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Digital Marketing News Round Up: Cutts Announces Small Website Survey and Reveals Spam Team Workload and Google’s Keyword Tool is Finally Retired.

It’s been a fairly quiet week for industry news…

Matt Cutts announces ‘small website survey’

On Wednesday 28 August, Google’s head of webspam Matt Cutts tweeted about a new Google Doc which can be used to submit details of small websites that users think should rank higher in the engine’s SERPs for related terms.

Matt Cutts small website tweet
Image source: Twitter.com

This is great news for small companies who are struggling with big brands for visibility, and shows that Google does care about mom-and-pop sites and doesn’t, as they’re often accused, only support the big players in any industry. However, the document does state that respondents should not “expect this survey to affect any site’s ranking” and that the Google is simply collecting feedback.

While this is a helpful move for smaller sites, this invitation for feedback does raise concerns about Google’s algorithm – why is the search engine asking for feedback instead of utilising its own massive pool of data?

Cutts reveals Google’s spam team’s workload

Matt Cutts horse head
Image source: Youtube.com

In the latest instalment of the Google Webmaster Help video series released on Saturday 28 August, Cutts shared some interesting figures in response to a question about automated responses to reconsideration requests. He revealed that in January 2013 alone, Google took manual action against 400,000 websites. He also revealed that the search engine receives up to 5,000 reconsideration requests every single week.

These figures indicate just how much work Google’s spam team have had on their plates, and goes some way to justifying the automated responses that the search engine often sends in response to spam queries. Cutts also mentioned that Google is working to improve transparency so communication flow between them and webmasters is as smooth as possible.

Time will tell…

Google Keyword Tool is officially laid to rest

It’s been on the cards for a while, but the Google Keyword Tool was officially retired on Saturday 28 August, with the Google Keyword Planner now sitting in its place.

There are a few benefits offered by the new tool, including the ability to research search volumes at a city level and capacity to upload up to 10,000 keywords at once. As Search Engine Land has documented, however, this change has not gone down well with everyone working in the SEO and PPC industries. This is because the Keyword Planner does not provide match type (exact, broad or phrase) information, device targeting or global/local search volume data.

OMFG SEO is dead
Image source: Econsultancy.com

Google has responded to these complaints by stating:

“In general, you’ll notice that the average search volume data is higher in Keyword Planner as compared to the exact match search volume data you got with Keyword Tool. That’s because we’ll show you the average number of searches for a keyword idea on all devices (desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and mobile phones). With Keyword Tool, we showed you average search volume for desktop and laptop computers by default.” 

This slightly higher volume is important to take note of when planning PPC campaigns and SEO research as the actual volumes could be somewhat lower depending on the campaign’s intricacies. This is something that all digital marketers are going to need to be aware of in order to make optimal use of the new Keyword Planner.

Want to know more about how the topics discussed in this week’s digital marketing news might affect your business? Contact us today.



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