April Fools was great this year with most getting into the spirit - it was nice to see the tech scene fully involved. If you didn’t catch the buzz on social media, then check out the April Fools roundup by Salvador Rodriguez from the Los Angeles Times. One that got people talking (and addicted) was the Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge - how did you find the quest? Although fun at the time, it seems the aftermath of April Fools was left with a sour taste, as some pranks went too far.
On to the latest Webmaster video Q&A.
What are some of the metrics that Google uses to evaluate whether one iteration of the ranking algorithm is delivering better quality results to users than another?
Matt tried not to “geek out” too much with his answer
Whenever an engineer is evaluating a new search quality change, and they want to know whether it's an improvement, one thing that's useful is we have hundreds of quality raters who have previously rated URLs as good or bad, spam, all these sorts of different things.
The rater's job is to provide feedback on the results and will typically rate spam, the quality of the page, the quality of the results, and metrics. Before a new algorithm goes live, an engineer will conduct a live experiment, testing two algorithms, old against the new. For the most part, their process works relatively well and provides the engineer with opportunities to adjust and improve before an update goes fully live.
Last month we featured an article in our newsletter about the DistilledU Masterclass. The first class took place last Friday and I was lucky enough to attend. My thoughts? I would definitely recommend it to beginners, whether you are just starting out or are a business owner learning to do online marketing youself. The day was filled with a variety of topics and quizzes from technical and On-Page SEO to building a mobile friendly site, so it was a great introductory and overview of what you should be doing - not to mention how good their smoked salmon sandwiches were!
Another little Distilled shoutout is for their “Google has dumped you but social is ready to be loved” webinar from last Thursday. The presentation touched on paying for social and seeding content, it was completely free too - so another great way to learn or polish up your techniques. My favorite quote is “Building a band is like building a brand”. Let us know what you thought.
App of the week goes to Pushbullet - a new one for me but definitely a keeper. What’s it all about? Firstly, it links your phone to your computer, so the times that your phone isn’t within arms reach your notifications automatically pop up on your computer screen. Secondly, it allows you to send push notifications to yourself and friends. Meaning it’s the easiest and fastest way to send almost everything to your phone including links, pictures, files, notes, maps and more. No more digging in your email and Dropbox folders, once you have something you want to remember, simply push it and it will be saved to your phone or computer.
An Android reviewer:
“LOVE this app!! Fantastic app that allows me to clear notification icons and stop that annoying blinking notification light on my phone without having to touch the phone. With the Google Chrome extension allowing me to see what those notifications are without looking at my phone and being able to clear them is fantastic. I'm OCD about a few things, and those notification icons are on the top of the list! Now I don't have to constantly pick up my phone to clear every facebook or twitter update!!!”
Check it out and let us know what you think - see you next week!