My Five: Five things worth sharing from the last week (or so), brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Ali.
1. Panda updates and why I don’t give a shit
First I should acknowledge that that’s not my headline – but Velocity Partners’ – who neatly sum up why, as an industry, we shouldn’t go to pieces every time Google hints at an algorithm update.
Creating useful, entertaining or engaging content that other people want to use or share will help you ride out the storm.
Stand back from the hype and think about what your organisation would do if the world was your oyster and Google wasn’t seemingly blocking your path to global domination. The likelihood is, that idea will create more love and noise online, and generally much more of a positive impact on your traffic and rankings, than any activity solely aimed at beating a search engine.
2. Search Within
Google is rolling out a new Search Within feature. You enter a brand name in to the Google search bar and it automatically shows search results as you type (Google Instant) – nothing new there. But now the Search Within feature pops up within that search box and allows users to search from inside just that one site.
It has always been possible to do this manually by using ‘site:’ before a search query but this wasn’t really known about or used.
This new tool, if it rolls out widely, should mean that users can more quickly identify the content they need. This is particularly true of sites with huge volumes of content where users are put off by the need to wade through copious amount of information, or where a website has previously had no search facility. (No search facility? What century are you operating in?)
With this in mind, it seems like now might be the perfect time for a good spring clean of content. I know I personally get hacked off when I quote something back to a company from its own website, only to be told that the piece of information is now out of date or not applicable.
Much was written in 2012 about whether Leveson would tackle bloggers and tweeters but very little has been updated since the Leveson recommendations were agreed this week. The charter(p21) does in fact state that ‘a publisher could be a website containing news-related material (whether or not related to a newspaper or magazine)’.
On that basis, there are rather a lot of websites, bloggers and tweeters who should also probably be queuing up to join the new body. Something tells me they might be slightly less than forthcoming but we only need to wait until the next big Ryan Giggs type scandal to see how this plays out in practise.
4. Link Removal
We’ve had a couple of clients recently that have fallen prey to their former agencies embarking on less than white SEO activity. Therefore we’ve had to address this via link removal and link text amendment activity before starting work on the more creative side of things. You can always bet on the less scrupulous in our industry to make hay while the sun shines and in this case, the latest tactic as reported by SEO Round Table is sites charging hefty link removal fees.
Google expects the site owner or agency to clearly demonstrate their attempt to remove unwanted links but now this grey area has emerged, one can only presume that Google will take this into consideration. A site owner may be able to get a link amended or removed if it is happy and able to pay up but should it be expected to do so?
5. Social Media Sacrifices
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our infographic about what real life activities people are prepared to sacrifice in order to get their hit of Twitter or Facebook. It’s interesting food for thought. I think it’s sleep for me… on those nights when you simply can’t get some shut eye, it’s so easy to pick up a smartphone and get lost on social media for hours. I’m considering a strict 11pm til 6am embargo but may need to start charging my phone downstairs overnight, such is the addiction.