This week: 9 Ways to increase blog traffic, FTC investigate Google+ for heavily promoting their own products, Google punishes websites which heavily promote products and sells insider information to bankers.
FTC investigate Google+
The Federal Trade Commission’s current investigation into Google’s anti-competitive practices is being expanded to look into the new “Search Plus Your World” feature which recommends pages from Google+, leaving other social networks out in the cold. The “Search Plus Your World” feature went live in North America last week but has not arrived in Europe at this time.
9 tactics to increase blog traffic
SEOmoz brings us 21 detailed ideas to increase blog traffic. Here are the most useful 9 ideas on the list:
1. Target your content not at the widest audience, but at those most likely to share it on social networks and their own websites
2. Take part in communities (while resisting link spamming)
3. Build social network profiles
4. Check where your traffic has come from in the past and work on ways to capitalise upon it
5. Create your own images, later use the “similar images” feature on Google images to see who has used it and ask them to mention your website while apologising for not referencing you originally
6. Link out to smaller websites, they will notice the incoming traffic and may mention your website in future
7. Use RSS and email subscriptions
8. See who links to your competitors and try to get them to link to you
9. Most bloggers give up after a few months. It’s the persistent ones who earn the real traffic.
Are Google sending extra traffic to test websites?
A forum post discussing a sudden and short-lived increase in traffic from Google, a phenomena familiar to many webmasters, has sparked a debate; are Google briefly sending a spike in traffic to see how visitors react to a website, e.g. do they spend much time on the page? Do they click off it quickly? Do they return to it? etc.
Google demoting web pages with lots of ads at the top
A new algorithm update penalises website with a large proportion of the screen given to adverts above the fold. In the online world, that means web pages which show little or no useful content without the user scrolling down. The change is expected to affect less than 1% of searches.
Google have teamed up with Spain’s second largest bank to provide them with search data to forecast hotel and tourism demand. We’re not legal experts here at Tari, but Google’s ex-CEO, Eric Schmidt once said, "One day we had a conversation where we figured we could just try and predict the stock market [using search data], and then we decided it was illegal. So we stopped doing that." In this case, the situation will be fine as long as we can be sure a bank would have no intention of using data to predict the stock market.