There were several good discussions last week on our sister site, Sphinn, but Google’s recent launch of jumbo-sized site links in search results was the hottest topic of all.
Our “discussion of the week” asked, The Impact of Google’s 12-Pack of Sitelinks?, and we had a variety of responses — many concerned with the usability factor and/or how Google continues to tweak the new display. Our favorite comment came from Sphinn member Stoney deGeyter of Pole Position Marketing, who said:
From a usability perspective, I’m not a fan. I spent way too much time reading the 12-pack only to realize that the information I was looking for wasn’t listed. I clicked on the main listing and used the navigation to quickly find what I wanted. I guess this is good if Google happens to show what someone ultimately wants, but it sure takes a lot of visual time to look at each of those. Maybe it’s just the format, but for now, I’d rather go to the site to find the page I want.
Meanwhile, the most popular story last week among Twitter users was a piece from GigaOm that compared Google+ and Twitter — and not in a very positive light. Find that and all of Sphinn’s activity from last week below.
- Discussion: The Impact of Google's 12-Pack of Sitelinks? – After a couple months of testing, Google has just formally rolled out a new sitelink display. It shows 12 sitelinks under the main listing and pretty much dominates the above-the-fold screen real estate. In our "Discussion of the Week," we want to hear your opinions on the potential impacts of this dramatic change to certain search results. Is this good for users? Does it impact online reputation management? Does it favor recognizable brands without giving the same exposure opportunity to smaller companies/sites? The floor is open.
- Germany vs. Facebook: Like Button Declared Illegal, Sites Threatened With Fine – German websites have until the end of September to remove Facebook‘s ‘like’ button or face a fine of up to 50,000 Euro.
- What Has Happened to SEO – Here are several conclusions I’ve come to about the state of SEO and why 2011 should be considered the climax of your SEO career.
- “Reclaim Blogging”: Why I’m giving up Twitter and Facebook – Hugh Macleod of GapingVoid explains why he's "reclaiming" his blog: "Besides, even if they’re very good at hiding the fact, over on Twitter and Facebook, it’s not your content, it’s their content. The content on your blog, however, belongs to you, and you alone. People come to your online home, to hear what you have to say, not to hear what everybody else has to say. This sense of personal sovereignty is important."
Most Tweeted (not already listed above)
- How Google+ is like Twitter — but not in a good way – From Mathew Ingram at GigaOm: "..the more I thought about the new social network and the things it doesn’t do very well, the more similar it seemed to the issues that have also been dogging Twitter for some time. Like Twitter, the web giant has to figure out how to solve some pretty challenging problems — including the “noisy stream” issue, the problems of search and discovery, and, of course, how to keep people from going away and never coming back."
- Website Metrics: Your Business Site is in Good Condition – What Now? – You’ve taken your website through the evaluation process…you’ll eventually have to dig in to the metrics and make sure things are happening like they’re “supposed” to.
- PPC and SEO Work Better Together – Razorfish looked at the analytics from a year's worth of client data and determined that when someone asks if it's important to buy keywords if you already show up in Organic Search, even Position 1…that the answer, for the most part, is YES!
- Why Google Panda slapped quality sites – Very interesting thoughts on how Panda has worked and failed and why sites with great content got nailed by Panda.
- 10 risky default settings in social media that you need to check – Nice list of default social media settings that could prove to be problematic.
Hot On Sphinn: August 15 to August 21, 2011
- The Ultimate Guide To “LinkedIn Today” & How To Optimize Your Presence On It – Great, and deep, post from Greg Finn on LinkedIn Today, a LinkedIn feature that was launched back in March and has grown in use with little publicity… until now.
- Most useful new features in Google Analytics v5 – The new version of analytics (v5) became available to all users from April 2011. Other than its new look, it has many new features for helping provide better analysis and SEO reports. The analytics team is still working to give us more surprises over the next few months. I will be covering the most useful features that were missing in the old version of analytics.
- HTML5 And The Document Outlining Algorithm – If you're not sure how and when you can or should use multiple H1 elements to structure content in a way that crawlers/indexers as well as user agents in use by humans can easily digest it, read this excellent tutorial.
- Interview With Link Building Extraordinaire Melanie Nathan – Very insigtful interview with Melanie Nathan (one of the best link builders I know). In the Interview that follows she shares some great nuggest of link building wisdom. Enjoy!
- How to Choose a CMS Provider for SEO – Useful information to help you decide on which CMS platform suits you best from an SEO perspective.
- Using Data to Drive SEO Results – One of the cornerstones of any successful SEO campaign is the ability to use data to drive SEO results. I like to divide the data analytics process into three main phases:
- Some Nifty SEO Bookmarklets To Make You More Efficient – Good post with a couple of dozen handy bookmarklets for use in search engine optimization and SEO analysis.
- Inside Google’s User Experience Lab: An Interview With Google’s Marcin Wichary – Marcin is Senior User Experience Designer at Google, but his numerous roles and broad influence at the company are not conveniently definable. His fingerprints are on the code of Google products ranging from Search to Chrome. He gained publicity for his work on the Google Pac-Man Doodle, which he co-created with a fellow Googler.
- The ultimate guide to the Facebook Edgerank algorithm – Great analysis of the Facebook Edgerank algorithm on how they decide what stories to feature on users walls.
- What Does Google Think Your Site Is About? – An interesting bit of speculation on how Google goes about categorizing site (via algorithms) and how that may impact SEO.
- Throw Away Your Form Letters (or Five Principles to Better Outreach Link Building) – Michael King writes about successfully implementing a custom outreach link building campaign.
- What PPC Practitioners Should Know About Robots.txt Files – Brad Geddes details some of the technical aspects that search engine robot encounter that can affect a pay per click campaign's performance.
- A Guide To Geocoding Images For Local SEO – A virtual mother load of information pertaining to local search optimization via image coding. A long and technical read but well worth the time and effort.
- Data Rich, Optimization Poor – Only 22% of companies have a strategy that ties data collection and analysis to business objectives. That means that 78 percent of companies are just hoping for success by guessing how well they are at providing their customers quality experiences.
- Google Wages War on Spam [Infographic] – Somewhat similar to the SEOmoz content published last week tracking Google's algorithm changes, but still a well done look at how Google has been battling spam over the years.
- Change to Definition of a Visit in Google Analytics – Google announced on Thursday that they were changing the definition of a visit/session in Google Analytics. The key difference is that a new visit will be recorded whenever a visitor re-enters a website with different traffic source information.
This is the latest in a weekly look at the stories that were “hot” on Sphinn in the past week. We’ll post these recaps every week.