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Google Panda 2.5 Rolls Out, AdWords Loves Landing Pages, Facebook Updates Analytics Platform, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks

Steve Jobs Died This Week

In “news stories you’ve already been bludgeoned with over the past few days,” Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has died at 56 years of age. Jobs’ impact on the tech world, as well as the average person’s computing experience, was immeasurable.

Source: Every Existing News/Blog Site

Google Panda 2.5 Makes For Some Sad Pandas, Some Happy Pandas

The early returns from Google’s most recent Panda update appear to favor big names and brands (Matt Cutts recently issued a weather report). Searchmetrics has released a study that includes a winners and losers list, based on a “visibility” score that measures a site’s placement in SERPs for various desired keywords. Some winners include FOX News, YouTube, Perez Hilton, and Washington Post. Losers include Consumer Affairs, Star Pulse, and PR Newswire.

Source: Search Engine Land

Landing Page Quality Is Now More Significant To AdWords Algorithm

Landing pages are obviously important to Google’s algorithms for paid and organic search, but their quality is under the microscope now more than ever when calculating Quality Score. Typically, landing page quality has been a negative measurement for QS, but Google is making it a positive signal for those pages that cater to user needs as well as the ad’s keywords and content.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google To Soon Offer Newspaper-Like Ads

Newspapers are slowly dying, but they’re one unique value proposition over online advertising is the ability to provide coupons and “circular” ads (commonly displayed as inserts). However, Google has announced it’s planning on rolling out a web-ready copy of this style of advertisements.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools Share Data, Now Include SEO Reports

Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools have never been closer, as every account can be merged so your most important data can be found through minimal clicks. Webmaster Tools data is available in the “Search Engine Optimization” tab under the Traffic Sources section. The three reports included under this tab are Queries, Landing Pages, and Geographical Summary.

Source: Search Engine Watch

‘Site Health’ Now Available In Google Webmaster Tools

Google now includes a “Site Health” tab in Webmaster Tools, which predictably takes your site’s temperature on a daily basis. It’s measured by detecting malware, when Google’s URL removal tool eliminates crucial pages, and when a robots.txt file blocks equally important pages.

Source: Search Engine Land

Sometimes The Facebook Cookie Comes Back…

Remember when Facebook denied, then removed, their “altered” tracking cookie that followed a user’s actions around the web despite their being logged out of the social network? Apparently, the cookie has returned, and is out for marketing blood, in part through a recently submitted patent. Facebook still has some ’splaining to do.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Facebook Rolls Out Massive Update To Analytics Platform

Facebook recently updated their Page Insights analytics package to help businesses keep tabs on how they’re viewed on the social network. Here is a quick rundown of the most notable features:

Friends of Fans. This metric displays the number of friends connected to fans of your Facebook Page. This total is roughly 81 times that of actual fans, and is meant to give businesses a way of measuring word-of-mouth discussions and sharing among friends.

People Talking About This. This tracks stories shared, Liked, posted on wall, etc. as well as page mentions in status updates, check-ins, or comments.

Analytics for Pages. Going back up to 500 Page posts ago, this metric tracks the number of unique click-throughs by each post. It can also be used in conjunction with the “People Talking About This” metric.

Premium Ads Expanded. Premium ads now automatically expand for friends of a Page’s fans, displaying which of their friends likes the page.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Low PageRank, Bad Spelling And Grammar Affect How Google Views A Site

Matt Cutts recently answered a user’s question about whether grammar and spelling affect Google’s evaluation of a website. He goes on to say that it’s not a direct signal, but good spelling and grammar usually correlate to good content, and Google is very conscious of good writing.

Source: Search Engine Land

Google Trusted Stores Now Available, Featuring Grades, Purchase Security

Google Trusted Stores opened its doors this week with the primary goal of instilling purchasing confidence in online shoppers by signaling historically good websites. To do this, Trusted Stores gives sites a badge to show that customers can expect great customer service, competitive prices, and fast shipping. The program is still young, so it will take a while for every trusted store to display their badge.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Android Phones Take Up Almost 50% Of U.S. Market Share

According to new comScore numbers, Google’s Android is leading the smartphone pack in market share, at 44%. It’s reasonable to assume Androids would reach 50% by the end of 2011, as the only other brand that has grown is Apple’s iPhone (just a shade under 1% for the year).

