This Week in Search No. 64

Get the inside scoop on all of the biggest changes, best practices, and most effective tips for search engine optimization for the period of December 6th – December 12th, 2015.

SEO Round up

I’ve sorted through hundreds of articles and filtered out the misinformation, hype, and black hat tactics that will waste your time or, even worse, earn you a Google penalty. What’s left is the best and most up-to-date information from some of the most knowledgeable and trusted people in the industry – enjoy!

Local SEO

In August Google switched from showing the traditional 7-pack local search results, to only showing a 3-pack. More Recently, Google broke-up Google+ and its associated properties (i.e. Google My Business), leaving marketers and business owners confused and frustrated. The following set of articles should help clarify the situation.

The Snack Pack: More than Just a Delicious Lunch Time Treat by Ore Oduwole on distilled

Google+ Changes: What Marketers Need to Know by Kristi Hines on Social Media Examiner

How to Get Google Review Links After the G+ Update by Greg Gifford on Search Engine Land

Google to Roll Out Accelerated Mobile Pages to Everyone, Get Your Content Ready Now by Matt Southern on Search Engine Journal

Link Building

I have noticed an increasing trend during the second half of 2015, which I believe will further increase in 2016: the recognized importance of links within online marketing by those outside SEO. – Cory Collins

How Links Could Be Online Marketing’s Most Important KPI in 2016 by Cory Collins on Search Engine Watch

What Kind of Content Actually Gets Links (and what kind should you avoid)? by David Farkas on Search Engine Journal

Google Search Quality Guidelines

Google annually updates its internal guidelines document that tells hired human quality raters how to evaluate sites as part of Google’s ongoing experiments. We in the search industry usually get only leaked tidbits and summaries to read. But last month, in a rare gesture, Google published the 2015 guidelines as a PDF for all to read. ~ Paula Allen

2015 Search Quality Rating Guidelines Checklist: Aligning with Google’s Focus on Usefulnessby Paula Allen on the Bruce Clay blog


Google has been rolling out Universal Analytics steadily since its launch in 2012 and this year, it announced that the transfer of properties from Classic to Universal Analytics was complete.

If you’ve not upgraded yourself, the chances are that Google has done it automatically for you (and you’ll see a notification like this in the tracking code section of Google Analytics). ~ Nadia Ali

Why You Shouldn’t Forget to Update Your Universal Analytics Tracking Codes by Nadia Ali on Search Engine Watch

Thanks for reading! As always, your shares, comments, and questions are welcomed and appreciated!

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Brent is a REALTOR with Keller Williams in Henderson (Las Vegas valley) NV. He has a background in digital marketing and is a nationally recognized SEO expert. In addition to this blog, he is a VIP contributor to Search Engine Journal and has been syndicated through SteamFeed, Social Media Today and B2C.
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