Lab Weekly: Penguin is almost here!

Jodie King

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Google Penguin is Incoming

According to SearchEngineLand, Google’s Gary Illyes (Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst) took to the stage at Search Marketing Expo East and revealed that Google should be ready to launch their latest Google Penguin algorithm “sometime next week”. This will depend on everything going to plan in the meantime, presumably last minute testing, but it seems the wait is finally over.
What does that mean for your site? The last refresh was almost a year ago so if your site was hit by that and you have since made amends this algorithm should see your site return to greater heights. Exactly how much sites are affected will depend on the quality of the SEO performed on the site and when a Disavow was done. Illyes said that the cutoff for making changes to a site was around two weeks ago so if you have been busy removing dodgy links in the last few weeks then these actions will not be taken into account. It also means that urgently cleaning sites now will be to no avail – the damage has already been done.
Following Google’s webmaster guidelines has become extremely important. Every site owner is responsible for maintaining these guidelines, or risk being penalised by these algorithms. On the positive side those who have had lots of work done to repair poor SEO in response to being hit by last years Penguin algorithm could see some big jumps in terms of organic traffic. If you have done some quality SEO on your site then Google will reward you right in time for the busiest shopping period of the year!

Social Media Week London 2014

James Whatley, social media director at Ogilvy & Mather London,  attended this years Social Media Week London 2014. His key takeaway was based around a ‘more grown-up’ relationship with social media bringing to the fore Return On Investment (ROI). He explained that last year saw ROI being talked about as an imperative for social media and this year saw companies demonstrated ROI.
Although Whatley says the event is often viewed as more of a Freshers’ week for the young and keen there was potential for some serious insight. Social Media does have this reputation of being the trendy new kid on the block that is talented, creative, and capable of making waves – but how? In many ways it is in the process of turning a corner. It is not new and it is only gathering momentum so businesses have begun to get serious about their Social Media strategy.
It is not just about being on there because everyone else is. It is about measuring posts, monitoring interaction and being able to say for sure what sales each campaign yielded. ROI will prove that Social Media is not just a trendy gimmick or a soft marketing tool – it is the real deal…and it is still FREE!

Google Removes Thousands of Nude Pictures

Google has taken action to remove thousands of celebrity nude images in response to heat from entertainment lawyer Marty Singer. According to  the BBC’s Newsbeat Singer threatened to sue Google for “violating privacy”. A letter addressed to senior staff at Google published by New York Post stated that Google failed to:

“to act expeditiously, and responsibly to remove the images” and “was perpetuating the despicable conduct of these habitual pervert predators”

The images have been seen and discussed by millions. Cara Delevingne and Jennifer Lawrence were among the group of stars targeted by cyber thieves who posted the stolen pictures onto the World Wide Web. No women have been named in the potential lawsuit but the letter said that “over a dozen celebrities” would seek damages for Google’s “blatantly unethical behaviour”.

This opens up the question once again of how much control and responsibility Google should take in response to these actions. Google is a search engine and is therefore responsible for reflecting a true likeness of what is available on the web. However, if it is showcasing criminally obtained items then should it be responsible for restricting access to those as they were never intended for public viewing. As with many discussions of this ilk it is hard to pinpoint the perfect solution to the problem but there certainly seems to be a moral obligation and most people would be demanding action if the images were of them. 

Google responded by saying:

“We’re removing these photos for community guidelines and policy violations (eg nudity and privacy violation) on YouTube, Blogger and Google+. For search we have historically taken a different approach as we reflect what’s online – but we remove these images when we receive valid copyright (DMCA) notices.”

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