Search Happenings April 2013

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Published April 13, 2013 by Brad Knutson
Search Engine Happenings April 2013

There are constantly changes in the world of SEO. Often times I come across interesting features that search engines have implemented, and sometimes they aren’t advertised.

These findings may be search engines testing new features, gauging their users reactions. Sometimes these features only stick around for a few days and disappear, sometimes they are easter eggs. Whatever the reason – I feel compelled to document them. Maybe they are small pieces to a much large update, or maybe I wasn’t meant to see them at all.

Google Does April Fools

On April Fools day, I checked my Google Analytics account like any other day. I was surprised to see 41 visitors from the International Space Station.

Google Analytics April Fools

I wrote about this a few weeks ago, and you can see the full write up here.

Google Analytics Show Twitter Handles as Source

Today I noticed something strange in my Google Analytics account. For the first time, a visitor that originated from Twitter did not display the usual source of and medium of referral.

Google Analytics Twitter

This puzzled me. I’m not quite sure yet if this means that this individual visited my site, or the visitor clicked on a link that this Twitter user tweeted – but I’m leaning towards the latter. This individual tweeted a link to one of my pages and I believe that Google Analytics is telling me that the visitor came to my site by clicking the link from this individuals tweet about my post.

I looked through my Google Analytics history and couldn’t find another instance of this, so I’m interested to see where this goes. This would be an awesome addition to Google Analytics, and it would make it easy to track which of our Twitter followers are generating the most buzz about our content.

This could also be another clue that Google has the ability to gather (and could be implementing) Social Authority data.

Bing Does April Fools

We saw Google’s playful April Fools joke, and Bing – not to be outdone – made their own prank. On 4/1/13, if you entered the keyword “Google” into Bing, you saw this:

Bing April Fools Joke on Google

While clever, this didn’t really appear to be a prank in anyway – more of an easter egg if you ask me. However, Bing claimed to be running some tests that day, and wrote:

…you’ll get something a little more bland. We decided to go back to basics, to the dawn of the Internet, to reimagine Bing with more of a 1997, dial-up sensibility in mind. We may see some uptick in our numbers based on this test, but the main goal here is just to learn more about how our world would look if we hadn’t evolved.

It didn’t take people too long to figure out the search term they were referring to was Google. Touche, Bing.

Bing Search Results Integrate Klout Score

Another interesting addition to the Bing SERPs is the addition of a Klout score when using some branded keywords.

Bing Search Results Klout Score

Klout also integrated Bing into it’s own score calculation. I’m still unsure how they actually add social value to a Bing account, but that is neither here nor there. What is interesting, is Klout and Bing’s relationship, and how it will affect SEO going forward. You may have heard buzz that search engines and the future of SEO is in social signals and social authority. Klout could be used to add value to social authority, and Bing is going for broke.

Bing Image Search Results Adds Option to Pin Image

Bing has been busy this month it seems. Another interesting addition to Bing Image SERPs is the ability to Pin an image right from the image search results page.

Bing Image Search Results Pinterest Pin It Button

Bing could be gathering data on images and using Pinterest to rank them. This is another interesting development, and we’ll have to see where it goes.

So those are a few things I’ve noticed so far this month in the world of Search Engines. Did I miss anything? Leave a comment below!

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Founder at Inbounderish
Brad Knutson is a Web Developer in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. He has experience working with WordPress and Drupal, and also has an interest in SEO and Inbound Marketing.

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