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Google Gets Rid of the Keyword Tool and Meeting Logistics Become a Thing of the Past

by Dave Langdale on September 2, 2013

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There are many things that, while socially unacceptable, are fairly enjoyable pastimes. And it would appear that attempting to write a newsletter in Jamie’s Italian while dressed in a morph suit listening to Harry Potter audio books is one of them.

Luckily for me though, Prezzo’s were not nearly so picky. So read on for updates on Google’s latest exploits, as well as an exciting look into the future of remote meetings.

Google Receive 20,000 Reconsideration Requests a Month

It’s tough waking up every day to find a well-armed Penguin bearing down on you. But that’s the situation countless webmasters find themselves in across the world and Google haven’t been much help in solving this problem.

Yet, after Matt Cutts’ latest video, you can understand why. The sheer number of domains penalised mean that Google receive around 20,000 reconsideration requests each month, to which they try and reply to every single one manually.

This comes days after Google released the Webmaster Tools manual actions tab (left), restricting reconsideration requests to those that have had manual actions. It’s reassuring news though for those hit by manual actions that there is a real person at the other end of that dreaded red button who might finally haul the animal off like a bouncer in a strip club.

Keyword Tool Gone for Good

It’s been on the cards for a long time but now, finally, the Google Keyword Tool has been replaced by the Keyword Planner. It’s difficult to get excited about it as Google’s information page details all the features excluded from the new tool, which include a lack of device information and no local searches. Add that to the confusing layout and you have a change that’s about as exciting as Tamworth.

But like every Facebook update, it’s something we’re just going to have to get used to and save our tantrums running around Toys ‘R’ Us pressing all the ‘Try Me’ buttons for a cause our protests can actually influence.

It’s not all bad either. Search Engine Land quotes many positive additions to the Keyword Planner including city level data and the ability to upload up to 10,000 keywords. So maybe when we eventually get used to it we can take our fingers out of our ears, stop stamping our feet and just get on with it.

Google Still Working on Co-Occurrence

One of the most misunderstood phrases of modern SEO is “co-occurrence”. Some think Google is already using it as a replacement algorithm for anchor text, while others think it’s used primarily as a method to add context to a site via lexically similar terms.

“Google’s patent looks at using substitute terms in with co-occurring terms if the user returns for multiple searches.”

Recently Google submitted a patent that suggests they will look at using substitute terms in collaboration with co-occurring terms if the user returns for multiple searches.

So, for example, if I was looking for ‘dogs’ sites might be returned which feature co-occurring phrases such as ‘animal’, ‘domesticated’, ‘pet’. If I then went back and put in ‘canine’, Google would be able to tell if it was a valid substitute term if the same co-occurring phrases appeared in the top results.

It’s unclear how Google will use this information, but it’s likely they will attempt to build up their database of synonyms and substitute words to increase their ability to read and understand the context of websites in order to strengthen the Knowledge Graph. Watch this space for a blog post exploring this in more detail.

The Future of Meetings

There’s nothing more difficult than getting out of bed on a Monday morning, crawling into work and attempting to communicate with similarly bleary-eyed colleagues. If today’s Mayo Clinic announcement is anything to go by though, one day we might not need to get out of bed at all.

The incredible Beam from robot researchers and manufacturers Suitable is a telepresence device that uses Segway technology, combined with audiovisual equipment to create a piece of technological wizardy that reduces global logistics to nothing more than a console game.

Although very much still in beta, this is an exciting look into a Star Trek-like future in which human beings can really be in two places at once. It also forebodes the unavoidable correlational increase between people using the Beam and feelings of uncertainty as to whether the user is even wearing trousers. Or pants.

Image Source: MrHicks46 on Flickr

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