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May 29, 2009

SEO Roundup

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We are starting a new initiative here at Bruce Clay Australia. Each of our analysts is assigned a few different SEO, SEM or some other related industry blog/site to cover. Every fortnight on a Friday afternoon we sit around (over beer and gluten free products – thanks Kate ) to discuss the various developments that have been covered during the past two weeks. Now I am going to share these previously hidden gems from the Bruce Clay Australia team with you. The sharing session notes from last week were a whopping 36 pages long so I will endeavour to shorten this, make it more succinct and easy to read and highlight some of the key points.
Yahoo Search, Over ?
Yahoo is still losing search share. As it slips closer to 20 percent in the U.S., Google keeps gaining share, up to 64.2% in April, according to comScore. Even if it does merge its search business with Microsoft’s search business, the two combined will only have about 28% of the search market in the U.S. — well below half of Google’s share.
11 Striking Findings From an Eye Tracking Study
The Best of Eyetrack III study released by The Poynter Institute:
1. “Dominant headlines most often draw the eye first upon entering the page”
2. “Smaller type encourages focused viewing behavior…. larger type promotes lighter scanning”
3. “a headline has less than a second of a site visitor’s attention”
4. “For headlines — especially longer ones — it would appear that the first couple of words need to be real attention-grabbers”
5. “Navigation placed at the top of a homepage performed best”
6. “Shorter paragraphs performed better in Eyetrack III research than longer ones.”
7. “We found that ads in the top and left portions of a homepage received the most eye fixations”
8. “Size matters. Bigger ads had a better chance of being seen”
9. “Text ads were viewed most intently, of all the types we tested”
10. “the bigger the image, the more time people took to look at it.”
11. “The research also shows that clean, clear faces in images attract more eye fixations on homepages”
Twitter mania
Twitter Surges Past Digg, LinkedIn, And With 32 Million Global Visitors
• Twitter’s global unique visitors in April, 2009 was a whopping 32 million
• Twitter has just passed Digg (23 million), LinkedIn (16 million), and the (17.5 million) in monthly unique visitors
How quickly they grow. Remember when Twitter was just a little pipsqueak, with less than 10 million monthly unique visitors to its site worldwide? That was back in February, 2009. Fast-forward to April, and Twitter’s U.S. visitors alone reached 17 million. Now comScore has released its worldwide numbers and it estimates Twitter’s global unique visitors in April, 2009 was a whopping 32 million, up from 19 million in March, 2009.
To put that in growth into perspective, Twitter has just passed Digg (23 million), LinkedIn (16 million), and the (17.5 million) in monthly unique visitors, as counted by comScore. And comScore only measures the number of people who visit Twitter’s Website, not the millions more who send and read tweets via their phones, desktop apps, or other Websites. is also now bigger than Bebo and Freindster, for what it is worth. Who will it pass next?
Its getting so big that its growth rate is beginning to temper. In April, Twitter added 13 million visitors, which is more than the 9 million it added in March. Its month-over-month growth rate, however, slowed to 68 percent from 95 percent the month before. Still, if it can keep adding 10 million global visitors a month, it will easily pass 50 million this summer and 100 million by the end of the year. No wonder everyone from Facebook to Google is looking over their shoulders.
Microsoft Expected to Show New SearchEngine Next Week
• Microsoft Corp. is expected to show a new version of its Internet search engine next week
• Microsoft has been testing a prototype of the new search engine, code-named Kumo,
• The technology is designed to cut down on the length of typical Web searches by grouping the results of a search for, say, a particular model of car into helpful categories like parts, used car listings…
• Microsoft and Yahoo executives are still pursuing a potential partnership
• The two companies have been discussing a complex deal in which Yahoo would sell its Web search and search advertising technology to Microsoft, in exchange for an upfront payment and some share of the revenue of the search ads it shows on Yahoo
Do you know that …
– Every single minute, over 20 hours (becoming 24) of video are now uploaded to YouTube
– The new iPhone will feature a processor that will be more than 1.5 times faster than the current iPhone and will have a 600 MHz processor.
– Gmail has 146 million users worldwide
– Windows 7 will be released this year

Headsmacking Tip #13: Don’t Accidentally Block Link Juice with Robots.txt
This post delves into the fact that a number of websites seeking to block bot access to pages on their domain have been employing robots.txt to do so. It goes into different ways of doing it and what it actually means :
• Block with Robots.txt – do not attempt to visit the URL, but feel free to keep it in the index & display in the SERPs (see below if this confuses you)
• Block with Meta NoIndex – feel free to visit, but don’t put the URL in the index or display in the results
• Block by Nofollowing Links – not a smart move, as other followed links can still put them in the index (it’s fine if you don’t want to “waste juice” on the page, but don’t think it will keep bots away or prevent it from appearing in the SERPs)
There’s two real takeaways here:
1. Conserve link juice by using nofollow when linking to a URL that is robots.txt disallowed
2. If you know that disallowed pages have acquired link juice (particularly from external links), consider using meta noindex, follow instead so they can pass their link juice on to places on your site that need it.
URL Rewrites and 301 Redirects – How Does It All Work?
This articles goes into the nuts and bolts of URL rewrites and 301 re-directs and how they benefit the SEO process as a whole.
URL Rewrite Process:
1. User lands on new SEO’d URL
2. Using mod_rewrite, ISAPI_Rewrite, etc. new URL points to old URL on the server
3. Server calls the code from the old URL
4. Page is displayed in browser, displaying the new URL
301 Redirect Process:
1. User lands on original URL
2. Using code, mode_rewrite, etc. the 301 redirects URL to the new one, literally changing the URL that is displayed in the browser from the old to the new
3. URL Rewrite process begins again
Things you should know
• Every single minute, over 20 hours of video are now uploaded to YouTube, this is up from January when it was 15 hours
• Twitter’s global unique visitors in April, 2009 was a whopping 32 million, up from 19 million in March, 2009. To put that in growth into perspective, Twitter has just passed Digg (23 million), LinkedIn (16 million), and the (17.5 million) in monthly unique visitors.
• Yahoo! Chases After Google, Adds Voice Search To iPhone App
• Blog anyone who wants to know about Google analytics should read Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik
Microsoft adcentre improved
Live From Yahoo’s “End of the 10 Blue Links” Talk live blogged from techcrunch
YouTube Offers Brand Partners Another Carrot: Google Analytics For Their Channels

Part 2 will follow on Monday ….

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