SEO: This week, Google’s head of webspam released a video to address a common question: how does Google separate the concept of popularity from that of authority? The answer is that the team is still working on new algorithms to accomplish that. An example given was, although porn sites may be more popular than government sites, government sites are almost always more authoritative. Google’s goal, therefore, is to focus on awarding higher rankings to sites that hold more authority on particular topics. Google recently confirmed that some GoogleBot useragent spiders are not properly passing verification protocol. GoogleBot, crawling over a certain IP range, was not returning the proper reverse DNS verification details. The response given was, “no such host is known.” Acknowledging that the problem is on their end, Google has temporarily stopped GoogleBot activity in the .249.70.0/24 IP range and will fix the issue before continuing to crawl within that range.
Technology: Amazon Fire (not to be confused with the Kindle Fire) launched this week, giving consumers yet another way to stream content from sources such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon itself, on their televisions. Priced at $99, Amazon’s set-top box supports 720p and 1080p resolutions and includes features like voice search and peripheral support for select video games. After months of circulating rumors, Microsoft has formally announced the launch of Cortana—a response to Apple’s Siri and Google’s Voice Search. Powered by Bing, Cortana is set to “completely replace” the search button on Windows Phones. Sharing similarities with other voice search programs created by other phone manufacturers, Microsoft is using Cortana to remain competitive in the mobile market. The program is launching in beta in the US and will expand to other international markets over time.
Social Media: Google+ has implemented a new feature on its user profiles, allowing people to publicize how many views their G+ page has accumulated. Some profiles will show this number by default, but for others, it can be activated by checking a box in profile settings. Vine has released a new user-to-user private messaging feature which allows people to send each other video and text messages through the app. Messages that are sent to multiple users will result in multiple 1-to-1 conversations, which indicates that group messaging is not yet available. By implementing this private messaging service, Vine is able to stay competitive with platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Facebook has been testing a fun, yet somewhat bizarre, a new reminder to its users as they’ve posted content in recent weeks. A pop-up message, which encourages users to double-check which users they’re sharing posts with, features a blue cartoon dinosaur interacting with a laptop on a table. The purpose of the dinosaur remains a mystery, as Facebook has yet to elaborate on its presence. A spokesperson did state, however: “We frequently test new ways to help ensure people are sharing with who they want to on Facebook.”
Special Events: MozCon, a three-day event which features forward-thinking, actionable sessions on everything related to digital marketing, is now accepting pitches for speakers. Guidelines for submissions can be found here.
April Fool’s Day was this Tuesday, and as usual, Google had a collection of tricks up its sleeves, much to the amusement of its users. From the Google Maps Pokémon Challenge to an Emoji Translator for Chrome, there was a lot to play around with. Check out more of the shenanigans here.
- Schwartz, Barry. Google Fixing Reverse DNS GoogleBot VerificationSearchEngineLand
- Schwartz, Barry. Google’s Matt Cutts: We Can Improve Our Algorithms For Authorities On TopicsSearchEngineLand
- Snider, Mike and Molina, Brett. How Amazon Fire TV compares with streaming options USA Today
- Sterling, Greg. Part Siri, Part Google Now: Microsoft Announces “Cortana” Virtual AssistantSearchEngineLand
- Honig, Zach. Google+ adds page view counts to user profiles engadget
- Wagner, Kurt. Vine Releases Private Messaging Feature Mashable
- Wagner, Kurt What’s the Deal With Facebook’s Privacy Dinosaur? Mashable
- McGillivray, Erica. Now Accepting #MozCon 2014 Speaker Submissions. Ready, Set, Pitch! The Moz Blog
- Mcgee, Matt. Google’s April Fools’ Day Jokes For 2014: Google Maps Pokémon Challenge, Magic Hand, & MoreSearchEngineLand