The SEO News Round Up: Google Add Something Neat to Webmaster Tools, Possible Experiments with Google Local Listings and SEO Gets a Rain Check

This week’s SEO round up sees Google adding structured data information to Google Webmaster Tools (which should further encourage experimentation with microdata for those who have so far not used it), Google users in the US and UK starting to see changes to the way in which local listings are displayed in the SERPs and SEOMoz launching MozCast, a daily algorithmic weather update.

Structured Data Dashboard in Google Webmaster Tools

Following on from the Index Status tool added towards the end of July, Google has now added a Structured Data Dashboard to help webmasters gain an overview of how microdata is being deployed across sites.

There are three main ways in which to view structured data:

  • Site-level view – A top level overview of the number of items, pages and types of structured data used across a site
  • Item type-level view – Provides per page details for each item type
  • Page-level view – Provides all attributes of every item type on the selected page

This is a welcome addition to Google Webmaster Tools and particularly useful for those looking to implement and monitor the addition of structured data across their entire site. It also highlights a key point: adding this information to Webmaster Tools shows just where Google’s focus lies. So, if you’re late to using microdata, now is the time to start experimenting.

SEOMoz launch MozCast

SEOMoz announced MozCast on 26 July. This new service aims to provide a daily insight and indication as to whether Google has run any algorithm changes: turning the data it collects into a ‘weather report’ based on ranking fluctuations.

Put simply, it works by tracking 1,000 hand selected keywords every 24 hours, with all keywords being depersonalised, delocalised and split across five bins of search volume. For each keyword, the top ten Google organic results are stored and each day these results are then compared to the previous day using a metric called ‘Delta10’. Data is then presented as weather reports, which can have ratings such as sunny, partly cloudy, cloudy, rainy or stormy. The stormier it is, the more likely something big has been put down by big G.

Whether or not this will help me on a day-to-day basis, I’m not entirely sure. However, it looks good, is kind of a cool idea and probably a good resource for those who don’t work in SEO every day to get a quick check as to whether there have been any significant algorithmic movements.

Google Local listing changes?

There’s nothing confirmed by Google on this at the time of writing, but it appears it is experimenting with the way in which local listings appear in the SERPs. First the murmurs appeared stateside that local pins and addresses were being listed alongside the snippet in the SERPs and now it appears that it might be happening here in the UK, too:

Google Local listing changes

Currently it’s not clear exactly where Google is pulling the address data from, but now is the time to add in your address microdata and hook yourself up with a Google+ Local page if you haven’t done so already.