Google Webmaster Tools Adds Search Query Alerts

If you already use Google Webmaster Tools (If not, you should be!), then you’ve probably seen the Search Queries Feature, but Google has now added alerts for Search Queries data. So now you can be notified when something changes with the search queries where your site is showing.

The Search Queries feature gives insight into how your site is performing. It shows things such as impressions, average position and clicks to your top pages. Usually these metric follow a pattern. With the new service you can be notified when something out of the ordinary happens, such as a spike or a drop.

Here’s an example alert:

This way you’ll be on top of things if there is a technical problem with your site or to better understand if there is a send change in the trends in the demand for your content. Sometimes these changes can be a result of a database failure that causes errors in some of your content, or a mention of your site on a social network, blog or another site. All of these scenarios would warrant a closer look.

Also, don’t forget to turn on your email notifications:

google webmaster email notifications

Read the announcement over the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog

Developing a Search Friendly Site (video)

Yesterday I posted about Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. If you learn better by reading check out the guide. If you learn better with videos check out this video to learn the basics of search friendly development beginning to end, including:

  • Using Flash and JavaScript
  • Headings and adding content
  • Using Robot.txt files and sitemaps
  • Engaging the community
  • Plus more!

Learn the basics of Search Engine Optimization from Maile Ohye. The video is from last year but still very relevant.

Web Analytics – It’s all About the Context

When you are analyzing the data you get from your website analytics software it really is all about the context. If you look at any number by itself that gets spit out, you have no way of knowing if it is good or bad. All too often clients ask me questions about the data that without context, and any answer I give them would just be speculation. So, make sure you analyze your web analytics in context. What does that mean? Well, this week I’ve been watching a lot of webinars and videos, so watch the included video where Avinash Kaushik (one of the greatest minds in website analytics) explains the necessity of context in your analysis of analytics.

Learn more about more about our Web Analytics Consulting.

Search Engine Optimization Myths

SEO is a tough field. Here are 3 Search Engine Optimization Myths that should help understand a bit better.

#1 Search engine optimization is magic and website optimization professionals use secret tricks to get high rankings.
It is true that there are a many aspects that go into how websites are ranking in the search engine results, but that does not make it magic. Like any field it takes time and effort to learn how the search engines work, but there are no secret tricks. Anyone that claims they have “tricks” to get your site ranked is probably doing something that could get your in trouble.

#2 Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing are the enemy.
In fact it is quite the opposite and this one ties into myth #1. All three search engines have webmaster guidelines that can be found on their sites. Only when you are doing something that doesn’t follow their guidelines does your site get treated like an opponent. They want you to succeed!

Yahoo! Search Content Quality Guidelines
Guidelines for successful indexing: Bing
Google Webmaster guidelines

#3 You need to submit your website to 1,000 search engines to achieve a high ranking.
This is one of the oldest myths. 1st where are all these search engines and where do they get their data? Anyone that wants you to pay for a service like this is not looking out for your best interests. In fact they are most likely spamming the search engines, which could get your site penalized or completely removed from their results.

Actually there are not many true independent search engines out there. Check out this tool to see how they are all intertwined. Search engine Decoder.