Report: Customer satisfaction with search drops, in social Google+ beats Facebook

Earlier this week the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released its “e-business” report. The category includes search, social media and news and information sites. Social media held steady, while the search and online news sectors declined vs. last year.

In the aggregate “search engines” dropped in customer satisfaction by 1.3 points. Microsoft properties (MSN, Bing) suffered the largest declines vs. 2016 of 4 and 3 points respectively. Google was off two points compared to last year.

The best score Google has received, since measurement began in 2002, is 86 (out of 100). The first year ACSI measured Google satisfaction it received a score of 80.

Social media as a category was stable; however there was movement among the individual players. Surprisingly, Google+ captured the highest satisfaction level of the group, with 81 points. The report attributes this to its redesign and the addition of new features.

Pinterest gained two points to capture the second highest score (78). Twitter, however, was the biggest gainer and surpassed Facebook. Of the sites measured, LinkedIn had the lowest score of 65, though it didn’t lose ground vs. last year. Snapchat was not measured.

The report is based on consumer survey data (n=4,978) and other inputs. Lower satisfaction levels for mobile performance appear to be the source of some of the lower scores in the search category, although there’s no in-depth reporting on mobile vs. desktop satisfaction.

In response to the inevitable “why does it matter?” question, representatives of the ACSI have told me in the past that customer satisfaction scores are predictive of future performance and success.

While that may be true in the US economy overall, changes in ACSI e-business scores have historically not translated into near-term market share gains or losses.

Google My Business drops ability to edit business description field

Google has removed the ability for businesses to edit their introduction/description field in the Google My Business portal. Google posted a note about this in the featured document.

This feature was removed on August 1, 2016, and Google wrote:

The Introduction/Description field is no longer editable in Google My Business. It only displays to users in Google+, and may still be edited there. Editing of attributes, coming soon to all Google My Business views, will be an improved way to describe your business to users on Google Search and Maps.

I checked my Google+ profile for my company, and this is the introductory section:

Some say this was removed because businesses used it to stuff spam and keywords in the field.

This has not been shown on Google Maps or the Google local knowledge box for some time now. But now you can no longer edit it in the Google My Business portal. Google said you can edit it in Google+.

Postscript: Some have been asking how they can now edit this information on Google+. All you need to do is go to and edit your story. Here are more details.

Getting Social With Search Engine Land: Our Most Engaging Stories Of 2015

Well readers, if you can even believe it, the year will be over in a mere 48-ish hours, and as it ends, 2016 will begin. It seems like just yesterday, experts were casting predictions for what 2015 would hold for the world of search. If we have learned anything over the past 12 months (and surely, we have learned a lot!), it is that time moves pretty dang fast. (Hello? 2016, already?!) But it’s not just time that moves quickly. It’s technology. And every year, its pace seems to double.

Yes, one of the most remarkable things about our industry surely is the incredible speed at which it evolves. New platforms, channels, tools and tactics emerge every single day, and it’s our job as cutting-edge professionals to stay as up to speed as possible. Daily digests like our SearchCap and Marketing Day can help keep us abreast of search, social and all-around digital marketing news as it happens, but as we enter into a new year, it can be insightful and inspiring to zoom waaaaay out and take a look at the stories our readers found most fascinating over the past 12 months.

This particular roundup, part of our annual year-in-review coverage, looks at the Search Engine Land stories that generated the most social engagement on Facebook and Twitter, that is, the most combined likes, favorites, shares, comments, retweets, replies — you name it, it was tallied. (We tip our hat to Simply Measured, a social analytics platform we used to gather these metrics!)

So, without further ado….

Search Engine Land’s Most Social Tweets Of 2015

For Twitter, total engagement points are defined as combined likes (favorites), retweets and replies. 

