Stuff we like 30 January 2014

Posted by Saby Salvatierra on 30 Jan, 2014
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Our round-up of things we've noticed and enjoyed in the past few days

Google gets stern with thin content

On Monday Google’s Chris Nelson of the Search Quality Team posted a warning on the Google Webmaster blog to the affiliates who produce thin or scraped content without adding substantial value to the user. The warning stated “recently, we’ve seen this behavior on many video sites, particularly in the adult industry, but also elsewhere.” If sites are caught they could be penalized for not following Google’s quality guidelines. A question he suggests you ask is - Does this site provide significant added benefits that would make a user want to visit this site in search results instead of the original source of the content?

Cutts speaks: "Links, not likes"

Continuing with Google Webmaster, Matt Cutts recently addressed the question “Are Facebook and Twitter signals part of the ranking algorithm? How much do they matter?” on their YouTube account, stating - "Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index so if something occurs on Twitter or occurs on Facebook and we're able to crawl it, then we can return that in our search results. But as far as doing special specific work to sort of say "you have this many followers on Twitter or this many likes on Facebook", to the best of my knowledge we don't currently have any signals like that in our web search ranking algorithms." Matt discussed the many reasons why those signals are not in place, he also emphasised that there are still plenty of benefits of social media and marketers shouldn’t overlook their social media opportunities, due to the indirect relation between Facebook/Twitter and Google ranking. In his words - "There are a ton of people who get a ton of value from both Facebook and Twitter, I think that both of those services represent a fantastic avenue, It's a way to drive visitors and traffic to your site."

Evernote - speedy syncing

We’ve mentioned before that Wordtracker are a big fan of Evernote, so it was nice to hear that they have made an upgrade enabling notes to sync 4X faster than ever before. Evernote posted the details on their blog on Tuesday, stating that keeping all notes synchronized across phones and computers has been a core promise since they launched in 2008. The new upgrade applies to any version of Evernote and the sync takes a couple of seconds - If you have a small account you potentially won't notice the speed. However, if you’re a note crammer or your entire company uses Evernote Business you will see massive improvements.

Citymapper - real-time travel planning

App of the week goes to Citymapper and here's the android version. If you live in (or are just visiting) New York, London or Paris it’s pretty much essential to have. If you’re out and the last underground train has gone, how do you get home? Easy, use Citymapper - options, walk? bus? taxi? this helpful app will let you know the best routes, timings and basically what you may need to know at that moment (including how many calories you'll lose if you do decide to walk). The New York Times described it as the "best travel app to ever hit New York." Download it and let me know what you think.

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