BlogWatch - Pigeon Update, Keyword Rich Links and Dynamic PPC Sitelinks.
Okay, so it's not a Google-sanctioned name, but for a local-focused algorithm update, it's a pretty good one. This new update looks to be boosting local directory sites - helping out Yelp in the US, but also other directories, when looking up a city-specific query.
Before the update, searching for '[restaurant] yelp' in Google would likely get you the restaurant's website first, and then the Yelp listing. Now, the restaurant's website comes after any and all Yelp listings. The same seems to be happening with hotels websites, which is another knock to our SEO efforts.
In a great post, a YouMoz member is explaining how she managed to get her website back into Google SERPs in a matter of hours, with the use of social media and Webmaster Tools. Obviously the reason for the de-indexation was a particular one and these results would probably not happen for just any kind of issue, but it's an excellent read nonetheless.
Carousels are a continuously popular web design element that many of our clients use. This article explains in a few short and excellent points why carousels are most of the time a bad idea, as they cause SEO, CRO and usability issues. This article also links to http://shouldiuseacarousel.com/, which does a great job at showing stats, as well as demonstrate how irritating carousels can be.
Google Analytics may not be part of our SEO fundamentals training programme, but knowing how it works can help when looking for issues with clients' websites. This article is clear and simple and explains the basics - visits, recurring/new, time on site, and bounce rate. It's the first part of a series of articles I'd recommend keeping an eye on if you want to know more about Analytics.
In the video there are four key messages beyond the typical Cutts statements about being excellent:
1. The era of shortcuts to quick rankings is over
2. Link building is not dead - discouraging online marketers from links would be similar to discouraging PR professionals from pursuing press mentions
3. Cutts refers to links as your "online reputation"- we need to monitor and guide this conversation
4. Creativity will beat out any tool, product, or service- be willing to invest sweat, hard work, creativity, experience, and human caring
User friendly hyperlinks are ones that communicate to the user what the link was about and what to expect when they clicked it. That means, a keyword rich anchor text link that describes the page it is linking to. Usability advocate says that keyword rich anchor texts "is usability 101. Google knows this." Could this just be a case of 'developers don't know SEO' again or is she onto something?
Building genuinely powerful and authoritative links isn't easy. Sure, there are tons of ways to build links, but how many of these techniques actually enable you to gain real editorial mentions from top tier websites? Matthew Barby goes into detail on the approach he takes to get results from press request link building (in a way that can be scaled).
A great blogger outreach campaign would:
1. Select the best personas for the campaign - if you're trying to promote a relay race, for example, you don't just target "running bloggers". You'd target mum blogs who talked about getting in shape, or a beer blogger who talked about running to justify beer
2. Give their personas the VIP treatment- other than giveaways or sponsorships, you can flatter them and promote their blogs as well
3. Have a clear and fun campaign Examples that illustrate these abstract principles.
Google have introduced dynamic sitelinks which are automatically sitelinks that sit below your ad text and look like this:
Clicks on dynamic sitelinks are FREE as Google say they are always looking for ways to add value to campaign performance and will endeavour to show dynamic sitelinks relevant to a user's search behaviour. It is recommended that you continually optimise your sitelinks and if your client has specific promotions they want to push you can always disable dynamic sitelinks to ensure the regular ones run. It's believed that Google could have introduced this feature because a lot of small business do not bother with sitelinks as there's extra work involved. The benefit of including sitelinks is an increase in ad rank and quality score thus improving your CTR and ad rank.
2 days to go until PLA's retire!!! Shiny new upgraded Shopping campaigns will take their place - all our clients have been upgraded. The good news is that Google have introduced a bulk upload feature which allows us to download reports, edit bids and destination url changes using bulk uploads. A new version of Adwords Editor has also been released where you can edit bids and destination URLs for individual product groups at scale.
Twitter have just launched Organic Tweet Analytics - a new dashboard which will show you how your organic tweets are performing in real time. You can compare impressions see how many engagements your tweets have and export tweet performance metrics.
This is great news for paid social as we can use this data to inform which tweets should be promoted and reap the benefits. Loving this feature!
I have been a fan of Keep.com for a while now, its sleek interface and 'no kittens, no crafts' approach to social styling and product discovery is a refreshing change to the sometimes cluttered Pinterest. But far from a standard discovery or shopping site, Keep is a smart social solution to a big ecommerce challenge, abandoned shopping carts. Keep has now launched OneCart as part of its app. A service that allows users to keep, (similar to Pinning) items in their cart from across the web and check out on everything with just one click. A simplified purchase process for socially savvy style lovers yes, but as this piece in Wired asks, will this work across all sectors and verticals?