Weekly Digital News Roundup: Nov 7 – Nov 11
Brands & News Sites Among Winners From Google’s Freshness Algo Update, Report Says
- Major brands and a variety of news sites — from established outlets to internet-only gossip sites — are among the winners from Google’s recent algorithm update that aimed to reward fresh and more recent content.
- The findings come from SearchMetrics, the same company that has fairly accurately estimated Panda-related winners and losers several times this year. SearchMetrics uses a “visibility score” that’s based on analyzing millions of keywords; the numbers below are related to that score, and not to specific traffic gains or losses.
- Several news sites appear to have been rewarded with more visibility after Google’s shift to fresher results. But it’s odd to see several travel-related brands (Hotels.com, SouthwestVacations.com, NationalCar.com, etc.) and pizza sites (Dominos.com and PapaJohns.com) also getting visibility boosts after the algorithm change. Google announced the algorithm change last week, saying it wanted to show better results in situations where new/fresh content was needed. Google said the change impacts roughly 35% of all searches.
6 Best Practices for Modern SEO
- Local SEO Is Taking Over: A large chunk of the Google searches you perform will display Google Places listings – and consumers are taking notice. Users heavily gravitate toward any of Places’ listings. If your business relies on local listings, concentrate on scoring a seat at Google Places via citations, Google Places page optimization, and reviews.
- You Can’t Have Search Without Social: With any SEO campaign you put into motion, include a social aspect to it to facilitate information sharing.
- Think of People, not Robots, When Optimizing Keywords: People search in Google because they have a question. Your keywords and the content on your pages should reflect answers. Transition away from thinking of keywords like data, and put more of an emphasis on the person who will be typing in that keyword.
- Content Links Are King — Good Writers Are Sorcerers: For the most effective long-term SEO strategy, move the focus back to great content, both on your website and across other sites. Guest blogging is great, for instance, but to get a leg up on your competition, target blogs that aren’t direct matches to your industry.
- Check your Backend: The Big Three (Google, Yahoo and Bing) have worked together to develop Schema.org, a set of website standards that will tell search engines what your site is about. By using rich snippets, you’re able to tell Google what information to feature in SERPs. The added data will increase your click-through rate because users are able to preview more about the link before they commit to the click.
- It Doesn’t Mean Anything Without Data: Start relying more on simple key performance indicators (KPIs) to show results, for instance, the number of landing pages you have, the bounce rate of those pages, and the number of keywords driving traffic to each of those landing pages. Google Analytics displays all of this data.
Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL Forge Display-Advertising Accord
- Yahoo! Inc., Microsoft Corp., and AOL Inc.,the three largest Web portals in the U.S., formed a partnership that lets advertisers buy ad space on the sites using a single exchange.
- The agreement is aimed at making the buying process easier and boosting demand for display advertising, such as banner ads, the companies said today in a statement. The new service, which will be offered through Yahoo and Microsoft initially, should be available by early 2012.
- Under the partnership, each company will continue to make its own decisions and compete with one another, according to the statement. The service won’t include all of the companies’ ad space. The deal will apply to the U.S. and Canada, though Microsoft will not be part of the Canadian partnership.
New ad placements on Search
- Google AdWords recently announced that new ad placements will now be introduced on Google Search. Ads that have previously shown to the side of the results may in some cases appear below them.
- This change was done for the sake of dynmaic optimization and with the intent of providing the best experience for AdWords users.
- Jerry Dischler, Director of Search Ads Product Management, said that “We have found that displaying ads below search results fits better into the user’s flow as they scan the page from top to bottom. On average, this placement performed better than side ads in terms of click-through rate in our tests.”