1. Research Reveals What It Takes To Rank In Mobile Search Results by Jayson DeMers, 10/20/15 – 202 engagement points

Research Reveals What It Takes To Rank In Mobile Search Results by @JaysonDeMers

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) October 20, 2015

2. FAQ: All About The New Google RankBrain Algorithm by Danny Sullivan, 10/27/15 – 164 engagement points

FAQ: All About The New Google RankBrain Algorithm by @dannysullivan #google #SEO

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) October 27, 2015

3. Site Redesign & Migration Tips To Avoid SEO & UX Disasters by Modestos Siotos, 12/8/15 – 164 engagement points

Site Redesign & Migration Tips To Avoid #SEO & #UX Disasters by @Modestos_

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) December 8, 2015

4. Google Testing “Slow To Load” Warning Label In Mobile Search Results by Barry Schwartz, 6/15/15 – 145 engagement points

Google is testing a "Slow to load" yellow sign in mobile search results.

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) June 15, 2015

5. Mobilegeddon Checklist: How To Prepare For Today’s Google Mobile Friendly Update by Barry Schwartz, 4/21/15 – 142 engagement points

Mobilegeddon Checklist: How To Prepare For Today's Google Mobile Friendly Update by @RustyBrick #Mobilegeddon

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) April 21, 2015

6. Keywords Are Back For Google Shopping Campaigns! by Daniel Gilbert, 9/23/15 – 133 engagement points

.@danielgilbert44 shares a new @adwords script for managing Google Shopping campaigns with keywords:

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) September 23, 2015

7. Google Panda 4.2 Is Here; Slowly Rolling Out After Waiting Almost 10 Months by Barry Schwartz, 7/22/15 – 132 engagement points

Google Panda 4.2 Is Here; Slowly Rolling Out After Waiting Almost 10 Months by @rustybrick

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) July 22, 2015

8. The 7 Characteristics That Can Make A Link “Bad” For SEO by Jayson DeMers, 12/14/15 – 131 engagement points

These 7 characteristics can make a link "bad" for #SEO, says @JaysonDeMers:

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) December 15, 2015

9. Infographic: Mobile SEO Tips To Help You Survive The Coming Google Mobilegeddon, 4/7/15 – 127 engagement points

Infographic: #Mobile #SEO Tips To Help You Survive The Coming @Google Mopocalypse

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) April 7, 2015

10. DuckDuckGo Surpasses 10 Million Daily Queries  by Barry Schwartz, 6/23/15 – 124 engagement points

.@DuckDuckGo hit a major milestone – 10 million daily queries:

— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) June 23, 2015

Search Engine Land’s Most Social Facebook Posts Of 2015

For Facebook, total engagement points are defined as combined likes, comments and shares. 

1. Google Is Hiring An SEO Manager To Improve Its Rankings In Google, 7/15/15 – 1061 engagement points

2. Google Files Suit Against SEO Firm Accused Of Robocalling, Launches Complaint Center For Users, 9/16/15 – 1017 engagement points

3. Google Releases The Full Version Of Their Search Quality Rating Guidelines, 11/19/15 – 1017 engagement points

4. It’s Official: Google Says More Searches Now On Mobile Than On Desktop, 5/5/15 – 901 engagement points

5. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update Is Rolling Out Right Now, 4/21/15 – 703 engagement points

6. Google To Begin To Index HTTPS Pages First, Before HTTP Pages When Possible, 12/17/15 – 690 engagement points

7. Is “Facebook Professional Services” Facebook’s Stealth Project To Beat Yelp? 12/15/15 – 672 engagement points

8. FAQ: All About The New Google RankBrain Algorithm, 10/27/15 – 637 engagement points

9. Worldwide, More Than Half Of Google’s Searches Happen On Mobile, 10/9/15 – 594 engagement points

10. Google Search Algorithm Adds Mobile-Friendly Factors & App Indexing To Ranking, 2/26/15 – 523 engagement points

Until next year!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Google+ Follower Counts In Search Ads Sunset

Social proof in the form of ratings and reviews has trumped follower counts. In Google search ads, anyway.

