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The Panda/Farmer algorithm update has been rolled out to English language regions as of Monday and a recent analysis reveals some UK sites have been hit. Read more
This isn’t going to be a rant about how my rankings have dropped since an algorithm update or a rant about Google are shifting goal posts… No, to be honest I haven’t been negatively affected by Google in this way. Nonetheless, this is still a rant, but one with a little more merit than just simply moaning about poor results.
Since launching the new search engine Bing has certainly made an impact and provided searchers with more choice when it comes to searching online. There are a number of factors which makes Bing individual and unique but one of the most notable differences are the amazing images which are shown on the search engines’ Home page everyday.
The stunning and breath-taking flora, fauna and geographical photographs, are of images from around the World. The photographs are definitely a bright way to start your day and will be sure to put a smile on your face or kick start a conversation in your office. The high quality photography really gives you a sense of being there and viewing it with your own eyes.
Google sneak in a blue arrow allowing users to tab through results without having to click on results, making top spot even stronger and PPC ads eminently more clickable.
As part of the ongoing Google Instant updates, the search engine overlord has introduced a subtle yet interesting addition to its SERPs – a scrolling arrow. So rather than navigating between keyboard and mouse mid-search, you can simply use a combination of the up, down and enter keys to get to the result you want.
I can’t take credit for this find; Malcolm Coles first highlighted it this morning on his blog [see: Google Instant keyboard navigation increases likelihood of clicking PPC ads], however it does throw up some interesting issues – not least the potential impact on PPC advertisers. You see, the blue arrow is automatically positioned on the first link on any particular page. So whether that’s the local listing, organic result or a sponsored link, if a user simply presses enter they will be taken directly to your site.
With the SearchLove conference already at the halfway stage, here’s my quick review of the first day; covering speeches from Rand Fishkin, Joost De Valk, Rob Ousbey, Wil Reynolds, Mat Clayton, Joanna Lord as well as Will and Tom Critchlow.
First Google siphoned off keyword data from Analytics, with (not provided) becoming the top referring term for many site owners overnight. Now Mozilla are getting involved, with their Firefox browser encrypting search queries behind a HTTPS connection. So what does this mean for Analytics users?
There has been a lot of fuss about the fact that Wikipedia has achieved a first page ranking for 99% of terms (within a sample of 1,000 queries) in recent weeks. Intelligent Positioning were the first to expose this, before Econsultancy and a swarm of industry blogs jumped all over it. But what’s the problem?
To be fair, the posts I’ve mentioned and linked to here don’t explicitly suggest that this is part of a wider conspiracy to give Wikipedia an unfair advantage. But as with many SEO investigations, there is an underlying assumption that this is somehow wrong or surprising. In my opinion, it is neither.
What have JC Penney, Forbes and Overstock got in common? Well, in the eyes of Google they have all been penalised for gaining artificial rankings through linking irregularities. However is there a distinct difference between what their latest victim, Overstock, has done in comparison to the former two companies?
What were Overstock accused of doing?
According to the Wall Street Journal, Overstock were perceived to be ‘gaming’ Google by artificially boosting their rankings. They did this by encouraging US Colleges and Universities to link to their site, in return Overstock were incentivising the educational institutions with a 10% discount for students and employees.
Last week I attended the Spring Symposium with MarkMonitor at the Museum of London, where the main topic of discussion is brands and how to protect your brand online.
Some very interesting presentations and a lot of the information was new to me, having not worked directly on a site that would suffer with counterfeit products being sold on domains pretending to be the actual brand.
What I want to discuss in my post here though is one area that really caught my attention; the expansion of new Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs). gTLDs will allow companies to turn their brands into domains (.brand/company name). They will also allow companies to create broad product groups like .finance, .bank or .shop.
The internet industry are calling gTLDs ‘dotBrand’ and are set to fundamentally change the internet and how websites do business online.