August has seemed quiet in the SEO world, but there were a few fairly big stories that slipped in while everyone was on vacation. Here are a few of the top SEO headlines you might have missed while you were reading mystery novels on the beach.

Google Highlights In-Depth Articles – Google’s introduced some new functionality that flags in-depth and, presumably, allows it to rise up the ranks a bit. According to the search giant, around 10% of end-users are specifically looking for something in-depth.

Facebook Features Quality Content – Facebook is jumping on the quality content bandwagon with some algorithm tweaks designed to highlight the good stuff in user news feeds. The company based the changes on a massive user feedback survey designed to narrow in on how exactly Facebook users define quality.

Heat Shuts Down UK Gambling Searches – Have you air-conditioned your SEO strategy? According to numerous reports, the recent heat wave in the UK put the kibosh on gambling related search term. General gambling searches were down by almost 35% over the previous year, though bingo-related searches were only down by 18% over the same period last year.

Farewell Google Keyword Tool – Google has replaced their venerable Keyword Tool with the newfangled Keyword Planner. Keyword Planner offers a number of enhancements and pulls its search volume from a whole range of sources, not just desktop searches. The new system also users to load as many as 10,000 keywords at a time for research (so get those spreadsheets ready!).

Google +1′s = Higher Page Rank – Everyone’s always had a sneaking suspicion that this was true and now the big brains at Moz.com (formerly SEOMoz.com) have gone and proved it; Google +1′s can seriously boost page rankings. Moz even goes so far as to say, “In fact, the correlation of Google +1s beat out other well known metrics including linking root domains, Facebook shares, and even keyword usage.” So get sharing.

Google’s Ready to Answer Questions – Google Now users are already going Siri on everything from sending texts to finding recipes and now desktop users can enjoy asking questions, too. Under the new format, anyone signed into their Google account will be able to ask simple question s and have them answered with information that’s housed on the Web; in their e-mail and even their Google + account.

With vacation time in the rear view mirror, expect to see an explosion of SEO news in the weeks ahead.


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