First it was Mozilla, then BBC & Now sprint has been hit by Google’s user generated content spam penalty. Mozilla was the first to get message from Google with user-generated spam on the site. This kind of spam is found on guestbook pages, forum pages, user profiles. This resulted in Google applying a manual spam action to the site. The entire site was not hit by spam penalty. Comment spam is one such spam area where Google is looking for UGC spam.
Then BBC was sent a notice of detected unnatural links. With such a big site like BBC & so many pages, it would be difficult to find out the spammy pages & remove. Sprint, the US telecom company has also been hit by UGC spam penalty now. Google usually applies Granular penalty to the pages
Google has said that publishers should talk to volunteers in the forums on how to avoid the penalty & also to overcome the problem. Google has 2 types of penalties. Manual & Algorithmic Both the penalties affect the ranking in the Google & also might affect traffic. Many sites have communities, forums & groups to discuss about the products, services & others. Google Groups is the best place to discuss issues related to UGC & overcoming the penalty.
Bing webmaster guidelines provide guidance on links, SEO, social media, content & others. These can be accessed under the content guidelines section. Technical part covers robots.txt, sitemap, site technology, redirects & others. It calls out to avoid cloaking, link schemes, social media schemes & duplicate content. They have also introduced Bing webmaster webinars covering different topics during Nov to Feb. More information about the webinars can be found here. From an SEO point of view, it covers all the major important issues.404 pages best practices is also included covering no advt, page returns a 404 status code & smart 404 pages.
The new Bing has a three column design with Core Search, Snapshot & Sidebar panes. Core Search contains core web results which will help get results easier without cluttering it with social updates. Snapshot is the center column. It is between the web results on the left and the new sidebar on the right. Snapshot has info and services related to your search along with maps, reviews & others. This helps the users to take the intended actions. Sidebar is all about social information with info from friends, experts & others. Social results which were in core part have been completely moved to sidebar. You can even ask friends, experts and others from sites like Twitter, Foursquare, Quora & others to what they are saying about the search. This is a great search interface which will take search to the next level. With the rise of social media, social results appearing along with main search results has changed search results. More info can be had at Bing Community.
Image optimization for SEO plays an important role in ranking of the site & also traffic. Some of the important steps in Image optimization are
1) use the Right sized image as it helps load the site faster
2) Use keyword rich alt text.
3) text surrounding the text should be also keyword rich as it helps search engines rank it easily.
4) Also png files should be used. GIF & JPEG takes more time to load & this may affect the ranking.
5) Also try to get links from external sites to the images. This helps in backlinks.
6) Providing a HTML embed code will help spread the images virally.
Google, the search giant, is not only the leader in search market share abut also the leader in internet Traffic. Google now accounts for 6.4% of the total internet traffic. This is a huge figure as it billions of people are online & google is the leader with all this traffic. There is only one global ISP which gets more traffic. Internet is growing at a rapid pace with increasing speed. People want information very quickly & all they do is google it. This in turn gives Google a pie of the internet traffic. Google also had a record revenue in the last quarter. If Google also gets its social media right, then this number will increase significantly.