Source: Search Engine Land

Apparently People Love Working For, And Buying From, Google

According to the Best Global Brands 2011 report, Google is now ranked as a top 5 brand worldwide, and its value has increased by 27% over the past year. Likewise, Google ranks as the top company on Universum’s global talent attraction index. Basically, Google is poised to take over the world in a few years.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Google Earth Has Reached One Billion People’s Desktops

One people have downloaded Google Earth, a six year old software program that is now used by around one-seventh of humanity. Be sure to check out the awesome infographic in this article.

Source: Mashable

Put A QR Code On Your Building For Google Maps/Earth!

An Austin, Texas-based company is offering to install actual QR Codes on roofs of any business, city, or school, for a fee. The ROI comes in the form of increased visibility in Google Earth and Google Maps. Considering Earth has 1 billion users and Maps is used by close to as many people, your reach could go far beyond the average searcher. It’d be cool to see it from a plane too.

Source: Mashable

Google Beer … Courtesy Of Dogfish Head

If you’re a beer snob, Dogfish Head beers are second to none. Google has never had a problem recognizing good companies, and as such they are getting their own beer in a limited amount, courtesy of the Delaware brewery. The beer is called URKontinent, and is a combination of many styles and ingredients from many companies. Imagine if Google opened its own brewery…

Source: Search Engine Watch

India Now Offers The World’s Cheapest Tablet Device

In the wake of Amazon’s bargain price of $200 for its Kindle Fire, India’s government has released a $60 (store price) tablet called Aakash. Students can get it for $35, and the first release of the tablet predictably elicited mixed reviews because of computing speed (it runs on Android 2.2 Froyo). The government hopes the product brings the rich and poor closer together in terms of technology access.

Source: Mashable

Notable Commentary

That’s iMazingly iNnovative

Often Overlooked, There Are Ways To Maximize LinkedIn Advertising ROI

Social media advertising is still in an infancy/toddler stage of life, but there are still some valuable tips that can boost ROI. Specifically, LinkedIn sits in a unique position (rarely are people looking to buy something) and requires a different approach to advertising.

Analysis By: Joseph Kerschbaum, Search Engine Watch

A Farewell Tribute To The Revolutionary iPod

As Apple moves closer to introducing the iPhone 5, the company is also inching towards eliminating the product that brought it back to mainstream circles of elite tech discussions: the iPod. Wired takes a look back at how the iPod shaped computing as we know it, and what the future has in store for the predecessor to the iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone.

Analysis By: Eliot Van Buskirk, Wired Epicenter

Google’s Upper Management Doesn’t Use Google +, But They Want You To Use It!

Some notable users are missing from Google +: Google’s own upper management. Ben Parr runs down why this sends an obvious message to potential users, and why it basically means that you shouldn’t be expected to use something that isn’t valued by the company that created it.

Analysis By: Ben Parr, Mashable

Facebook Needs A Web Browser, And Google Should Be Afraid

Facebook is the most visited website on the web today, so it only makes sense that the social network should start looking into copying Google’s model of creating a web browser sculpted to optimize their social web experience.

Analysis By: Gilad Avidan, Smore Pages

Descriptive Links Are Vital To Good Mobile SEO

Mobile Internet use is at an all-time high, and is projected to sky rocket as more and more Americans buy smartphones. As such, SEO for mobile devices will require increased attention, and descriptive links on and off your mobile site will be even more important as time moves in a linear direction.

Analysis By: Sherwood Stranieri, Search Engine Land

The Cons of AdWords Sitelinks

The benefits of AdWords Sitelinks have been expunged upon by Melissa Mackey before. Now she offers some of the biggest issues people have with Sitelinks, in nine succinct, easy-to-read points. The most notable problem concerns conversion tracking, which can’t be done through the AdWords platform.

Analysis By: Melissa Mackey, Search Engine Watch

Rank Checking Ain’t All That And A Bag Of Doritos Spicy Nacho Chips

Greg Niland explains why rank checking shouldn’t be considered a PPC holy grail. He doesn’t say that rank checking is completely useless, but says that Google has set their system up in such a way that rank check can’t be a one stop shop for measuring success.

Analysis By: Greg Niland, Graywolf’s SEO Blog

Why Do We Love Infographics?

If there’s one thing that we love, it’s infographics. They’re smart, descriptive, and aesthetically pleasing. Social Media Explorer delves a little deeper into the affections people have for these hybrids of useful information and graphic design.

Analysis By: Mark Smiciklas, Social Media Explorer

An In-Depth Discussion About Monetizing Twitter

This New York Magazine piece goes into impressive detail about the pressure on Twitter to make money and how it is well on its way to doing so consistently.

Analysis By: Joe Hagan, New York Magazine

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