The most difficult thing about trying to keep up with news while spending most of my time offline is that there’s just too much of it! With my trusty always on connection and two monitors, I can easily multitask – reading one news article while working on another project, flipping between articles while writing a blog post, etc. Now, while I’ve been confined to the single screen of my laptop while seated in a smoky bar, my work has been remarkably constrained.
Regardless, I keep reading what I have time to keep up with, and this week has certainly been interesting!
One of the most interesting things I’ve read this week was the public confession by Google that they have been conducting user tests through their search tool. Not that anybody in the industry didn’t pretty confidently suspect this – the constant alterations to their search results pages was prominent enough to make Danny Sullivan’s Top 25 hated Google features!
Another interesting note was Matt Cutts’ mention of Google Warnings. (I also love how you can plug Google in front of almost any word and create a new Google xProduct). This webmaster notification idea is very much in keeping with modern SEO – it’s not the technical methods, it’s the intent behind them which makes the practice unethical. Although some methods have little application outside those more questionable practices, others have clear and respected uses! Hidden text, for example, is something I have used on almost every site I’ve ever done – not for SEO, but to conceal internal page navigation which is only useful to non-visual browsers.
Another prominent article in my reading this week was the appraisal of IE’s new handling of Active/Flash elements by Guillaume Bouchard. This major change to Internet Explorer has gotten surprisingly little press – and as a user of Firefox myself, I hadn’t really even noticed the change! However, the significant loss of functionality may well have extensive consequences for IE and for the use of Flash elements.