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Google news search box modification

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I’m always on the lookout in how Google changes the way it displays its data to users. On my lunch break, I noticed that the Google News search results box has changed for certain keyword terms. The older variation still exists, but only for specific terms. Read on to see my examples.

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Google knowledge graph evolution

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I do love Google knowledge graph. I think it is a great addition to the SERPs and of course it takes up more of the PPC space, rather than the organic, which frustrates many an SEO. As you may know from reading my blogs here and on Intelligent Positioning’s blog, I’m quite into football. So when Robin van Persie signed for Manchester United from Arsenal, I decided to take a snapshot of United’s new striker’s Google knowledge graph and track changes. I’m going to do this for a year, but here is what I’ve go so far.

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Google+ now integrated into YouTube

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Earlier on today when accessing YouTube, I was asked if I wanted to migrate to my Google+ account rather than use my old YouTube username. I have documented a few images of the change and I ask you your opinion on the integration of Google+ within all Google channels. Its not a surprise at all, but is it getting too much?

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Google trends & insights merge

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Keyword research is pivotal to any online strategy. SEOs around the world know the importance of obtaining useful data on specific terminology that will covert traffic through organic search. There are many ways in obtaining this information, I usually start by interviewing an expert in the field – sometimes this is independent of the client so that you obtain an unbiased view of the product/service.

Any serious SEO should also obtain data from additional channels (such as PPC or social) that highlight current interaction with your audience. Then there is the discovery and keyword refining phase, which is where some of Google’s free tools come in. This morning I noticed that Google Trends has had a facelift, whilst Google Insights is no more.

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Google News now has a META keyword tag

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Any SEO worth his or her salt knows how useless the META keyword tag is. It has been for years. Having said that, Google released the news yesterday that they will now support a META keywords tag for Google News. The obvious benefit is that you can have some additional freedom in creating headlines, although it is obviously still advised that you mention important keywords with the title, <h1>, caption (if you have one) and opening paragraph.

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Google knowledge graph now active in UK

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Google fully rolled out their knowledge graph in the UK today for people and events. I had noticed the knowledge graph returning, when logged in, for a few searches that I conducted – but never as prominent as in the US, which was launched back in May. I for one welcome such a feature, although I’m sure many will oppose yet another Google tool that promotes Google products and keeps you within their space. Take a look at some of the examples this morning.

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Best Google News WordPress plugin

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To be honest, I really should be experimenting with more WordPress plugins than I currently do. I focus (as you would expect, considering it is my job) most of my efforts on SEO, but there are some really cool plugins that can make your job a hell of a lot easier. Over the weekend I experimented with a number of different Google News plugins, but the best one was by 4visions.nl.

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Should Google use rel=alternate on insights?

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I use Google Insights quite a lot and I think that the data you can extract from it, in its most basic form, is the first obvious step to keyword discovery if you embark on a new SEO project. Looking in the SERPs today, I noticed that Google.co.uk now has a version of insights, which is identical to Google.com.

I checked the backend code to look for a canonical tag and more importantly a rel=alternate tag. Both were not present, so I ask the question – why isn’t Google using the tag on their own products but are recommending webmasters use it on multi lingual and multi regional websites?

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Brand Google+ accounts in UK SERPs now?

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Following a tweet by Patrick Altoft, I can confirm that Google+ accounts for brand searches are now appearing in Google’s UK SERPs. I’ve run a few tests against some brands that I know have rel=publisher setup in the backend code. The screenshots are highlighted below.

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Guide to setting up rel=publisher

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You may have noticed a few changes to the blog over the last couple of days. Firstly, I have updated the logo to be a little more fun than basic text reading ‘SEO Trench’. You may argue that it looks like a sex shop sign from New York in the mid-80s – well, I presume that is what it would have looked like – but you shouldn’t read my post for my graphic design skills! Hopefully the SEO advice is useful.

This blog looks at adding the ‘rel=publisher’ tag and what you can expect once Google acknowledges it.

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