Originally at https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/03/18/six-of-the-most-interesting-sem-news-stories-of-the-week-5/

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 SHOCK HORROR loads of updates both good and confusing from Google, plus one or two other stats and related social news. Oh and a running gag that loses its steam halfway through. What a week!

Google strengthening its mobile friendly algorithm

As we reported yesterday, Google is strengthening its mobile friendly ranking signal.

Since April last year, if you’ve not been offering a mobile optimised version of your website you may well have suffered a drop in rankings, although many experts believed the initial change in the signal led to fairly negligible results.

However from May 2016, Google will step up the pressure on non-optimised sites by strengthening its algorithm. You have less than two months to comply!

Or something that sounds less like a threat from Robocop. Actually maybe that is a good analogy.


Google issues guidelines on bloggers and links for freebies

As Graham Charlton reported late last Friday, Google has issued guidelines for bloggers who receive free products from companies.

Google’s advice is that bloggers should ‘nofollow’ any links to products that they may have received as a free gift, as these haven’t been obtained organically through honest-to-goodness link-earning.

It seems straightforward enough, Google doesn’t like any link-building scheme that involves the exchange of money or a like-for-like link placement. Plus the word ‘scheme’ just sounds a bit sordid anyway.

Unfortunately this raises all kinds of questions and only spreads the ‘grey area’ even further around the SEO landscape. Or something…

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