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  • No Penalty For Linking Wikipedia

    Such a great time we live in, no matter where you are or what you do, you can contact anyone working in the Google office on Twitter and get an answer to your question immediately! Funny, but this is exactly what recently happened. Sometimes it's hard to believe some people can just ask John Mueller if they can get a penalty for linking Wikipedia and he would actually reply seriously 'no'. The funniest thing, however, is that he didn't write any joke, there was no sarcastic GIF or anything. He just replied, 'no'.

    While you're wondering why linking Wikipedia may appear to be a bad thing, we can assure you that it's not really such an absurd as it may sound. Now you know of course that you're not going to be punished for doing this, but wouldn't it be helpful to figure out what actually can make you appear in Google's black list and why would Google even do that to you? Let's highlight this issue a little bit.

    It is interesting how Google is always trying to give us the best possible information of all the data existing on the Internet. Basically, it performs a glorious mission. It wants to provide its users with exceptionally accurate data, unique high quality content and the finestresults. It adjusts, improves and updates its algorithms for us to make the process of searching and working with information better.

    However, each coin has two sides. In this case, we are talking about a punishment you can get. Penalty occurs when Google finds some kind of trouble on your web-site. In some cases a penalty is exactly what you deserve, but even if it happens, you will probably still want to improve your situation somehow. Let's try to find out more precisely what a penalty really means and what it is targeted at.

    Since 2000, Google has been all but changing and developing its ranking algorithms. Nobody ever knew when the next release was coming and usually it was a surprise for everybody, except Google, of course.At that period, it was the first time when Google released the extension of its toolbar. Updatingthe toolbar was certainly a breakthrough that actually created the ground for theindustry of SEO, as we know it today. Never beforewas theranking presented in such an understandable or practical form.

    During the following ten years or so, Google developersnever stopped improving the quality of information. As years were passing,it began to exclude different content of poor quality and put all the best things on top of the search results. That's actually the point where penalty came into existence.

    In 2012, we all witnessed the consequences of the Penguin update. It hit over 10% of search results in only one night, excluded some web-sitesfrom the search completely, replaced bad quality content and motivated the optimizers think and workmore and in a more careful manner about their improvement techniques and strategies. Since that time, specialists in the area of SEO became really concerned about Google's agenda, because all of them were afraid that the following update would give them a penalty and their sites would go low again.

    How do you recognize a penalty

    Some penalties are automatic and the rest of them are manual. In the second case, there's a great chance you might be told about penalty coming in a form of a warning. However, you cannot always know for sure that you've been aimed at if the core of your trouble is algorithmic. So it literally means that anyone can have a penalty, no matter how experienced and successful you think you are.

    In some cases, which happens not that often, some web-sites get penalty because they try to manipulate Google's rankings by using different link schemes. This is what happened not so long ago to the Rap Genius, which is known by many music lovers for providing good lyrics. For some reason they though they would not have penalty, although it's weird why they would think so, considering the power of Google watching all of us constantly like FBI. On the other hand, there's a probability that they knew that Google would recognize it and that was exactly the reason of manipulating ranks. Maybe they wanted to gain more popularity. In this case, they achieved their goal. People were discussing them so actively that it definitely increased their popularity.

    Anyway, if you really want your site to appear on the very top, you have to play this game fair. When the next release comes, it's better to get prepared and make sure your web-site is safe.

    Changing the Future Of Organic Search

    Not so long ago we've found out that more than 41% of adults and more than 50% of teenagers used voice search in their daily lives. Turns out, Alexa, Cortana and Siri appeared to be much more popular than we expected them to be. This data was gathered by Northstar Research and Google. Probably, next time they do it we'll most likely find out that voice search is the only way people all over the world use Internet on their devices.

    Currently there are no reasons to assume that these rates will decrease, especially taking into account the last innovation presented by Amazon in January last year, which is a voice-only platform named Alexa. Over the next six months Alexa showed undeniable success and popularity among users.

    People have different opinions as for the future of Internet due to these innovations. Some of them claim that quite soon it's going to be the end of organic SEO era because of the voice search. However, this forecast has many opponents. Even though it's definitely an organic search evolution, many professionals are sure there's nothing to worry about for CMOs, since the progress of one technology doesn't except the development of another one.

    Back to the History of Google's Knowledge Graph

    Five years ago Google announced about launching their newly developed knowledge base, which enabled gathering information from a much greater variety of sources. The Knowledge Graph was added to the search engine and started operating in 2012. According to the last data, currently Knowledge Graph operates with a variety of 70 billion facts, making any kind of search more efficient and productive. All the information provided by this knowledge base is well-structured and gives a list of links to related web-sites.

    A lot of leaders in that industry were afraid of the Knowledge Graph mostly for the same reason. And, of course, all the smaller businesses that operated using the Google traffic for answering short and simple questions considered such a rapid and impressive change to be a threat to their existence.

    I't also good to remember what types of queries were influenced by the Google's knowledge base launching. Almost all of them never provided serious search for those who desired to get a deep answer to their questions. Instead, they could only give some primitive answers to simple questions like, “How do I cook a pineapple pie?” or “What is the capital of Great Britain?”.

