We first introduced the Friday Catch-up section two weeks ago, and we really hope that you had a chance to go through it. Like we mentioned before, this new section of our blog will focus on all noteworthy occurrences in the SEO world, pertaining to the current week. Additionally, we will be providing you with some informational pieces so that you can make the most out of SEO and internet marketing. So here is a summary of all happenings this week.
News and Events
What was the basis of the problem: technicalities of a website or Google’s algorithm?
December 14th, 2012 was a significant day for MozCast because they recorded the biggest Google ranking flux ever since they started tracking data. The temperature on that day equaled 102.2 °F. True, the recorded temperature on a few previous days had also been overestimated due to SERPs. However, MozCast had already fixed it, and so the value should not have been this high.
Even though Google had not announced a new algorithm update, many other people were also experiencing similar problems with their rankings and internet traffic on their websites. A notable name among this was Wikipedia whose barbeque page had completely vanished from the top 10 rankings.
The main cause of the problem is yet to be determined. Read the complete story at SEOMoz.
FB is updating ‘Facebook Nearby’ feature for iOS and Android apps
Facebook is trying to take over the market share for local searches by releasing a new version of their ‘Nearby’ feature in the upcoming days. This release will only be applicable to iOS and android devices. As of now, Nearby only shows where your friends have been, but over the next few days, it will also start showing businesses and other locals spots which are in close proximity. Thus, it will be able to serve as a local search tool, and you can conduct searches by name or category. The rankings on the results pages will be based on factors such as the number of likes, ratings, recommendations and check-ins.
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The full story is available at Search Engine Land.
Plan your 2013 holidays in the simplest possible way, thanks to Google
Google goes to the extreme to help its users, and the same is demonstrated by its new Flight searches. Google wants you to gear off for the holidays in the shortest time ever. Just use Google to make all your arrangements, stuff your bags with a few necessities and you will be all ready to go in no time.
Google has updated their Flight Search to Flight Explorer, and introduced new features which will provide you with more detailed information. You can find all you need to know about upcoming flights, ticket fees, accommodation rates, hotels, and nearby tourist spots. You will also be able to compare different options, and easily finalize a plan suitable to your budget.
Read the full story at Google’s official blog.
Raymond Kurzweil joins the Google team as a Director of Engineering
Google added a new member on their team on December 17th, 2012. Ray Kurzweil is enjoying this moment to the utmost, and is really enthusiastic about working for Google. Kurzweil has always had a soft spot for Google because they funded his Singularity University, and now that he has been bestowed with this amazing opportunity, he is really eager to face the challenges that Google has to offer.
Kurzweil’s expertise is language processing and machine learning. He believes that the future world will be about robotics and automation, and he will try his best that Google makes a significant contribution to it. The full story can be read at Search Engine Journal.
Google tries to overcome the problem of unintended clicks on mobile phones
Inadvertent clicks on mobile phones affect SEO considerably, and Google is trying their best to put a stop to it. Some time back, Google added a new feature to their mobile ads which would ask the users to confirm if the click was intended or not before transferring them to the targeted link. But it looks as if the giant search engine does not deem this a fit solution. Google now wants to expand this feature further and integrate it with their image based formats. However, a few people believe that even this will not fully solve the issue.
Read the full story at Econsultancy.
Google has found a new way to take feedback
Google considers their user opinions to be very valuable, and so they have always asked people’s perspective on their search engine results for quite a long time now. This has somewhat changed in the last past month or so, and now instead of obtaining a feedback on all of their results, they just want a view on only some of them. The same can be depicted from the image below.
It must be mentioned that any feedback given will have no direct influence on the rankings of the pages. Get the full story at Search Engine Land.
Foursquare trying to take credit for Facebook’s Nearby
Foursquare quickly responded to Facebook’s announcement which stated that they will soon make changes to their ‘Near By’ feature on Android and iOS devices. Now Foursquare will use Facebook’s efforts to enhance their Explore. The company intends to use Facebook’s data to improve searches conducted through their apps. This feature will be available on the Foursquare website, iPhones, and Android phones.
Read the full story at Search Engine Land.
Useful Posts and Info
Make the most out of social media and use it to identify your influencers
There are many tools available which can monitor social media, and you should utilize them to the fullest in order to promote your business to a wider range of audience. Before you start finding influencers for your business, you should first determine the type of individuals which will be suitable for the purpose. You may be seeking a passionate person or those who have a vast knowledge of your industry. However, you should get this done with prior to the monitoring process.
The next step is to analyze your objectives, and accordingly, figure out relevant metrics, which will help your SEO. Read the complete process on Econsultancy.
Verifying your website’s ownership is the first step of using Google’s Webmaster tools
Google has coined down a few tips that will help you verify ownership of your website in a simple way. You can choose any verification method you like, as long as your hosting provider and CMS permit you to. Get a complete list of tips on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog.
United Kingdom takes the number 1 slot in the ecommerce world
Though ecommerce websites have become quite common these days, many of these are still not as user friendly as they should be. But this is so not the case with UK, because by far, the country builds the best ecommerce sites on the internet.
So why is it that no other nation can develop sites as good as theirs? Here are some of the prime reasons behind this: English is the native language in UK, and the same is used for most of their websites. If international shoppers cannot find relevant local sites, they often revert to sites that use the English language. Another reason could be that UK is much smaller in US than size, and so has a much higher population density. This means reduced distances, which in turn speeds up the delivery process.
If you want to know more reasons, you should go through the article on Econsultancy.
Infographics and Videos
Matt Cutts is in a rage
Matt Cutts is an employee at Google, and he is extremely angry because a large mass of people have still not realized how Google’s SEO works. The sad part is that webmasters are seeking help from these same people in order to improve their SEO’s.
You can view Matt Cutts speech at Search Engine Roundtable.
Learn the basics of A/B test through a simple step by step method
Performing an A/B test is a hard, and Content Verve is well aware of this. Therefore, they have launched a fairly easy guide to the basics of A/B test. You will get all the information you need on splitting the test, the minimum traffic required to perform it, and determining the accuracy of the results.
Master the essential of A/B test through this video at Content Verve.
Get to know the differences between a good Outreach email and a great Outreach email
Outreach emails may be sent for a large number of reasons, but they all have one common characteristic. The content is too poor to initiate a reply which mars the purpose. So make your Outreach emails effective with Rand’s tips in this video. Rand works for SEOmoz.com.
See the best infographics of 2012 in one place
The year 2012 saw a large number of high quality infographics related to the Internet Marketing and SEO. Econsultancy was smart enough to compile the best 14 of them in one place. So give these infographics a good look here to gain some valuable information.