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theEweekly Wrap – Google changes, UK election, browser changes

Spring SERPs Google continued its spring clean by revealing a host of new features on its SERPs and Analytics program. A new-look search engine results page, complete with Bing-esque icons on the left-hand-side was rolled out this week, while Analytics introduced a collection of new applications.

The new Google Analytics applications – 32 in total – give users the opportunities to asses SEO performance in a host of new ways. One such implementation, Excellent Analytics, offers site masters the opportunity to transfer data into a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet.

It’s worth pointing out that many of the new applications were designed by third parties or Google users, not by the search engine giant itself. Still, many have already received a positive reaction, so maybe we can expect to see Google reaching out to the SEO community again in the future.

Polling social Thursday’s general election played out on social media as users on Facebook and Twitter added their thoughts to the evening’s media coverage. Throughout polling day, Facebook gave users the opportunity to tell their friends and colleagues that they’d cast their ballot, while later, UK Twitter users shared their thoughts, hopes and fears during the morning count.

Indeed, at its peak, all ten of the UK trending topics were election-related. For those interested, the most popular hashtag of the evening was #ge2010.

The national news also played their part with the BBC integrating Twitter updates from politicians and analysts into their live news coverage, while the Guardian asked users to tweet their postcode with the hashtag #ukvote as it attempted to calculate the number of voters using the social media service.

Market woes The battle for browser supremacy took a new turn this week after research showed Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser suffered a slow but steady decline over the past seven years. Statistics from measurement gurus NetApplications revealed that IE’s share of the market has dropped by 35 per cent – from 95 per cent to 59.9 per cent – since 2003.

While the news shouldn’t be particularly surprising to anyone who follows the battle of the browsers, the stat probably did little to calm Microsoft’s fears of a continuing decline (particularly in light of recent EU regulations requiring users be presented with alternatives to IE).

“There are more viable alternatives now. Google has been advertising and there are more people using Macs and Apple’s Safari,” said industry analyst Jeffrey Mann.

For those interested, IE enjoys a 15 per cent market share in theEword office.

Written by Tom Mason

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