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Google Webmaster Tools Adds Mobile Usability Tracking

Google Webmaster Tools Adds Mobile Usability Tracking

By Chris Crum October 29, 2014

Google announced the addition of a new Mobile Usability feature to Webmaster Tools, which shows you issues Google has found with your site. It includes graphs that look at issues over time, so you can see any progress you’ve made. …

Conversions Rely on Usability of Both Search Engines and Your Site
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WebProNews talked to a lot of interesting people at Search Engine Strategies in New York this week, and one theme that ran through more than one of these conversations was the relationship between user attention and usability and how this relates to search marketing.

Note: There is plenty more useful information in the videos embedded in this article than the points I have referenced. I suggest watching the interviews in their entirety for some helpful advice.

Google Rolls Out Breadcrumb Display in SERPs
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Update: Google announced today that it will now be rolling out the use of breadcrumbs in seach results on a global basis. They will only be used in place of some URLs – mainly the ones that don’t give the added context of a link the way that the breadcrumbs do. Google says:

Site Usability Issues Matter During the Holidays
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We’re well into the holiday season now, in terms of having sites ready for holiday sales. That said, it’s never too late to improve your site. Your sales may depend on it. There are lot of key ingredients that go into the recipe of a successful e-commerce site: marketing, analytics, customer service, prices, competition, and the list goes on. Somewhere in there is design, and more importantly, usability.

Google Increases PDF Usability in Search Results
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Google has added an option to quickly view PDF documents in your browser from search results, while keeping formatting intact. This comes in the form of a simple "Quick View" link located in the search result snippet for PDF results.

Men Want It Fast, Women Want It All
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The following is based on research, not sexism or prejudice of any kind. Conclusions are by nature overly general, and there are many exceptions to the following “rules” of masculine and feminine behavior. Quite simply, there really are general and stark differences in the behaviors men and women, but this fact should never be used for discrimination or other types of abuse. Also, in the following, jokes and wisecracks abound. The author apologizes in advance if you don’t find him funny and reminds you they’re only jokes.

Gmail Does Something It Should’ve Done A Long Time Ago
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Gmail has been all about improving usability lately. Most recently they’ve announced a big improvement in this area fixing a problem that has annoyed countless emailers including Googlers themselves.

You know how when you get more than one conversation going based on one message, you don’t always have time to read each new one? It can get pretty confusing when trying to remember which ones still need to be read when you go back to them. If you mark the whole thing as unread, then you have to wade through the ones you’ve already read.

Make Facebook, Yahoo, and Google Products Better
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We live in an age of great communication. The world is literally at our fingertips at the click of a mouse or the stroke of a key, and that puts the companies behind the products we use everyday right within our reach.

Accessibility Information Webmasters Can Use
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Web Accessibility organization WebAIM has posted results from an interesting survey on the use of screen readers. Webmasters should pay attention to this, as accessibility is an important part of your online presence, but is often ignored or overlooked. Just ask Target, who settled an accessibility lawsuit last year for $6 million.

Gmail Makes Changes to Contacts
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Google has announced four changes to Gmail’s contact manager. Each change is a feature to enhance the service’s usability.

Google Looks At Itself Through Your Eyes
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What captures a user’s attention on their screen can play a large part in whether or not they click through to a search engine result. Naturally, that makes finding out where eyeballs go on a SERP vital to their overall search experience, and hence, vital to Google’s strategy.

Google of course obtains this knowledge through extensive eye tracking research. The company has a post up today revealing some findings from their latest efforts in this area.

New Twellow Feature Increases Usability
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Twellow introduced a new feature today that allows users to easily follow and unfollow Twitterers directly from the Twellow interface. Whereas in the past, you would have had to clicked through to a user’s Twitter page to do so.

7 Ways to Get More Conversions Out of Google Site Search
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The future of search engine optimization is uncertain right now. Google is experimenting with personalization, and the need for quality, engaging, and usable content is becoming more important than ever.

One part of a site’s usability is the ease with which a user can find desired content. A common way to make this easier, is site search, which Google itself happily provides.

Using the Data that Site Search Uncovers
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I recently posted about ways to get more conversions out of Google Site Search. This was based on tips that Google itself offered for capitalizing on its potential. These tips were:

1. Make your search box easy to find
2. Make sure search is always available
3. Customize the appearance of search to fit your site
4. Experiment
5. Be open to feedback
6. Learn what users are looking for

Mozilla Collects User Data for Usability Testing
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Mozilla has a new project called Test Pilot, which it uses to test usability of its products. It collects data from users on a strictly voluntary basis, and shares that data with the public anonymously so others can use it too. In fact, the testing platform itself will be available to the public as well.

YouTube User Created Help Center Videos Rolling In

Back in September, YouTube announced that it was calling upon users of the popular video site to make "informative and creative" videos to embed in YouTube’s own help center.

How to Use Video to Improve Google Ranking & Conversions
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Online video is consuming the web as we know it whether you like it or not. Some prefer text content over video in most cases, and that’s ok too. I don’t think text is going anywhere, but demand for video is on the rise from both consumers, and businesses looking to stay on top of their marketing. Just like not all text is great, not all video is great, but when done well, I think you will find that it offers plenty of reward.

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