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  1. Google Update Targets Japanese Low-quality Websites

    25 Nov 2017 ...  

    Google has announced a specific update for the Japanese Search Engine on its official Google Blog. The update only affects the Japanese search and targets content quality.

    
Google Update Targets Japanese Low-quality Websites

    Google announced on Friday 3, 2017 the release of a new update designed to improve the quality of the Japanese Search. This is a specific update to that country and is not related to the recent Google updates we have seen more globally on in January and February.

    According to Asahi, the update was driven by an article on how to commit suicide being placed at number one of the search results for the phrase “I want to die,” and was viewed more than a million times. A screenshot of the article is shown below, but apologies for the lack of translation:

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  2. Google: No Plans to say what Backlinks are ignored

    25 Nov 2017 ...  

    Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes, responds to a question as to whether they ever intend to show which links they ignore in the Search Console.

    
Google: No Plans to say what Backlinks are ignored

    With all the recent SERP’s volatility (January Update and February Update), Google Webmaster Trends Analyst was asked on Twitter whether they ever intend to reveal which links in the Search Console are disavowed and which are just ignored, i.e. Penguin.

    Twitter user @_RGraph specifically wanted to be able to filter the “Links to your site” section in the Search console to show remove those that are disavowed or ignored, presumably to gain greater insight on whether their backlink strategy was effective. Here is the twitter conversation:

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  3. K-pop group BTS just broke the world record for most Twitter engagements

    25 Nov 2017 ...  

    K-pop group BTS just broke the world record for most Twitter engagements

    BTS has gone and done it again.

    K-pop group BTS has broken the world record for most Twitter engagements, according to a report by HuffPost.

    The seven-piece boy band will enter next year’s Guinness Book of Records for having an average of 252,200 retweets per tweet on Twitter to date, notes the report.

    They’ve also scooped up the more specific title of having the most Twitter engagements for a music group.

    The South Korean group has over 10 million fans on its main Twitter account, @bts_twt.

    Congrats to @BTS_twt on a stellar performance at last night’s @AMAs! ????#DYK? The South Korean band has succeeded in earning a spot in this year’s #GWR2018 edition for having the world’s most @Twitter engagements for a music group! ???????????? #BTSxAMAs https://t.co/8kRrByat80 pic.twitter.com/u9mXcPVWDP

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  4. Newly Revealed Flaw Could Subject IoT Devices to Airborne Attacks

    25 Nov 2017 ...  

    Newly Revealed Flaw Could Subject IoT Devices to Airborne Attacks

    Billions of voice-activated Internet of Things devices may be subject to external attack due to BlueBorne vulnerabilities,
    Armis revealed on Wednesday.

    Hackers could exploit BlueBorne to mount an airborne attack, using Bluetooth to spread malware and access critical data, including sensitive personal information.

    More than 20 million Amazon Echo and Google Home digital assistant speakers could have been impacted by the flaws, but both Amazon and Google already have taken the matter in hand.

    Amazon customers don’t need to take any action, as its devices will be updated automatically with the needed security fixes, said spokesperson Sarah Sobolewski.

    “Customer trust is important to us, and we take security seriously,” she told TechNewsWorld.

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  5. Google Gives Job Searchers Salary, Location Details

    25 Nov 2017 ...  

    Google Gives Job Searchers Salary, Location Details

    Google on Wednesday announced the addition of new functionality for its recently launched job search portal, including features that display salary range and street-level location information.

    Salary information — among the things users have requested most, according to Google — will improve the likelihood of matching qualified applicants with the jobs they desire. The new tools will give job-posting sites that include estimated salary information increased brand awareness and increased referral traffic.

    “Since introducing the product, one of the most requested data points for job listings is salary,” said Google spokesperson Susan Cadrecha.

    However, “by our estimates, this information is missing from over 85 percent of job postings in the U.S. today,” she told the E-Commerce Times.

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  6. Signs a Google Update was rolled out – January 2017

    25 Nov 2017 ...  

    There has been an uptick of chatter that a Google Update has recently been rolled out. A specific date of the 24 January has been mentioned, but the volatility appears long-running.

    
Signs a Google Update was rolled out - January 2017

    There has been an uptick of chatter that a Google Update has recently been rolled out. Some have mentioned a specific date of the 24 January, but after investigation, it appears the whole of January has been quite volatile, with the US Index bearing the brunt of it.

    We will first look at the SERP trackers on a Global basis for January to show the general volatility. We will then show the Google Grump chart for the US, and how it compares with the UK. Finally, we will look back at the volatility in the US Google SERPs for the last six months to put the current volatility in context. 

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  7. Google Testing “Back to Top” button on mobile

    25 Nov 2017 ...  

    Over the last month Google has been seen testing two different styles of "Back to Top" button at the bottom of the mobile search results.

    
Google Testing "Back to Top" button on mobile

    Over the last month Google has been seen testing two different styles of “Back to Top” button at the bottom of the mobile search results. With users being encouraged to go back to the top results, rather then move on to page two, this could have significant implications and possibly cause lower CTR’s for results not on the page one.

