This week’s chatter is full of implications, from Tweets in the SERPS to white lists, bot activity and online privacy. A lot of what is being talked about really only scratches the surface of what one idea or one small change could become. While SEO often forces us to stay in-the-moment, part of the fun of the industry is always looking ahead. For every change or new development that happens right now, we can only imagine where the ripple effect will end.
With all of the algorithmic updates, and many websites feeling like collateral damage in a war on spam, the idea of whitelists has come up a number of times. Right now, it seems Google does have a whitelist for some algorithms, like ”Safe Search” which helps filter out adult content, we’ll just have to keep dreaming of a whitelist for Penguin and Panda.
More new regulations in China seem to be trying to do away with anonymity online. New regulation from the Cyberspace Administration will require individuals to register on social media, websites, forums, and other online services with their real names and IDs starting on March first. While this may do away with some of the negative impact of fake profiles, it also raises questions about online identity protection. While China has always been particularly strict with internet rules, could this move be adopted by other countries? And if so what are the implications for the future of online privacy?
With Google indicating they may give preferential treatment to secure sites, many webmasters are looking to undergo the transition from Http to Https. One individual, is looking for a “pre-flight checklist” of sorts to ensure smooth sailing. While there are a lot of details to consider, other members have answered questions and weighed in on what to do. If you’ve made the move to Https, you can share your experience. If you’re only considering it, this is the place to go for a great conversation on the many considerations.
One senior member at Webmaster World presents an extremely comprehensive report on how bots interacted with her site over the last year. Beyond the usual suspects of Google and Bing, this looks at interactions from other crawlers like Yandex, Seznam, and Exabot. There is also a section of “Robots that Pass in the Night” examining the behaviors of other more obscure crawlers. This post highlights the good, bad and ugly behaviors of bots to help us communicate more clearly with some bots, and learn to protect ourselves from others.
A question of the power of external links compared internal links comes up in a very literal way. The conversation touches on numerous points including link velocity distribution, interlinking structure and how to think about Toolbar PageRank vs. undisclosed PageRank in modern search. Jump into an interesting subject with a lot of room for conflicting opinions.
Inspired by an article from Unbounce.com, one thead turns to the notion of the connection between conversion and customer service. The article quotes a 2013 SaaS Small Business Conversion Survey which states “Companies who said that their biggest focus was on customer service reported, on average, 11% higher overall conversion rates on their websites.” While the data implies correlation rather than causation, it’s still an interesting notion. Perhaps our attention to a user’s experience interacting with the website should be extended to their experience interacting with the people on the other side as well.
The effectiveness of the “Related Video” section of YouTube comes up as it relates to getting visitors. The opinions are mixed, but the responses do indicate that at least some people are clicking. As video content becomes an ever more popular method of consumption, all signs indicate that video strategy can be a useful part of the equation when it comes to garnering attention for your brand.