February 11

The Weekly Briefing: Google Penalizes Websites for Spammy Content Markups

SEO Copywriter Jared Townsend discussed a new reason for Google to penalize websites …
Some webmasters have recently received manual penalties from Google for having spammy structured markups on their websites, according to a report from Search Engine Roundtable. More specifically, the messages inform users that they’re being penalized for “marking up content that is invisible to users, marking up irrelevant or misleading content, and/or other manipulative behavior that violates Google’s Rich Snippet Quality guidelines,” according to the actual text of the notifications. This appears to be the first time Google has issued manual penalties on such grounds. Meanwhile, another article published later on via Search Engine Roundtable noted such penalties could be the result of flawed WordPress plugins aimed at getting rich snippets for recipes in search. In addition to recipes, Google currently supports non-spammy structure markups for products, reviews, events, apps, videos, and news articles.

 

Senior SEO Specialist Josh Volk talked about a new capability for Knowledge Graph Boxes…
Google is giving businesses and individuals some control over the content that appears in their respective Knowledge Graph Boxes, according to a report from Search Engine Land. When logged into a Google account associated with the Knowledge Graph information, Google now prompts the user with, “As an official representative, you can suggest a change.” Knowledge Graphs have become increasingly prominent in search results over the past year or so – featuring information on everything from prominent individuals and companies, all the way to historic figures.

 

Account Manager Michelle Conway talked about a change to how travel results show up in search… 
If you search travel-related terms in Google via mobile, you may notice something different. Search Engine Land recently reported that Google has revamped the way such results display in search. The new format highlights travel information above websites. The update expands upon a continuing trend where Google has increasingly highlighted information boxes at the top of search results. You can see how the new look appears below:

new google travel search results

 

Content Marketing Strategist Angela Sanders discussed big changes coming to Twitter…

Are big changes coming down the pipe for Twitter? According to a report from BuzzFeed, the social media giant is set to roll out an algorithm relatively soon. The update would alter the order in which tweets appear, based on what people want to view the most. Meanwhile, news of the change has led to a flurry of “#RIPTwitter” –tagged tweets regarding how the new algorithm would end the current (and arguably more popular) way things are done. Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey downplayed the controversy, noting the company “never planned to reorder timelines,” while also emphasizing in a separate post “Twitter is live. Twitter is real-time. Twitter is about who & what you follow. And Twitter is here to stay! By becoming more Twitter-y.”