Google Analytics (GA) is one of the most widely-used analytics programs in the world. Although Google tends to make changes to most of their products and algorithms often, Google Analytics is a little different. It only gets fundamental changes maybe once per year … and even that might be pushing it. Granted, there are little updates here and there that happen, but generally the big ones don’t happen that often. This has been true, until recently.
There are a lot of people who want GA to focus only on what they want and need. A lot of people used to say that the user interface (UI) of their analytics product was terrible (my opinion is that it was OK, but could use some help in certain areas). They also noted that it was too hard to find things and that there was too much fluff data in the program. Knowing that they can’t please everyone, Google has started making changes where the most people are asking for them.
Within the last week or so, there has been two HUGE changes to Google Analytics. Both of which change the fundamentals of the program many of us had finally began to master. Both of these changes center on the UI of their product. This is fascinating to me. Not the fact that they made a change – the fact that they made two changes so close together. I want to go over each of these changes and share some of the things that I have observed.
There’s been a noticeable increase in the level of griping by SEOs about the way that Google has been treating them. The complaints are mostly focused on the rapid growth of (Not Provided) keywords from Google searches. While SEOs struggle with the changing tools available to them, what Google is trying to accomplish is much larger than frustrating the search optimization business – they intend to fundamentally change the way we approach our organic search strategies and I believe they’ll succeed.
About two years ago, Google started to slowly shut off our ability as website managers to see what searches brought visitors to our sites. Google decided to hide the keywords used by anyone using the search engine through an encrypted (https) connection and clicking an organic (non-paid) result – primarily those logged into Google when doing a search.
Their argument was that this is a privacy issue. Google explained that they should protect the browsing habits of anyone using an encrypted search. These users wanted greater privacy – that’s WHY they used an encrypted page, after all. Functionally, this meant anyone logged into Google for any reason including Gmail, Google Voice, YouTube or Google Analytics would now have their keyword searches hidden from destination websites.
If you’re trying to weigh whether or not you want to implement Google Authorship as part of your digital strategy and marketing, your role as decision-maker is becoming less and less relevant.
On Monday Google announced they have partnered with WordPress.com, TypePad, About.com and other platforms and sites to implement what they call, Google+ Sign-In.
If you’ve worked with any of the awesome writers or strategists here at Geonetric, you’ve probably heard them advocating for the best user experience possible. Whether you’re looking at reshaping a single page of content, a complete information architecture overhaul or a new site design – be sure to keep the user central to your decision-making process.
User experience matters in so many ways, but more recently, Google has focused on the quality of a page in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). While it’s not really a brand new idea in the world of SEO, it’s worth revisiting.
I’ve been tweeting a fair bit lately about Google’s recent change to their Quality Guidelines regarding link schemes and the consequences for backlinks in press releases. Put simply, if part of your SEO strategy is building backlinks by spamming the world with press releases pointing back to your Web properties, it’s time to stop that and start investing in building quality content instead. If you use press releases as a tool to get your message out, you can continue doing this…but all the links in press releases that point back to your site should use the nofollow attribute.
Google Authorship provides a unique way for your healthcare organization to differentiate its brand in Google search engine results pages (SERPs) with visual attributes that encourage readers to click and explore.
Last week our engineering team released VitalSite 6.7. It contains a slew of new features, fixes and enhancements focused on helping consumers find your site and the content within it. This release includes enhancement to site search, schema.org support, and a range of tools for webmasters.
Site Search Enhancements and Schema.org Support
Search is the means by which people find the content they’re looking for. When it comes to a healthcare site, this might be a consumer looking for a doctor who specializes in their condition(s), a mom looking for the nearest urgent care clinic for her son’s earache, or a patient looking for the login page to the portal to renew a prescription.
While we typically look at search to assess how visitors find our site from big search providers (such as Google), understanding how visitors are using VitalSite’s built-in search engine is important too. Keep in mind, search doesn’t end at your doorstep! Understanding how your site visitors use VitalSite search can help inform decisions on where and how to tweak your site to respond to visitor needs and behavior by: