Today we introduce a brand new Search Engine Watch. By now you will have already noticed a new logo, a new site design and lots of new features.
The new Search Engine Watch brand is all about simplicity.
As a site documenting the rise of search engines, we didn't have to look too far for inspiration to rebuild our site. What makes the web less complex? Search.
Our developers threw out the rulebook and came up with a unique approach to publishing and displaying content. We turned to search technology.
"Watching the new design and architecture for Search Engine Watch (SEW) come together these last few months has been extremely exciting. With over 20,000 articles on the Search Engine Marketing and the greater online advertising & marketing Industry written over the 14 years since SEW's launch in 1997, this was a big project even for our seasoned team," said Matt McGowan, Managing Director, Incisive Media, “So please join me in congratulating the Incisive Media team, including Jonathan Allen, Rebecca Holz, and Mark Stephens, and also designer, Neil Tweddle, and the Srishti, Echo and Ultra Knowledge teams for all their hard work! I am sure you will agree that the new site will support SEW's position as the leading source of news, best practices and opinion in the search engine marketing industry for years to come."
Much of the site design stems from our vision of how we wanted our new logo to represent the brand.
Search marketing has become increasingly complex and we wanted our brand to represent a solution to that problem. The role of a search marketer has changed so much that one cannot survive with a niche skill-set; you have to understand code, be socially aware yet familiar with marketing concepts and possess a grasp of statistical analysis all at the same time!
So, with all this in mind, we hit upon the metaphor of a busy transport network carrying people who arrive via search engines, social networks, blogs, forums, mobile apps and video sites.
The new logo with its "spectrum" device instantly suggests the new, broad array of online marketing topics and disciplines that search and social marketing encompasses.
Alive and kicking in the interactive advertising capital of the world, New York, the new design elements reflect perfectly the fast moving, creative and technically innovative marketing community. And just like any metropolitan transit system, the site transports you from one content area to the next with ease and speed – even into our social destinations on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
New Website Navigation
The primary goal of the new site is to showcase our fantastic content. With so many talented marketing strategists contributing to the site every day, offering timely tactics and opinions on breaking news and current trends, it made sense to flatten the site structure into 10 simple categories.
The home page is now a single stream of content, with the latest story featured in the top left corner of the page. Every article is color-coded to a particular category that can be seen by the colored line near the headline.
The left hand navigation of the old site has been completely removed to allow for a more robust reading pane - clearer pictures and larger video embeds. In the right column of every category you will see a 'Trending' module that displays the latest trending topics within that category, to provide an at-a-glance view of the current topics being covered within that discipline.
Under the main logo we also have another site navigation bar. This houses other services offered on Search Engine Watch and provides quick links to key areas of the site:
- Stats & Tools: Two "colorless" sections have been created to collate articles which are classified as featuring statistics or cases studies and those which feature 'How-to' type step-by-step guides or software reviews. When you mouseover an article headline it will change color according to its category.
- Newswall: The Newswall is a means to browse the latest stories by image and quickly scan through the latest headlines and anything else that catches your eye. We will continue to experiment with different ways to deliver news to SEW readers.
- A-Z Topic Sitemap: The A-Z topic sitemap allows you to find all of the different topics covered on Search Engine Watch. They are broken into themes such as 'companies', 'products', 'people' and industry terms, sorted by volume, to provide an at-a-glance view of everything covered on the site and a quick way to explore topics that are most relevant to you.
- Search & Explore: When you jump from a category page into a topic index you will find a colorless index (like stats and tools), of all the articles in that topic. In the right hand column you will also see a module entitled 'explore', which suggests themes that are directly related to the topic you are on. If you are searching for something more specific you can use the suggested search functionality. On the search results page the 'explore' module suggests keywords to refine your search. Hover over a headline on the search results page and you will see a 'related' reading box appear.
- Feeds: All of the site content is delivered by a single feed. However you can slice and dice the what content gets delivered to you via individal feeds for every single author, category and topic.
Please note that these new features are a work-in-progress and we will be adjusting topic identification and relevance algorithm in the coming months.
Onward and Upwards
Search Engine Watch is renowned for having no fear, being neutral and maintaining an independent perspective on the latest search engine developments. When our contributors have something to say they step right out and say it.
Industry leaders and sleeves-rolled-up practitioners alike air their thoughts and ideas in a constant stream of commentary about what's really happening in the world of search and social marketing.
Our mission is to distinguish between hype and opportunity and put announcements into a meaningful context and provide action plans on the latest trends.
"Search Engine Watch's dynamic coverage of search and social complements ClickZ's in-depth news and case studies that delve into all aspects of interactive marketing," said Anna Maria Virzi, executive editor at ClickZ, a sister site to SEW. "The new tools and features at SEW will exponentially advance the utility offered by both sites."
And thanks to its passionate community of contributors and readers, Search Engine Watch will maintain its tradition as an independent and objective resource for marketers.
A Final Word
Our content is as bold as our new look. I'd just like to thank all the people who made the new site possible:
- Rebecca Holz (New York, Incisive Media), for tirelessly managing this huge project with multiple teams in London, Bangalore, Russia & San Francisco.
- Mark Stephens (London, Incisive Media), for helping us with the content migration from the old CMS.
- Neetin Kumar, Senthil Kumar & Lal Sahab (Bangalore, Shrishti), for helping us to migrate the blog content and set up our new CMS.
- Andrew Kushnir & Igor Lebedew (San Francisco /Russia, Echo), for helping us migrate blog comments and launch using the latest echo platform.
- Neil Tweddle (London, Typo-graphic), for designing our brand new look and feel.
- Dave Bowker & Olav Hjertaker (London, Ultraknowledge), for building and creating this amazing new site!
I'd also like to thank Danny Goodwin, SEW's associate editor, the SEW news team comprised of Frank Watson, Thom Craver, Brent Rangen and Sarah Carling, and all our expert contributors who make Search Engine Watch what it is today. Long time search marketing evangelist and SEW contributor, Mike Grehan, VP, global content director for SES, Search Engine Watch and ClickZ, Incisive Media, had this to say:
“Having been associated with Search Engine Watch as a contributor and active member of the community since it was more-or-less a text based newsletter back in the day, I couldn't be more excited about this re-launch. The new design and functionality is a marked improvement over anything else before it and accentuates a solid connection with the ultra modern online marketer. It richly engages the end user; provides the ultimate search and social marketing experience and firmly repositions itself as the industry's leading and most established resource."
This labor of love that is the new Search Engine Watch is a work in progress. It doesn't stop here. Once we iron out the bumps we're bound to encounter (as you do with any new roll out) we'll keep on making it better and better. And that's because we're listening. Give us your feedback. Good, bad, indifferent, we can take it.