Many Eyes as a graphing shortcut

Like many Digital marketers, I like data and I like charts. Getting access to the raw data and being able to play around with it is one of the best parts of working in Search (although I will also admit, a marketer with access to raw data can be a very dangerous thing).

Because I like data, I spend a lot of time with spreadsheets. I remember the first chart I ever made — I was so proud. It was a record of Google ranking improvements for pages due to changes made to title tags. It was also pretty ugly. In the years since, I’ve learned a little more about making charts legible and useful and many new ways of visualizing data have been introduced. I’ve spent a little too much time recently playing around with alphaWorks’ free Many Eyes tool. I spent about 2 minutes uploading some data from a comScore press release on September Search Engine rankings and then way too much time messing around with the data and creating all sorts of beautiful graphs. Like this one here:

You don’t have to upload your own data, you can also play around with existing data (and any data uploaded is fair game for other people to visualize with). You might say that Many Eyes is the perfect tool for those too lazy to put together their own graphs, but it has much more functionality than just graphing — you can make word clouds, map graphs and all sorts of cool stuff. And it’s also a good place to get started with graphs — especially if you have data, but not a lot of experience putting together visual representations of the data.

Overture Keyword tool discontinued

It’s the end of an era. Barry Schwartz at SearchEngineLand reports that Yahoo has decommissioned the Overture Keyword Suggestion tool.

Although I no longer use it (I prefer the Google Adwords Keyword tool as my free keyword tool), I think it was one of the first keyword tools I ever used and one I have recommended to novice SEOers about, oh, about a million times.

It’s good news that we have more and better tools to use for keyword research (a very important part of any SEO strategy), but still I am a little sad to see it go.