Social ad extensions, which automatically displayed an advertiser’s Google+ follower counts in AdWords text ads, will stop showing as of December 10, 2015, according to an update in the AdWords help center.

Google extensions first came to AdWords in 2011 and had to be set up at the campaign level. With enhanced campaigns, they became automated, thus technically becoming annotations rather than ad extensions.

Sunsetting social extensions marks yet another peel-back of the Google+ layering that spread across Google products after Google+ rolled out.

The move is also a sign that newer AdWords extensions and annotations appear to have supplanted whatever click-through advantage social extensions provided. Seller ratings, with their eye-catching stars, continue to be a mainstay, and we now also have consumer ratings annotations that highlight feedback on specific features of a business, as shown in the ad below.

Starting tomorrow, these ads will no longer include the number of followers the companies have on Google+. I think we can say the era of showcasing Google+ in search ads is a thing of the past, with few businesses likely to use callout or sitelink extensions to highlight that social presence.

How To Get Google Review Links After The G+ Update

If you play in the Local arena at all, you’ve probably seen the new Google Plus update and freaked out along with the rest of us. The redesign has completely dumped every “local” element, leaving marketers and business owners scratching their heads.

Various blog posts and forum discussions popped up, with everyone freaking out about lamenting the updates. Is the update still in beta? Will any elements be added back? What about reviews? Where in the world *IS* Carmen Sandiego?

Thanks to a recent post on the Google Advertiser Communities site from Matma B., we now know that Local pages are no longer a part of Google Plus, and the following features are no longer supported:

Reviews (more on this in a minute)StarsCategoriesDirectionsPhoto uploadsInterior photosMapsHoursOpentable/app integration

The change isn’t all that surprising, considering how Google has slowly been decoupling Google Plus from all of its different properties. Most Local SEO experts agree this won’t have much (if any) impact on the general public. The only people who ever really visited Google Plus pages were business owners and SEOs.

The general public will now interact with your local business information either in the knowledge box on the right side of brand searches or on the new Local Finder page (after clicking on a 3-pack result). Your new Google business listing page is simply your Google Maps listing.

How To Give Customers A Link For Reviews

The only real shakeup with this update is the fact that the links we’ve been using for customer reviews will be broken. Since reviews aren’t a part of the Google Plus experience anymore, you can’t send customers there to leave reviews. Even worse, everyone’s favorite auto-pop-up-review-box trick (adding &review=1 to the URL) doesn’t work anymore, either.

All of the Local SEO experts started tinkering… links that popped up review boxes worked, but only if a user is signed in to Google. Other links worked regardless of being signed in, but only on desktop. After testing several different variations, a few people created automated tools to assist with review link generation. pushed out the tool that we’ve been using for all of our clients (and recommending to everyone). Head over to their Review Link Generator and follow these steps:

Once you land on the page, it’s a simple process. Just enter the name of your business and your ZIP code, and click the “Get Google Review Links” button. The system will search all active listings, then provide a list of possible matches.

Obviously, you’ll want to choose the option that matches your business. In most test cases, we’ve only seen a single option — but expect to see several to choose from if you’re a multi-location business with several locations in the same city.

The system will then spit out a list of five links. Copy the second link, and use that one on your site (or emails) to let customers leave you a review. If you want to get more advanced, you could use a script to detect the operating system being used to serve up the appropriate link, whether a user is on a desktop, Android or iOS.

Now you’ll be able to update your “leave us a review” link on your site, and the rest of the Google Plus update won’t really have much of an effect on your business.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Google To Shutter Orphaned Google+ Pages Next Week (July 28)

Google is going to “unverify” inactive Google+ local pages. Business pages that have not been claimed or with unresponsive owners are effectively going to be shut down on July 28.

This is part of a general clean-up of unclaimed or dormant pages/listings. Blog author Mike Blumenthal has also asserted that the move “is a final step in separating local from Plus.” Indeed, it would appear to be part of the larger move away from Google+.

