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).