This Week in Search: Google Plans on Searching Audio Content, and More!

Pure SEO’s This Week In Search series takes a look at the top SEO and SEM news stories from the week.

This week is all about the Big G: Google plans on making audio content searchable, confirmed a core algorithm update, released new policies regarding autocomplete predictions, and is facing a canonical negative SEO issue.

Google Plans to Search Audio Content

In a recent interview, Zack Reneau-Wedeen from Google’s Podcasts team expressed that Google wants to make audio content searchable.

“Right now Google is really good at giving you text and video related to your search query. With all the amazing work podcasters are publishing each day, there’s no good reason why audio isn’t a first-class citizen in the same way.”

To do this, Google is planning on incorporating podcast metadata into search results. This means that individual podcast episodes have the potential to come up in search results if topics or creators are searched for — supercharging podcast discovery. This has the potential to be a catalyst for podcast audience growth, and may even launch a new area of search engine optimisation – Audio SEO.

April 16th Algorithm Update Confirmed by Google

Google confirmed in a Twitter post that an algorithm update was released on Monday, April 16th.

This update was related to a website’s content relevance. This site factor ensures that searchers get the best results that answer their queries and intent. These broad core algorithm updates are released throughout the year to continually improve results.

If your site was affected by this update, then you may want to rethink just how relevant your content is to your audience.

Google Expands Autocomplete Prediction Policies

Google is helping keep the internet safe from discrimination by expanding their autocomplete policies.

Google is removing these four types of predictions:

  • sexually explicit predictions
  • hateful predictions against groups and individuals (e.g. race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation and more)
  • violent predictions
  • dangerous and harmful activity in predictions

Props to Google for making even the smallest changes to help make the internet a safer, more accepting place!

Google Faces Issues Regarding Canonical Negative SEO Attacks

Bill Hartzer of Hartzer Consulting recently discovered a cross-site canonical attack — a business suffered ranking drops due to the misuse of Google’s canonical tag.

The business’ website had been linked to a spam site that included the canonical tag — telling Google that the spam page was the victim’s webpage. One can only imagine the havoc it wreaked — all the negative spam scores from the fake site were assigned to the original site.

Google hasn’t released a solution so far, but experts are hoping that search engines will update canonical specifications so that it can no longer be used to canonicalise across different domains.

New Zealand Search Trends

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Rachel Matela

Rachel is a Filipino Kiwi with a passion for the arts. Having graduated with an Arts Degree in English from UoA, she found writing work at PureSEO as a Junior Copywriter and quickly moved on to the role of Editor. In her spare time, she reads Austen and teaches dance classes in the weekend.

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