Back in October 2011, Google announced that they would stop providing the keywords which logged-in users searched for in Google.
If a user is signed into their Google account, any search they perform will be done via Google secure search and will no longer pass the search term referrer data. However, Google will still pass this data on for any clicks on Google paid ads.
The reason behind this decision from Google to withhold search term referrer data stems down to better protection of the users privacy, although still passing the data if you pay for it has caused some controversy!
We were very happy to have our first Search Innovation Seminar in Birmingham on 17th May. We had great presentations on What Google Might do Next, Local Search and Performance Display, and Incorporating Social Media into your Marketing.
You can find the presentations below, and if you’ve got any questions, let us know in the comments or tweet @BrummieSEO!
What Will Google do Next?
In this presentation, we’re discussing what Google is trying to do, how they do it, and the reasons why they’ve made the recent changes like Penguin to their algorithm. Most importantly, Google seems to be demonstrating the importance of ethical linkbuilding. Read on
The ‘Cookie Law’, a tastier synonym of DIRECTIVE 2002/58/EC, is aimed at protecting individuals against the hitherto unregulated use of user behaviour tracking online.
In short the law means that we must now ensure that users are not just aware of the tracking information, such as cookies, that we plan to store on their computers but also that they consent explicitly to us storing that information.
Some cookies are fruitier than others
The controversy around this law stems from the fact that browser cookies are all but essential to the modern web experience, many sites simply wouldn’t function without cookies to remember certain information about the user, such as the contents of an e-commerce basket.
The time comes when you need to move your website content; this could be with a new site, a new domain or creating subdomains. It is vital that this process runs smoothly as you don’t want to lose all that SEO goodness that you have worked so hard at achieving.
In the Webmaster Central Blog Google has given some pointers on how you can use webmaster tools to assist you in your move.
As with moving house, a site move needs to be carefully planned. Good planning will remove some of the risk associated with the move. Unfortunately you can’t alleviate all risk; sometimes you can follow all of Google’s recommendations and still you lose your rankings, but being prepared as possible gives you a head start!
There are a number of key SEO considerations when moving content.
It is essential that you use 301 redirects from the old pages to the new ones. This moves the history of the page, the incoming links and tells search engines which page to index. The 301 redirects should be in place as soon as the site/pages are moved. A small delay could have a detrimental effect to your ranking.
In a small number of cases you may not be able to implement 301 redirects. If this is the case you can use cross domain canonicals; Google will then try its best to index the new version and pass the link equity.
Update your xml sitemap and submit to webmaster tools.
If you have moved the website to a completely new domain, make sure you inform Google of the change, using the change of address option in webmaster tools.
Check that Google can crawl your site by using the ‘Fetch as Googlebot’ tool within Google webmaster tools.
When you move your site from the development/testing server to go live make sure that your robots.txt isn’t blocking search engines – you would be amazed at how many times this gets forgotten during the excitement!
Make sure the site isn’t generating loads of broken links.
Ensure that you don’t have duplicate content; either use 301 redirects or the canonical tag.
Geotargeting – if the site is location based select this option in webmaster tools.
Check who’s linking to you and ask if they will change the link to the new content.
This isn’t a comprehensive list of considerations when moving a site, but following Google’s recommendations is a great starting point!
We’re blessed in the world of SEO at the moment, never have there been more tools available to make our lives easier but at the same time there are still a few missing that would complete my professional life.
Everyone has their own suite of tools that they use to carry out day to day SEO tasks but there are a few particular situations where I either have to do something by hand or not do it at all.
These are the tools that could solve my problem so I hope a few friendly tool developers are listening!
Yesterday Google launched a new algorithm update aimed at targeting webspam. Google has stated that this update will target around 3% of queries.
Only 2 weeks ago at Brighton SEO, Stefan Hull predicted that with content farms being hit in 2011, this year would be the turn of webspam/linkspam to feel the force. And it’s happened already. Google’s change will “decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines“. Although Google have always made an attempt to target webspam, this algorithm is a further improvement in their efforts to reduce it and promote higher quality content.
We’re getting close to the Diamond Jubilee which is great news if you’re in the souvenir business, especially if you are ranking for your search terms. Not ranking? It may already be too late! A successful natural search campaign can take a while to plan, some time to kick in and then you’ve got to bear in-mind delivery cut off times.
So if there’s a seasonal peak in your search traffic and business how do you time your campaign perfectly? Below I’m going to discuss a potential calendar based on my experience with a number of our retail and lead generation sites. It’s worth noting in all these cases we were working with the client on an ongoing basis so they weren’t starting from a cold start; most onsite issues were dealt with, they had links being created, etc. Instead, what we did was concentrate our attention in a particular direction where we knew a well timed improvement in rankings would lead a significant improvement in the websites objectives.
In this screencast, Kelvin is talking about what to consider when designing a local search strategy. If you want to make the most of local search, it’s important to distinguish between the two different local search opportunities. The first is geographically modified keywords traditional results. e.g. the text results for a query like “Brighton estate agents”. The second is Google Maps results which are triggered by the same search query. As there are two different algorithms at play you will need to take two slightly different approaches.
It doesn’t matter about the age, size, or type of company/individual that you are, Online reputation management or ORM is becoming more and more important for everyone. There are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, the internet never forgets – it is like a big old wardrobe that stores any number of skeletons inside from personal skeletons, to negative skeletons.
When I first started out in linkbuilding it was a very different landscape. Generally, it was a bit easier to build links but a whole lot harder to find the data about what type of links you required.
We are now in almost a polar opposite position; we are drowning in data but struggling to turn that into strategies to generate links. The radar graph is the secret sauce in determining your link building strategy. Using Radar Graphs and MajesticSEO data you can understand how you compare to specific competitors and the market as a whole. I think this is really important as SEO is relative – it’s not about absolute values but how you compare to your competitors.