A Guide to the New and Improved Search Engine Watch

  |  June 14, 2011   |  Comments

Streamlined categorization, a more robust search engine, and live and trending apps vastly improve user experience.

At the time of this writing, we are preparing the relaunch of SearchEngineWatch.com. Stay tuned to the site to see the latest phase in our evolution and met the new generation of marketing experts.

New Look and Feel

Our new logo imparts a fresher and more authoritative appearance to Search Engine Watch. The color-code device to the right of the thin black line is a theme that runs through the entire site and represents the spectrum of new content and contributors.

The new home page has a more broadsheet look and feel and simplified categorization. We have significantly reduced clutter by dropping the left-hand navigation and providing one main multi-colored content navigation bar. The home page is now a single stream of news, with the latest story in the top left corner and the rest following in reverse date order. All headlines are now featured on the main site, their placement giving you a sense of how recently the stories were posted. There is also a smaller navigation bar that highlights specific site functionality and resources.

Article pages are now bigger and can incorporate more illustrations. Finally, the right-hand column has several new apps to help you discover trending content according to website and social metrics. They're very cool!

Better Content Categories

Many of you told us that the old site design was confusing. It was very difficult to find content from earlier in the week or on specific topics or disciplines. Categories were poorly labeled, and there were too many different sections to the site that were not effectively connected.

To address these problems, we've massively simplified the content categorization of every article. Looking at the range of topics covered, we created a taxonomy that is intended to create content dashboards and fit into the online marketer's workflow. Each member of a team can follow certain categories to stay current on news, strategies, and tactics for his or her specialty. You don't all have to be reading the same content to get value out of Search Engine Watch.

Better Search Engine, With Search Suggestions

Another persistent complaint was that the site search functionality was particularly poor. With 14 years of writing behind us, we knew that migrating over 20,000 articles into a newer, more robust CMS was still likely to cause a problem for search. It made sense to look at the new site in terms of a vast searchable archive of content. After all, search engines and content discovery is what we are all about. So we took the CMS and mashed it into a search engine. The new Search Engine Watch sits on an entirely new technology stack.

The result is that the search engine analyzes all of the content and creates an index of interrelated pages and topic themes. When you start searching, keyword suggestions pop up to help you quickly jump to what you are looking for. Or, if you are looking to dig deep into a topic, you can enter your keywords, and more suggestions will appear in a drilldown box to help refine your search query.

Following Topics

We've built the new Search Engine Watch on a search engine, which means that we can interlink articles at a granular level and bring up related content. All coverage on a particular company, tool, product, or campaign can easily be sourced under one topic. You can subscribe to the topic RSS feed, and in the weeks after the launch you will be able to follow the tag; SEW will automatically suggest articles based on the topics you are reading.

To get an A–Z of all the topics sorted by company, technology, people, products, or industry discipline, simply visit the "explore all topics" section.

Live and Trending Social Layers

The goal of Search Engine Watch is to bring together the entire community of search marketing professionals to share knowledge, insight, and perspectives in order to generate successful businesses. We have integrated Twitter and Facebook sharing so that you can connect with users in those networks – and build your own tribe. You will see "live" and "trending" apps in the right-hand sidebar.

These apps take the social concept a step further by enabling social networks to filter content. You can see what is trending right now via your friends' recommendations on Facebook and what is most tweeted about on Twitter. Even cooler are the popularity filters – what we like to call statistically based navigation – that show the most-viewed and most-discussed articles on the site.

In every category you can see what topics are trending by views and comments. Trending topics show what topics are being covered right now in that category. By drilling down into the topic you can get further information on a trend as it breaks.

Trending content is at the core of the site's architecture. The footer on Search Engine Watch has a unique dynamic navigation that reorders the 10 latest companies according to what has most recently been discussed.

As we build up data in the months following launch, expect to see more features that filter and prioritize content on a personal and site-wide level

More to Come

The central concept behind the design of the new Search Engine Watch is that you should be able to find whatever tactical or strategic information you need to successfully create online marketing campaigns, with minimal fuss. The entire site is organized to give you an instant impression of what the community thinks is important content right now via trending content, trending topics, and the color coded navigation, all collated under a dashboard view.

Even more powerful social features are on the way to enable you to connect with our expert contributors directly on the site and also create more ways to filter content through the expertise of our authors and readers. A fully mobilized version will be released this year. You can expect to see much more video content in the coming months.

Our intention is to make the site as easy to use as a search engine. We want all team members involved in executing your campaign to be able to use the site as a resource to improve their skills and take their careers sky-high.

We welcome your feedback on the new Search Engine Watch. Send comments to jonathan.allen@searchenginewatch.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jonathan Allen

Jonathan Allen is the President of Longneck & Thunderfoot, an agile content company based in New York City and part of the Columbia Startup Lab.

Formerly, the Director of Search Engine Watch, he joined Incisive Media's editorial team in December 2009, and was responsible for setting the editorial agenda, sourcing talent and delivering a brand new site design in May 2011. In May 2012 Search Engine Watch won the Gold Azbee National Award for "Online Excellence, New or Relaunched Web Site" from the American Society of Business Press Editors.

Jonathan has spoken at the largest search conferences – SES New York, SES San Francisco, SES London, SES Chicago – as well as PubCon, KoreaComm and SIPA. His presentations are focused on topics such as the future of SEO, video optimization, and marketing automation. He has also provided industry commentary on breaking news for the BBC, the Boston Globe and Deutsche Welle.

Before Incisive, Jonathan worked as an SEO consultant and also co-founded Moblog:tech, an award-winning mobile social networking software provider and owner of the mobile social network Moblog. In 2009, Moblog won the Experimental & Innovation Webby award for a collaborative mapping project with Shozu and in 2008, Moblog:tech's build of Channel 4's Big Art Mob won the community engagement award at MediaGuardian Awards for Innovation (MEGAS), The Royal Television Society's On The Move Award, and 3 BAFTA nominations.

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