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The Search News Round Up: Google Image Search Traffic Drop, Hidden Search Box in Chrome, 301 Redirects, Calendar Items in Search Results and AdWords Updates

Traffic from Google Image Search drops dramatically since redesign

Just over a month ago Google released its redesign of Image Search and mentioned that in Google’s own tests, they had seen “a net increase in the average click-through rate to the hosting website”.

However, webmasters weren’t convinced and now some forums are abuzz with them sharing just how badly they have been affected by the redesign. Gregory Karpinsky and Thomas McMahon have both shared screenshots of their Google Analytics, with Karpinsky showing a drop of over 80% of visits and McMahon having experienced a similar drop.

However, a number of webmasters have reported that pages per visit and time on site increased, which some would argue is more important than the drop in visits.

Google hiding search box in Chrome

Google is currently testing a new feature in Chrome which hides the search box on Google. This forces the user to search a query using the omnibox built into the Chrome browser window.

Omnibox

To replicate the image above and see what some Chrome users are seeing, try the following link in Chrome: https://www.google.com/search?q=google&aq=f&oq=google&sourceid=chrome&espv=101&ie=UTF-8

Only time will tell whether this change will prove irritating or innovative.

301 redirects and normal links pass the same amount of PageRank

Three years ago, Matt Cutts confirmed in an interview that 301 redirects do not always pass the full PageRank from the old site to the new one. Some webmasters were confused by this, and rumours started to spread that links passed more PageRank than 301 redirects as a result.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Filv4pP-1nw

Matt Cutts, speaking in a video released last Monday, wanted to dispel this myth, saying:

The amount of PageRank that dissipates through a 301 is currently identical to the amount of PageRank that dissipates through a link.

Cutts went on to say that although this is currently the way Google implements the passing of PageRank, he can’t guarantee it will always be this way and it may change in the future.

Google search adds your calendar to results

If you are part of the Gmail search field trial and are logged in, you can see your calendar entries appearing in search results when you enter certain queries.

This allows you to utilise such search queries as “what is on my calendar today” (or indeed any other date), which results in Google showing you all the events, meetings and other appointments that you have in your calendar for that particular day.

Included in the calendar search results are events and reservations booked through sites such as Ticketmaster or OpenTable, helping you to avoid double booking yourself.

Google AdWords upgrade call extensions and site links

As part of its aim to serve the right information to users depending on the time of day, location, what device they’re using and similar, Google has added new features to call extensions and site links.

Users on their mobile devices often want to speak to someone directly from their phone. With enhanced campaigns, AdWords users can now display a business’s telephone number no matter what device is being used. If you decide to use a Google forwarding number, these are now free on all devices.

The upgrade on site links allows AdWords users to link to any part of their site directly within the ad. Google says that ads with site links enabled have a 30% higher clickthrough rate than those without. Users are able to customise site links at the ad group and campaign levels as well as specifying if they should only appear on mobile devices.

That’s it for this week’s Search News Round Up. Be sure to leave a comment below, and check back next week for the latest happenings in the ever-changing world of SEO.



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