and McLean, Virginia hosts Digital Summit DC on Oct. 13 and 14.

A digital marketing conference called BOLO (Be On the Look Out) takes place in Tempe, Arizona, Oct. 18–20.

SearchLove London is coming to that grand city Oct. 19 and 20.

Also in London, MarTech Europe happens Oct. 20 and 21.


An eMetrics event called Building Business Capability is set for Las Vegas Nov. 2–6.

Dublin, Ireland is the setting for Web Summit, happening Nov. 3–5.

ad:tech New York hits the Big Apple Nov. 4 and 5.

The Big Data & Marketing Innovation Summit takes place Nov. 5 and 6 in Miami, Florida.

The brand-focused marketing event Incite Summit takes place in New York City Nov. 12 and 13.

Social Media Week is coming to several locations internationally Nov. 16 to 20: Chicago (U.S.), Santiago (Chile) and Torino (Italy).

The State of Search Conference comes to Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 16 and 17.

The Internet Summit takes place in Raleigh, North Carolina, Nov. 18 and 19.

Marketing Land is putting on the SocialPro conference (formerly known as SMX Social) on Nov. 18 and 19 in Las Vegas.


In Dallas, Texas, the Digital Summit Dallas regional event happens Dec. 8 and 9.


Sound Bytes


Like what you read? Then you might enjoy the weekly digital marketing podcast SEM Synergy with host Bruce Clay. Here are the latest episodes available to stream. Subscribe on iTunes to get new episodes sent straight to your mobile.

1. Google’s Move to Alphabet and More
As you’ve probably heard, Google surprised the search industry with the announcement of a new company, Alphabet. In this episode, we give our views on why Google took this approach. We also talk about the 2015 Search Engine Ranking Factors report just released by Moz.

2. Google’s Latest Patent and SEO Tips for Videos
Google has a new patent on scoring penalty-related images, as reported by SEO by the Sea’s Bill Slawski. What does this mean for your SEO efforts? We tackle this question and more in this episode. After that discussion, we share the latest SEO tips for videos.

3. 200 Episodes! A Look at Google’s Past and Paid Search Future
It’s the 200th episode of SEM Synergy, and that’s not all we’re celebrating here at Bruce Clay, Inc. In this jam-packed show, Bruce Clay introduces David Szetela as VP of Search Marketing Operations. Together Bruce and David talk about paid search trends and Google’s new logo.

4. Holiday Campaigns (Already?!) and Panda 4.2
With only two months till Thanksgiving, more than half of U.S. and U.K. retailers are already creating their holiday campaigns. What’s on your to-do list to enhance your digital marketing presence in time for seasonal campaigns? Bruce Clay and the rest of the team provide some great strategies. The team later talks about Panda 4.2 and how it might have affected your website.




It's awards season in the digital marketing industry. Congratulations to the many outstanding finalists!

  • This year, Search Engine Land launched a new awards program, The Landy Awards, which will culminate at SMX East with a ceremony on Sept. 30.
  • The US Search Awards finalists were recently announced. We're excited that our new tool DisavowFiles made the shortlist in the Innovation category. Winners will be named at Pubcon on Oct. 7.

Word on the Wire


The Google Chrome browser now blocks Flash ads from automatically playing. Any ad in Adobe Flash format is paused by default in Chrome, with a large play button a user can click to view the ad. Most Flash ads uploaded to AdWords are automatically converted to the HTML5 format. PPC advertisers may use Google-provided tools to identify and translate any remaining Flash ads into the supported HTML5 format.

Since August, Google's mobile search results can include relevant content from apps even if the user does not have the app installed. Google says that apps which show an interstitial install ad cause a poor user experience when coming from a SERP. As of Nov. 1, app pages displaying an install ad that hides "a significant portion" of the screen will no longer be considered mobile-friendly and will not rank as well. Developers are encouraged to use browser banners instead. Other types of interstitial ads apparently won't be affected.

Google rolled out Android Pay, a mobile payment service that works with all NFC-enabled Android devices running v4.4+ and can be used at any tap and pay-ready retail location in the U.S. Later this year, Android Pay will also work for app purchases.

Mozilla announced a new WebExtensions API that lets Firefox support extensions from other browsers, such as Chrome.

Tech firms Cisco and Apple have partnered together in an as-yet-undisclosed strategy to better serve business users and the enterprise market.

AOL, which itself was acquired by Verizon earlier this year, is purchasing Millennial Media, a leading end-to-end mobile platform. The move significantly expands AOL's footprint for mobile advertising. AOL has also purchased Kanvas Labs, a maker of photo and messaging apps.

Twitter has opened up its basic ads (promoted tweets) to 180 more countries, creating greater opportunity for advertisers worldwide.

Apple's new mobile operating system, iOS 9, becomes available for iPhone and iPad owners Sept. 16. With it comes the Apple News app. More than 50 news publishers have signed up so far to have their content and ads appear, enticed not just by Apple's wide distribution numbers but also by a favorable business model that allows publishers to keep 100 percent of the revenue for ads they sell and 70 percent of Apple-provided advertising revenue. Advertisers are less enthused about the new content blocking that iOS 9 users can activate. The extension blocks ads and other content (e.g., cookies) while using the mobile web in the Safari browser. It does not block content within apps, where users spend the majority of their mobile-use time. The ad blocking feature is meant to help protect user privacy and speed up the mobile browsing experience. (Update: The improved Spotlight search function can surface content from within apps, whether the user has them installed or not, making it a real competitor to Google Search.)

Apple announced new products and features at its big annual event on Sept. 9. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, now available for pre-order, ​have an enhanced chip, the strongest cover glass in the industry, and faster Wi-Fi and data processing. A ground-breaking new Apple TV service combines TV (which in the future may include original programming) with Siri-powered search and is open to third-party developers for apps and games. The iPad Pro, a 5.6 million pixel, 12.9"-display tablet, is targeted for business use. New features announced include 3D Touch, which lets users press harder than a tap to "peek and pop" an email or to access alternative actions without losing their place. Another highlight is Live Photos, Apple's new photo management app that "extends the moment" by capturing each picture's video context.

Hot Topics




Sound Bytes


Word on the Wire





Top Blog Posts

An Interview with Moz's Rand Fishkin: Up Close and Personal TAGFEE

The SEO Scoop with Enge & Traphagen: New Stats on Direct Answers, Google+ Changes & 'The Art of SEO'

Backlink Analysis: How to Judge Good Links from Bad


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