Noticed anything different when searching the web? On September 1, Google changed its logo and people are wondering if this has to do with its new parent company, Alphabet. And other recent updates suggest big changes to the search landscape.

I’m Katherine Griwert with Brafton, and this Content and Coffee, we’re giving you a recap of summer’s biggest SEO updates.

Social in search

2-SocialInSearchFirst, Google announced Vines and Pins are now included  in mobile search carousels. This summer was also the official rollout of Tweets in search results, further proving that a cross-channel content strategy will enhance search presence.

(We noted a lot of interest social search results, at least from our clients, with requests for social promotion spiking.)

Blog: How to tie social marketing & SEO together for better rankings

Panda strikes again

3-GooglePandaBut people seemed less plussed about Google’s Panda 4.2 which finally rolled out in July. It’s the first Panda update in over 10 months.

Catch up on all the Panda updates here: Google’s Panda algorithm (Timeline)

While Panda 4.2 supposedly impacted 2-3% of queries, it’s unclear when the roll officially began, why sites have been impacted, and which are the biggest losers.

Less Wiki, more Answers?

4-WikiChartCould Wikipedia be among them? Reports leaked this summer that Googlereferred traffic to Wiki appears consistent, BUT page views “with no referral source” is down, and this may actually represent Google-sourced visitors.

5-WikiAnswersMany think Google’s fast answer cards are overtaking Wiki, with it’s in-depth, encyclopedic answers. This is a cue to put pertinent information upfront if you want to catch search clicks, especially because cards would appeal to rising mobile searchers, which seem to be the biggest area for search growth.

The mobile overtake

In fact, comScore reports indicate Google desktop search was stagnant or slightly down through the summer, which seems consistent with Google’s earlier released mobile algorithm.


SEO Dead? (Again?)

On one hand, marketers are now paying more attention to mobile for SEO, which is good practices for user experience in any case. On the other hand, is everyone over Google? Yes: It is the default search engine of America, and a huge discovery portal for brands. But searchers’ satisfaction with Google is down – from 80 to 76%, marginal but noticeable. And 79% of brands have no SEO plans in their budgets.

What did you think was the biggest shake up in the search landscape this season, and if not SEO, what part of your marketing budget is helping you get seen in search? Tell us in the comments, or send us a Tweet @Brafton.

And check back next week for another Content & Coffee Talk.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.