SEO Update Summer 2015

In this SEO Update we'll take a look at Google's algorithm update, Twitter character limits and the new Mobile Like Local interface for desktops.


Back in June, we heard a lot of chatter regarding a possible algorithmic update by Google. This chatter concurred with an extremely noticeable temperature spike on MozCast – a tool which seeks to track fluctuations in the search results.


When the update rolled out, many believed this was either the Panda update (which was announced as pending at SMX Advanced) or possibly related to HTTPS changes Google had made earlier with the thought that Google is tightening the screws regarding HTTPS as a ranking factor.

Google’s engineer Gary Illyes soon denied the possibility of a HTTPS update with this tweet.

gary tweet

Followed by debunking the idea of a possible Panda refresh with this statement.

"This is not a Panda update. As you know, we're always making improvements to our search algorithms and the web is constantly evolving. We're going to continue to work on improvements across the board."

So, what we can confirm is – This was a normal Google "core" search update where Google won’t give us any details on! Some believe that this update benefited news and magazine websites.

We also heard a lot of ranting that many SEO campaigns were completely destroyed by this update. Hence, we decided to do an in-depth research and analysis of our own campaigns. Since we monitor close to 1,500 websites with more than 50,000 keywords (local and national), we get a birds-eye view of how a lot of SEO campaigns are performing.

Luckily, this update didn’t have any impact on our client's campaigns. In fact, our customers have seen an improvement. This update is a fine example of how our SEO strategies future-proof our client’s businesses.

Here are some of the latest additions to our SEO deliverables: 

  • Magazine / News Placement
  • Q&A Posting
  • Review Widget
  • Local & Social Community Setup
  • Conversion Optimization Report
  • User Testing (Delivered via Video) 

If you come across any website which has been affected by this update, we can help you out. 


We recently spotted Google testing a new user interface (UI) for the local pack search results on the desktop search interface for numerous search queries across different industries. This new interface looks more like the mobile UI than the normal desktop UI.

Here are some of the noticeable changes in this new design: 

googel mobile like

You'll notice that the Website URL is missing which would probably make tracking organic positions a tedious process.

Clicking on the listing takes you to a search result page with “Business Name” + “Geo” as the search query as opposed to landing on the business website earlier. Might be an attempt to reduce bounce rate!

  • Main Category is now included in the listing.
  • Business Hours are now included in the listing.
  • Address displayed is not complete. Just the street name which might confuse the user. 
  • Link to Google My Business page is removed.

As always, we will keep a close eye on this and keep you updated on future developments! 


Twitter has been making many changes to its features to take the platform to next level of success. Twitter announced that one of the important update was made in July i.e. Removal of 140 character limit on DM

  • Previously, Twitter limited the users with 140 characters on a tweet update, so people couldn't say more even if they wanted too. 
  • Now, Twitter is giving an option for everyone to engage with the platform more freely. 

The new character limit for a DM would be around 10,000 characters. Also, as part of their announcement Twitter is revising its APIs so that third party developers with applications offering direct messaging functionality can update their applications in advance of July.

How it is going to help brands?

Earlier, Twitter made it possible for users to accept DMs from any other Twitter user without following them. It was really a great advantage for the brands as they could spread the word to users even if they were not following the specific brand. 

At the end of the day... Brands will finally be in a position to provide the same type of customer support through Twitter that they currently provide through email.


Last August, Google released its website phone call tracking feature, Website Call Conversions. This feature allows marketers to track website visitors from AdWords’ paid listings with call tracking phone numbers dynamically inserted onto web pages. Most importantly, the phone calls are tracked to the keyword level.

We usually don’t go out on the “bleeding edge” with new features, preferring to let others work out the bugs and issues. However, the ability to track phone calls to the keyword level promised to help us optimize lead generation campaigns for clients where phone calls are the highest volume conversion type.

Google’s site call tracking is giving us much more conversion data to the keyword and ad level helping us generate more leads at a lower cost per lead for our clients.

adwords call tracking

How Google’s Site Call Tracking Works

There are a number of call tracking systems available similar to Google’s. Like Google’s site call tracking, it dynamically changes phone numbers on web pages if the visitor came to the site from a traffic source we are tracking, such as from a paid search ad on Google.

However, that system can require many phone lines to track phone calls to the keyword level, which can be both costly and cumbersome. There’s no extra charge for Google’s site call tracking, and while it is more complicated to implement than most AdWords conversion tracking.

Google’s Website Call Conversions Is Not For Every Web Marketer

Google’s website call tracking may not be right for every web marketer. Here are some key differences between it and some of the other available third-party tracking systems.

  • Only tracks traffic from Google AdWords - Google’s Website Call tracking only tracks calls generated from Google’s AdWords search engine advertising network. Most of the third-party call tracking systems can track calls generated from many traffic sources, including other search engine advertising networks, organic search traffic, and traffic from other referral sites.
  • Only one phone number can be changed on a page - As mentioned above, currently Google’s website call tracking can only change one phone number per page (It can change the same phone number in multiple locations on the page, however).
  • No Caller IDs - Google does not show you the Caller ID of any calls tracked. Some of the available third-party tracking systems show any Caller ID info that’s available. Google does show the area codes of the callers in the AdWords Dimensions Report.
  • Phone Numbers Are Yours Only Temporarily - The tracking phone numbers Google uses are only yours temporarily. The phone numbers Google uses will remain yours for up to 90 days. One of the Googlers in the implementation team said they remain yours for as long as the tracking cookie is set. You can change the cookie duration when you setup the AdWords Website Call Conversion from the 30 day default up to 60 days. With most-third party call tracking systems, you keep the same phone numbers as long as you continue using the service. Some will even let you buy the phone numbers if you decide to stop using the service.
  • Phone calls cannot be recorded - Google does not offer call recording as many of the third-party tracking systems do. Call recording can be a valuable sales and marketing tool.

While Google’s Website Call Conversions may not fit every marketer’s needs, many will find this no charge feature — with its relative ease of implementation and the ability to track phone calls to the keyword level — extremely valuable.

That's it for this month's SEO Update

Stay up on all the trending SEO news by catching up on our previous Internet Marketing posts! 

Jonathan Hinshaw

Post Date:
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

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