Google, What Should We Expect in Terms of SEO?

Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, talks about the search engine’s algorithmic changes coming down the pike in the Summer of 2013 (see Cutts’ 7 minute video below). The changes will be an attempt to improve user experience and hinder spammers.

To avoid problems, Cutts encourages web owners to use high quality content with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. He says Google’s changes will promote doing a better job of detecting the authority of website and content authors. They are also looking at their filtering software, Panda, to find additional signals to refine things on sites and soften effects, as well as seek additional signals of quality. Google will supposedly be making improvements to how search results are viewed, too. For example, once you’ve seen a cluster of results from one site, you’ll be less likely to see more results from that site as you go deeper into the Google search result pages.

For the average Google user, you probably won’t notice anything has changed or maysimply find search results are better than before. But for website owners who utilize SEO strategies, be aware of your site content and keep it high in quality with clearly defined keywords and phrases. Avoid anything that may be considered ‘black hat’ and be sure to put emphasis on your authorship. If you don’t prepare for the changes, you may see your rankings and traffic take a hit this fall.

What’s Happening to iGoogle?

iGoogle is ending next November 1, 2013 and the mobile version already ended this past July. According to Google, the decision is based on the use of modern apps created after iGoogle came on the scene in 2005. Apps that run on Google platforms like Chrome and Android (to name a few) have made the widgetized iGoogle, well… irrelevant, so after November 1, 2013 iGoogle will come to an end. So you have 16 months to transition to other platforms.
If you want to move your personal data from iGoogle you can export it and use other Google products including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Finance, Google Docs (now Google Drive), Google Bookmarks, and Google Tasks. As an alternative, Google is encouraging iGoogle lovers to use Google Chrome. The Chrome Web Store provides a similar range of options once available on iGoogle such as productivity tools and applications to check the weather. In addition, just like iGoogle, you can personalize Chrome with a theme.