    The potential effects of Knowledge Graph are hard to predict, but considering its impact today (we already know that because of its launching Wikipedia web-page views decreased 21%) the whole situation around organic search traffic will change radically.

    It's a big question whether voice search is capable of making such an impact in the nearest future. At least, not before we develop a fully semantic web. While Siri can answer many of your questions and for some people it's more fun using voice search instead of typing the question on their own, it still can't walk you through repairing your smartphone; Cortana isn't capable of being your step-by-step guide on writing a dissertation. No matter how helpful they are, you still need to browse on your own to get the best possible result.

    What the Future is Holding for the Voice Search

    In the nearest future it won't have such a big impact. However, sooner or later the situation is going to change. Here's what will happen:

    1. Different perspective for the e-commerce.
      Some people say we're soon going to make orders and buy tickets using a voice search. If this really happens, e-commerce companies need to focus on a proactive optimization immediately, if they are aimed at being on the list of these results.
    2. The importance of context
      Every company that wants its web-page to appear in front of the users will have to develop schema markup to make their content more understandable for the engines.
    3. Quality will still be the priority
      Users will still want to get a high quality content, which means that companies will have to work on it as the voice search is getting more popular.

    Google updates “Mobile-Friendly test” tool

    The users have noticed that Google updated the “Mobile-Friendly Test” tool. They have added a new button called “Add to Google” to the tool, with which you can request another page scan.

    The changes affected the new version of the tool, which available here: search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly.

    Unlike similar features in the tool "View as Googlebot», you can send a request to scan any page and not just yours.

    We should remind you that Google renamed the "Add to Index" button in the Search Console. Now it is called the «Request Indexing». This change shows that the request for re-submission of the page scan does not guarantee that the page will be indexed.

    Google informs Russian users of adding tax payments to their accounts

    RuNet users started receiving messages from Google that the company will include the value added tax (VAT) to the bills. This is reported by "Vedomosti", with reference to one of these letters, which says the inclusion of VAT in the invoice for the service to use Google Drive file storage.

    Google notified «Google Drive" users with a paid subscription for inclusion in the cost of using the service of value added tax (18%) next year. The reason for this step was the so-called "Google tax".

    It should be recalled that the law on the VAT introduction on the e-services sales, the so-called "Tax on Google», was signed by the Russian president in July 4, 2016. Starting from January 1, 2017 the law will affect organizations with non-separate divisions in Russia, and will oblige them to get registered in the tax authorities and to regularly provide a declaration on the value-added tax (VAT). The Russian companies already pay the tax, so the new law will make them equal with foreign enterprises.

    The Federal Tax Service (FTS) has developed a "VAT Internet company office" portal using which foreign IT-companies will be able to pay " Google tax" on a distance.

    Adwords tends to make adaptive advertisements more flexible

    The users have noticed that Google AdWords is working on expanding the adaptive ads capabilities. For instance, some accounts are now required to add a picture in two formats: portrait-shaped (1.91: 1) and square-shaped (1: 1).

    According to the industry experts, the new requirement is intended to make the ads more flexible. As a result, you can adapt ads to different placements, including mobile devices with a higher efficiency.

    Google comments this in the following way: "We always try to test new formats to see what works best. So far, that is all about this."

    According to one of the advertisers Google will launch a new option for adaptive ads in the upcoming months. This is what AdWords rep told him.

    We should remind you that Google introduced adaptive ads for social media network in May. To start the advertisement of such a format, advertisers need to provide a short and full version of the title, description, and one or several images. The announcement will be created automatically.

    WordPress doubles the rate for HTTPS

    In 2017, WordPress CMS-platform starts launching new features, which will require HTTPS protocol on the website.

    So, at the beginning of next year WordPress will no longer promote the hosting partners that do not provide the SSL-certificate by default for all accounts.

    One of the features available only for HTTPS-websites will become API authentication.

    All these steps of the company are aimed to make the Internet more secure and safe. It is expected that the next innovation will contribute to the bigger number of websites that are switched to HTTPS.

    "Today we find our company at a turning point. 2017 will be the year when WordPress features will require the website to have SSL-certificate. Just as Javascript is required to improve UX and a modern version of the PHP works on a better performance, so does SSL inputs the next requirement, which our users will have to accept", - said the head of Automattic and the founder WordPress, Matt Mulenveg.

    We should also recall that in 2014 Google started considering the use of HTTPS as a signal for ranking. This factor is not that big, and still many companies are moving to secure protocol to strengthen the protection of its users.

    Prisma became the best app of the year according to Google

    Google has introduced a ranking of the most popular Android apps from 2016.

    The best application of the year became the Prisma, which is Russian photo editor, while the most popular game became Pokemon Go.

    When considering the ranking Google Play downloads data were taken into account. Although the largest number of downloads received Duo messenger, the winner title was given to Prisma app.

    The top 5 best apps includes:

    • Google Duo;
    • MSQRD – a service that allows to apply "live" filter masks on the face when using camera.
    • Camera 360 – an application used for photo editing also by means of different filters;
    • Keyboard – a virtual keyboard, which consists of Emoji.
    • 30 Day Fit Challenge Workout – a service, which helps to do fitness at home

    The most downloaded game became Pokemon Go.