Perhaps unsurprisingly, the focus last month was on Google’s well publicised +1 project. The Webmaster blog examined the +1 button in more detail, hosting a Webinar on implementation of the button and publishing a post on its benefits.
In other news, the arrival of Instant pages was announced; a new feature currently in testing that aims to further satisfy user’s thirst for speed. The demos look interesting, however it is unclear at this stage how many searches will be affected.
Meanwhile, Suzanna Mokwa tries to steer Webmasters away from the Page Rank metric and towards more useful online benchmarks. And the final piece of news; the major search engines unite to create a common schema for web-page mark up.
On June 2nd Google announced the arrival of Schema, a new collaboration between Bing, Google and Yahoo to facilitate the ‘mark-up’ of pages for Search Engines. Schema.org is essentially a common set of schemas for data markup on web pages. In the past, site owners toiled to add markup for each engine in a different format, however Schema.org brings a unified structure to the table. As it can be utilised across all of the major engines, Webmasters can improve how their sites appear in search results using one simplified process.
As Google freely admit, they are ‘obsessed with speed’ and with the introduction of Instant Pages, they do not stray from this philosophy. Instant pages, which will be built into chrome, is a feature which pre-loads the first page in the rankings. The rank 1 page will then appear instantly when clicked on by a user without the need for any loading time. Google are quick to point out that this new ‘quick search’ facility is triggered only when they are extremely confident that the top result will be the page a user is looking for. Therefore at this stage, it is hard to estimate the percentage of searches likely to be affected. This is nevertheless, an interesting new addition to the Google stable.
In the space of just one week, Google firstly released +1 buttons to search sites globally, then came the announcement of the Google+ project. We have heard the hype about Google+; however web marketers are always interested in getting their hands on solid data. Therefore the announcement of +1 metrics in Webmaster Tools, can only be a positive.In this post, Google introduce the search impact report, the activity report and the audience report. These are designed to feedback data on organic search traffic impact, +1 volumes and demographic profiles respectively.
It would seem that PageRank has become the ‘go to’ statistic for some webmasters. Although the Google team has been trying to shift the focus towards site quality and relevance for some time, many site owners continue to look to this metric to judge their success. But why is this? Page-rank is a highIy visible snippet of data in numerical form, something that is in essence easy to measure. Although both PageRank and relevance both include a lot of complex factors, unfortunately relevance cannot be pinpointed by a number.Suzanna Mokwa recommends a different approach. The focus, she suggests should be on metrics that are ‘actionable’ and actually mean something to your business. In addition, you need to be using figures that are updated regularly in order to effectively monitor your progress.
Google are to support Authorship markup, a way to link authors with their content on the web.