Weekly SEO recap: Googlebot: Apples to…

A nice couple of small news bits this week, of course mostly about Google as usual, but also one about Apple’s spider! Let’s dive right in!

Joost's weekly SEO Recap

A Google phantom update

There was some discussion a few weeks back about whether an update had taken place. Our friends at SearchMetrics have shown that it was one without a doubt, and it looks a lot like the Quality Update we’ve seen earlier this year. They connect it to the quality guidelines I wrote about 2 weeks ago, which, if you haven’t, you really should read.

Penguin won’t be coming this year

Remember when I said last week that Gary Ilyes had been wrong before? I’ve rarely been proven right this quickly: Google Penguin won’t come till next year. Even though Google has said on numerous occasions, mostly through Gary, that it’ll happen this year. It is what it is, but if you were hoping to get out of your Google Penguin caused pain before the holidays, that hope is now completely gone.

Rel canonical everywhere?

We’ve done a lot of work with rel canonical here at Yoast. We were among the first to implement it and we still have the best rel canonical implementation in the business for WordPress. If you’re looking for a setting to enable it: no need. It’s always on.

In this weeks Webmaster hangout there were some questions as to whether it was wrong to have canonical on all pages. We’ve known this to be the right solution for most sites for quite a while, but it’s always good to get some confirmation.

No more changing your location in Google

If you were relying on Google’s filters to allow you to change the location you were searching from and see results for another country, tough luck. They’ve removed that feature altogether. I’m personally very sorry to see this go as it was sometimes fairly useful and now will need to switch to using proxies more often.

Applebot, disguising as Googlebot

If you see Applebot behaving weirdly in your logs (most people never bother to look and probably shouldn’t, but the best SEOs out there do look at those logs regularly), there’s a reason: it’s using Googlebot rules if you don’t have Applebot lines in your robots.txt.

Makes sense, I think, though I don’t know whether I like it much as a precedent. If every new bot would do this, it would make it impossible to do stuff specifically for Googlebot in your robots.txt file.

That’s it, see you next week!

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