Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Opting Out of Analytics

Google has released this week two options with regards your searches being recorded/tracked and therefore used in...well, any which way they choose, really.
First was the https search, meaning you can search google with a secure web page and this does not third parties to be able to see what you're searching for - but Google yes.

Secure Search with SSL - BarcelonaSEO Blog

The second announcement is a plug-in/add-on meaning your computer will ignore any website which has Google Analytics on there. Any visit with the plug in would not register in your Analytics as a visit. I'm not entirely sure that the majority of the general public even know to what extent their visits to websites are indeed monitored, spied on and recorded, let alone if there is a method for their clicks to be removed and not recorded. So I can't see this having a massive impact on search logs, etc. (apart from within SEOs!) but it must be there for a reason, and Google tries to be transparent with regards privacy, etc. - or at least as much as Facebook (tongue firmly in cheek).

Are you looking to fumble through your web analytics to gain knowledge about your visitors? I can help. At Barcelona SEO we can check through your site together and work on a strategy to capture more clients and convert the existing ones. Website Promotion and refining is a logical process which we can all review from time to time.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Google Stars

Today's blog post over at google relays yet another improvement to the Webmaster Tools interface which has seen some steady improvements over the past few weeks.

Search queries - Barcelona SEO Blog

Today's post includes average positions of the keywords you're tracking, and interestingly, a tab showing starred results form your logged in starred pages. Oh, and they've taken off the word "top" from your search queries. This information (although remember not 100% accurate) can help with checking some of your keywords that you're targeting. You can see the number of impressions, the clickthrough rate and then the average position. Maybe you're stressing to be top 3 for a certain keyword which isn't actually receiving as many impressions as you think it would. And maybe even then, the clickthrough rate is poor.

What's interesting to me, is that they've dedicated a whole tab to starred results. I'm not sure exactly how many people use this feature - you have to be logged in to star a page - and many people who are logged in and know what the star is are savvy enough to remember a particular site anyway. The implications are of course with personalised search, which is default nowadays.

Patrick over at Blogstorm has been testing this method recently to find out whether this starred method could affect organic results, and if you haven't already taken part in his little experiment, I suggest you do - the more results the better we can understand if there might be a small impact. Unless (as a couple of comments have suggested) Google gets wind, and scuppers the plans just to annoy us all!!

I remember thinking that when searchwiki was launched, if it was that easy to game, people would create bots and programs to mark up results. I can't see the star system being much different (Google just want's to be seen as fresh as Facebook's "I like this" buttons?), but we'll have to wait and see.

Are you looking to improve rankings in the search results? I can help. Get in tough with me at Barcelona SEO and we can chat about the possibilities. If you're looking for instant traffic, then I can also help with AdWords managment and training (or other pay per click campaigns).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New AdWords Certification

This week saw Google introduce a new method of certification for their AdWords platform. They have introduced a very thorough set of training pages for anyone to work through, and then you need to take the Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam, plus one more Advanced Advertising Exam. The exams have also been re-vamped with more ideal situations of best practices and real-time situations rather than a simple recall of knowledge like the ones in the past. Full details here.

Google Certification - Barcelona SEO

The benefits of having a clickable badge with your credentials shown to the public directly from Google can have a massive impact on sales for an SEO, but it's also a great thing for any in-house advertising professional to have, and can help in cutting out your budget and getting the most from your advertising budget. Even if you have no intention of taking the exam, you can work your way through the training programme to improve your overall knowledge.

I offer Barcelona AdWords managment and set up, as well as long term website optimisation. Contact me for a chat about your website and how we can drive more traffic together.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Information in Webmaster Tools

Google's Webmaster tools is a valuable resource for any website owner, not just someone who is embarking on an seo campaign. The site's interface has slowly got betterand better at providing you with information about your site, and more importantly possible errors, broken urls and possible malware issues.

Top Search Queries - Barcelona SEO Blog

It's also a great way to check for backlinks which Google approve (although it's not 100% accurate) and just recently, Google has started to show the top search queries that your site is ranking for. This is a great way to check within the dashboard of your webmaster tools, the actual clickthrough rates of your top queries. Any information like this is a fantastic way to check your click through rates, and then try and improve.

There are many ways to look at this method. Maybe your landing page is a poor match for the keywords you have targeted or maybe the information is below the fold. Perhaps the calls to action are not good enough, or your snippets have not been marked up, as Google has also recently recommended. Remember that a click through is measured from how your site is displayed in the SERPS, so it's important to check the results pages yourself. Maybe your site is showing below 3 or 4 local listings, so it might be time to invest some time in Local SEO. Also remember that each data centre in Google will show different results depending on location, so this can never be 100% accurate, either, but it's a great start!

If you're looking to improve your web's click through rates, get in touch with me and I can help. Contact me through Barcelona SEO website.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools Google Joke

I noticed something slightly odd when logging into gmail today. See image below:

Gmail April Fool's Joke 2010

Yes, at first glance it looks gibberish, but it seems all the voewls have been taken out of the usual log-in page.

A quick check in the SERPS confirms that it is indeed an April Fool's joke from Google, something which they've done in previous years, too.

As you can see from the screenshot there, the Query Deserves Freshness has been triggered, and the one box is mid-way down the page, with tweets confirming my suspicion!

Are you not getting the rankings you want in the search engines? Barcelona SEO can help. Contact me for a chat about your site and its goals.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Speed Up Your Site, and Your Google Crawl Rate

A recent interview with Google's head of webspam, Matt Cutts, has had a lot of SEOs disecting the replies to the clever questions posed by Eric Enge. There are some interesting things to be taken away from the interview regarding link juice passing through 301 and 302 redirects, Cutt's reaffirmation that Page Rank Sclupting is largely a waste of time, and some other little things, but not really any big juicy tips (to be expected from Cutts, who is very good at being diplomatic).

Servers - Barcelona SEO

However, another small thing to come out of the interview was that Cutts also confirmed that crawling may be affected by the server you decide to use as well as the PageRank of your site and it's internal architecture. Using shared servers means that crawl rate will be slower, as googlebot will be crawling other sites possibly on the same server, and will then abandon the crawl if things are slow.

For more details on Speeding up your site for Google, see my other posts:

Speed up your page with htaccess file.

Speed up your page with gzip compression.

Are you looking to improve your site in Google? I offer website optimisation and conversion optimisation for sites, and would be happy to have a chat about the possibilities. I also offer AdWords Managment in Barcelona and around.