Here’s an excerpt from a Google email that has been circulating in local forums and local search blogs:

In the past few months, you may have seen some changes in the look of Google+ pages that have been associated with Google My Business (GMB) accounts. These changes, including how we treat business pages without owners, are part of Google’s ongoing effort to simplify people’s experience with our tools. We are constantly working to provide only valuable and rich content to our users.

On July 28, Google will begin shutting down those GMB-associated Google+ pages that have not been associated with user accounts and are also not verified. You may find that some of your Business View tours also sit on such pages, but note that after this removal of unverified Google+ pages, the Business View tours will still remain available on Google Maps and Google Search.

Unclaimed Google+ pages are not good for the product or for users. In addition, Google is creating incentives here for people to claim their listings and actively engage with Google My Business.

Some folks are celebrating the move (Phil Rozek):

“To me this just seems to be more a long-overdue house cleaning . . . “

But others (Joy Hawkins) have raised concerns it will make the work of local SEOs harder:

Am I the only one thinking that this will actually make our (SEOs) jobs harder? For me, the unverified pages show me insight into bad NAP or things I need to fix for clients. Without that insight I feel like diagnosing is just about to get harder…

Here’s what the Google Maps team recommends:

Encourage your business customers to verify their listings if they wish to retain their Google My Business page . . .

If a business owner decides later that they would like to have a Google My Business page, please advise them to create a new page and verify their listing. The Business View virtual tour can be then transferred to the new verified listing. Please log a case to our support teams to request that images for your business customer be forwarded to the new GMB page.

Please point your business customer to their images in Google Maps.

Do you agree this is a welcome development? Do you think, as Mike Blumenthal suggests, that this is a final uncoupling of Google+ and local search?

In 2012, Google sought to make Google+ what I then called “the center of gravity for local search.” That era would now appear to be over.

Google+ Brand Posts Have Been Stripped From Knowledge Graph Cards

This week Google’s  Knowledge Graph cards became a little less social. The Knowledge Cards had previously displayed recent Google+ posts of many brands, something that was discontinued last week.

According to a Google spokesperson the Google+ posts were removed from Knowledge Graph cards in search results in order to provide more consistency. Google+ supporters shouldn’t be disheartened though, Google+ posts will appear within the search results page – just not the Knowledge Cards. This places the Google+ posts  along with tweets and other publicly crawlable links in the same fashion as any other social network. It was confirmed that this change officially went live last week.

Google+ Posts Previously Showing

Google+ Posts No Longer Showing

The change of integrating Google+ similarly to other networks has been in place for awhile now. In January Google began tying other Social profiles into the Knowledge Graph cards and earlier this year Google decreased promotion of the service.

The Google+ posts in the Knowledge Graph were still a boon for many marketers who were active on Google+. Ad extensions and Google+ follower information is still displaying for AdWords ads, this change is for the Knowledge Graph only.

Hat/tip to SEMPost .

The Evolution Of SEO Trends Over 25 Years

In the beginning, there was light. Chances are, as the first signs of SEO emerged alongside the dawn of the Internet, few would have predicted the vast impact it would have on daily life such a short time later.

After only a quarter century, SEO has evolved from the simplicity of a single-celled organism into a living, breathing, and adaptive structure used to create valuable and relevant relationships. Today, SEO connects a generation of knowledge-hungry individuals to targeted information through a network of personalized, accessible, and engaging content media.

To intelligently predict the future of SEO, it is essential to first understand the trends that have emerged over time.

First Signs Of Life (1991 – 2002)

On August 6, 1991, Tim Berners-Lee launched the world’s first website, which is still live today. Over the years to come, many more websites emerged offering users information with bare-bones usability and optimization.

