Welcome to our SEO roundup. The following is a general herding together of some of the most interesting and curious SEO tips and updates from the past few weeks. Naturally there will be plenty of the newest and latest stories we have neglected here. Do drop us a comment if you can think of anything rather splendid (and SEO related!!) you would like to share with us.
The much prized and incredibly useful SEO tool Yahoo! Site Explorer is on its way to the great Infobahn in the sky. The transition to Microsoft platforms has rendered this much loved competitive analysis link gizmo superfluous and (according to Barry Schwartz) there is very little hope of Microsoft creating an equivalent to site explorer for its webmaster tools. Once market osmosis has occurred later on this year, Yahoo! Site Explorer will be no more.
Google Directory Shut Down –
Google’s efforts to rationalise its services and expend more energy on the small but effective components has resulted in the closure of the cumbersome and less useful Google Directory. Google’s support for it has dwindled into nothingness over the past couple of years. With search predominating in our navigation of the web the DMOZ powered directory was something Google did not need. Another ‘death’ on the obituary of internet services but, unlike Yahoo! Site Explorer, it won’t really be missed.
Video extensions for AdWords –
Video ad extensions give the AdWords customer a chance to turn their text ads into a multimedia experience. The word is out, albeit spreading rather slowly, about the huge potential of Youtube for businesses with the will to make a video about their products or services and get it out there to their target audience. These videos will work in much the same way as other ad extensions, running only when the ‘+’ button is hit. This is a much cheaper alternative to TV advertisement campaigns which smaller companies could take advantage of.
AdWords Express is Launched –
AdWords Express is made with the small businessperson in mind. This product can be accessed by business owners who aren’t AdWords users and this is the group Google had in mind when they designed AdWords Express. Simplicity and functionality are important features of the system. An advert, a few company details and five minutes of your time are all that’s needed to launch a localised campaign.
Photovine Launches –
A social media application for sharing photographs which goes by the name of Photovine is here. It’s from Google’s recent acquisition Slide but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the product website. The ’Photovine’ is created by users uploading pictures of themselves or their interests which are then thematically linked up with those of other, as of yet unknown, users – and this is how the ‘vine’ grows. A bit of prudence is recommended here as these images can be viewed by absolutely anyone. On a lighter note, maybe there is a marketing opportunity here.
Targeting Tablets with AdWords –
Now AdWords advertisers can aim their ads specifically at tablet users with full browser functions. The problem of a campaign which turns out to be ineffective for mobile devices but a hit on tablets can be remedied by selecting to targets tablets specifically in the AdWords settings.
SEO Tips for Travel Bloggers –
SeoMoz blogger ‘Randfish’ expresses his astonishment at the popularity for a SEO training session at a travel writing conference. Evidently there is a real enthusiasm out there amongst bloggers for optimising their sites for search engines and it is to this end that the ‘SEO 101 for Travel Bloggers’ has been created. The segment entitled ‘I Don’t Want to Write for SEO; I Want to Write Great Stories’ also rings true for online marketers. We don’t want to put content out there that looks like it’s SEOed to the Nth degree. There is a certain satisfaction in the dissemination of good, wholesome, quality copy. And it works, ask Google.
Facebook Updates the ‘Invite Friends’ Recommendation Function –
Businesses with a nice, trendy page on Facebook will benefit from the latest change to the way users can recommend things to their friends. ‘Inviting friends’ will send out a notification via email to the recipient of the invitation – who can then click through directly from their email message. If they haven’t changed their settings to stop these sort of emails, that is.
Interesting Google+ Statistics –
This is a fascinating collection of the ten most astounding Google+ stats brought to us by the Experian ‘Hitwise’ blog. According to analysts, the biggest concentration of Google+ users reside in East London. Will we see a mass migration of disheartened Facebook users onto the new social network?
A must-read for all scholars of Google’s new social network and fans of statistics in general.
Yoast’s new XML sitemap PHP script –
Joost de Valk’s has cleverly spawned a new XML sitemap PHP script that draws together all static files such as PDFs or PHP on your website – indexing them within the sitemap and saving the bother of having to update this manually. Most importantly, a sitemap lets Google know that the static files are there.
Bing Testing Ads Within Organic Results –
Bing is experimenting with their search engine by sneaking a few adverts within organic results. Possibly the only success to be had by this method is when the SE user accidently clicks on the advertisement link, mistaking it for a desired result of their search. Microsoft’s Director of Search Stefan Weitz assures that they are not paid ads nor will it be something Bing keeps if it turns out to be a flop
Bing quality scores –
Now for some PPC news from the SeoMoz team: Microsoft Adcenter have introduced a quality scoring system for keywords selected for campaigns. Gone are the days of setting a keyword to broad-match and letting it go ballistic in the hope of some cheeky extra traffic. ‘Dr Pete’ from the Moz gang ran a little test to see what would happen if he tweaked his campaigns – changing keywords from broad-match to phrase-match. Read the blog post below to find out the results.
Twitter Button Analysis –
Adding this new Tweet gauging button to your site will enable you to monitor who is tweeting about you or your products. Identifying your top tweeters and rewarding them could be an effective marketing manoeuvre.