What’s going on with the Search Engines?
I do like a good roundup so I thought I would take this opportunity to let you know about some of the current issues and topics up for discussion we and lots of other people are having with regard to the Search Engines.
- Ranking changes – always a favourite this one. A recent set of results from Google caused a bit of a panic as they showed some very strange results. This led to a lot of premature hand wringing and wailing before Google said actually all is well, it was a slight hiccup and all is OK now. The big thing here is not to panic too much when results change, it may not always be for ever, so wait it out and then make changes if you need to only after all has settled.
- Return of the supplemental index – about a year ago Google scrapped their supplemental index which was a secondary index feeding really niche search terms. However, it looks like pages which were in the supplemental index and were reincluded back into the main index now may have been removed altogether. But is this to a third partition? And will they feed into the search results? This may also tie into the grey toolbar issues we have seen on lots of sites, where Page Rank just disappears. This used to be assocaited with penalties but it looks like we may have a new set of marginal content identified.
- 301 issues - 301 redirects were identified as a possible source of ranking changes however sanity prevailed and 301′s are still the only really safe way to redirect content and URLs – so stick with them!
- We have also seen sites begin to get sitelinks under their subdirectories. This is good as if you are really strong in a niche it potentially gets users through to your key products and services. Remember that you can control these via Webmaster Tools.
- Which leads us nicely into WMT – this is a great source of information on your site and we will be blogging on key learnings you can get next week!
I think that’s all for now. If we get any other news we will post it here first!