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Google, SEO Update: July 2014

July 2014 was a pretty quiet month for SEO news but a very busy one for hive mind at Google. Besides launching a new algorithm update, the search giant has been slapped with some more interesting “regulations” over in Spain.

Of particular note to the SEO world is some very interesting news regarding a man named, Matt Cutts and where he’s heading off to this month.

Here are a few of the SEO and Google headlines that made news in July, 2014.

Google Pigeon – Towards the end of the month Google launched a new algorithm update that’s been dubbed, “Pigeon.” (The name comes from the SEO press not from Google.)

Pigeon’s impact, so far, has been limited to local search results, so it probably won’t have much impact on gambling affiliates. Publications like SearchEngineLand have speculated that Pigeon will be used to beef up Google’s already expansive mapping abilities.

House Lords Not Down with Right to Be Forgotten – The British House of Lords has condemned the EU’s new, right to be forgotten, on Google but not because they think Europeans shouldn’t have that right. According to recent reports, the HOL are more upset about the ruling’s vague guidelines on implementation and its potential impact on smaller search engines.

Huzzah HOL!

Spain Passes Google Fee – Are news aggregators infringing on copyright when they link to newspaper articles? Under a newly passed Spanish law, they are. The Google Fee (which may or may not apply to Google) requires sites to compensate content creators for using their links.

Not surprisingly, this new law is not sitting well with free speech advocates.

Matt Cutts Takes a Breather – The head of Google’s Web Spam team is taking a leave of absence from his high profile job beginning August 1 and extending through October 1. Though Cutts will be out of the SEO picture for a while, he says his crew at Mountain View is more than capable of keeping an eye on the shop while he’s gone.

Mobile Ad Engagement on the Rise – Mobile advertising is rapidly gaining acceptance, and engagement, from shoppers. That’s the big news from a new study titled, Mobile-Path-to-Purchase, from xAd and Telmetrics.

Their research shows that 50% of end-users find mobile advertising to be helpful. That’s up a whopping 112% over the previous year.

Google Adds Robots.txt Testing Tool – Google’s new Robots.txt testing tool is designed to show webmasters exactly why the search engine is ignoring their sites. Unlike some other Google tools, this one is designed to provide actionable information about any problems it runs into.

Google + Dumps Real Name Policy – Google + was designed as a troll-free environment and, as such, required end-users to use their real names. Though the real name policy had good intentions, it caused a lot of problems for people with unusual names such as, Southern.

From here on out, however, it’s (almost) anything goes when it comes to Google + screen names.

Groupon Experiments with De-Indexing – Groupon (yes, they’re still around) recently de-indexed their site from Google for six hours as part of an experiment to find out exactly where their traffic comes from.

What they found was that organic searches account for a whopping 60%-64% of their total traffic.  That led them to the conclusion that that organic search traffic is both under reported and incredibly important.