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Five Must Read Articles on Google
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
As always there is a lot going on at Google.  Late Spring/early Summer seems to be a busy time for Googlers.  Here are a couple of great articles that are Google related that you might want to consider sharing with your online marketing or SEO teams.
  1. Google SEO experts explain what REALLY affects search results - http://www.labnol.org/internet/google-answers-seo-questions/13731/ five Google experts shared their thoughts on SEO from things such as duplicate content to XML sitemaps.  It is a good reminder for many in the industry with some nice nuggets thrown in. 
    For example, with regards to HTML sitemaps, Matt Cutts suggests: If you have time or a script that can generate a pretty HTML Sitemap (e.g; for a blog, you could have one page for each year or month of your blog, depending on how much you write), that can work nicely.
    As mentioned there are some pretty great reminders here.

  2. Google's encrypted search casts shadow on web analytics - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/25/google_ssl_search_and_web_analytics/.  An interesting articles on the impact of how "SSL snuffs browser referrals".  Here's a brief snippet from the article: "Web browsers typically turn off referrers when going from HTTPS to HTTP mode to provide extra privacy," Google says. "By clicking on a search result that takes you to an HTTP site, you could disable any customizations that the website provides based on the referrer information."

  3.  The Value of Google Result Positioning - there have been a number of articles out recently based on click-thru percentages from the organic results of Google search results.  Chitka Research shares their information.  Some interesting stuff here.  What does top spot in the organic rankings mean?  According to Chitka, 34.35% which is considerably higher than what others including our own research have stated.  (Our research suggests that the top spot typically returns a CTR of around 26%. In addition, one of the stats mentioned based on the Chitka research was that going from the 11th spot to 10th (from the second page top the first page) sees a 143% jump in traffic.   The numbers are based on a sample of 8,253,240 impressions across the Chitika advertising network in May, 2010.
    http://chitika.com/research/2010/the-value-of-google-result-positioning/


  4. Something Is Up (Or Down) With Google's Search Algorithm - SE Roundtable has shared their thoughts on the Google "MayDay" Update which we had previously touched on a few weeks back.  Is it this possible algorithm update that is taking place at Google or are people experiencing traffic fluctuations due to Google's redesignhttp://www.seroundtable.com/archives/022264.html

  5. Google’s Push To Speed Up Your Web Site - As Eric Enge points out on his SE Land piece, Google continues to make a big push for improving your website download performance.  Arte you one that thinks that page speed is not an issue?  Well Eric provides an example of a site that did in fact experience a drop in rankings and traffic as a result of slower page load times:
We recently became involved with one website that had seen a drop in rankings and traffic right around the time that Google announced that speed was a ranking factor back on April 9th. Our investigation found that they had been having significant server outages as well as a fairly long average page load time (greater than 5 seconds). While it is not possible to be definitively sure that page speed is the reason for the drop, our investigation has led us to believe that this is in fact the case. We have, of course, addressed the issues and hope to see traffic pop up again soon.
There you have it a couple of great articles about Google.  Google is up to a lot of things these days, from potential algorithm updates to SERP redesigns to encrypted search.  It can be a full time job keeping on top of all of these initiatives, but the main thing is to be patient and see how this will impact you site.  Do not be too quick to make changes for the sake of making changes, but be aware the Google is continuing to evolve its search offering.

Thanks to Tina Kells for pointing us in the direction of a couple of the articles mentioned above.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, May 25, 2010  
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