The most anticipated day of the week is finally here! And with it, as usual, is our Friday Catch-UP. This week we’ve got news from Google, YouTube, and Pinterest among others. Let’s go over some of the most important events of the week in greater detail.
News and Events
Another Link Network Bites the Dust
Google has taken a hard stance against one more link network, this time SAPE Links. Not many webmasters are actually aware of the SAPE Links network. The news broke out after Google downgraded several websites and penalized them. The common link between the sites was discovered afterwards, which is they all were using SAPE Links. It does seem as though Google is now handing out strict penalties to any website that violates any rules and regulations. Read more at Search Engine Roundtable.
Google Planning to Penalize ‘Bad Merchants’
People don’t realize this but when they complain about a merchant online, they actually boost its ranking. Well, this isn’t going to be the case much longer as Google is reportedly planning a crackdown on any bad merchants with whom you had a bad experience. No longer will merchants be able to benefit from the negative publicity their poor services might create for their business. They can expect to be downgraded by Google. Read more at Search Engine Land.
Matt Cutts Talks about New Updates to Google Features & Algorithms
Matt Cutts recently announced a number of updates in the Google pipeline to several of its search related features. They are expected to directly impact marketers and SEO experts. According to Cutts, the updates will be made to link networks and Google’s algorithms Penguin and Panda. Marketers who have failed to come to terms with the previous updates made to these will be ruing their fortunes at the prospect of another major update in the near future. Read more at Search Engine Land.
Pinterest Gearing Up for Businesses
It hasn’t been long since Pinterest announced the launch of business accounts. The news had come as quite a surprise as Pinterest isn’t considered the ideal social network for businesses to use. This time, they have gone a step forward and announced that they are going to have a free Analytics Tool for their enterprise users.
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This means that businesses that have created pages on Pinterest will now be able to use the Analytics Tool free of charge. It does seem as though Pinterest is quite desperate to make a mark in the enterprise world and attract as many businesses to sign up as possible. The website is fast gearing up for being used by businesses. Read more at Hubspot.
The YouTube One Channel Launched
YouTube had been working on redesigning the layout of their channels. The beta testing phase involved changing the designs of some of their users’ channels, a fact which was noticed by quite a few of them. Now, YouTube has gone ahead and officially launched their One Channel feature. The YouTube One Channel offers plenty of new features users can check out which weren’t previously available. Anyone can sign up for a YouTube One Channel now. Read more at YouTube Creator.
Google Reader Bidding Adieu: Is There a Substitute?
Google has announced that they are discontinuing Google Reader at the start of July later this year. This means that marketers have had to think of alternatives to RSS so their campaigns are not affected by Google’s decision. Thankfully, there are no less than 12 great substitutes for you to check out. Just because Google Reader will be gone for good doesn’t mean it is the end of the world for you. You can use any of the viable alternatives and get the same results. Read more at Marketing Land.
Analytics to Get New Access Controls
Google is going to update and upgrade the system through which users gain access control on Analytics. The official word from the company states that the changes will be rolled out over the course of the next few weeks. As of now, it is expected that there are going to be two major modifications to the previous system of access controls on Google Analytics. Read more at Marketing Land.
Useful Posts worth Reading and Bookmarking
Common Misconceptions about Split Testing
Split testing, commonly referred to as A/B testing, marketers create two distinct versionsof a piece of content and then test to see which one delivers the better results. While it is a great way for marketers to increase their return on investment, there are some misconceptions about A/B testing which might cause you to refrain from using it. There are no less than 11 such myths which you need to know about so they don’t cause any loss to you. Read more at Hubspot.
Elements You Should Optimize On Your e-Commerce Site
Optimization is the key to success for any online business, especially for an e-commerce website. Sometimes, the webmaster has no idea which of the elements of the site has to be optimized to get the results they are looking for. This is why you need to know about the top 10 critical elements of your e-commerce site that you should optimize. Read more at Content Verve.
Can Online Reviews be Used Offline?
There is no doubt about the efficacy of online customer reviews and their influence in convincing more people to buy the same products. Since the tactic has been doing wonders online, it would make sense for businesses to try to use it offline as well. This is why businesses should learn the ways in which they can use their customer reviews in an offline setting to make the most of them. Read more at eConsultancy.
Tips for Enhancing Your Call-To-Action
The importance of the call-to-action (CTA) on landing pages cannot be underestimated. The users need to be informed about what they need to do to benefit from what you have to offer. However, you cannot compromise when it comes to the CTA. You need to make sure it is done in the best way possible else your visitors wouldn’t be convinced about buying from you. Hence, you should follow the top 10 tips for enhancing your CTA. Read more at Unbounce.
Developing Great Content: The Resources You Can Use
Content marketing has become the cornerstone for SEO. If you want to enhance your search engine rankings, you need to come up with killer content on a regular basis. In this regard, using the best tools and resources available to you can reduce the effort you have to put in. There are 15 robust tools you can use to help with developing great content. Read more at Search Engine Journal.
Some More Useful Custom Reports on Google Analytics
Carrying on from last week, there are some more custom reports on Google Analytics you will find extremely useful. You can use them in addition to the reports covered in the previous article to enhance the results from your marketing campaign further. This makes your job much easier. Read more at eConsultancy.
Following in Shop Direct Group’s Lead
It is no secret that content marketing is now more important than ever as a means to improve your search engine rankings. One of the best examples of this is the Shop Direct Group. They changed their content strategy and were able to achieve the results they were looking for. You can read about their approach and follow in their lead to learn how to make the most of content marketing. Read more at eConsultancy.
Local Optimization with Schema Markup
The larger businesses stay on top of the current trends and best practices when it comes to SEO. The same cannot be said of the smaller local businesses. The lack of resources at their disposal is usually considered to be the foremost reason for it. However, now they have a tool they can use, Schema Markup. It can help local businesses deploy the modern techniques for SEO and optimize their website locally. Read more at Search Engine Journal.
Videos and Infographics of the Week
Analyzing the First Two Days of SXSW
The South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) in Austin has increased in popularity and importance over the years. Attracting well over 20,000 attendees, this year’s SXSW is on track to be one of the biggest ever. In an interesting infographic, you get to see how the buzz surrounding the event grew over the first two days. There are clear-cut statistics provided for the mentions of SXSW in blogs, tweets or on Facebook. You will see how the activity grew on the second day as more people heard about the SXSW. View the infographic at eConsultancy.
How to Recover Your Hacked Website
Google comes to the aid of webmasters who have had their website hacked. A series of videos helps the webmasters find out about what could have gone wrong and how they can recover their hacked website. Moreover, you will also find information on what you can do to prevent your website from being hacked in the first place. View the videos related to recovering hacked sites at Google Webmaster Central.
Enhance Your Marketing Efforts Using Fresh Mentions and Links
Your marketing efforts get a boost whenever you get any fresh links or mentions. You can view a video on the various ways in which you can attract and use more fresh mentions and links which would directly enhance your marketing efforts. In the video, you will also learn about a tool you can use to generate fresh mentions and links to make the task easier for you. View the video or read the transcript at SEOmoz.