Avatar News : Internet Marketing from a Kiwi Perspective

December 2013

Written By: Mark Rocket & Katie O’Neill
Published by: Avatar Ltd

Seasons Greetings All!

By crikey, another year has zipped on by, with many interesting developments for the online world. This month’s newsletter looks back at some of the major search engine optimisation (SEO) changes in Google, as well as outlining some of the lessons we’ve learned. There’s also a selection of tidbits, an interesting stat and sites of interest to peruse.

Avatar Holiday Close Down: Avatar finishes up on Friday, December 20th and starts back on Monday, January 6th. In between, we have a skeleton crew making sure the Mothership keeps running and to take care of anything urgent.

Google SEO Review For 2013

The year was categorised by some epic changes to how Google conducts searches and organises information. With all the upset SEO people out there, it’s little wonder that Google have themselves pre-emptively registered the domain ‘googlesucks.com’ – which is quietly amusing.

The biggest happening was the introduction of Hummingbird, which represents the largest change to the Google search algorithm since it was created. It was a complete update to the core engine, rather than just a tweak or adaption like Panda and Penguin. The end result is – according to Google – faster and more accurate results, with an emphasis on conversational searching (searching as if you were asking a human), a better understanding of search meanings, and increased penalties against spammy content. However, many people have been having issues with the new results, finding their websites randomly penalised and poor quality sites rising to the top.

Another big change Google made was removing their Keyword Tool – a major component of how many SEO’ers did research. They replaced it with the Keyword Planner, a similar tool that provides much less useful data and requires an AdWords account. Needless to say, many people have begun to look elsewhere for their keyword researching needs.

Bad news is said to come in threes, and Google rounded off the SEO year by also seriously changing the kind of data we can glean from traffic referred by Google. Previously it was possible to see which keywords brought people to the site via organic searches, but Google has decided to privatise this information, making it come up as “not provided.”

All in all it’s been a challenging year for many SEO people in 2013, but here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Use real data for keyword research. Try to think like an actual human searcher, not a bot.
  • Localise. One of the biggest influences of Hummingbird is an emphasis on geographical results.
  • Diversify your tools. If you rely too heavily on a single tool, you risk being blindsided if it changes.
  • Keep up the quality. The SEO mantra of quality over quantity continues to be the cornerstone of building up a marketing strategy that can stand any update.

Statistic Of The Month

61% of Web Traffic. That’s how much daily internet use is now attributed to bots and automated computer activity – a 21% rise on last year – meaning human web users are now actually a minority. This bot population is comprised of both good and bad bots – the majority are search engine crawling robots used to build up indexes, but of course there are also a number of malicious applications.


Free Graphics and Icons. Check out some free graphics and icons to funk up your site.

Move Over NASA. China has successfully landed its first explorer on the moon.

Robotic Bartender. Use a touchscreen or smartphone to order drinks that are made on the spot by this clever little robot.

Better Earthquake Data. A new GPS-based system in California aims to deliver information about major quakes much faster and more accurately.

Bow To The Droid. Why Android is key to Google’s plans to rule the world.

3D Printing. We’ve heard a lot about 3D printing, but here are six ways businesses are actually putting it to good use.

Quick ‘n Easy Contracts. A simple guide to crafting contracts for tech startups and software devs.

How Climate Change Will Affect You. An amusing take on a subject that’s not at all funny.

Sites Of Interest

A selection of sites we’ve worked on recently in web design, WordPress setups and/or web marketing.

Providing consultation and advice for New Zealand technology innovation businesses.
Offers instant pricing options through an online registration and login system.
Wanaka Trike Tours
Explore the beautiful Wanaka region with a guided tour on a safe and speedy trike vehicle.
Mount Brown
A top quality wine producer based in the famous Waipara region in northern Canterbury.


Cartoon Of The Month

Reprinted With Permission

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