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March 2014 SEO News Roundup

Was March, 2014 the month that Google finally lived up to its promise to no longer announce algorithm updates? It sure looks that way.

Though there were plenty of relevant news bits in the SEO world, and most of them coming in the form of Matt Cutts video announcements, there did not seem to be any major algorithm shifts.

That doesn’t, of course, mean that the SEO sands weren’t shifting but if they were, it was probably in a more subtle manner than SEOs are used to. Here are some of the SEO news stories that did make headlines last month.

Webmaster Tools Tracking Changes

Tracking URLs across different sections of your site, including https areas should be a little easier in the future. Google rolled out some changes on Webmaster Tools that allow each type of URL to be tracked individually. To take advantage of the new tools, SEOs will have have their sites re-verified.

Panda Algorithm Patented

Google is a notoriously secretive company but that doesn’t mean they don’t like protecting trade secrets anyways. Last month the company received a patent on its Panda algorithm.  The patent was actually filed under the name of Navneet Panda and is the first one filed under his name.

Kinder, Gentler Panda Coming?

When Matt Cutts speaks at industry events, the entire SEO world cocks it ears. That was case at last month’s SMX West Conference when Cutts mentioned an upcoming Panda update.

The oracle of SEO didn’t give a lot of details, though he did say the algorithm would be softened up so that its impact on smaller businesses wasn’t so severe.

MyBlogGuest Responds to Penalties

Guest blogging is the latest content marketing technique to move from totally acceptable into, “Will that get me a penalty,” territory and MyBlogGuest was hit with a major penalty.

In an extensive interview with, Ann Smarty of MyGuestBlog hit back at Google and accused Cutts of using her site as warning against other blog networks.

Though Smarty got plenty of support on social media for her stand, it’s pretty clear that Cutts and company are keen on keeping guest blogging in check.

Cutts Explains How to Tell Which Algo Hit You

Good News: Matt Cutts has released a video explaining how to tell, specifically, which algorithm updates are impacting your sites.

Bad News: After around four minutes of discussing the subject, it’s pretty clear that you’ll never be able to know the answer to the question Cutts claims to be answering.