Would you have thought changing font and spacing could lead to a 133% improvement in conversion rates? Well it's true, according to a study. The article references how strategic changes in fonts and typography can significantly improve user experience metrics which in turn affect conversion rates.
I believe the most important takeaway from the article is the need for testing. We may have all made smart strategic decisions on what fonts we chose to represent our brands, but have we used experience metrics to confirm our decisions were correct? When was the last time you tested slight modifications to your font?
Google announced last month that it would give a small ranking boost to HTTPS (secure) URLs over HTTP (non secure). Since then many site owners have been migrating their sites to HTTPS. Now that a few weeks have gone by, Search Metrics set out to see how much of a ranking boost HTTPS domains are seeing. Their conclusion, there is no ranking benefit!
Google's Matt Cutts has been personally recommending HTTPS for some time now. And Google itself is. Because there is no immediate ranking benefit, it does not appear to be worth your efforts to migrate your site in the short term. I'm assuming Google will give us some kind of incentive to in the long term and that incorporating HTTPS in your next build will be worth our time.
I particularly find the part about reputation interesting. If you have a poor reputation, you cannot be considered "High" quality. No matter how good you site / content is.
Yes! Google rolled out Panda 4.0 on May 20th (a significant revision to the quality content component of its algorithm). Since its release, significant brands have seen dramatic shifts in search visibilty. In the case of RetailMeNot, the loss in visibility is actually a cause for a decline in stock value. Since Panda 4.0 came out, their stock has dropped 22%!
Are investors / analysts overreacting to their loss in search visibility? Or is organic search this crucial to their business model? It's an interesting time none the less. Worlds of SEO and financial analysis are colliding. What's next, link portfolios within stock portfolios? As weird as that sounds, it does make sense. The future will be interesting.
One other interesting thing I forgot to mention is that Google is an investor in RetailMeNot. It is actually comforting to see them not showing bias to where their money is. Kind of cool.
Yesterday Google announced two algo changes: 1.) Payday Loan 2.0 (a spam fighting update) that rolled out this past weekend and 2.) Panda 4.0 (relevant to quality content). The Panda update is not a typical rolling update (data refresh). It's presumed to be significant, affecting 7.5% of all English-based searches.
Search communities have noticed significant swings in visibility over the past weekend. The timing of the fluctuation seems relevant to the Payday Loan update, but most speculate that the fluctuation was caused by Panda -- though reports Panda was released yesterday.
Regardless of timing, things are changing and people will be talking about Panda 4.0 for weeks to come. In this article, shows us that Ebay was one of the sites that was likely majorly affected by Panda.
Search Metrics is also reporting significant losses in visibility - http://blog.searchmetrics.com/us/2014/05/21/panda-update-4-0-winners-and-losers-google-usa/ for large businesses. Most of the sites on the list appear to be content aggregation sites with little original content. Sites include:
ask.com> – 50%
ebay.com> – 33%
biography.com> – 33%
retailmenot.com> – 33%
starpulse.com> – 50%
history.com> – 33%
isitdownrightnow.com> – 50%
aceshowbiz.com> – 75%
examiner.com> – 50%
yellowpages.com> – 20%
yourtango.com> – 75%
dealcatcher.com> – 50%
livescience.com> – 50%
webopedia.com> – 50%
xmarks.com> – 50%
simplyrecipes.com> – 33%
siteslike.com> – 50%
digitaltrends.com> – 50%
health.com> – 50%
spoonful.com> – 75%
songkick.com> – 75%
realsimple.com> – 33%
appbrain.com> – 33%
thehollywoodgossip.com> – 50%
dealspl.us> – 33%
techtarget.com> – 33%
gossipcop.com> – 50%
rd.com> – 75%
chow.com> – 33%
doxo.com> – 50%
heavy.com> – 50%
csmonitor.com> – 33%
toptenreviews.com> – 20%
parenting.com> – 50%
globalpost.com> – 75%
espnfc.com> – 50%
serviceguidance.com> – 50%
mnn.com> – 75%
mystore411.com> – 50%
urlm.co> – 33%
delish.com> – 50%
healthcentral.com> – 33%
whatscookingamerica.net> – 50%
columbia.edu> – 20%
songlyrics.com> – 20%
internetslang.com> – 33%
ibiblio.org> – 50%
webutation.info> – 50%
cheapflights.com> – 33%
mybanktracker.com> – 50%
These sites likely have at least one thing in common, their content doesn't offer unique value. That's something we all need to ask ourselves to keep our business and search visibility future proof. Is our value unique?
The article shows how mixing key offline strategies with your online approach can help drive ROI at scale. While spend, rightfully so, continues to shift to digital, here's why bigger brands should not completely ignore the master channel.
The algorithm change does not appear to be spam related, instead just focused on local search results. It appears as though Google is trying to update its local algo to be as sophisticated as its standard web search algo, ensuring the local algo conforms to the same hundreds of ranking factors as the web search algorithm.
As part of the update, you'll notice changes in what keywords trigger the 7 pack (among other changes). Some that triggered the pack before may not now. Others that didn't trigger the pack, may now. Google hasn't reported what % of search results have changed, but it's expected to be one of the bigger local updates in the past several years.
Here's an update since Friday: http://www.seroundtable.com/google-pigeon-update-18909.html
Though brands have been increasing their content posted on Facebook by 20%, total engagement from the top 10 most-followed brands on Facebook has declined 40% year-over-year.
The new report from +Simply Measured proves that despite efforts to stimulate engagement naturally, the only way to increase engagement / awareness on Facebook sadly appears to be through paid means.
In a similar way that Yelp allows its mobile app users to upload photos, its now allowing users to upload 3 -12 second video reviews. Yelp is rolling this feature out first to its elite users in June before rolling it out to everyone else.
Well it should be. According to this study, 2/3 of emails are now opened by mobile phones and tablets. Desktop open rates continue to decline and are now a minority.
- SitewireDirector of Search Strategy, 1999 - present
- W. P. Carey School of BusinessBusiness Marketing, 1996 - 2000
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