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Has the Panda gone soft? A first look at the July 2013 Update

With an apparent Panda update underway, we decided to take a look at statistics for commonly cited victims of the original Panda update. Google have suggested the update will be 'softer' than previous ones. Could it bring the recovery that many are hoping for?

Choosing sites and data source

Our personal preference for a source of data on general visibility is Searchmetrics - who have a broad data set in addition to several years' worth of data.

Using Transposh for Wordpress? It won't help your rankings

Update: the developers of the Transposh plugin appear to have resolved the issue identified in this article - you should now be able to rank translated pages using Transposh.

Co-occurrence, not occurrences: rethinking web copy for SEO

Are you writing your SEO copy for robots or people?

Keyword density is a phrase that (rightly) sends shudders down the spines of SEOs everywhere - even those who used to use keyword density as a basic way to assess their on-page targeting. So what's wrong with keyword density, and what should you be using instead?

What does keyword density even mean?

Bulk Check Google Results Count with Google Docs

Update: we've updated this spreadsheet to the new Google Docs format - no more 50 limit on importxml lookups (and hopefully, more reliable results).

If you like this, also check out our spreadsheet to scrape the top 100 results and other Google Docs spreadsheets for SEO.

US & UK Government Sites Fail At SEO Basics

The good folks of WebmasterWorld have an interesting thread at the moment titled Techies gone astray - Many .gov sites don't resolve without the "www". Members there have spotted that many US .gov domains simply don't work if you don't type the www in front of the website address.

Almost every SEO will know that this is an issue known as "canonicalisation" - forcing or specifying which is the best URL for any item of content. Failing to do this can mean:

Toggle Google Personal Search with one click (bookmarklet)

Fed up with adding "&pws=0" to your address bar to bypass Google's search personalisations? Sick of your friend's mugshots showing up in Google search results? Then be fed up no more with this handy bookmarklet!

What Google Personal Search does

Based on your search history, Google Plus connections, activity and more, Google re-orders your search results, to place sites you have an association with higher in the rankings. Here's a quick example:

Google Penguin Ranking Myths: Your Data is Bad

At Thing Towers, we’re all in favour of ranking analysis, particularly when it comes to Google updates and understanding how sites are affected. But Penguin seems to have triggered a lot of speculation about changes that are not based on data at all. Understandably, a lot of people have started analysing rankings, but without using any historical data. Make sure you don’t jump to the wrong conclusions, and if you've cited one of the examples below in connection with Google’s recent updates, it’s time to re-evaluate your data sources.

UK Search Analytics Shootout: Who has the most data?

These days there are a number of providers of search analytics data - that is, historic and ongoing data about keyword rankings and site performance across both paid and organic search. The data is extremely useful when evaluating both your own sites, and looking at competitors.Most of these tools provide an amount of free data, with a subscription plan to "unlock" more complete data.

Google Semantic Search. Who Cares?

The SEO world is currently all abuzz with the idea that Google is going to implement "Semantic Search", which will kill/change/revolutionise search optimisation. But is this really going to change what optimisers do?

Toggle Google Verbatim with one click (bookmarklet)

Google has an advanced search option called "verbatim" that allows you to bypass many of its prediction/expansion features. So, if you want Google to search exactly for the words you enter (i.e. you're a pro searcher!) you can enable the option and get, frankly, better results.

Particularly for lengthier searches, Google's default results can be some distance from what you actually wanted to find. And the verbatim button is about as buried as a Google option could ever be! Here's a quick example:



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