About time I got round to getting the Google Analytics Individual Qualification Certificate. The test is pretty easy providing you read / watch all the video’s over at the Google analytic conversion university which is a must for anyone wanting to use Google Analytics.

google-analytics-individual-qualification

What else is there to do on a Bank Holiday Monday when it’s raining!

Something I’ve read this morning on the icrossing blog is that Google Insight tool is now showing predictions on some search terms. By looking at previous years movement the next year’s traffic level is predicted. For example SEO.

google-insight-seo

Obviously it’s not going to be able to predict trends that pop out of nowhere e.g. Susan Boyle. Google have also stuck a disclaimer to treat the data as a estimate and not a prediction.

Although it’s been a little quiet recently on the whole UK SERPS issue Matt Cutts did get round to answering the question on why so many foreign sites are popping up in the UK search results. First of all it’s great that there is this platform to get a question to someone at Google but Matt’s missed the point in answering the question.

So basically, Google will now consider more .com sites in the UK SERP’s, but ones that are relevant to UK users for example .com websites based in the UK or promoting UK companies e.g. tesco.com (which ranked before all of this anyway). This isn’t the problem, the issues we are seeing are .com’s ranking when then are American or Australian companies or to the extent using a au.com domain. Maybe Google isn’t able to determine what is a UK based .com ??

An example of this was from a non related blog from Dom the Hodge who had used a screenshot of a UK SERP for the search conference lanyards. Ranking in at number 3 and 4 you’ll find two .com.au sites.

www.freshpromotions.com.au/lanyards/conference-lanyards.html
www.lanyardsandmore.com.au/

promotional-lanyards-serp

It’s up for interpretation but I don’t think that two Australian sites are relevant to a search for conference lanyards. If the search was for “Australian cooking techniques” then maybe it is relevant to show Australian sites ??

Matt eneded the video saying that if there are problems in the results then people should get in touch….. looks like i’ll be “getting in touch often” unless they do make a change.

Big news yesterday was the news that Google will be having a bit of a rejig with some ‘parts under the hood’ and for the first time they’ll released a test version of the search engine for webmaster’s and SEO’s to play about with.

http://www2.sandbox.google.com/ allows you to search the new index which does have some slight alterations to the rankings. They are looking for feedback on the results given out before they go live which is an excellent idea to improve the overall results being given. For example Dave Naylor pointed out a problem with a 301′d result in the serp for SEO.

I’ve noticed that my result on my football blog “Blackpool FC” which is currently at 7 have moved down to 21 in the results with many bigger brand sites appearing in the rankings with inner page rankings e.g. amazon, wikipedia, facebook, youtube, eurosport, bbc.

One thing that are still in the results are domains / inner pages that 302 to another page. This isn’t something new as Matt Cutts showed with his experiment when he changed domain a few months ago and Google ranked the temporary domain.

In my example this inner page is ranking 2nd page for Blackpool FC.

blackpool-fc-serp

It 302′s to a different domain.

blackpool-fc-302

This is very common throughout the UK serps allowing webmasters to get 100′s of domains ranking with only one website. It will be interesting to see if this is something that changes considering the very public related experiment by Matt Cutts.