SEO Update – November 2010
Welcome to our monthly SEO update for November 2010. This update highlights key news in the SEO industry during November 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 SEM Synergy Webmaster radio show.
1. SEO News
a) Google Places
In late October, Google rolled out significant changes to Google Places, which impacted the rankings, layout and number of search results of some location based searches. For more information on this topic, see our blog post, the latest podcast from SEMSynergy and the videos on Google Places included in the sections below.
b) Bruce Clay – thought leadership video interviews
Didit’s CEO Kevin Lee conducted a number of video interviews with Bruce Clay, CEO of Bruce Clay, Inc. at Ad:Tech New York in November 2010. In these videos, Bruce discusses the SEO implications of a number of topics including Social Media, Personalization Changes to Local SERPs, and Search Engine Algorithm Differentiation.
c) Google showing more results from a domain
Google is now showing more results from one domain in the search results. Previously the maximum number of times a domain could appear in a search result was twice, with the second result indented. Now it appears to be around four, with no results indented. There are also single-line snippets linking to further results. Google stated that “..when our algorithms predict pages from a particular site are likely to be most relevant, it makes sense to provide additional direct links in our search results”. This is happening mainly for brand related terms.
Implication: If your site is expanding to four search results it will give you new opportunities to showcase content. If you’re ranking near the bottom of page 1 your search results may get pushed to page 2 if a site above you expands to 4 results. Ensure multiple pages in your site are optimised from an SEO and click through rate perspective.
d) Google getting better at indexing Flash files
Google officially began indexing parts of Flash (SWF) files in 2008 but they have now announced that they are doing a better job of indexing Flash files.
Implication: It has always been somewhat unclear as to which content and links in Flash objects were being properly indexed. Now Google has stated that almost any text that a user can see as well as the URLs in SWF files can be indexed and crawled. However, this does not mean you should build your site fully in Flash, but it does mean Google has a better understanding of the content and links within those Flash files used on a site. Ensure this is considered as part of your SEO strategy.
e) Google Hotpot
During the month, Google announced Google Hotpot, a “local recommendations engine powered by you and your friends.” This service works as follows; you and your friends’ rate stuff and then when you search in Google Places, you will be recommended places based on you and your friends likes and dislikes. Google is attempting to make local search results more personal, relevant and trustworthy.
Implication: Ensure you have your Google Places account correctly optimised and encourage users to write positive reviews about your business.
f) Google now taking poor reviews into account in rankings
Google announced recently that they have adjusted their algorithm and rankings to take into account, in their words “..merchants, that in our opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience”.
Implication: Google is pushing for a better user experience on the web. Now rankings are not just affected by link building and content, but also by poor reviews provided by customers and potentially other signals reflecting a poor customer (user) experience. Ensure you are managing you online brand reputation and providing good customer service and exceptional user experience.
g) Google providing new meta tags to help identify original news items
Google is experimenting with 2 new meta tags that it hopes will help identify the original sources of online content. As Google has stated, “The more accurate metadata that’s out there on the web, the better the web will be.” These tags are similar to Google’s canonical tag except they are designed for news publishers and only work within Google News. Google also says that if misused they may decrease the importance assigned to current meta tags on a site, and if this proves to be the case they have the right to remove sites from the Google News index.
Implication: If you are a publisher, try these tags if you feel it will add to your SEO strategy, and then monitor the impact on rankings and traffic. Note that Google says this is only an experiment at this stage.
Key blog posts in November:
- Keyword Research using Google Products
- Google Local – big changes
- Video and Google TV
- Changing Site Structures with Care
- Renting vs. Buying Your SEO Solution
- Making the Most of Viral Mements
- Should Search be Renamed?
- MySpace: Mashup with Facebook
- Google Instant Previews: Murder in the SERP
Key newsletter articles in November:
4. Webmaster Radio – SEM Synergy
Podcast in November: