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May 24, 2011

Google Interface Testing – SEO Hot Tub 13th May

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Not new news but still interesting, there have been some screenshots circulating around some of our favourite SEO blogs of Google testings some new interface designs. This interface testing seemed to happen around the start of the month and there were a few different designs spotted in the wild. One of the key features across most of the examples we saw was white spce, a lot of white space and where there are site links the gap between position 1 and 2 in the SERPs is gigantic.

We did some checking here at our office and couldn’t seem to replicate the results pictured above.

Google likes to test tweaks to their interface, it happens fairly regularly but in different places around the globe. If you like trying out new ideas Google has cooking, head over to Google Experimental and join some experiments. Don’t get too attached to a new feature you’re trialling though, it might not make the grade.

Bing Business Portal

Bing recently released the Bing Business Portal, their answer to Google Places. And it’s actually pretty cool. Some of the features you get with the service are:

  • Free customisable mobile website
  • Social media links
  • Dedicated logo (that doesn’t get confused with other uploaded images)
  • Free coupon hosting that has a chance of showing up in searches
  • Sliders to indicate what your specialty is within your industry
  • Smooth verification service (reportedly better that Google’s)
  • Other features that match Google Places (Name, Category, Address, Phone, and basic contact info, QR codes)

With all that stuff for free how could you afford not to sign up?

Google Analytics adds Page Speed reports

Google has been offering free tools to help webmaster optimise page load times for a while now in the form of a Firefox add-on for Firebug called Page Speed. They also released a version for Chrome and then an online version.

The problem with all those options is that they are limited to checking one page at a time. So if you have a website with a few thousand pages, chances you’re going to spend the time to check all those pages individually for page load speed stats is pretty slim. Enter the Site Speed report in Google Analytics. It can help you identify which of your pages are the slowest, which traffic sources lead to faster page loads, which browsers your pages perform better on and how geography effects pages load times.

How do you make it work? All you need to do is add a line of code to the Google Analytics JavaScript, the details are here. Also, to see Site Speed stats, you’ll have to use the new version of Google Analytics by clicking the link in the top right then look for Site Speed under the Content menu. If you don’t have the code installed, the charts will be blank.

And that’s all she wrote for this Hot Tub.


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