Monday Morning SEO: Link Warnings and Google Handwrite
Bill Slawski, July 30, 2012
This is the first edition of a new feature on the Optimized Times. We will be looking back at some of the posts related to search and SEO from the previous week, and pointing out some of the ones that we find interesting.
These might include posts and articles from the search engines, blog posts from other sites that present an interesting perspective on Search and SEO, and even an occasional retro post from years past.
New Google Link Warnings
Google's chief webspam fighter Matt Cutts gave us the details on New Notifications about inbound links on Friday afternoon. These link messages that arrive through your Google Webmaster Tools account (a great reason to verify your site through GWT) aren't considered by Google to be as severe a warning as the previous link warning messages sent out by Google in previous months, but they are still worth taking very seriously. Matt noted in the post that these notifications might go out to sites that are "mostly" good but:
...might have some spammy or artificial links pointing to it (widgetbait, paid links, blog spam, guestbook spam, excessive article directory submissions, excessive link exchanges, other types of linkspam, etc.).
If Google takes action on links pointed to these sites, the impact might not directly affect the rankings of the sites receiving these messages, but they could have trouble ranking for some phrases.
GWT New Download External Links by Date Feature
Google's webmaster Tools evangelist John Mueller pointed out on Google Plus a new feature in Google Webmaster Tools that enables you to download the latest links to your site that Google knows about by date. We'll definitely be exploring this feature.
Google shows off a new way to enter searches into devices that have touch enabled screens with Google Handwrite:
Definitely another reason to make sure that your site is readable on the smaller screens of tablets and smartphones.
Broadening how Analytics are looked at
An article from last Thursday presents some very thoughtful points about measuring the consumer paths to purchases on ecommerce sites in The Dangers of Direct Response Metrics for Online Retailers. It includes some great insights from Google’s Zero Moment of Truth Model and study.
SEO for Apps
The reach of SEO is expanding in some places you might not have expected or anticipated. An Apple patent application published last week, Generation of Topic-Based Language Models for an App Search Engine, tells us about Apple's exploration of search for their App Store, letting people search for an application based upon its function rather than just its title.
How Important is Anchor Text in 2012?
A very interesting survey of people in the search industry took place recently by Giuseppe Pastore, on their opinions about how the search engines treat anchor text these days. The post is Anchor text future according to 19 experts
As a bit of a disI didn't provide an answer to the survey questions themselves, but Giuseppe was kind enough to include within the post my response, which starts out with the statement, "I don’t think that there’s some percentage of hypertext relevance that triggers some penalty that can be easily spotted or identified."
The post is definitely worth a look to see the opinions of others involved in the survey, which range widely but include some very intersting thoughts.
Interview with Sagar Kamdar, Head of Google's Authorship Program
According to the Q&A with Sagar Kamdar at Search Engine Journal, Google isn't using signals from Google Plus to rank pages in Web search, yet. But it is something that Google is experimenting with. It's a nice introduction to the topic, and as an added bonus, it includes a presentation on Google Authorship with Webimax's Director of Consulting, Chris Countey.
Sometimes an old post finds some relevance in your life, and I'm pointing to this old classic post from Dr. Jakob Nielsen from September of 1998 this week as one that has still has some significant meaning today, not only for SEO, but also for improving communications with the people whom you correspond with on a daily basis.
In Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines, Dr. Nielsen provides some excellent advice for how to effectively write email subject lines, titles for pages, and headlines on pages. I'd love to hear what the good Dr. has to say about miro-blogging content these days.
Please let me know what you think of this roundup, and how we might make it even better.