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

The release of Google Penguin

Penguin, Google’s latest update to its algorithm, is another attempt to reduce the ranking of websites who use spam, keyword stuffing or over optimisation. The SEO forums are alight with complains that their site has unfairly gone down in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), although new websites have reportedly seen improvements. We’ve expanded on our own thoughts in a separate blog piece about Google Penguin.

Online reviews more important than word of mouth

A new survey by Eccomplished has reported that online reviews are now more important than word of mouth when it comes to making a purchase. 31% of respondents said that they had read an online review before committing to buying an item, whereas only 23% asked for advice from friends and relatives. The news highlights the importance of reviews and quality e-commerce content in customer purchasing decisions. However, the primary research method is to visit a marketplace such as Amazon, “with a huge range and associated recommendations and reviews”.

Yahoo! develops new marketing dashboard

Yahoo! may be making significant cuts to their property portfolio, but they are increasing their online repertoire with a new online dashboard specifically designed for small businesses. The Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard enabled users to keep track of their search rankings, view the traffic to their site, and monitor their reputation on 8,000 sites, including social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The basic site is free, but Yahoo! is also offering a number of premium add-ons for various fees.

SEOmoz raises funding

Seattle based SEO company SEOmoz have managed to raise $18m from Foundry Group and Ignition Partners at a $75 pre-money valuation. Despite the company’s high profile, success has not always been so easy. CEO Rand Fishkin revealed on his blog how he raised almost $24 in a second round of funding for his company, only to have the deal fall through, so their current success is encouraging to any businesses in a similar situation. Fishkin recently wrote, “The [new] money is going to help us do amazing things, and it’s going to mean we can do a lot more of them faster and at greater scale than we could have on our own.”