This is the first in an ongoing series of weekly news roundups covering the SEO related highlights from some of the most important sources, to save you having to trawl through yourself. Enjoy…
First off, Matt Cutts talked about breadcrumbs and how to best configure your site so the correct navigation will appear. In summary, it’s early days and there’s not a definitive method that Google will use, but until this is decided, the best way to get breadcrumbs is to feature clearly delimited breadcrumbs (the character(s) you use isn’t important) and links between pages on your site. Along the same lines, Google’s webmaster blog talks about the new rich snippets format for events. If you have a website displaying events, take note of the markup required to have events picked up and displayed in the SERPs.
Matt also posted a 26 minute video from PubCon in Nov 2009, entitled: State of the Index 2009. You can also flick through the slides to get a quick summary. This is quite handy for a (relatively) quick catch up on Google activity in 2009, including the experimental social search, Google Squared, Caffeine and various webmaster tools enhancements.
A rather fascinating post on the Webmaster blog explains how Google deals with synonyms.
In another short, but interesting video, Cutts talks about his predictions for 2010. For Google these include more work on comprehensiveness, relevance, real-time results and user interface enhancements. He talks about the split between black & white hat SEO becoming more clearly defined as malware & hacking has increased over the last year. The conclusion? As ever, to rank well with Google long term, keep providing up to date, useful information that benefits users, rather than trying to ‘beat the system’ to get a quick ratings boost.
And finally, to round off a busy week, Google published some new useful SEO advice for beginners. Nothing too revolutionary here, but a handy video summary of the Google webmaster guidelines.
This week SEOmoz announced their new Open Site Explorer link analysis tool. This is a rather handy utlity to help you inspect links to your website and compare against links to other websites, to see how they build back-links. I was somewhat surprised to see that Just Search, who are currently ranked top of Google UK for the highly competitive term ‘SEO’ appear to have acheived this partly by strategically placing almost hidden links in completely unrelated web pages, such as Britney Spears’ Guide to Semiconductor Physics and The Soccer Store. I’m not sure this is entirely in line with Google’s idealistic policy of rating websites based on relevant authority links, but it’s obviously working for them. Some of this functionality will be appearing in a new release of the SEOmoz Firefox Toolbar in the very near future.
There were plenty of articles about Google pulling out of China, which has been a topic for Search Newz recently. There was an interesting article about Yahoo improving its search in 2010 to try to claw back some of the market share from Google, which has around 70%. The improvements include advertising related changes and improved multi-keyword matching. This is another reason All the more
And just when you thought you’d heard everything, an article quoting Business Week mentions that Apple is in talks with Microsoft to include Bing as the default search engine on the iPhone. Who’d have thunk it? (this is also discussed on Mashable)
Not strictly SEO related, but those of you who have a hand in design will be interested to know that Robert Scoble featured an interview with John Knoll of Adobe Photoshop fame about the past 20 years of Photoshop, in the lead up to its 20th anniversary. Amazing how quickly the time has passed. He also talks about Seesmic’s new Twitter client, geared up for the non-Twitter user. Another step towards introducing social media to the buzzword- and techno-phobics. Talking of social media…
The top Twitter topics of the week are mentioned, along with some useful tips on how to use this knowledge to your advantage to get exposure. There are also some thoughts about what might be popular next week. With real time search becoming more important and possible to achieve in the SERPs, this is useful info.
There’s a lot of hype at the moment about Apple’s forthcoming tablet, so if you’re interested, you’ll no doubt want to check out an article speculating about what the tablet might look like. With the huge number of iPhone users at the moment, you have a good reason to gear it up for the mobile browser. Now there’s going to be more of a reason to gear it up for mid-size screen resolutions.
And finally, after my slightly cynical blog post last week about Google cashing in on the Haiti earthquake, I’m pleased to see this article about social media creating offline social good, discussing how maturing web technologies are enabling online giving and social action, along with 5 social media lessons learned from Haiti.