Eventually, as websites crowded the Internet, the first search engines filled a need for structure and accessibility. Search platforms like Excite revolutionized how information was cataloged in 1993, and made finding information easier by sorting results based on keywords found within content and backend optimization.

Shortly thereafter, major competitors like Yahoo (1994) and Google (1997) entered the scene to improve and simplify how data is indexed and delivered.

In this primitive stage of SEO, anything goes. Marketers would leverage keyword stuffing, excessive tagging, and (often spammy) backlinks to generate high rankings in search. Often, major algorithm updates would take several months to complete, allowing black-hat SEO tactics to remain effective for long stretches of time.

Future search giants like Google began to see the opportunities for connecting users to more valuable content and worked to implement the rules and regulations of the Internet we have in place today.

The Early Days (2003 – 2005)

In the wake of unethical optimization tactics, Google took charge on developing a more level playing field for brands and content producers to earn rankings. This period brought many updates that penalized bad linking practices and keyword stuffing to improve indexing.

In a continued effort to improve the value and relevancy of results, search engines offered a first glimpse at personalized search based on user history. Additionally, the birth of local SEO helped connect users with valuable information near them such as maps, locations, store hours, and mobile results.

In this era, marketing focused heavily on generating inbound links to increase search exposure. Google’s motto of “don’t be evil” is evident through its attempts to regulate search results and ensure brands earn results with ethical practices. Overall, this period built the foundation for a more personalized and user-focused web.

The Middle Ages (2006 – 2009)

Recent trends in search and user behavior influenced the need for a more reactive search experience. This period ushered in features like Google’s Universal Search to offer more engaging content media in search results such as news, images, and video. Real-time updates from Google News, Twitter, and newly-indexed content blended the need for optimization with timely, user-focused content.

In 2008, Google Suggest was launched to improve usability and offer users more relevant content by displaying suggested search options based on historical data. This shift, paired with new user insights from keyword research tools, Google Trends, and Google Analytics, made optimization much more focused and targeted.

This user-focused approach to SEO helped lay the foundation for a more captivating and personalized web. Marketers began optimizing new content media for search to increase exposure. They focused on user intent and expanded usability as the need for instant gratification became more apparent.

The Enlightenment (2010 – 2012)

A massive change in SEO occurred, forcing brands to earn rankings through quality, user-focused content or face penalties in search.

Major updates from Google enforced stricter regulations on keywords, content quality, and over-optimization. This significantly impacted how results were indexed. Brands who did not comply with new regulations, like J.C. Penney and Overstock, had their names dragged through the streets to set an example.

Along with new regulations came new search features that targeted the growing expansion of curiosity, accessibility, and social connections among users. New features like Google’s Knowledge Graph rolled out to include panels in search engine results pages (SERPs) that offer immediate answers without the need for users to dig through content.

Improved localized SEO results were listed directly in SERPs to organize all local information and offer new advertising opportunities. Google Instant expanded on Google Suggest to provide faster results and improve user experience by displaying results as a query is being typed.

Additionally, a generation of growing social media influence brought social results to search as a driving force. In this period, Google+ was born along with the +1 button, both of which played a significant factor in boosting content visibility.

To successfully optimize a website, marketers developed valuable and shareable content focused toward users. Content that was shared throughout the web and social media created valuable backlinks and engagement that built authority. These trends lead to the dawn of the information age — the fast-paced, personalized, and more engaging web we know today.

The Modern Ages (2013 – Present)

Today, we find ourselves at a crossroads. There is an apparent struggle between personalization and privacy.

As major search and social powerhouses construct a digital environment optimized around user intent, we hear users cry for security and less invasive marketing tactics.

Brands like Google leverage user data to develop their own digital presence by personalizing results based on history, location, and device. This same data is often hidden from marketers and creates a catch-22 that requires a more creative approach to generate engagement through content optimization.

This era of SEO brought on another shift towards relevant content and accessibility with mobile and local search. Today, websites lacking mobile optimization or responsive design have lost search visibility in Google.

Segmented content, optimized for device and user intent, offers the greatest opportunity to increase search authority by building relationships, leveraging long-tail keywords, and building links. Today, the Internet demands personalization and quality content to be competitive.

The Future

There are few things we know for certain about the future of SEO, but without a doubt, we can expect to see a more niche and focused experience built around user intent and high quality, unique content.

The Internet is transforming to offer more personalized, instant gratification. Users want search results to offer an immediate contextual understanding with minimal effort. Smart tech and wearable gadgets show a trend in being constantly connected and predictive content solutions.

SEO will continue to evolve and fill this need, possibly by leveraging data from external platforms to personalize search and offer additional value. Prepare your brand for this shift by optimizing new kinds of content (such as in-app content) around how users search. Drive exposure and engagement with concise and direct content, optimized for user intent.

Most likely, SEO will be fully integrated into all assets Google can access and should be a first thought to any online content. Marketers will need to develop a strong, consistent brand presence across all digital channels and maintain social influence.

Experiment with visual content media as trends show a preference amongst users that search engines will soon follow. Ensure your content is accessible from anywhere and well optimized for local, mobile and even voice-enabled search. Take educated risks; your creativity and curiosity will be rewarded.

Perhaps the best way to plan for the evolution of SEO is to not cut corners. Trends over the last 25 years show the importance of demonstrating ethical optimization techniques and building relationships with users and content creators. As SEO develops, we can expect to see more regulations and penalties for any questionable practices.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

The Social Side Of Search Engine Land: Our Top 25 Most Shared Stories Of 2014

Well, dear readers, here we are! The last day of 2014 has arrived, and in a few short hours (depending on your timezone), the New Year will unfold before us.

Whether you’ve been following along with our news stories for the past 12 months or quickly brought yourself up to speed with our ongoing Most Popular Stories series here on Search Engine Land, you’ve no doubt noticed that this year has been a pretty eventful one for our industry. (Understatement of the century?)

Over the past few days, we’ve explored the year’s most popular SEO evolutions, paid search articles, link building lessons, and everything in between. Now, however, we want to shift the focus a bit, zoom out to a bigger picture, and head over to the social side of things.

A fascinating takeaway from our SMX conference series this year was the concept of a hierarchy of social engagement. Within this hierarchy, likes and favorites are treated as “pretty cool,” comments are considered better, and shares are regarded as a supreme achievement.

Put simply, shares are where it’s at. More than likes and comments, they serve to validate that the content you’ve created is worth something, so much so that people feel compelled to, well, share it with their personal circle of contacts. That’s amazing.

So, across the invaluable cornerstones of our work and our professional lives — SEO, SEM, links, etc. — which stories did you, our readers, share the most?

