Friday Catch-up is aimed at providing all important information in the field of online marketing and SEO. Every week, we will bring highlights of all significant happenings to you guys and also share some useful information and advice. So here is a brief recap of the second week of December.
style=”text-align: left;”>News & Events
No More Blocks on Google
The option of blocking websites from appearing in Google search results has been removed. No longer do you have the right to prevent any site from showing up when you type a related keyword into the search bar. At first, it was treated merely as a rumor but it was checked by a number of people. Adding a website to list of Blocked Sites didn’t work and Google kept showing it.
This is the second issue related to blocked sites which Google has had to solve this year. Before this, a bug was preventing unblocking of blocked sites. Read more at Seroundtable.
iPhone Users Get Google Maps
Google has finally brought its much lauded Maps feature to iOS and it will be made available to iPhone users soon. Google Maps is considered to be the finest maps applications available and is constantly updated and innovated. The iPhone users would be able to view the maps in 2D and 3D.
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As of now, the feature has been made available on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Users in more than 40 countries will be able to use Google Maps on iPhone in 29 languages. Read more at Google Blog.
Bing Updates Snapshot, Flatters Google
If imitation is the best form of flattery, then Bing took one step towards flattering Google this week by upgrading its Snapshot feature. However, instead of offering something new, Bing has made it eerily similar to Google’s Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge Graph feature displays suggested results in the sidebar when a user types in a query.
Now, Bing users would see the same when they search for something. Snapshot is not a new feature by any means but its new use will definitely make more people aware of it. Read More at Search Engine Journal.
No Images for Google ‘Porn’ Searches
Google has taken a drastic step and banned image results for queries related to ‘porn’. It is not as serious as it sounds. The user still has control over whether he/she wants to view sexually explicit images or not. Google has removed the SafeSearch option and replaced it with an option for ‘filter explicit images’.
Once a user has selected the option, the images search would show no results for a query which could throw up porn related images. For instance, an image search for ‘Boob’ would turn up nothing at all if the user has selected ‘filter explicit images’. Read more at Search Engine Journal.
Google Celebrates 12/12/12 with Zeitgeist
The calendar showed 12/12/12 for the only time this century and Google celebrated by showing the top searches for the year so far with Zeitgeist. Google has been displaying the search trends since the turn of the millennium.
As expected, PSY’s monster viral hit ‘Gangnam Style’ was one of the most searched terms on Google this year, but it may come as a surprise that ‘Whitney Houston’ took the top spot. One could understand that given her death earlier this year. Most of the top search terms related to celebrities and natural disasters. Read more at Search Engine Journal.
Google Offers Data Highlighter for Web Masters
No more do web masters have to manually update the HTML code for an upcoming event. Google has announced the launch of the Data Highlighter. Through this new tool, anyone with access to Google Webmaster Tools can now highlight some important data from the HTML code of a website. This will particularly prove to be useful for websites which run event calendars. If a new event is around the corner, the code wouldn’t have to be rewritten by the developer. Read More at Google Webmaster Central.
Useful Posts worth Reading and Bookmarking
What Did People In The UK Search For On Google In 2012?
With the end of the year just around the corner, Google has gone ahead and revealed the top searches by residents on the UK throughout 2012. Rather boringly, the list of the top 10 search terms has no big surprises as the people have gone about searching for whatever and whoever is popular at the moment.
The top two positions are taken up by sports events, namely the European Football Championship and the Olympics, both of which were held this year. Gangnam Style rounds off the list at No.10. Read more at EConsultancy.
50 Things a Landing Page Should Have
Regardless of how high your opinion is about your landing page, there is always some room for improvement. In fact, there are many things which designers and developers conveniently ignore when working on the landing page. Hence, you can use the checklist containing 50 things a landing page should have to be considered perfect.
These include usual suspects like attention-grabbing design, company logo and clear message. There are also some things which developers don’t focus on, such as popup boxes. Tally your landing page with the checklist to see how good it is. Read more at Unbounce.
The Five Pillars of a Solid Content Strategy
The main focus of any content published online is to capture the visitors’ attention. However, there is much more to it than that. You need to have a solid content strategy in place to ensure the content you develop works. The five pillars of a solid content strategy are
- An easy communicable idea
- A catchy headline
- A proper format
- Use of multimedia and interactive elements
- A 70/20/10 planning model
Having these five pillars in place lays a solid foundation for your content strategy. Read more at EConsultancy.
Do More Features Necessarily Mean More Success?
Believe it or not, but the products which are successful are the ones which have only a handful of features. Simplicity is the name of the game for the companies making them but it is not the only reason they are successful. Of course, there are a number of other factors which contribute to their products’ success but one cannot ignore the limited features.
Despite this, some businesses feel adding features to their existing products is the key to success. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Read more at Kiss Metrics.
Top 10 .htaccess Snippets You Should Know About
If you are familiar with the Apache server, you would know that the .htaccess files are essential for configuring URLs and also for making changes to them. There are many ways a URL can be chopped and changed to be more effective. For instance, if the tail-end of the URL has a clear description of the content of the page, it would be more user-friendly. There are other such .htaccess snippets such as leaving a ‘Coming Back Soon’ message when your website is down for maintenance you will find useful. Read more at SEOmoz.
How Every Marketer Can Be Technical
When competing with marketers with superior skills, it is difficult to produce the kind of results you expect. Regardless of what you think about the methods they use to find success, the truth is they are more successful than you. Yet, most marketers shudder at the prospect of having to learn something technical. It is not a positive attitude to have.
To beat the competition, you have to upgrade your skills and in this day and age, every marketer should be technical. You have to undertake a complete journey to get to the final line! Read more at SEOmoz.
Videos and Infographics of the Week
Matt Cutts Goes ‘Oy Vey’ in New Video
Google’s Matt Cutts has become popular on the web with his videos. In the latest one, he is seen responding to a question regarding how one can make web pages unique and distinct from each other. In his trademark style, Cutts answers the question. What is surprising though is that he takes off his glasses afterwards and puts his head in his hands. The video has gone viral and several websites have posted an animated GIF of Cutts taking off his glasses and then going Oy Vey on video. Read more at Seroundtable.
Top Social Sharing Trends of 2012
According to online platform AddThis, some of the leading social sharing trends among people across the world in 2012 were about the London Olympics, the Presidential Elections and of course, Gangnam Style. The platform has analyzed data collected from over 14 million domains and more than 300 services. With 1.3 billion people using the web each one, they have collected a comprehensive amount of information. They have made it easier for anyone to comprehend the top social sharing trends of 2012 via an infographic. Read more and view infographic at Search Engine Journal.
Best Practices for Social Commerce
Vendors and businessmen who are having trouble comprehending the latest trends in social commerce need not worry anymore. In a new infographic by software vendor 8th Bridge, all the information they need regarding the best practices to follow for social commerce have been laid out. It is certainly a better way of telling them about what they need to know than large blocks of text which can give anyone a headache. It is a must view for any vendor interested in learning about social commerce. Read more and view infographic at EConsultancy.