Minor learning of the day: you cannot change your YouTube username.
Medium learning of the day: Latest version of Google Chrome can prerender a page if it is coded correctly. This means that after a page loaded a next page can start loading in the background. Useful when there is a predefined or frequently used sequence of pages.
Major learning of the day: You can submit the URL of a single webpage for reindexing if you really want. Learned it from the official Google Webmaster blog via Search Engine Land.
- Martin Macdonald shared the thinking, methodology and results of his experiment whether large volumes of searches can influence Google ranking and suggestions.
He was a bit shaky on how he generated the volume of queries needed to achieve his goal, but the rest was interesting. My impression was though that other methods are more white hat and effective than this one.
- Mike Blumenthals outlined his thoughts on how to respond when a competitor posts a spam/negative review on Google places for you.
Rather timely post as we were preparing for the same possibility too. Now that Google Places is displaying their own reviews more prominently and other sites’ review not at all I suspect this issue will gain importance and possibly notoriety.
- Greg Sterling tried to figure out how long Bing is thinking ahead.
The post was prompted by a New York Times article exploring similar questions. Both went beyond the attitude of “Google rules, why does Bing bother at all” and shed some light on how and when Bing may gain a bigger marketshare.
- Mike Bluementhal noticed a few changes in Google Places Quality Guidelines.
He confirmed that Google is still using submitted data not displayed. Good reminder to keep filling everything we can in the forms in the hope that it helps ranking.
- Julie Joyce collected 5 Metrics To Quickly Assess Site Quality When Link Building: Crawl Frequency, Origin Of The Domain, Quality Content, Online Sentiment, Social Media Presence.
These are all god and somewhat evident, but it made up a nice little piece combined with the rehash of more traditional criteria: Number of backlinks to home page, Number of backlinks to other pages on the site, Home page and subpage toolbar PR, Quality of backlinks, Moz Rank.
Useful fact of the day: WordPress MU (MultiUser) allows running multiple blogs from one installation, under different subdomains or directories
Useless fact of the day: There are more Americans on Facebook than have passports. 150 million vs. 115 million. (Source: Tripl)
And now onto today’s SEO links with my comments in italics:
- Mike Blumenthals pointed out three features that got more prominent display in Google Places: Coupon, streetview, ratings.
These changes make Places even more relevant and interesting both for businesses and consumers.
- Blumenthals also shared a really useful tip on what to do, when Google Places listing says “We currently do not support the location”
This was much appreciated as we were having the kind of issue mentioned here.
- Rand Fishkin gave tips on “how to find find the sources Google may be using to resource their Places data.”
I finally got a hint why the sudden (and generally positive) changes to Google Plcaes are happening now: FTC’s investigation into “complaints by sources like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Citysearch who claimed that Google unfairly used their content to make the Places pages results useful without compensation or traffic.”
Plus I got a reference to good citation research tool: WhiteSpark.
- Bryson Meunier outlined “Better Mobile Linkbuilding In 5 Easy Steps”
So far I consistently avoided commenting on mobile SEO. I don’t have a webenabled smartphone so personally I am not in this market. This simple reason made me not want to go to this increasingly important segment of the SEO world. But I know that I cannot avoid it forever, so this article is as good as any to start paying attention to it.
- Slingshot SEO presented its study on answering the question “How many visitors can we expect, if we rank [x]?”
The heavily qualified answer 17 to 21% CTR for #1 position. 10% for #2, 5-9% for #3 and then it goes way down. Good to know, even if it is not quotable without the “qualifications/explanation.
Fun widget of the day: Google+ Feed Widget, used to showing off the Google + public stream on a blog or website. See it on the side of my blog too.
Sad non-sign-up of the page: I have iTunes on my computer at work. I tried to get the artwork for the CDs I have been importing into it. To access that feature I was required to sign up for an iTunes Store account. The process however required giving them my credit card information. Considering that I don’t plan to purchase anything and that it is a machine at work (that might be used by other people too) I didn’t finish the sign-up procedure. Hence I cannot see the cover art. At least I can listen to my music though.
And now onto today’s SEO links with my comments in italics:
- Mike Blumenthals usually posts 3-5 entries a week. Today he did five, because his area: “Google Maps & Local Search” has seen a serious update. Instead of linking to all of those, why don’t I just point out the two most important ones: his collection of articles from around the web and analysis of “What Does it Mean for the SMB?” (Search Engine Land covered the topic as well of course: Google Overhauls Place Pages, Emphasizes Reviews & Kills Citations)
This is a big change the business the company I work for is in. There was a lot of excitement and some concern at the office today. Overall feeling is positive, we’ve been expecting something like this.
- Cyrus Shepard explained a few negative ranking factors in his (transcribed) video.
Having a long domain and slow response time is a no brainer, But having AdSense ads on your site and higher percentage of followed as opposed to “nofollow” links pointing to your site was a bit of surprise for me.
- Barry Schwartz had some questions about Bing mixing ads with organic search results.
The areas that ethics need to cover nowadays amazes me. Just because search engine companies were committed to “clean” SERPs and we the users got used to them doesn’t mean that the companies can change their policies and design. We might just have to relearn what Howard Rheingold calls crap detection.
I found that finding the “proper” URL of a business on Google Places, also known as Google Maps isn’t obvious, so put together this little tutorial. By “proper” I mean the simple (with no unnecessary information in the URL), unique identifier that will always take you to the right page as long as it exists or as long as Google doesn’t change its system.
1. Search Google for the business by its phone number, name or address.
2. Click the “maps” tab. The result might look like this:
3. Right click the business name and select “open link in new tab”.
Notes: Or you can open it in a new window if you wish.
If you are on a mac use command click to open in a new window.
If your results showing only the map and in left side bar, you can still click on the business name, but you might have t click first the drop icon to see it.
The resulting page might look like this:
4. Notice the difference between the URLs of the two pages/screenshot. The first one has the search query (the phone number in our case) and a lot of other information in it. The second one starts with this “http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=” then a 20 digit number. Cut the rest of the URL off to get to the cleanest address for the business. If you use that shortened URL the page loaded will not identify what browser you used, where you came from or what search query you entered earlier.