SEOctober Recap

As we enter the brand new month of November, we can look back upon some important changes in the world of Internet marketing that occurred in October. Here is a re-cap of some notable events to keep you up to date in the world of online marketing.

1. Panda Update

Google confirmed “minor” updates and tweaks to the Panda update that took place on October 9th and 13th, which is being referred to as Panda 2.52. According to a survey from SEO Round Table, 80% of those surveyed report that it was a significant update. 66% report it being very significant. Was this update more significant than Google thought? Take a look at your rankings and analytics- did you see any significant changes around these dates?

2. Google Indexes Facebook Comments

As always, Google is looking to improve their search results and provide the most relevant and authoritative sources possible. Matt Cutts from Google confirmed on Twitter that Google is now able to crawl AJAX and Javascript to index dynamic comments. This means GoogleBot can crawl dynamically loaded comments that use Disqus or Facebook plugins. Additionally, Google can now see more content from websites using Javascript and AJAX. Read Google’s official announcement on their blog for the details, and keep an eye out for Facebook comments appearing in the search results.

3. Webmaster Tools “Duplicate URL Selection” Notifications

In the case that a duplicate piece of content is found by Google, their algorithm selects a “representative” URL. If a piece of content is found on site A and site B, and site B is chosen as the representative, site A may no longer be indexed and as a result, see a drop in search traffic for the duplicate piece of content. Google announced new Webmaster Tool Messages that alert site owners of choosing an external URL over their own. Now, site owners are alerted and can react by taking action if they feel this is incorrect. Read the announcement from the Google Webmaster Blog to learn more.

Now Google Webmaster Tools will tell you if they are choosing duplicate content over your URL!

4. Changes to Google Places Listings

Many Google Places owners received e-mails from Google earlier this month telling them that their listing will be updated soon. Google has started to automatically update listings to make it easier on business owners, and provide the most accurate, up to date information for users.

When a change is automatically made, the place page’s owner will be notified. Changes Google might make to your listing include business name, address, phone number, website, pin marker location, and applying the label of ‘permanently closed.’

Google says: “If a user provides new information about a business they know — or if our system identifies information from another source on the web that may be more recent than the data the business owner provided via Google Places — the organic listing will automatically be updated and the business owner will be sent an email notification about the change.”

5. Encrypted search

In October, Google made some changes to how analytics stores keyword data. This change prevents online marketers from seeing organic keyword data in analytics from Google users who are logged in with a secure connection. It was estimated that this change would effect less than 10% of search. Some of this keyword data will be available in webmaster tools. See Jeff’s blog post from last week for more information.

6. Google Reader Becomes Part of Google +

Google Reader has recently become integrated with Google +. Changes include shifting the sharing features from in Google reader only, to sharing in the wide world of Google +. Despite protests to keep some of the existing functionality, Google has transitioned these two products to function cohesively.

Some of the features include a new, streamlined design and sharing on Google +. Friending, following, and sharing features exclusively in Reader is no longer an option, as similar functionality is offered in Google +. For more info, read Google’s announcement about the new Reader.

So there we have it. There have been some big changes in the month of October. Let’s wait and see what other exciting changes November brings!