June 6

The Weekly Briefing: Google Satellites, Website Penalties & More

During late May and early June, digital news rolled in at what seemed like an unprecedented pace – covering everything from new Apple software releases, all the way to Google satellites in space. And while there was plenty to go over at our weekly digital trends meeting, several topics really stood out. We cover them below:

eBay Slapped by Panda or Manual Penalty?

VP of Search Marketing Kyle Scott talked about Google’s Panda 4.0 update, the latest change to affect the top search engine’s results ranking algorithm. Panda was originally devised as a means by Google to cause low-quality content websites to rank lower, all while rewarding high-quality content websites with higher rankings. In the immediate aftermath of the latest Panda rollout, the top auctioneer website eBay experienced a meaningful drop in its page rankings. The reason? eBay had reportedly inserted random keywords into ads. For example, one eBay ad appearing in Google search even read, “New & used Severed Heads. Check out the deals now!” Additionally, many of eBay’s landing pages for product searches all too often led the searcher to find little or no relevant products. But was Panda really the cause for eBay’s loss? It’s also been reported that Google slapped the site with a manual penalty separate from Panda.

Optimizing Your Blog for Google Results

Internet Marketing Specialist Sammy Jo emphasized the importance of blogging on company websites, noting that it can significantly help boost page rankings. For example, she pointed to a recent blog post from one of our clients, Turn Style, mentioning that it had been made available through Google search results – thus leading more web surfers to Turnstyle’s website.

Google Readies Space Fleet of Satellites

Rocket55’s web developer discussed Google’s plan to invest over $1 billion in satellite technology. The initiative, first detailed in a report from the Wall Street Journal, is set to deliver Internet access on a greater global scale. It’s expected that Google will put at least 180 satellites in low earth orbit.

Design Trends for E-Commerce Websites

Lead Web Developer Natalie Teigen highlighted an article on e-commerce trends from the Nielsen Norman Group’s Amy Schade. “Good” trends the post emphasized included the use of larger product images, “more robust reviews” that include details about the reviewer (for example, gender/age) and digital coupons made available before checkout. Meanwhile, e-commerce trends that the article considered “bad” included smaller and harder-to-find product descriptions, inadequate feedback on what items were already placed in customer carts and finally, “cluttered” customer support pages.