The Weekly Shop is our regular blog series that endeavours to keep you fully stocked up every week with interesting news and developments from the digital marketing and online retail realms.
This week, we look at Google Trends for SEO and how Google has killed PageRank in the Google Toolbar as well as some common link building techniques, in addition to some more positive news for online retailers.
As of late, Google has been telling webmasters to nofollow different types of links pointing to their sites and has recently updated their Webmaster Guidelines with examples of link building practices that they now consider manipulative. These examples refer to extreme ‘spammy’ methods but some of the advice is a little ambiguous and therefore open to (mis)interpretation. In light of this, this article from Search Engine People explains how you can still employ methods, such as Press Releases, Guest Blogging, Infographics, Advertorials and Comment Links but with the primary objective of attracting attention and traffic, which in turn can attract backlinks. In other words, link are the by-product of good marketing, not the primary objective.
GoogleTrends is a tool that shows how often a particular search term is entered relative to the total search volume across various regions of the world. It is one of the best and most versatile tools available for natural search. This article from Search Engine Watch is a great overview of how to use the tool to develop content ideas to generate traffic and great links. Definitely check it out!
Previously, if you wanted to know how much Google trusted a webpage, you could use the PageRank value in the Google Toolbar. However, over the years, Google’s support for PageRank has declined drastically with that little green bar now only being available in Internet Explorer (after they dropped it from Chrome and Firebox). Now, the latest blow is that the data that flows into the display hasn’t been updated for over six months. Despite Google saying PageRank wouldn’t be going away, we’re left wondering if the lack of updates means exactly the opposite.
In any case, its true value is questionable at best. In our experience, too many website owners obsess over their PageRank when, frankly, there are bigger fish to fry!
This article from Clickz focuses on some of the lies that the worst SEO agencies often tell, from ranking guarantees to long term contracts and selling unnecessary website design. We’re always shocked to about these kind of scams, which sadly gives SEO agencies a bad reputation.
Some good news for retailers this week, official figures released by GfK have shown that consumer confidence has risen to its highest level since October 2009 this month. The research firm’s headline index increased by three points in August to -13. This means that the index has risen by 14 points in the last four months to mark the first time since 1982 that it has increased so substantially in a four month period. GfK put this growth down to a steady flow of economic good news during the last few months showing the economy growing, despite recent official figures revealing a fall in UK living standards.
Figures from the latest E-commerce index from online marketplace Rakuten (owners of Play.com) have shown that precisely a fifth (20%) of Brits now spend more on items purchased online then they do in store, while for a further 18% say their online/in-store spending is in perfect balance. Clothing and accessories are now the most commonly purchased items online worldwide (I can definitely vouch for this!) followed by books and magazines, and consumer electronics. The research highlights how the fashion industry is successfully engaging the online shopping community despite for importance of ‘fit’ being a natural obstacle. We’re currently working with some really exciting fashion brands, so watch this space for project updates.