Let’s find out…

Search Engine Land’s Most Shared Stories Of 2014

    It’s Over: The Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship For Search Results by Eric Enge. Published on 8/28/14. 13.6K shares across all platforms.Google Releases Penguin 3.0 — First Penguin Update In Over A Year by Barry Schwartz. Published on 10/19/14. 9.1K social shares across all platforms.Experiment Shows Up To 60% Of “Direct” Traffic Is Actually Organic Search by Gene McKenna. Published on 5/8/14. 5.3K shares across all platforms.Facebook Search Finally Lets You Search For Posts Again by Martin Beck. Published on 12/8/14. 4.5K social shares across all platforms.Google Analytics Rolls Out New Tag Manager Tools by Amy Gesenhues. Published on 10/15/14. 4.4K social shares across all platforms.Google Starts Giving A Ranking Boost To Secure HTTPS/SSL Sites by Barry Schwartz. Published on 8/7/14. 4K social shares across all platforms.How To Write A Meta Description That Gets Click-Throughs by Neil Patel. Published on 11/26/14. 3.7K social shares across all platforms.How To Win At SEO & Content Marketing In 2015 by Nate Dame. Published on 11/7/14. 3.6K social shares across all platforms.37 Awesome Tools To Get The Most From Your SEO Campaigns by Matthew Barby. Published on 11/5/14. 3.1K shares across all platforms.Pinterest SEO: 7 Tips From A Pinterest Engineer [#SMX] by Martin Beck. Published on 10/3/14. 2.8K social shares across all platforms.Google Keyword Planner Now Shows Conversion Estimates by Ginny Marvin. Published on 11/20/14. 2.7K social shares across all platforms.Google Says Penguin To Shift To “Continuous Updates” by Barry Schwartz. Published on 12/20/14. 2.7K social shares across all platforms.Was Your Site Hit By Google’s Panda Or Penguin? This Flowchart May Help You Find Out. by Janet Driscoll Miller. Published on 12/4/14. 2.5K social shares across all platforms.Facebook Launches New Places Directory by Greg Sterling. Published 11/12/14. 2.5K social shares across all platforms.Facebook Drops Bing From Facebook Search Results by Martin Beck. Published on 12/12/14. 2.5K social shares across all platforms.Learning SEO From Google Employees by Chris Marentis. Published on 11/24/14. 2.5K social shares across all platforms.4 Easy & Honest SEO Mistakes That Could Penalize Your Site by Neil Patel. Published on 11/14/14. 2.4K social shares across all platforms.Advanced SEO Experiments: Google’s Title Tag Changes by Tom Schmitz. Published on 4/25/14. 2.4K shares across all platforms.These 10 Analytics Reports Will Improve Your AdWords Results by Frederick Vallaeys. Published on 8/13/14. 2.3K shares across all platforms.Simple Tips To Set The Stage For Local SEO In 2015 by Greg Gifford. Published on 11/10/14. 2.3K social shares across all platforms.The 4 Hardest Parts Of SEO by Eric Enge. Published on 12/8/14. 2.3K social shares across all platforms.Google Analytics Begins To Roll Out New Benchmark Reports by Amy Gesenhues. Published on 9/10/14. 2.2K social shares across all platforms.Google Penguin 3.0: Worldwide Rollout Still In Process, Impacting 1% Of English Queries by Barry Schwartz. Published on 10/21/14. 2.2K social shares across all platforms.The Decade Is Half-Over: Where SEO Has Been & Where It’s Going by Tom Schmitz. Published on 12/5/14. 2.1K social shares across all platforms.4 Revealing Facts About How Consumers Search And Buy Online by Nathan Safran. Published on 4/3/14. 2K social shares across all platforms.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Methodology: For this roundup, we used Social Crawlytics, a free tool that analyzes each URL of a site to show how it’s been shared across top social sites. It’s a super useful tool to capture social plugin data and illuminate how  content resonates socially.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Bug Causes Some Google+ Elements To Drop From Brand Boxes [UPDATED]

Some Google+ elements have disappeared from Knowledge Graph boxes that appear in Google search for some brands, but Google says this is a bug that’s being fixed.

The bug only impacts the Knowledge Graph box appearing on the right side of the search results page. If the brand has a Google+ page, then some Google+ elements are integrated into that box, in particular, a “Recent Posts” section.

For users who aren’t logged into Google, that Recent Posts section no longer shows. Those who are logged-in still see them. Google assures us this is going to return, and that it’s only missing because of a bug that’s being fixed.

In an earlier edition of this story, we said that Follow buttons were also missing for logged-out users. Google tells us those never appeared (and thus, there’s no change in presentation as a result of this bug). Logged-in users still see them.

Our earlier edition also said this was the second pull-back on Google+ integration into search results in as many months. Last month, Google+ authorship display was killed. However, since Google tells us this was a bug, this is more of an isolated incident rather than part of a pattern of removing more of Google+ from search results, it seems.

Postscript: Google tells us that the bug was fixed late Thursday night. And we confirmed that Recent Posts are displaying in brand boxes for signed-out users.