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Google Updates Offerings

Thanks Google – Now I Can See My Backlinks !!!

Only a couple hours later and there’s already an update below.

Well today appears to have been an even bigger day than I first thought. First there was the launch of Yahoo!’s Panama and now I’m reading in Google’s press center that there are some great enhancements over there too. :)

At 2:44PM Google announced on their blog that they are providing even more information in their Webmaster Tools than previously. We’ve all done the backlink checks with link:www.domain.com only to be disappointed with the resulting list. Google hasn’t shown a full list of backlinks in ages so how were we to know where are backlinks were from and where they were going. Well now we know. :)

In their Webmaster Tools the fine folks at Google are now showing a full list of the backlinks they know about that point to your domain and even better, they list off all the pages in your site so with a simple click of a button you can see the backlinks to any given page. The reason Google stopped showing the backlinks in full was that this list was too easily manipulated by SEO’s (those crafty buggers ;) but not knowing the status of one’s own site worked against website owners favor. This is a great addition to their tools and wins a BIG THUMBS UP from this SEO. Don’t give my backlink data to my competitors, but thanks for letting me see it. :) Oh, but if you like you can give theirs to me. ;)

If you haven’t already, create an account at Google’s Webmaster Central. You’ll be glad you did.

And Now, Personalization …

And today I had brought to my attention an interesting page on the Google Search Results help area. A big thanks to Jim Hedger (co-host on Webmaster Radio) for pointing this out to me. The post reads:

When you’re signed in to Google Accounts, you’ll now get more relevant, useful search results, recommendations and other personalized features. For example, if you use Google Bookmarks or Google Search History, you’ll get more targeted web search results and recommendations for videos or gadgets. You can easily access these recommendations by adding the “Interesting Items” gadget directly to your personalized homepage.

And so the lives of SEO’s everywhere gets just a little more complex. Truly personalized results? Now, if you see different results than I do, how exactly is a company like Beanstalk supposed to honor guarantees when what we’re seeing may be different?

Alas, that is our problem to sort out and not yours (how happy are you about that?) but one this is sure, with better, more personalized results being fed, users are sure to win and SEO’s will need to adapt. As I noted to Jim when he asked how it would affect SEO’s, I replied:

“In the long run it will force SEO to do what they SHOULD do. Write compelling content for the target market, push into social media and establish links from industry hubs.”

It might take more to rank sites when the exact variables are so specific to the end user however in the end the big winner is the client (oh, and the searcher). It might make my life a bit more difficult but it makes the industry and search engine stronger, and that can only be a good thing. Unless you’re concerned about Big Brother. ;)

I refound a blog post from none other than Google patent guru Bill Slawski on the subject of personalization. I love patents as much as the next guy ;) but noone can do their analysis justice like Bill so rather than try in vain to capture what he has to say on the subject I’ll just link to his post below. In his work you’ll find great analysis and links to a number of related Google patents that will open your eyes as to what this all means. Thanks Bill and keep up the great work.

You’ll find Bill Slawski’s blog post titled, “Google Personalization Methods” here.

SEO news blog post by @ 9:07 pm on February 5, 2007

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