    The first test was spotted by Sergey Alakov on Nov 4, 2016 and featured a rounded blue “BACK TO TOP” button. The results appears to hover over the results once you start scrolling down the page, making it easier for users to go back to the first results.

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  8. Google Update: February 2017 – Latest Volatility explained

    25 Nov 2017 ...  

    There are rumors of another update during the first week of February that targets Private Blog Networks, Links, or possibly a Penguin related tweak.

    
Google Update: February 2017 - Latest Volatility explained

    Hot on the heels of the SERPs volatility in January, new rumors are circulating that a new Google Update has been released in the wild. From the chatter in the SEO community, the update seems to indicate that the update relates to backlinks, with chatter mentioning Private Blog Networks (PBNs), Penguin, or possibly just an adjustment on the impact of backlinks.

    As is customary, we will first take a look at the SERP trackers to see if there is any basis to the rumors, and then take a look at the chatter in the SEO community. Finally, we will add our own speculations or thoughts on what may be happening.

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  9. Trump’s latest tweets lashing out at UCLA players are his most unpresidential yet

    25 Nov 2017 ...  

    Trump's latest tweets lashing out at UCLA players are his most unpresidential yet

    Donald Trump’s latest threats over Twitter are pretty shocking, even by his standards.

    The U.S. president has lashed out at LaVar Ball, father of one of the three UCLA basketball players who were recently detained in China on shoplifting charges.

    College freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, have been freed, and arrived back in Los Angeles last week — days after Trump brought up the issue to Chinese president, Xi Jinping, during his Asia trip. The players thanked him in their media address the day after arriving home.

    But Trump is taking issue over Ball downplaying his role in getting the three players out of detention. When asked about the matter, Ball told ESPN: “Who? What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

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  10. Selfie tourism is killing these incredibly cute creatures

    25 Nov 2017 ...  

    Selfie tourism is killing these incredibly cute creatures

    Warning: this article contains images of animal abuse which some may find distressing.

    A small furry creature huddles close to a tree branch on the edge of the forest. Its large, globular eyes are shut (it’s daytime, and so now it sleeps); its strong hands and arms hold firm even as it slumbers.

    In a deep sleep, the creature doesn’t hear the rustling of approaching predators. Before it knows what’s happening, it’s plucked from the tree and bundled into a bag. When it is finally taken out into the blinding light of day, metal pliers are forced into its mouth to clip its teeth. Then it is shoved into a wire cage, alone and in pain.

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  11. Dril, Twitter’s weirdest hero, just got doxxed — and the internet is sad

    25 Nov 2017 ...  

    Dril, Twitter's weirdest hero, just got doxxed — and the internet is sad

    The internet can be a disturbing, sad place. It takes a special kind of hero to remind us that its darkest corners can also be filled with joy. That hero is @dril, an embodiment of so-called “weird Twitter” who has — like some kind of joke-slinging caped crusader — remained an anonymous beacon of shining light. 

    Anonymous until yesterday, that is. That’s right, someone went ahead and doxxed him, and the internet is really bummed about it. 

    While we won’t reveal his name here, it turns out someone posted dril’s alleged identity to Tumblr, and the internet immediately facepalmed straight into a “this is why we can’t have nice things” spiral. 

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  12. New Firefox Runs Like a Rabbit

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    New Firefox Runs Like a Rabbit

    New version releases of browsers don’t get the buzz they used to get, but Firefox Quantum is an exception.

    The latest version of the Mozilla Foundation’s browser, released Tuesday, is all about performance. Firefox is twice as fast as it was a year ago, Mozilla claimed. It is not only fast on startup — it remains zippy even when taxed by multitudes of tabs.

    “We have a better balance of memory to performance than all the other browsers,” said Firefox Vice President for Product Nick Nguyen.

    “We use 30 percent less memory, and the reason for that is we can allocate the number of processes Firefox uses on your computer based on the hardware that you have,” he told TechNewsWorld.

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  13. Amazon Denies Rumored Plans for Ad-Supported Prime Video Service

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Amazon Denies Rumored Plans for Ad-Supported Prime Video Service

    Amazon has denied a report that it has been working on a free, ad-supported video platform to complement its subscription-based Amazon Prime Video service.

    Amazon has been in talks with various television networks, movie studios and other media entities about providing content to the site, according to the report, published Monday in Ad Age.

    Such a service would place Amazon in direct competition with Apple and other streaming video services for original content, which has become an important way for a new service to gain market share.

    Amazon has “no plans to create a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video,” spokesperson Cat Kelty told the E-Commerce Times.

    Apple earlier this year launched a US$1 billion effort to develop original content for its service. It hired two former Sony executives, Jamie Erlicht and Zach Van Amburg, to lead the company’s global video content efforts.

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  14. Detailed Guide to Google’s Crawl Budget

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Google has recently clarified what the term "Googlebot" means, and how it may affect SEO. We take a detailed look at what they had to say.

