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January 2018 Google Webmaster Report

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December, normally a pretty slow month in the Google organic SEO world, at least in 2017 was super busy, again, this was unusual. The big things that happened over the past month was of course the confirmed Google updates we named the Maccabees updates that seemed to target keyword permutations as well as Fred like stuff and even hit some celebrity sites. We also saw a PBN penalty roll out and maybe a featured snippets/knowledge graph algorithm update. No, we are not done. Google added a year plus of data to Search Console, after years and years of promising it. Google published voice search quality raters guidelines, updated their SEO starter guide after several years and posted official advice on the mobile first index. Google also extended their snippets and said you can make your meta descriptions longer and released a new rich results testing tool. John Mueller said nofollow all links in guest posts, he started a new awesome SEO snippets video series, and was super busy helping webmasters on Christmas. Danny Sullivan promised more communication and he will not keep quiet. And Google’s former CEO and current Executive Chairman is stepping down.So yea, it was a pretty busy December for Google. Currently, the ongoing WebmasterWorld thread is pretty slow, which is a nice thing. But to see the last webmaster report click here.Here is the recap of the past month:Google Algorithm Updates & Shifts:
Google Confirms Search Ranking Updates But Calls Them Minor & Many
Google Maccabees Update Analysis: Sites Targeting Many Keyword Permutations
Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update: The Maccabees Update
Google Maccabee Updates Hurt Many Celebrity Web Sites
New Google Update Targets Link Spam & Other Unnatural Links?
Did Google’s Knowledge Graph Panels Algorithm Change Yesterday?
Google Assistant & Voice Search Guidelines

Google Search Console:
Hallelujah! Google Search Console Adds A Years Worth Of Data On Beta
Google Plans To Roll Out New Search Console Early Next Year
Google Search Console Notifying Webmasters Of TLS Upgrade Requirements

Google SEO:
Google Finally Updates The SEO Starter Guide After Several Years
Google Finally Posts Webmaster Tips On Mobile-First Index
Google Now Recommends Longer Meta Descriptions For New Longer Snippets
Google “Rich Results” Testing Tool
Google: Mobile Internal Link Structure Doesn’t Have To Be The Same
Google: Watch Your Log Files To See If You Moved To The Mobile-First Index
Google: Read More AMP Links Can Go To Read More HTML Pages
Google: We Didn’t Find Crawling From Outside Of The United States Useful
Google Search Analytics Bug With AMP Non-Rich Results
Google: Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) Have No Advantage In Search
Google: Fetching Content From Other Web Sites Does Not Add Value
Google: GoogleBot Doesn’t Make Up URLs To Crawl & Index
Google: Avoid Using Google Tag Manager For SEO Experiments
Google: Long Term Noindex Will Lead To Nofollow On Links
Google: Showing Structured Data Markup Just To GoogleBot Is Cloaking
Google: IPv6 & HTTP/2 Works But You Should Also Support IPv4 & HTTP/1.x
Google On Trailing Slashes & How It Impacts SEO & Search Rankings
Google Defines Doorway Pages: Pages For Ranking For Keyword Permutations

Google Links:
Google Responds To Blog Bribes: It Can Lead To Search Penalties
Google’s John Mueller: Nofollow All Guest Posts Links
Google: SEOs Don’t Know If Unnatural Links Work Or Not
Google: We Don’t Recommend Generic Disavow Files
Tracking Down A Google Penalty Over PBNs

Google User Interface:
Google Adds To Featured Snippets: Images, Related Search & Content & People Relations
Google Tests Mobile Search Interface With Few Organic Results
Google Tests Related Searches Box In Image Search
Google Moves AMP Icon To Top Right In Top Stories Carousel
Google Tests Favicons In Search Results Snippets Again
Google Tests Live Blog Progress Bar Divider
Google Rolls Out Travel, Flight & Flight Search Features
Google Search Results By Celebrities Over Selfie Videos

Google Maps:
Google Maps Doesn’t Allow Negative Reviews From Current Or Former Employees
Google’s New Map Pin Design

Industry:
SEO Snippets: Google Starts Up The Short Webmaster Videos Again
Google’s 2017 Inspirational Year In Search Review: It’s All About How
Google Hopes To Communicate Larger Algorithm Changes In Future
Danny Sullivan: I Was Not Hired By Google To Keep Quiet
John Mueller Helping Webmasters On Christmas Eve Year After Year
Eric Schmidt To Step Down As Executive Chairman At Google & AlphabetForum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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