SEO News Roundup: New Study Shows the Importance of Links to Rankings

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James Allen brings you the latest in search engine optimisation news, including the importance of links for Google rankings, some advice from John Mueller, and an update adding new features to Google Maps.

Ranking Study Shows How Important Links Are to The Ranking Algorithm

A new study carried out by the Stone Temple Consulting (STC) team shows that links are actually incredibly important towards the ranking algorithm. Many recent ranking studies purported that links have decreased in importance, however, the study carried out by STC shows that they may be even more important than once thought. The STC study says that there is a “near-perfect correlation” between high rankings and link quality.

Rankings Won’t Drop As A Result Of Competitor Spam Reports

John Mueller of Google said on Twitter that un-true spam reports from competitors will not affect your placement in Google search results in any way. This came about when Bruce Neville asked Google:google spam ranking

To which John Mueller replied saying:google spam ranking 2

Google will ignore spam reports from competitors if your site is being reported without reason. However, your rankings are likely to be negatively affected if you are found spamming.

Google Maps Gets Update

Google Maps has been updated, in order to make it easier for people to suggest edits to Google Maps, and to add new locations.  When editing Google Maps information, it is now easier for users to add more information about businesses and locations. For example, before the update, it was only possible to add an address, a phone number, and a name. Now users can add more specific information on properties, including if there is a beer garden or a quiet room.

The feature is live and available for use on the Android Google Maps app, and on mobile search for both Android and iOS.

Google Chrome Web Browser Sees Update

Google has updated its Chrome web browser for the 52nd time. The new updates are not major and are focused on providing a better user experience. The update brings a number of performance changes, security updates and fixes, and the removal of the ability to use the backspace key as a shortcut for the return function. Despite the removal of this function, Google has stated that they will be bringing it back as an optional setting, so it can be enabled if users want it to be.

Whiteboard Friday – Does Voice Search & Conversational Search Change SEO Strategies?


In last week's episode of Whiteboard Friday, Rand Fishkin ran through the topic of voice search, and its effect on SEO strategies.

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