Having been involved in SEO for several years now I have come to know about both white and black hat techniques used to raise your rankings in the SERPs.
What many people I speak too often overlook is the fact that Google search is a product offered by a business. We as website owners use this service to make money , either through the AdWords platform or by appearing in the organic search results. As the owner of the product, Google have every right to make changes the deem beneficial to their business and unless you’re an AdWords user you have no ‘right’ to feel aggrieved if an algorithmic change like Panda or Penguin negatively impacts your website’s traffic.
I wish this was completely made up and ludicrous but there are many sites out there that still make you jump through hoops like this to make a purchase! Web designers, developers and owners – hear these words and take heed. The shopping process should be designed for the customer not for your internal processes!
Wordstream recently released this rather attractive infographic that looks at the top 20 most expensive keywords on Google AdWords. I’m not a PPC account manager myself so forgive my ignorance those of you who are, but I was very surprised by the top cost per clicks, though not the keywords themselves. Insurance comes in number 1 both in terms of CPC and percentage of related keywords within the top 10,000 (as compiled by Wordstream)
For those in the UK looking for equivilant information I’d point you in the direction of Ben McAneny (@negativeben) who was kind enough to tell me top insurance CPCs generally translate to around £50 ($81).
As an experiment to see if search trends can predict the future, Google have set up a small microsite allowing you to browse search trends best on award categories at the Oscars.
It’s not the first time Google has made it easy for people to monitor search trends for specific events, the UK 2010 elections is a good example, (although the data is now limited to the last month). What’s really interesting is the potential for search trends to give insight into the outcome of future events, whether they be political, award shows or perhaps even the sentiment of the people regarding military action.
A quick search in Google Trends shows interest in the Iraq War has dropped consistently since 2004 among UK searchers – is this due to reduced media coverage or a general loss of interest in the population? (probably a combination of both).
I look forwarding to expanding on this topic a little more in the future, so before we get to heavy, let’s get back to the Oscars.
Google’s Oscar Predictions
Best Picture: Black Swan
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
Best Actor: James Franco (127 Hours)
Best Actress: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Documentary Feature: Restrepro (possibly Inside Job if recent trend continues)
Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Cinematography: Black Swan
Costume Design: True Gift
Documentary Short: Poster Girl
Film Editing: Black Swan
Foreign Language Film: Biutiful
Makeup: The Way Back
Original Score: Inception
Original Song: Coming Home
Live Action Short Film: The Crush
Sound Editing: Inception
Sound Mixing: Salt
Visual Effects: Inception
Adapted Screenplay: 127 Hours
Art Direction: Inception
Original Screenplay: Inception
Animated Short Film: Day & Night
How accurate are these predictions likely to be? Well, it’s very had to say. The trends displayed by Google almost certainly don’t filter these films trends based on the category they’ve been nominated for, so the awards in italics are ones I think Google Trends may have right and others are difficult to call.
Let’s come back in a week or so and see how Google did!