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Digital Marketing News Round Up: Penguin 4 Update Announced, Interflora Wins PPC Battle Against M&S and ‘Site:’ Command 30 Results Bug

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SEO engineer

We’ve a trio of digital marketing news stories to relay this week, with the first long-expected by those working in the industry…

Matt Cutts announces Penguin 4 Google update

In episode 199 of This Week in Google (published 22 May), head of web spam at Google, Matt Cutts, announced the widely predicted Penguin 4 update is now in play. Cutts claims this fourth Penguin update differs a little from its predecessors, for it comprises “Penguin 2.0 technology”, apparently designed to better prevent spam entering Google’s SERPs. Cutts said he expects 2.3% of English search queries to be affected by the update, commenting:

It’s going to have a pretty big impact on web spam for example. […] The previous iteration of Penguin would essentially only look at the homepage of a site, the newer generation of Penguin goes much deeper; it has a really big impact in certain small areas. So I think something like 2.3% of English queries will be affected to a degree that a regular user might notice.
In addition to the video announcement, Cutts also tweeted a link to a special spam report form (from his account, @mattcutts), so webmasters can inform Google of any spammy sites which appear to have evaded the update’s impact. The exact effects of Penguin 4 will likely become clearer over the next month, as those affected start sharing their experiences with industry peers online.

Interflora wins PPC battle against M&S

Five years after the war was first waged, Interflora has won its PPC battle against Marks & Spencer, accused of diluting the Interflora brand with “dubious” PPC advertising. M&S was continually bidding on paid search terms related to the florists’ name as recently as last week, which the High Court has deemed to have “[caused] confusion amongst customers as to whether or not M&S are part of the Interflora network of florists.” The ruling will see M&S pay Interflora damages but the exact amount is not expected to be determined in court until later on this year. This story is significant to those working in PPC and/or SEO. This highly publicised litigation may bring to light more cases in the future, from companies equally keen to protect their brand in paid search.

‘Site:’ command temporarily limited to 30 Results

More than a few people working in the SEO industry, including Ben Milleare (@bmilleare) and Justin Briggs (@justinrbriggs), noticed the site: search functionality in Google has not always worked correctly this week. Reported cases saw only 30 results displayed when site: search was utilised, even for especially large sites like Amazon.com:


Image Source: seorushnow.com

Matt Cutts has since commented that this oddity is a “temporary side effect of the domain clustering change” in Google’s algorithm. He expects the command will be back to normal “sometime next week.” At the time of publication, this bug fix has not yet gone live. Cutts’ confirmation this is a temporary issue is good news for webmasters who may have otherwise feared hundreds of their site’s pages had been wrongly de-indexed by the search engine.

Check back to the Fresh Egg blog next Monday for the latest digital marketing news. If you are seeking work in SEO, content marketing, web design or social media meanwhile, why not check out our current vacancies?

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