Google Webmaster Tools Change – SEO Strategy

Google Changes Webmaster Tools to Suggest SEO Strategy Center Around Building Quality Sites, Not Quality Links

Google has updated the rankings article within the Google Webmaster Help documentation. The change is to keep Google consistent with their revised general message indicating content that creates a positive user experience is what webmasters should focus on, not links.

Previously, the article had a line that read:

In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.

We’ve bolded the key change which occurred on May 27th:

In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.

DuckDuckGo Sets Another Daily Direct Search Record

DuckDuckGo released a tweet on Monday stating that for the first time in their history, they had achieved over 3,000,000 searches by humans in a single day.  The company’s traffic page shows 3,095,907 direct searches on Monday.

It appears that privacy concerns from the NSA/PRISM debate are spurring at least a small percentage of searchers to seek out alternatives to the Big 3 search engines. DuckDuckGo has taken advantage of that notoriety by making media appearances explaining the privacy features of their search engine.

Online Tracking

New Survey: 96% of Website Users State “Stop Online Tracking”

A new survey conducted in May among 1,000 adults from a group called Consumer Action has an unequivocal message for marketers: do not track us. These findings come as no surprise in light of the current NSA/PRISM debate.

71 % of those surveyed believe that “detailed personal information about individuals” is being collected by online entities without their knowledge. 81% of the survey respondents understand that online tracking is widespread and believe “individuals can be personally linked to a specific device, such as a computer or mobile phone, when they go online.”

76% of those surveyed strongly disagree that there is “no harm” from online tracking if the trade-off is “more relevant” ads. 83% of the survey respondents believe that “do not track” should be the default setting on search engines, not an opt-out.

Bottom Line: Google is making it clear that the way to the top in search engine marketing will ultimately be to honor the wishes of the consumers. Continued findings of consumers desiring improved privacy for online searches will support efforts by the FTC and members of Congress to restart more comprehensive consumer privacy reform. These measures could adversely affect the trackability and delivery of focused ads to consumers currently being enjoyed by online marketers.

Will this present moment mark the heyday of focused online marketing? Consumers, because they vote with where they spend dollars and award their business, hold the keys to answering these questions.  For the online marketer, making sure that online strategies are beneficiary for the consumer as well as the advertiser will create a competitive advantage in the months and years ahead.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa California based Local SEO Services and Website Design and Development Firm.

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