Google Phantom algorithm update on February 7

Data collected from a number of sites shows significant ranking movements both up and down which could have been caused by an algorithm update.

Google, however, have not confirmed or denied any algorithm change. There is speculation that Google is experimenting with improvements in evaluating large pages.

Based on the data that has been analysed, there is a high chance that this change is related to content quality.

Web directory DMOZ closing down

The DMOZ web directory has announce that it will be shutting down as of 14 March 2017.

Web directories existed as a way of manually categorising pages on the web before search engines became commonplace. DMOZ launched in 1998.

In the past, Google would occasionally use meta descriptions from DMOZ when the page’s description was not appropriate.

Google Assistant coming to more phones

Google Assistant, the artificial-intelligence powered successor to Google’s voice search facility, will soon be coming to smartphones running Android 6.0 and 7.0.

While many voice search users will not see a huge difference in the new service, Google Assistant aspires to be more conversational than simple query input.

In a recent survey, 60% of voice search users wanted more direct answers instead of links to third parties.

45% of top search results are HTTPS

Mozcast is now showing that 45% of top 10 Google search results are using HTTPS.

Dr. Pete from Moz projected that 50% of the results will be HTTPS by June 2017.

With HTTPS taking over, it is more important than ever that sites which remain on the unsecure HTTP protocol make the switch in order to compete in organic search.