This week was especially busy in the world of Internet marketing. Google made a number of announcements (e.g., Panda 3.9, changes to their unnatural links notices, etc.); two large industry conferences were held (MozCon and Search Exchange), and a lot of great posts were published. Here are a few of our favorite posts from this past week:
This year’s MozCon covered a massive number of tools for a variety of industry activities, but Dr. Pete announced one of the most interesting tools: MozCast.
MozCast provides a Google weather report, which is a simple visualization that characterizes the historic “flux” of Google’s algorithm. If the weather is hot and stormy, it means Google’s results have fluctuated significantly. On the other hand, if the weather is cold and clear, Google’s results have been relatively stable.
The weather is generated based on the observed top 10 organic Google search results for 1,000 keywords. Each day, the current top 10 for a given keyword is compared to the previous day’s top 10, and changes are calculated. Then, the calculations for each keyword are averaged and normalized to appear like a Fahrenheit temperature (sorry non-US readers :-)).
For more details about how MozCast calculates it temperature, check out MozCast’s About page. Happy forecasting!
MozCast was announced at MozCon, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. Over the course of this three day event, an insane number of tools were mentioned by various speakers. In this post, Thomas Hogenhaven lists the most popular ones.
The list is broken down into 8 categories:
- Content Tools – these are tools that help you create compelling textual and graphic content.
- SEO Tools – this category of tools helps you perform traditional SEO tasks (e.g., keyword research, SERP checking, etc.).
- Outreach Tools – these tools help you perform outreach and promotion activities.
- UX Tools – this category is all about helping you improve the user experience of your projects.
- Community & Social Media Tools – these tools help you generate stronger social engagement.
- Management Tools – this category helps you manage your time and resources more effectively.
- User Research Tools – these tools help you learn as much as possible about your users.
- Analytics Tools – this category is all about generating actionable analytics data.
In last week’s Gnome Likes, I mentioned the confusion surrounding Google’s new unnatural links notices. Last night, Matt Cutts posted a clarification, but I still wouldn’t characterize the situation as clear.
Cutts begins by reviewing the original unnatural links notices that Google started sending back in March. These messages are meant to notify site owners that their sites have been penalized for unnatural links, and they represent severe situations that require action (and ultimately a reconsideration request).
According to Cutts, these new notices are for less severe situations where Google is distrusting specific links (and not an entire site).
The new messages make it clear that we are taking “targeted action on the unnatural links instead of your site as a whole.”
Cutts then explains that these new notices ARE worth your attention (this is important because it conflicts with numerous industry reports last week that suggested these notices could be ignored), and he gives three specific scenarios that pertain to these latest notices: widget links, paid links, and reputation management (i.e., links used to artificially boost the reputation of a person or organization).
Next, Cutts recommends that you respond to these notices by checking your most recent backlinks (through Google Webmaster Tools) and cleaning up any links that appear to be “widgetbait, paid links, or serious linkspam.”
Finally, the post ends with my favorite part:
If you get one of these messages, it’s not a cause for panic, but neither should you completely ignore it.
So… don’t over-panic, but definitely don’t under-panic either. Just panic the appropriate amount ;-).
In this week’s edition of Whiteboard Friday, John Doherty presents helpful advice for smarter and more effective internal linking on your website. This is especially useful in the post-Penguin world of link analysis.Happy Saturday, and enjoy your weekend!