So hope you have all enjoyed Christmas, I have two children (one more on the way) and Christmas is very much a time of reflection. Partly because its the one time in the year when I actually shut down (at least for a few days). As I sit down to write this post some people are still enjoying the festivity and some are back in work getting ready for 2013.
So I’ll admit I love researched, data driven posts (Little Geeky, but that’s what floats my boat) but I thought I’d share with you some of the articles, videos and blogs which I have found useful, inspiring or influential over the past twelve months.
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
I’ve used this quote personally twice
- First time I had a heart attack at 28
- Today thinking about what happened with Google’s link updates this year
However after the initial impact I feel this has made the industry stronger at what we do. Unfortunately the updates were far from perfect but we will see what is in store for 2013.
Sharing What I Have Learnt
Google does make some very good improvements and the changes to Hreflang this year have been perfect. You may have seen Andy Atkins Kruger talk about this for the past two to three years but some friends of mine from the Media Flow produced a tool and research at http://www.themediaflow.com/resources/tools/href-lang-tool/
I’ve tested this myself and it has worked, this should be a definite bookmark from 2012 if your going to work on any site which has multiple markets using the same language.
Note: Some comments from the community have advised this hasn’t worked every time, Google engineers advise “this should work.”
Google Content Experiments
Earlier this year Google migrated the former “Website Optimizer” over to Analytics in the form of “Content Experiments”. If you haven’t used this tool for A/B split testing give it a try. My learning came from +Justin Cutroni (Google) on Multi-Goal Measurement in Google Analytics Content Experiments. It works give it a try.
Without doubt Mobile is here and is BIG. Bas van den Beld has talked about this for a few years and the recommendation from any internet marketer is to build a responsive website, this is because you only have to deal with one website. If this is not an option and you are worried about dulicate content then the following post may be useful for you. http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/running-desktop-and-mobile-versions-of.html
This year I got to grips with Facebook advertising and towards the later end of the year Facebook introduced Custom Audiences. Basically you can import a list of email addresses and then target them specifically in Facebook. This has worked really well on the clients I have trialed it out on. For more information you can read my post on it here. http://www.stateofdigital.com/custom-audiences-using-facebooks-power-editor/
Google Search Results
Dr Pete in conjunction with SEOmoz produced Mozcast which basically tracks day to day changes in Google Algorithems and SERP results. Personally I have found it useful to show clients some of the reasons why results fluctuate day to day. If you often get asked the question from a client who checks the results twice a day everyday then passing them a link to Mozcast can be a great time saver.
Spidering tools are simply a necessity of Technical SEO if you not using them then you should really review the following:
- Screaming Frog
- Xenu Link Slueth
- Microsoft SEO Tool Kit.
I use the latter, each has advantages and disadvantages over one another, and these tools are very far from “Wow I never knew about them”, but I’m still amazed by how many SEO’s do not use any of them. If you want to be more productive in 2013 add one to your arsenal.
Here is a copy of the presentation I did at Ion Search in 2012 which looks at the Microsoft SEO Tool Kit.
Have a great New Year everyone.