Kicking off this week’s roundup is not one but two communications from the Googleplex. First off they sounded the death-knell for ‘link building’ by changing the wording on their fabled webmaster guidelines, replacing the instructions for webmasters to increase ‘the number of high quality sites that link to their pages’ with instructions to create ‘high-quality sites that users will want to use and share’ (here’s Search Engine Land’s take on it: http://searchengineland.com/google-changes-ranking-advice-says-build-quality-sites-not-links-163931)
Now we all know that links are still the driving force of Google’s algorithm, but this change in the guidelines reinforces the general industry movement away from tacky link building tactics and into improving usability of sites and branding/social efforts. I don’t think being so forward about encouraging ‘shares’ is a good idea though, as it will probably mean users get swamped with the kind of horrible ‘viral’ content the likes of Buzzfeed pump out all day long. On that subject, there was a good article on SEOBook this week about the relationship between Google and publishers, which is well worth a read: http://www.seobook.com/ouroboros
Secondly, Google released a very detailed and welcome FAQ-type post on the Webmaster Central blog about how to file backlink reconsideration requests: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/backlinks-and-reconsideration-requests.html.
Some handy new SEO tips…
As usual, there was some good new SEO advice published this week. The ever-reliable Branded3 blog had some good tips on creating that all important ‘high quality content’: http://www.branded3.com/blogs/resources-for-creating-brilliant-content/, Search Engine Watch had a good piece on the growing importance of better integration across PPC and SEO: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2275515/PPC-and-SEO-Higher-Conversion-Rates-Fuel-the-Need-for-Better-Integration, Econsultancy gave us the four most common mobile SEO mistakes we should be avoiding: http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/62913-four-mobile-seo-mistakes-you-shouldn-t-be-making and Search Engine Land had an interesting opinion piece about why small businesses would probably be better off not building links at all: http://searchengineland.com/best-link-building-for-local-seo-none-162828
How much traffic will being No. 1 get me!?
Focusing solely on ranking positions isn’t really recommended, but it’s still good to have a benchmark to keep in mind. Search Engine Watch reported on a new study from Chitika about the CTR’s of organic traffic this week, which concluded that being in position 1 gets you an average of 33% of the clicks. Which will come in handy next time I’m doing a gap analysis! Here’s the full report: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2276184/No.-1-Position-in-Google-Gets-33-of-Search-Traffic-Study
Noam Chomsky used to be a bit of an idol of mine, thanks to my A-Level Media Studies teacher. I’ve let my media theory reading slip a bit in recent times, unfortunately, but Chomsky’s comments about Google Glass brought it all back this week – I’ll have to check if his latest book is on Google Books! Here’s what he had to say, as reported by Venture Beat (http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/18/google-glass-is-orwellian-ridiculous-and-destroys-people-noam-chomsky-says/)