Google Goes Gaga Over London 2012 Olympics

The Olympics are now well under way with medals flying out left, right and centre and it can be hard to keep track of where they’re going. Step in Google with their customised search results using the recently unveiled Knowledge Graph. It also looks like we’re going to be treated to a daily Olympics themed Google doodle as well!

Google Olympics Doodles

Search for ‘Olympics’ in Google and you will be treated to special results full of data mined from various sources.

I’m only going to talk about Google in this post because Bing’s isn’t quite up to scratch – much like other efforts such as the Social Sidebar. They seem to just miss what people want!

We’ve already seen Google play around with certain searches using the Knowledge Graph – showing Google+ information, Wiki snippets, Flights details, local info and more but this is one of the biggest, coolest and most in-depth search overlay yet. It seems social media is as important for Google as ever, so Social Media Marketing should be just as important as SEO for you! Read the rest of “Google Goes Gaga Over London 2012 Olympics”

Has Everyone Missed the Point of Search Plus Your World?

On January 28th, Danny Sullivan published an interview with Amit Singhal (Google Software Engineer) discussing the initial reaction to Google’s personal search engine ‘Search Plus Your World’. It is now two weeks since the product was integrated into Google search and there has been a huge backlash from the SEO blogosphere with criticism all round for Google ruining search and promoting their own products.

In the interview with Search Engine Land, Singhal defends Search Plus Your World with the assertion that ‘real’ users actually enjoy the new feature and that bloggers are concentrating too much on popular users such as celebrities. Singhal’s point is actually backed up when Danny Sullivan asks about the results for Britney Spears.

britney-spears-sad-seo

Britney hears the news that her Google+ profile ranks highest

How many people can actually say Britney Spears is part of ‘their world’? I think many bloggers (including us) have really missed the aim of Search Plus Your World. It is not about finding the most relevant result for finding celebrities or buying a toaster, it is about finding results based on your friends. This is where the distinction between bloggers and ‘real’ users comes in. Singhal distinguishes between the two because he believes ‘real’ users do benefit from SPYW as their results are based on personal relationships and not what Google think you should see. Read the rest of “Has Everyone Missed the Point of Search Plus Your World?”

Page Layout Algorithm – Google Update

google page layout algorithmGoogle released the latest update to their search algorithm yesterday (19/01/2012), an update that looks at page layout and the content that appears after clicking on results. Cunningly called the ‘page layout algorithm‘.

The new algorithm is designed to penalise sites which cram the top of their pages with advertising, making content hard to find. Matt Cutts talked about this last year and many believed this already happened but Google have now confirmed it as part of their search algorithm.

The Google search algorithm is becoming increasingly intelligent as Google fine tune what they classify as ‘useful’ results. We believe there will be many more changes in 2012 that should shake up SEO as we know it. As we always say though – anybody using traditional, ethical SEO will not be affected. Everything taught on our SEO course is ethical and guarantees long last rankings and not quick fix solutions that end up failing. Our social media course has also now become important as Google have incorporated Google+ into search results while Bing are working with Facebook. The mashup of search engines and social networks means that the two skills go hand in hand for a modern SEO.

This update is in response to complaints from users who say they click on results and then struggle to find the content they’re looking for as it is covered by ads. This is all about quality of content ‘above the fold’. Ie. is the content at the top of the page what the searcher was looking for or did they first have to navigate their way through advertising or unrelated content? Read the rest of “Page Layout Algorithm – Google Update”

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