Even with Google Webmaster Matt Cutts on sabbatical, there have been a lot of important search updates this summer that will impact your content marketing results. Watch the video or read the text below for a back-to-school refresher of the top SEO takeaways of the summer.

Perhaps the most dramatic news of the summer came at the very ​end of August, when Google said goodbye to its 3-year Authorship experiment and officially stopped processing rel=author data. Google claims that authorship wasn’t as useful to users as they’d hope – but it certainly has SEOs questioning Google’s motive behind the ax.

​ And the search engine still touts the value of great content from reliable writers, so we’ll need to watch this trend into fall.​

Next, Google continued on the track of semantic search excellence with more answers and even less links. Info cards without hyperlinks became more prominent and Youtube videos starting popping up as rich snippets. When you’re creating content, think about the questions your consumers want answered and if there’s a creative way to give it to them – it could be a great Youtube video or how-to explainer post – and that’s exactly the type of content Google is rewarding. 

Also of note, Google announced that HTTPS encryption is a new SEO factor. Although it’s considered “low-weighted”, and won’t have a giant impact, it’s a good idea to check out to see if this is something you should be doing for your website.

Finally – Google unofficially debuted a new algorithm, deemed “Pigeon” by outside search experts. This update was announced on the heels of “Explore,” a new Google Maps tool that makes local search results more prominent.

Now it’s our turn to hear from you: What SEO updates do you think will be coming this fall? Some people say a Penguin update is coming soon. Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Molly Buccini is Brafton's community manager. She joined the team with a background in digital journalism and social media. She's a theatre nerd, pop culture junkie and lover of summertime.