25 Jan 2013

Voice Search, Panda Rollout, and More: Hot Topics on Forums This Week


Once again it’s time to share with you some of the liveliest discussions going on in our forums. You’ll find everything from speculation about the future of search to practical things you can do right now to promote your business.

Over on Threadwatch.org, the changing face – and voice – of search came into sharp focus this week, as lots of our submissions and posts considered what’s working, what isn’t, and what’s in store for the future.


  • Just how will Siri and other voice-activated technologies affect local search? Just one of the points mentioned: there’s a big difference between spoken and written keywords. Bill Scully commented that “For some reason I always speak in a more natural sentence structure in voice search than I’ve trained myself to type in a search box…So if the engines can deliver the right results, I predict longer natural sentences will dominate voice search.”
  • Nick Wilsdon shared the comical – and perhaps embarrassing – goings-on with Facebook’s Graph Search beta. Commenting on his own submission, he noted that “I’m not convinced that users are prepared for what Graph Search is about to make public, or savvy enough to have set their privacy options up. Even in my office, where you would assume digital media people would know better, one person thought you had to opt-in to this new search function. There are going to be some embarrassments when these search results are made public…” When will people realize that nothing they post online – ESPECIALLY on Facebook – is private?
  • If you’re frustrated by content scrapers ranking higher than you in Google, you’ll want to check out seobook’s submission of TheVerge’s problem. They published a well-researched article on the death of the American arcade – and it got ranked third in Google for a search that’s highly relevant to its own title, below Huffington Post’s recap of the piece. Cygnus was not surprised; he noted that “In some serps where Penguin’s heavy hand has drastically altered the landscape, we find that parasitic hosting is the only way to rank if you aren’t one of 2 or 3 brands or are an outright hacker taking ownership and 301ing to a new domain.” Is there room for quality journalism to be rewarded online anymore, if you don’t have a big brand name behind you?

SEO Chat

Over on the SEO Chat forums, we got down to the nitty-gritty of numbers, talking about click-through rates and SERPs and good and bad links. We even made a special offer.

  • Just how does your position in Google serps affect your click-through rate? That’s the question being asked in one recent thread, with Doodled citing some older articles and wondering if any recent research has been done. Veteran forum member realityhack pointed out all of the changes in types of search on Google, and that “The result is that you can no longer say that a Google results page looks like X.” That’s bound to affect your data, to the point that, as realityhack notes, “I don’t think it is valid to talk about position vs. clickthrough anymore without a context of search type (informational, transactional, etc.) and the type of SERP returned.”
  • Many of us worry that too many links from poor quality websites will bring down our position in the serps in Google. How do we tell if a site is poor quality? That’s the question Sinclairos asked, and he got a slew of replies – way too many to go over here. Check out the discussion; among other things, you’ll learn what the real value of PageRank is.
  • And if you need an extra incentive to join the SEO Chat forums and keep up with us socially, check out this great PubCon ticket giveaway from our own CEO Jim Boykin.

Cre8asite forums

At the Cre8asite forums, you’ll find lots of brainstorming, creativity, and even the odd history lesson. Check it out!

  • Looking for some ideas on how to build local Internet traffic quick? Check out this thread started by chuckfinley. These are all FREE ideas, by the way – no pay-per-click, paid ads, or anything of that nature. It’s a small gold mine if you’re looking for ways to promote your business on a shoestring.
  • Meanwhile, for the more cynical take on things, check out this thread on how Google has changed…and searching has come full circle back to paid results. It’s a neat little history lesson on where search has been.

Webmaster World

Finally, over on Webmaster World, lots of members put their fix-it caps on.

  • Is there a way to fix Google Knowledge Graph results mistakes? Smithaa02 raises this question. “I don’t want to use the exact terms I am seeing this for…but say you do a search for ‘cityname’ painter…and a McDonalds shows up…that is analogous to how bad this is.” Rustybrick pointed out that there’s a link to click to give Google feedback about this, while another poster noted that he hadn’t seen even one of these results that was 100 percent correct yet. Looks like Google needs to do more work to get this feature right.
  • And in a super active thread you’ll learn all about the latest Panda data refresh rolling out. It affects more than 1.2 percent of English queries. You’ll learn what kinds of questions you should be considering as you look at your own content if you wish to avoid being gouged by Panda.

See you next week – until then, stay chatty!