Google Reader

Last week via the Google Reader blog it was announced that Google Reader would be shut down as of 1st July.

The statement said;

usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products.If you want to retain your Reader data, including subscriptions, you can do so through Google Takeout.

This has upset and affected a lot of its current users such as myself! It’s clear that Google want us to be using Google + as a resource for any news feeds we have. However at present there is no way to export your subscription list without doing it manually into G+.

I like many users use Google Reader on a daily basis; it’s the way I get all my news first thing in the morning all in one place.  On the other hand, will we really miss it?

RSS feeds have been around for a long time and how we digest our news has changed, these days people check Twitter for the latest goings on, or follow people/ groups on social media.

But what are the alternatives when Google Reader closes?


Since the announcement that Google Reader is going to close I tried out Feedly and have not been alone with around 500,000 new users signing up for the service in the last few days.

The best feature is the fact that by signing using your Google account all your Google Reader subscriptions transfer over, which is great if you have a large number of subscriptions. The layout is simple and easy to use and it does what Google Reader does and will satisfy most users.


Currently Flipboard is stricty an app for Tablets and smart phones. It uses RSS feeds much like the way Feedly does however it is presented in an aesthetically pleasing way.

By ‘flipping’ between your stories the layout is much like a magazine.  Flipboard presents your information in a cool and interactive way and is a really nice app to use. Its juts a shame that it currently doesn’t have a desktop version however for those times you’re away from your computer this could be the perfect partner. 

 What are you going to use when Google Reader closes down on July 1st?




BBC Penalised by Google

This week we saw Google penalize the BBC news site for having Unnatural Links. It was reported in The Search Engine Roundtable that they had managed to find a BBC News employee who had posted in the Google Help Forums.Nick was looking for advice from Google and fellow SEOs on how to find those unnatural links they were penalised for, so they can then be removed and submitted for reconsideration. Nick wrote:

“I am a representative of the BBC site and on Saturday we got a ‘notice of detected unnatural links’. Given the BBC site is so huge, with so many independently run sub sections, with literally thousands or agents and authors, can you give us a little clue as to where we might look for these ‘unnatural links’.”

New Pinterest layout and Analytics

With the new Pinterest layout being rolled out on Monday, Pinterest decided to include a surprising new feature that would allow Pinterest Analytics to be used. The new layout includes a subtle update of the newsfeed which allows larger images to be shown and a less cluttered.

With the new analytics tool, you can now access statistics of your Pins, Pinners, Repins, Repinners, Impressions, Reach, Clicks and Visitors, this now allows users to identify their most influential followers and engaging content.

ebay dismisses paid search

A story that triggered a lot of discussion last week was eBay’s claims that Google AdWords has little or no impact on traffic or sales. eBay conducted a study on the effectiveness of paid search in which it paused a certain proportion of its ads containing both branded and unbranded keywords. The company claims that the results of the study show that SEM for branded terms are ‘ineffective’ because users click on its organic links. For non-branded keywords, eBay only found a marginal impact on traffic, stating that:

Large firms like eBay with powerful brands will see little benefit from paid search advertising because most consumers already know that they exist, as well as what they have to offer.

eBay’s indictment of the entire SEM industry can only be sniggered at by those who have seen the company’s paid search strategy in action. eBay’s use (abuse is probably a better word) of Dynamic Keyword Insertion, or DKI, has seen them run some of the most ridiculous and nonsense ads you’ll ever see. eBay's AdWords strategy   With this carpet-bombing approach it’s no wonder eBay is deeming paid search ‘ineffective.’ But rather than blaming AdWords or paid search marketers maybe they should take a look at their ad strategy.

google rolls out panda update

Matt Cutts announced last Monday that a new Panda update was coming over the weekend, seven weeks after the last one. Cutts also revealed that after this latest update, Panda #25, the algorithm will be updated on a rolling basis. Until now Google have always manually pushed out updates, giving webmasters and SEOs a bit of pre-warning. Updates are now likely to be less transparent and more frequent. It’s also fair to assume that the changes in the algorithm will be less significant and have less of an impact on the search results.

That’s it for our Digital RoundUP this week, come back next Monday for more industry news!

I would like to mention that Roy our Creative Director is doing the Bupa Manchester 10k in May its all for a good cause and money goes to Macmillan Cancer Support.

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