SEO News: February 2017
By Britt Bischoff on February 15, 2017 in Digital Marketing
Editor's note: This was post was originally published on 2/14/2017 and is frequently updated with recent industry news.
This post breaks down all the key updates and events you need to know about that happened in February 2017:
Emojis in Search Results
February 15, 2017
Emojis are back in search results! Emojis were once supported by Google and displayed on mobile search results for years, but were dropped in 2015. This time around, they’re showing across all devices, not just on mobile. What's the big deal about emojis being displayed in the SERPs? They impact click through rates (and thus, traffic) in a big way by creating more attention for your search result through unique titles and descriptions.
It's not clear whether this is an intentional release or if this is actually a Google bug that’s allowing the emojis to be seen, but there’s been no word from Google to confirm or deny this.
Google begins showing stars for 1 review in local search
February 8, 2017
In the past, Google typically would not show stars for a review in a local listing unless there were several reviews. However, it appears Google is showing the stars in local search listings (the Google Local Listing Pack) even when there is only one review.
Google search algorithm update
February 7, 2017
Less than a week after the link related update was rolled out, there was an apparent update to search quality, and it’s a big one. Many sites are experiencing a significant fluctuation in search rankings after this update, which may be related to the Google Panda Algorithm. In typical Google fashion, Google has not confirmed or denied, and this appears to be another ‘normal unconfirmed’ update.
*Potential* update to Google's Penguin Algorithm
February 1-3, 2017
Although Google still hasn't confirmed this update, it's apparent that an update related to the Google Penguin Algorithm, which targets links, happened during the first 2 days of February. It appears that with this update, Google is targeting spammy link practices and specifically private blog networks, using these PBNs to hunt for other links that should be discredited. Most sites have nothing to fear with this update as the impact hasn't been significant, and this update targets the few sites indexed that use black hat practices.
Share your experiences and questions in the comments below!