Seven most interesting search marketing news stories of the week

Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from around the world of search marketing and beyond.

This week we have a bountiful collection of news, a heaving trove of stats and a swollen haul of insight from the last seven days.

These adjectives will make more sense in about one headline’s time.

Google AI is improving its conversational skills with… romance novels

Yep.

my fair viking

According to Buzzfeed – YES that’s where we get our intel from – for the past few months, Google has been feeding text from romance novels into its AI engine because the’ve determined that “parsing the text of romance novels could be a great way of enhancing the company’s technology with some of the personality and conversational skills it lacks.”

Buzzfeed also reports that the plan this seems to be working. “Google’s research team recently got the AI to write sentences that resemble those in the books.”

So expect your next Google search for a well reviewed local restaurant to include at least 12 synonyms for ‘throbbing’.

AdWords will launch redesigned AdWords on May 24th

And you can watch the launch live, if that’s the sort of thing you like doing with your time.

AdWords is being being redesigned for the mobile-first market and aesthetically will fall into line with its recently launched 360 suite.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Redesigned AdWords

You can get an early demo during the Google Performance Summit livestream on May 24th at 9:00am PT/12:00pm ET, which you can sign-up for here.

Seats are booking up fast though, so hurry.

Jk, it’s on the internet. You just need to nudge the cat off the sofa.

Half of SEOs are either unaware of AMP or only have a “passing awareness”

As Rebecca Sentance reported this week, SEOs have been slow to implement Google’s accelerated mobile pages (AMP) in the two months since its official launch, despite the promise that AMP is an important ranking signal.

A survey, carried out by SEO PowerSuite, looked at awareness and uptake of AMP among 385 SEO professionals in North America and Europe. Of the respondents surveyed, less than a quarter (23%) had implemented AMP for their mobile sites.

Although general awareness of Accelerated Mobile Pages was high – 75% of the SEO professionals surveyed were aware of AMP – 21% said they were only aware of it “in passing.”

A column graph showing awareness of AMP among SEOs surveyed, with 21% of SEOs aware of AMP "in passing", 35% "have done SOME research" into AMP, 18% "have done A LOT of research" into AMP, while 25% are "not aware" of AMP.

Of those SEOs who hadn’t yet begun to implement AMP on their mobile sites, only 29% said they would do so in the next six months, and 5% of respondents said they had no intention of supporting AMP on their mobile sites whatsoever.

180% increase in websites being hacked in 2015

This week we reported on Google’s fight against webspam in 2015, revealing the following info:

  • An algorithmic update helped remove the amount of webspam in search results, impacting 5% of queries.
  • Google sent more than 4.3 million messages to webmasters notifying them of manual actions it had imposed on sites affected by spam.
  • Google saw a 33% increase in the number of sites that went through a spam clean-up “towards a successful reconsideration process.”

Most worrying of all was the massive 180% increase in hacking from 2014. If you haven’t already, it’s time to seriously think about the security of your website.

Google is moving all blogspot domain blogs to HTTPS

This week, Google has introduced a HTTPS version for every blogspot domain blog, meaning that visitors can access any blogspot domain blog over an encrypted channel.

https

Google has also removed the HTTPS Availability setting and all blogs will automatically have a HTTPS version enabled. So you don’t have to do a thing, and you may even get a little traffic boost as secure servers are seen as a ranking signal.

Google has taken action against sneaky mobile redirects

To tackle the trend of websites redirecting mobile users to spammy, unrelated domains Google has taken action on sites that sneakily redirect users in this way by issuing manual penalties.

sneaky mobile redirects

If your site has been affected, Google offers help on getting rid of these redirects to clean up your site and hopefully avoid further action.

Moz has introduced a new, free to use, keyword research tool

The new Keyword Researcher launched by Moz this week, can help take you all the way through the keyword research process. It has a variety of useful metrics including estimating the relative CTR of organic results and it surfaces results from almost all popular sources used by SEOs.

And best of all, you can run 2 free searches per day without logging in, another five with a free community account, and if you’re a Pro subscriber you already have full access.

keyword explorer

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