You are what you read – the best SEO articles from the past week (1 – 6 July)

I was away at Glastonbury last week (yes, even I get to have some days off!), so I missed an edition of You Are What You Read unfortunately. Not to worry though, as there has been the usual high volume of quality SEO tips, advice and news to catch up on this week – so let’s dive straight in…

New design for Google Webmaster Tools
The start of the week saw Google update the UI of its Webmaster Tools – which breaks down the different functionality according to what Google calls the ‘stages of search’: crawling, indexing, traffic and ‘search appearance’. Read about the new design at Google’s Webmaster Central blog (which you should also subscribe to if you don’t already): http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/easier-navigation-without-gps.html

Chris Butterworth at DejanSEO was quick out the blocks, writing an interesting post on how and why the new WMT design is putting a lot more focus on Schema – read it here: http://dejanseo.com.au/webmaster-tools-changes-bring-schema-into-focus/

News is in the news…
As an owner of a moderately successful music news and review site I see a lot of traffic coming from Google News, so it’s no surprise to me that Google is beginning to test new methods to maximise the traffic through its News vertical. Jennifer Slegg at Search Engine Watch reported this week on Google testing bigger, more eye-catching images for News results in the SERPs – which is an important consideration if you are targeting ‘newsworthy’ keywords: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2279295/Google-Tests-Bigger-Images-in-New-Look-News-Results

SEO keyword research is a-changing…
If there’s one lesson I have learned more than any other during my career in SEO it’s that you should never get too attached to a certain product, tool or method. You can only be successful in this constantly shifting landscape if you thrive on change and can quickly embrace new things. This all comes to mind because the way I have been doing keyword research for the past few years is set to change drastically, as Google begin to phase out the AdWords Keyword Tool and replace it with the AdWords Keyword Planner. I’ve not used the new tool too much yet, but luckily the guides and tips are already being published – the latest comes from Casey Meraz on Moz.com about using the new tool for Local keyword research: http://moz.com/blog/using-the-new-adwords-keyword-planner-for-local-seo-keyword-research

More on content marketing…
My day to day work is being more and more dominated by talk of ‘content’ these days – which is becoming a bigger consideration in every area of online marketing. It not only brings traffic to a site, but helps traffic convert and also turns new visitors into repeat visitors and ‘brand ambassadors’. The key to all that though, is producing the right type of ‘quality content’. That’s the hard part, and naturally it’s the area I am currently working on a lot. The latest articles I’ve found helpful on this subject come from Econsulancy – which has just published a huge list of links to content marketing resources (http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/63014-70-epic-content-marketing-best-practice-tips-stats-blog-posts-and-more) and Jason Acidre, who publised a great post on Kaiser The Sage about creating a great user experience mixing content with other coversion rate optimisation techniques: http://kaiserthesage.com/great-experience/

Still can’t get my head around the new TLDs…
How the new batch of TLDs (Top Level Domains) are going to affect the world of SEO is still very unclear to me. Because they are quite expensive to buy, I would guess that Google will treat the premium ones like .nyc and .nike in the same way as it treats .gov and .ac.uk domains – there’s a high entry level for them so they must be trustworthy sites.

In the long term though, more long-tail TLDs are going to become available for anyone to buy. So how will they affect rankings etc….? Kelly Salter at Econsultancy published an interesting thought-piece about TLDs this week, which is required reading: http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/62983-how-will-the-introduction-of-new-gtlds-change-the-internet

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