22 Feb 2013

Google’s Real Focus, Website Design for Multiple Size Screens, and More: Your Weekly SEO Community Update

forum-featureWelcome to another busy week on your SEO communities! Whether it’s profits, website design, traffic issues, or whatever help you need to run your online business, it’s come up for discussion this week. Let’s dive right in.


Threadwatch

We covered matters big and small on Threadwatch.

  • So, do you think Google cares more about users or profits? Ben Cook’s article on the topic sparked a lively discussion, with Badams observing that “Since the day Google went public their motivations changed from ‘let’s build awesome stuff!’ to ‘let’s maximise profits!’…And guess what? They can get away with an awful lot.” Being at least a bit fair about it, DocSheldon noted that “Google is a business and publicly-held…they really had no choice but to put profitability at the top of the list.”
  • We also mourned the untimely death of Michael Turner, who was among the first generation of SEO pioneers. MaxD noted that he “used to speak link building stuff with him back in the day and he remained in my IM contacts although we did not speak for a long time…Horrible news and such a horrible way to die.”
  • Finally, you probably appreciate the rel=author code that allows you to claim your articles – but what about non-text content? Will photographers be able to claim their photos someday? It seems unclear, but at least one person has started asking about it on Google+ – and given how visual a medium the web is, there will surely be more users wondering the same thing. What do you think Google should do about it? Feel free to join the conversation!

SEO Chat

To buy or to build…to subdomain or not to subdomain? These and other questions came up on one of the most educational SEO forums online.

  • What are the ramifications of moving content from one nearly-invisible website to a newly-purchased domain with established PR? That’s the question from one of our newer SEO Chat members, and our older ones seem to disagree. SEO_AM thinks it can work – but with some caveats: “However, if your content is not relevant or [does not] have the same keywords as the pages you are loading with your content…you lose. You cannot just take a popular site on used cars and load it with a travel site’s information and expect success… Pages appear in the SERPs based upon backlinks from relevant sites/pages. The relevance is likely lost.” NathanielB offers up a list of things to check on the current and new domains, noting that “I can’t believe others have not asked for more details like this and how much you’re looking to pay, because I wouldn’t generally waste my time or money buying a domain unless it has value!”
  • Are you wondering whether you should use a subdomain for certain purposes? There’s a very active discussion going on in the SEO Chat forums about that very topic; it started early in the week and it’s already gone to three pages. Check it out!

Cre8asite

Though there’s always plenty of interesting conversations going on in the Cre8asite forums, two in particular stood out this week: a warning about the effect of changes to Google Image Search, and an interesting consensus emerging that concerns the display size on which website designers should focus their efforts.

  • If you depend on traffic from Google Image Search, you could be in trouble, according to earlpearl. He noted in his post some changes that Google made to its Image Search near the end of January, and also linked to some observations about it by Aaron Wall. He went on to say that one of his local sites had an image that had ranked number one for a particular keyword for a long time, and it got an inordinate amount of traffic. “Since a few days after the announcement, image traffic to the site for that image and the page on which it sits…is down over 50%.” One of our admins, iamlost, noted that he’s blocked his images from the search engines for a long time, so this change doesn’t affect him – and made a list of the advantages to doing so. EGOL also talked about how the change has affected him, and linked to further discussion. This is a very hot topic, so be sure to check it out!
  • Today, web designers face the challenge of designing for multiple screen sizes. As EGOL notes in starting this thread, “A decade ago lots of people made their websites to fit a 640-pixel-wide monitor, then an 800 monitor, then a 1025…and now with mobile we are being squeezed down to the microformat of 300 wide. They call this progress???” He goes on to ask what width website designers are designing for now. Most seem to be designing for less than 1000 pixels, and handling smaller screens with some form of responsive design. What’s your approach?

Webmaster World

You know the talk ranges all over the place on Webmaster World, but here are a couple of items that don’t deserve to get lost in the shuffle: a warning about how a particular kind of JavaScript can unintentionally get you booted from AdSense, and some opinions about Yahoo!’s new look.

  • Here’s a scary story: varun21 related his experience of getting booted from AdSense thanks to JavaScript Framebuster. “…I realised that someone from France (I’m in India) was using the Google Translate service to view my site. And my site has a framebuster javascript which caused the page to load in an endless loop.” This inflated his pageviews, which caused him to get booted from AdSense. Discussion of this, as you would expect, has been VERY active. Check it out!
  • Yahoo updated their site recently, starting with some changes to the home page. What do Webmaster World users think of it? Eh, not much. Sgt_Kickaxe admitted that “I do like the endless scrolling of articles however, nice new touch.” But several other users flatly said that they hate it; moderator Andy Langton complained that “Yahoo definitely don’t like the idea of sufficient contrast between text and background. Drives me crazy when sites prioritise ‘looking pretty’ over the ability to read the content.”

And that’s it from me. Stay chatty!

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