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November 18, 2010

SEO Update – October 2010

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Welcome to our monthly SEO update for October 2010. This update highlights key news in the SEO industry during October 2010, key SEO related blog posts from our bloggers in the US and Australia, key articles covered in our global newsletter and key podcasts from our Webmaster radio show.

1. SEO News

a) Google Places Search update

Google has recently released the new “Places Search” update, changing the ranking, layout and number of search results of some location based searches. We consider this update to be one of the major updates of the year. This change has resulted in local search results being incorporated into the organic results. There are a number of variations of how this is being done. Our blog post Google Local – big changes explores this topic in more detail

Implication: Maximise your visibility on the local search results by claiming, creating and optimising as many local business listings as you can. Ensure the consistency of your local business details across websites and directories. Create a strategy to acquire more reviews. Ensure there are optimised landing pages for all important local search queries.

b) Bing Uses Click Through Rate In Ranking Algorithm

Bing confirmed at SMX East in early September that Bing uses click through rate (CTR) in their ranking algorithm. Bing also announced that results with a low CTR would likely see a drop in rankings.

Implication: Optimise your Title and Meta Description tags to encourage greater CTR. Optimise for universal search results to ensure exposure through a maximum number of queries and search options. Build online brand presence to increase the likelihood of increased CTR.

c) Google TV and SEO

Google has just released its brand new TV offering, based on the concept of “TV, meet Search Engine”. The principle is to allow computer and TV users to have everything they need on their TV, including web-browsing experience, applications and more, at 10 feet from the TV. This new “10 foot UI” implies new website development, or at least new layouts, very much like that required for mobile. The ambition is obviously to conquer the ever reducing market of the traditional TV users, to convert them to this new computer on TV experience.

With so much potential exposure, and a global focus on simplified user interfaces across all platforms to ensure maximum exposure, tomorrow’s SEO is likely to change dramatically and optimising digital assets such as videos, music and images will become more and more important. Our recent blog post contains more detail on this topic.

Implication: Create awesome videos and tell everyone about it. Optimise for Videos. Create Video XML sitemaps. Optimise your video meta data and mark-up your videos. Optimise for Google TV. Optimise your YouTube channel and optimise your YouTube videos.

d) Google introduces a new image compression format – WebP

As most of the image formats that are used today were established over a decade ago, Google engineers worked out to find a way to further compress glossy images without losing their quality and resolution. Google released a developer preview of a new image format called WebP in mid-October to reduce the byte size of the picture file. Google is also releasing an image conversion tool that can be used to convert images to the WebP format.

Implication: This could improve page load speed, a recent additional Google ranking factor.

e) Google Analytics introduces In-Page Analytics

During mid-October, Google introduced In-Page Analytics in Google Analytics (GA). This new feature GA provides a simple and intuitive way of analysing the website’s traffic. You can now visualise how visitors navigate on your website by looking at the actual page with analytics overlays. This is a replacement for the old Site Overlay feature.

Implication: In-Page analytics provides a visual interface where you can see and think of creative ideas on which parts of the webpage need attention.

f) Target Town API by Google

Google has built a free API Solution that can give us search data based on targeted towns. Google Analytics advanced segment builder allows us to create expressions like  “(City A OR City B) AND (Region X OR Region Y)” but, cannot provide solutions for complex expressions like (City A AND Region X) OR (City B AND Region Y). Google target town will help us to get data for similar type of queries.

Implication: Google Target Towns can be used to get better insight into the geo-breakdown of SEO traffic to the website.

2. Blogs

Key blog posts in October:

3. Newsletter

Key newsletter articles in October:

To receive copies of this monthly newsletter, please subscribe at http://www.bruceclay.com.au/web_newsletter.htm.

4. Webmaster Radio – SEM Synergy

Podcast in October:

5. Bruce Clay Training Courses

The next training dates are as follows:

For more information on training, visit our SEO training page.

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