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November 18, 2010

SEO Hot Tub – 5th of November

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Last week’s Bruce Clay SEO Hot Tub was a lengthy one, the hot topic of the day was the recent change to Google Local Search—we’ve already covered at length over on this post, Google Local – big changes, so check it out over there. Other highlights of the session were:

Google Instant becomes available on iOS and Android devices

Love it or hate it, Google Instant is here to stay. And now you can use it on your phone. One problem that was noted, however, was that on the relatively small screen of the iPhone, the instantly updating results are completely obscured by the pop up software keyboard. Added to that problem, the speed of updating results over 3G networks is not so much “instant” as it is sluggish. If you’re typing at the speed of one keystroke per 3.5 seconds or so, then it’s the bee’s knees.

Facebook continues quest for internet domination

Facebook have added some new features to make it easier for their users to book their faces and like random stuff like there was no tomorrow. Single sign-on lets users who are logged into their Facebook accounts login to other websites with the click of a button, no credentials/passwords. They’re also rolled out Facebook Deals where users who dislike privacy and enjoy spamming their friends can maybe get stuff for free! I jest, but seriously, Facebook have partnered with the likes of McDonalds and Starbucks to bring their users special deals for checking in at venues/restaurants, bringing friends in, etc.

Google continues to push speed to users

You’ll have to forgive the tasteless double entendre there, but I couldn’t resist. The actual topic here is Google’s release of a brand new module for Apache servers call mod_pagespeed. This nifty module automates about 15 of the common actions a webmaster might take in order to speed up website performance. More details are available on the official Google Webmaster Central Blog.

Google Analytics adds traffic alerts

Major changes in traffic (either positive or negative) to websites can now be more easily monitored and explained with the addition of a new feature to Google Analytics called Major Contributors. Analytics will identify up to five segments that have contributed to major increases or decreases in traffic.

This is a really handy feature, especially for analysts working on large websites with many departments with separate marketing initiatives. Custom alerts can also be set up to email or SMS users (in the US only) when certain alert conditions are met.

Blekko is at least 5 different kinds of awesome

Blekko is a new(ish) search engine that has recently got a fair amount of publicity in SEO circles. And rightly so as it is certainly a very handy tool, especially for SEOs engaged in competitor research. Within mere seconds users can grab useful bits of intelligence about their or competitor websites including domain stats, inbound links, crawl stats, duplicate content information to name but a few.

Blekko uses slash tags to refine searches and present new types of information. For example, if you were to do a search for twitter.com with the /seo slash tag, you’d be able to see all those tasty bits of info we love so much.

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