Content, SEO and social media news: weekly round-up

Google notifies publishers about changes in ranking

Google has updated its Webmaster Tools SEO service so that it will now notify publishers about sudden peaks or drops in their site’s ranking, or the number of clickthroughs their page receives. Javier Tordable, Tech Lead at Google Webmaster Tools, commented on the update in a blog post, saying: “The Search Queries feature in Webmaster Tools shows, amongst other things, impressions and clicks for your top pages over time. For most sites, these numbers follow regular patterns, so when sudden spikes or drops occur, it can make sense to look into what caused them.” Changes can be caused by anything from reduced demand for a particular kind of content to a technical issue which needs to be addressed, so the new service will prove very useful to anyone wanting to investigate their sudden peak or trough in page visits or search engine result page ranking.
Council vs. blogger – the saga continues

We have documented the case of John Kerlen, a blogger who landed himself in the middle of a legal battle over some rather vicious tweets directed at a local Bexley Heath councillor. He pleaded guilty in court and was sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work as a result of his online abuse, but has now has his conviction overturned. The judge who rejected the prosecution’s case declared that “nobody reading these remarks could have argued that this was a serious intention”. Although Kerlen escaped a serious fate, the story still serves a reminder to consider everything that you blog, tweet or comment before posting it, or it could come back to haunt you!

Facebook commits to removing offensive content

It seems that John Kerlen might not have been so lucky if he had committed his crimes on Facebook, as the social media platform has committed to removing or block any content which incites violence or includes ‘hate speech’. “Facebook will remove content which breaches our terms as set out in our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Content or individuals can be removed from Facebook for a variety of reasons, including issuing direct calls for violence or perpetuating hate speech,” a spokesman for the social networking giant confirmed.