    
Detailed Guide to Google's Crawl Budget

    Google has recently published details to explain the term “crawl budget” and how it will affect Googlebot crawling your website. We will look into detail at the various concepts in this article, but it is useful to note that if you have less than a few thousand pages on your website, then it most likely should not be something you should be worried about.

    Googlebot is the name given to Google’s web crawling bot. It is a process whereby Google crawls or fetches the billions of pages on the web to index in their search engine. Googlebot uses an algorithm process that determines which websites to crawl, how often, as well as the number of web pages to fetch from each website. It is this algorithm that has spurned the concept of “crawl budget” as webmasters seek to optimize the number of pages crawled by Google. You can read more about how Googlebot works here.

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  15. Google Testing Ways to Make AMP More Visible

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Google is currently testing ways to make Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) more visible in the mobile search results, as well as educating the user what AMP means.

    
Google Testing Ways to Make AMP More Visible

    Google is currently testing ways to make Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) more visible in the mobile search results, while at the same time educate users that it means a fast website.

    We suspect that for many, AMP has no meaning. Sure, the lightning symbol may be an indication, but for the average person would they really put two and two together and consciously click on an AMP link? Do Google Search users know what the AMP acronym even stands for? Do they need to know?

    Yes, these are some harsh questions, and probably something that those in the SEO, development or even hosting community probably haven’t even thought of because you have been following the news and search developments, and already know what it means.

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  16. Guide to Rich Cards now it is extended to 4 types of content

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Rich Cards, the new mobile search result format for Recipes and Movies, has now been extended to cover Local restaurants and Online courses.

    
Guide to Rich Cards now it is extended to 4 types of content

    Rich Cards, the new search result format for Recipes and Movies, has now been extended to cover Local restaurants and Online courses. We take a detailed look at Rich Cards and how they may help promote your business on mobiles.

    Rich cards build on the success of rich snippets, which already use the schema.org markup to display content in a more helpful, engaging format on mobile devices. The most common example of rich snippets in action are the review ratings you see in the search results. 

    Rich cards are more visually orientated, and can provide much more information for certain content types in the limited space available on mobiles. As such, if your content consists of recipes, movies, restaurants or online courses then you can use rich cards to gain significantly visibility in the search results, and really stand out among your competitors.

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  17. This alarming study just sparked a fierce debate about screen time and teen mental health

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    This alarming study just sparked a fierce debate about screen time and teen mental health

    Being a teen today means wrestling with how social media and screens shape the very essence of your identity. The anecdotal truth is that both can tear you down as quickly as they build you up; friends and followers can turn into enemies while the promise of human connection can give way to profound loneliness.  

    Whether or not that dynamic is significant enough to take a toll on our emotional and mental wellbeing still isn’t clear. In fact, researchers are engaged in an intense debate over what it would take to prove that outcome. 

    One recent study found that using Facebook can actually make people feel worse. Another study on teenagers, however, found that moderate use of digital technology isn’t “intrinsically harmful.”

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  18. Why Are Tech Companies Trying to Kill Us?

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Why Are Tech Companies Trying to Kill Us?

    This is the question that keeps me up at night after seeing the news of Russian influence through social media, and the rapid rise of road deaths due to smartphone use. I wonder if the executives in these firms understand not only that dead customers don’t generate revenue, but also that some of the victims could end up being their own kids, spouses or parents.

    I’m also convinced that they haven’t grasped the fact that hostile foreign influence or distracted drivers could shorten their own life expectancies dramatically. The likelihood that these problems soon could pose an existential risk to humanity is what I’d like to explore this week.

    I’ll close with my product of the week: the just released Xbox One X, the game console to rule them all.

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  19. Amazon Cloud Cam Joins Burgeoning Smart-Home Ecosystem

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Amazon Cloud Cam Joins Burgeoning Smart-Home Ecosystem

    Amazon on Wednesday began shipping its latest smart home product, a security camera that works with its Alexa personal assistant and Echo speakers.

    The Amazon Cloud Cam allows customers to live-stream activity inside their home 24/7. It features 1080p full HD resolution, two-way audio for communicating with family members or pets, night vision technology, and sophisticated algorithms that use machine learning to figure out if the stranger entering your house is the building super or a possible burglar.

    The smart cam, which retails for US$119.99, is incorporated into Amazon Key, which raised a ruckus upon its
    introduction late last month. The system allows drivers to open the doors of Prime members who want to have packages left inside their homes.

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  20. Google confirmed detailed post coming about new Mobile-first Index

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Google has confirmed that they will be publishing a detailed post about the new Mobile-first indexing changes in due course.

    
Google confirmed detailed post coming about new Mobile-first Index

    Google recently announced the intention to move to a Mobile-first index, which we covered in detail here, including answering some of the many questions that have since been asked.

    Unfortunatly, many webmasters are still confused by the changes asking questions that at the present time cannot be answered, such as whether page content visibility will be scored differently for page items such as accordians or other hidden content. In this case, Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed that there was still much to be worked out.

    While Gary Illyes and other Googler’s have since responded to some of the questions, one Twitter user wanted to know if Google will be publishing more official guidance on the issue.

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