From my point of view at an SEO desk, the big things that have happened this month have been changes and updates to the tools we all love.
Yahoo Site Explorer
Yahoo announced that they will shutting down the Yahoo Site Explorer towards the end of the year. As part of the Bing-Yahoo transition, they’ve decided that instead of having two separate tools – Bing Webmaster Center and Yahoo Site Explorer, they will keep everything webmaster in one place – Microsoft’s Webmaster Tools. It feels like the end of an era saying goodbye to Yahoo Site Explorer, but at least now we have other options, which leads me onto the next update…
Open Site Explorer
On the 27th of July, SEOmoz released an updated version of the Open Site Explorer. Apart from a swanky new design, the tool now includes social stats such as Facebook Shares, Facebook Likes, Tweets and Google +1.
These may just seem like an added bonus at the moment, but with us all knowing that social will become a bigger impact on search results very soon, it’s probably a good idea that you get into the mindset of reviewing these and including them in your SEO ‘health checks’ now that it’s a lot easier to gather this information from one place.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Ok so the Bing-Yahoo transition is technically August news, but it would be silly to pretend it hasn’t happened as I write this on the 5th…! Now that this has all finally happened, it’s time to take more interest in Bing Webmaster Center as they begin to make more improvements. In July they’ve made updates to accept more sitemap file types, setup a notification option, added more available languages and expanded their navigation bar. Check it out.
Google Webmaster Tools
And last but not least (did you really think I could write an SEO roundup without mentioning King Google?!) Google Webmaster Tools have updated Parameter Handling to URL Parameters. It’s not just about a name change though, you can now specify whether the parameter changes the content of the page, and if it does change the content, you can say how you want Google to crawl the URLs with that parameter. If you were using Parameter Handling already, don’t worry these will be brought through automatically, but it’s worth having a look at the new features to see if you can improve these further.
Question: Have you been reviewing your +1 Metrics yet? I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got some exciting data rolling in!