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October 20, 2010

SEO Hot Tub – October 15th

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Hello everyone! It’s that time again! Get yourself ready to catch up with new SEO goodies. Here is what we have quacked during this session:

BlindType – An impressive touch screen technology now acquired by Google

BlindType is an exciting technology that allows you to type on touch screens without even looking at them. Check out the video of BlindType here to watch it in action. Although the software isn’t released yet, you can check out another fantastic third-party keyboard Swype. The BlindType team are quite happy to join Google and they look forward to the great opportunities for mobile innovation.

Changes in Yahoo search result page

Search results in Yahoo are now categorised and displayed in vertical tabs such as: Overview, Videos, Twitter etc. Furthermore, they also announced that, image searches will yield more results taken from Flickr and other Yahoo sites to give users a wide range of options to choose from. However, this service is only available in the US and seems to work for people focused searches.

Get around with the international SEO complexities

It’s hard to manage if you are running an online business linking 40 countries and working in 20 different languages. The differences in online behaviour and constant change in technology makes it even harder. Here are some strategies by Andy Atkins-Krüger that might help in managing international site:

  • Wait And See And Stay Calm
    Things usually roll out in the US first. Take Google Instant for example. Nearly every blogger wrote something about Google instant while most of the world including most of the Europe still isn’t seeing it and will probably get a slightly different version.
  • Read The Headlines Every Day
    Keep yourself up-to-date by reading headlines. Search Engine Land is of course one of the very best for keeping up to date.
  • Don’t Make Lists, Make Matrices
    Google launching Instant, for instance, has little bearing in Russia or China. This problem can be solved by creating a matrix that covers all of the search elements that are important to you in each market or country.
  • Work With The Best You Can Find
    Never hurts to suggest they add additional expertise in the form of partners
  • Listen To Your Customers To See What’s Important
    Use some system for capturing their feedback.
  • Watch The KPIs
    A revolution in Mountain View has been followed by several in Redmond and a few in Beijing, it’s a good idea to check the disastrous impact on those KPIs

Bing confirmed that they use Click Through Rate (CTR) in Ranking Algorithm

Steve Tullis, Senior Program Manager Lead, Bing, Microsoft said that Bing uses click through rate in the ranking algorithm. He also added – it is one of many factors in the algorithm. If things in the search results do not get clicked, they will likely lower the ranking of the page. When Google was asked if they use CTR as a factor in their ranking algorithm, they said – they might use if for user behaviour testing but implied not in the ranking algorithm.

Yahoo UK & Ireland directory closing on November 8, 2010

The Yahoo UK and Ireland directory will be closing November 8, 2010. Yahoo officially posted the details on in their help section.

Yahoo closed four European directories earlier this year including France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Yahoo however told us that the US directory is safe and will not be going away.

Understanding Google Maps and Local Search

  • Google place providing QR codes to US businesses since Dec 09
  • Although many problems have been solved, it appears that there are still problems with QR codes returning 404 Errors.
  • Google Goggles reads them from Android and iPhone
  • Barcode scanning for search up 700% on last year

Google Percolator

Google came with new search platform Caffeine in June and this update produced 50% fresher results. They are using a system called MapReduce to build their search index that can take many days to complete depending upon the size of index which is usually more than 100 million gigabytes. To change in old system, two Google engineers Daniel Peng and Frank Dabek published a paper describing the technology that drives Caffeine called Percolator. In the new system pages are still being crawled, but now any changes are written directly to Google’s distributed database.

Four reasons Google’s new keyword tool is better than the old

New Google’s keyword tool came out of beta in August, and officially launched in September. The search based keyword tool is going to be discontinued very soon.

1. Traffic from Google Search Network Partners is Ignored

This means the search audience profile is more refined, and doesn’t fluctuate seasonally. Shows lower search volumes, but gives a more refined idea of query figures from just the Google search engine, which is what we should be optimising for.

2. Estimating Search Traffic on Mobile Devices

Quantifies mobile search behaviour with more precision. This would be most useful depending on the client or industry. E.g. The keyword [Italian restaurant] garners more than 16% of it query volume from mobile devices, compared to 0.2% for [management consultants].

3. New Data Filters

Can now filter by query volume for both local and global, competition, estimated CPC, search and ad share. Also, the 200 word keyword limit in the old interface has been removed.

4. Match Type Targeting is More Intuitive

Filtering by keyword match type is much easier and prevents overlaps of search query data in broad-matched seed lists, achieved with match type checkboxes.

Google starts showing full-page previews in search results

Google has started testing a major change to their search results page. When the mouse hovers over the result, the layout presents:

  • A full-page thumbnail of the target site
  • A blue backgrounds behind the result
  • The page thumbnail also highlights certain sections of the page in orange and expands the text to provide a snippet of information
  • Longer pages are cropped at the bottom

Andriod – The most popular operating system in US among recent smartphone buyers

According to Nielsen, Android is now the most popular operating system among people who bought a smartphone in the past six months, while Blackberry RIM and Apple iOS are in a statistical dead heat for second place among recent acquirers.

Google introduces a new image compression format WebP

  • Most of the common image formats on the web today were established over a decade ago
  • Engineers at Google decided to figure out if there was a way to further compress glossy images like JPEG to make them load faster, while still preserving quality and resolution
  • Google released a developer preview of a new image format – WebP aimed to reduce the byte size of photos
  • Google is also releasing a conversion tool that can be used to convert images to the WebP format

And that’s a wrap from Bruce Clay Australia’s latest SEO Hot Tub! Thanks for spending little bit of your time and stay tuned for the next SEO Hot Tub!

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