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SEO News: Back to the search engines…

After taking a break from search to talk some social last week, it’s time for us to get back to search engines and SEO.

One thing that caught my attention was Andrew Shotland’s comments over at Search Engine Land: He spoke about the non-existent SEO at Foursquare, a platform that still hasn’t been properly optimized, (which can be easily seen in our visibility🙂

Nevertheless, the guys over there are generating a decent amount of traffic at the site and it appears that the number of users is increasing.

SEO isn’t their top priority at the moment – their concerns are probably more focused on investor capital. But imagine what would happen if Foursquare did get started on effectively optimizing their site? Think of all the things they could do with the user-generated content – they’re sitting on a goldmine…

But enough of that, it’s time for the SEO news of the week:

  • Bashing the competition can quickly backfire. Bing tried to embarrass the market leader Google with its new buzzword “Scroogle.” It targeted the purchased entries at Google Shopping, which you can only get into (as a merchant) if you pay. Bing does things differently: The entry is free, but the search-results ranking isn’t. I’m not sure if k thats is any better. Either way, the campaign wasn’t much of a hit.
  • Apple doesn’t just sell an incredible number of devices, its Safari browser is also quietly making its way closer to the top. Those who aren’t optimizing their websites for Apple’s browser – and a lot of companies aren’t – should take a look at the figures Patrick Altoft compiled. He believes Safari ranks second in use behind Firefox and ahead of Chrome and the prehistoric Internet Explorer.
  • Want to get your page off Google as quickly as possible? Then you’ll probably be interested in these tips from Eric Siu. He compiled a list of 17 simple tricks that will most likely have Google kick you out of the index in no time. Might be something for the publishing houses to take a look at, as it would be a simple solution to their Google News problem.
  • Once more the year is coming to an end. Time for an obligatory look back and roundup. Yahoo took the first step with the most frequent searches of the year. “Elections” was at the top of the list, followed ironically by “iPhone 5” – which was also the top search term for mobile searches. By the way, the search volume at Google was pretty similar – you can find those results in our software.
  • Apparently 90% of all Google Webmaster emails are about black hat topics. Ah-ha. I know quite a few people who got these emails, but wouldn’t immediately throw any of them into the black hat category. But oh well, it’s nice of Google to point out the evildoers’ bad deeds.
  • Is Google becoming evil? More and more comparison portals are sharing the publishing houses’ opinion. The brand new “Google Cars” isn’t winning any innovation prizes – but it is definitely another attack some business models out there. The same also goes for the Knowledge Graph, which now includes pharmaceuticals…
  • Voluntarily saying no to 750,000 visitors? There’s never a reason to do that, your first thought might be. Seems someone is doing it though, and it’s all about an article that was drawing up to 12,000 visitors on a good day that they deleted on purpose. Why? “Our Commitment” is becoming more and more important, and the article on this topic was apparently dragging down the rest of the site. What’s your thoughts? Smart move or bad?
  • Finally, I wanted to throw a number out there just to get your thoughts on it; Google allegedly spent around 14 million dollars on lobbying this year. Wow, that’s a tidy little sum no? Looks like the guys over there lead the tech company pack, by far. Though it should be said, it is probably money very well spent. A breakup of the corporation would probably cause a lot more trouble for Google than dishing out 14 million dollars to keep the decision-makers happy, don’t you think?

So, just a few more days… Until the next edition. Let me know if I missed anything or if we can make any changes.