Google says its Chrome browser will mark HTTP websites with input fields (such as contact forms or those that require login details) as not secure, starting later this year.
Google is now using a machine learning technology called “RankBrain” to help deliver its search results. This is very new but here is what we know about it so far:
We believe that backlinks to your website remain the single most important SEO signal in the new algorithm as Google views your good quality relevant links as ‘votes’ for your site.
The second most important ranking signal is “words” – words would include everything from the words used on your website pages to the words used by people when they search on Google and how Google interprets those words with its new RankBrain analysis.
Google now look at links that aren’t really links:
On Twitter recently Google’s John Mueller advised that Google considers URL’s that are not linked to by any text on a page. He Tweeted “ we can pick up links from text too, but they don’t pass on PageRank so there is no need for any of these links to be disavowed”.
Google’s Gary Illyes also confirmed via Twitter that the next Penguin Update is not yet at a point where it is being released. The next Penguin update is expected to be a Real Time Update and will be released before the end of this year. It is not too late to make sure all your links pass muster and if you have not yet done so please ask us to quote to carry out a full Links audit of your website. In depth Links audits start at just £500 +VAT (to analyse up to 5,000 links) and include the submission of a disavow request to remove any suspicious or harmful links.
Detect and Remove any Unwanted Mobile Redirects:
Illyes goes on to say:
“It’s a violation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines to redirect a user to a page with the intent of displaying content other than what was made available to the search engine crawler (usually referred to as “sneaky redirects”). To ensure quality search results for our users, the Google Search Quality team can take action on such sites, including removal of URLs from our index.”
“Mobile design and optimisation can no longer be considered secondary, or an add-on, or something that you should do ‘too.’ In fact, today, it is desktops that should be considered the secondary device. And all our Web development and marketing efforts should reflect that.
I’m not saying that you don’t need a stellar desktop site. You do. But as mobile becomes more and more natural for searchers and information gatherers, you must have a mobile site that meets their needs.”
Is your website responsive – does it display as well on a mobile or tablet as it does on your desktop? If not we can help.
For more information about SEO for your Brighton business call us today on 01273 328877
If you didn’t have time to keep on top of the SEO headlines affecting your online Brighton business last month, you could be missing out on fresh opportunities
to keep ahead of the curve, stay on Google’s good side and improve your search engine rankings. Make yourself a nice cup of coffee and make sure the SEO strategy for your Brighton Business takes in to account these recent changes:
- Instagram overtakes Twitter
Mid-month Instagram knocked Twitter off its second best in social perch with the news that it had surpassed 400 million users, soaring past Twitter for the first time ever. Why is this important for your search strategy? Social media is essential for any Brighton SEO success and is widely considered to be a ranking factor for the search engines. If you’re time poor, and who isn’t?- you need to focus your efforts on the networks where you’ll get the best returns.
If you’ve previously dismissed Instagram as a social media marketing tool for your business, the news that is now has more active users than Twitter means it’s worth rethinking your approach. If you aren’t using Instagram, now could be a great time to have a look at it.
- Google confirms Panda still rolling out
If you breathed a sigh of relief two months ago when Panda 4.2 made its debut and your site navigated the tricky waters unscathed, you may want to shore up your defences.
Google has confirmed that Panda 4.2 is still rolling out – almost three months after it was introduced. The search engine says this will be the case for some time to come so you can’t relax just yet.
There is still the potential for your site to be sent off course by Panda 4.2. What does this mean for your SEO? Be vigilant about link audits, content audits and best practice. Just because you haven’t noticed a difference yet, doesn’t mean you won’t.
- Pinterest reveals user figures and lowest ad opt out rates in the industry
Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann told Ad Week in New York that it now has 100 million active users (admittedly mainly in the USA) and the lowest ad opt out rate in the industry. What does this mean? Ads are still fairly new on Pinterest so you may not yet have bought into the promoted pins or buyable pins functions that were introduced in the summer.
However, with the ability to buy direct from a pin, it is worth exploring if you have an e-commerce business. Silbermann said the low ad opt-out rates mean the site offers an excellent return on investment for advertisers.
- Google adds customer match
Google has introduced a customer match feature for AdWords advertisers. For brands that upload their customer details, there is now the potential to display hyper targeted advertising and match advert targeting to user profiles through demographic and behaviour comparison.
- Google takes hard line against repeated offenders
Google published a post on its Webmaster Central blog warning that websites which are repeatedly found to be in violation of the search engine’s good practices guidelines could be banned for life.
It says some sites try to fool the search engines by removing bad links when hit with a manual action, only to reinstate them when the penalty has been removed. Google says it is now wise to this practice and sites that persist with this strategy will face permanent exclusion from the Search Engine Results Pages. The takeaway from this? You can’t fool Google so do your Brighton business SEO properly!
- Dynamic Callout Extensions Added to AdWords
Towards the end of September Google unveiled dynamic callouts for AdWords. This new technology is used to automate some ad text – it will pull certain information about your business and your product from your website and automatically insert it into your AdWords ads.
What does this mean for your AdWords campaign? Dynamic callouts can make your PPC ads much more compelling. You can opt out if you want to retain full control over ad text though.
- The millennials are coming
If your business targets the Millennials then your social strategy in particular needs to be on point. comScore data found US Millennials spend an average of 30 hours a month browsing social media sites from a mobile device. 26 of the 30 hours were spent on Facebook.
What does this mean for your digital strategy? If consumers between the ages of 18-35 are important to your business, their online and mobile behaviour should be dictating your online marketing strategy. You need to be where they are.
- Structured markup could be a ranking factor after all
Google’s John Mueller threw the Internet into chaos again recently when he said that sites not using structured data markup could see their search engine rankings slide. This is in direct contradiction to what Google has said previously. The lesson? If you aren’t using structured data already, it’s time to plan it.
- TrueView rolled out to AdWords advertisers
Right back at the beginning of the month, Google announced that “TrueView” would display alongside Search, Shopping and Display campaigns in the AdWords interface.
The change meant three new reporting columns and the capability to manage TrueVideo video campaigns from the AdWords dashboard.
- Mobile pushes changes in Google Display Network
The expanding importance of mobile has led to new improvements in Google’s display network. The changes include more transparency in the AdWords audience insights and a fresh approach to dynamic remarketing.
What does this mean for your search program? Check you are making the most of the new features ahead of the busy Christmas season. If you haven’t logged into your AdWords interface for a while, make the time to do so today.
If you outsource the management to a PPC agency, schedule a call and check that all of the new features rolled out this month or being used to maximum effect in your campaign.
If you need any help with any aspect of your internet marketing or online strategy planning please leave a comment below or call us on 01273 328877
Have your website rankings dropped recently in Google? Don’t panic! Before you do anything, you should find try to establish the cause of the problem. The better you understand the reason why your search engine rankings have gone down, the more likely you can prevent future ranking drops.
There are usually five major reasons why your web pages are ranked lower than before:
Reason 1: your website changes / a new website is launched
Most website owners / webmasters will try and update their web pages regularly. As long as the changes are only small and the content being added is relevant to your business and of value to your readers this will not have any negative effect on your rankings. However, if you re-design your web pages or if you optimise a page for a different topic than it is currently optimised for then search engines might reassess your search engine rankings.
Many webmasters, ourselves included, believe that Google has a filter for new website where the change is not managed correctly (the so-called ‘sandbox’). If you change your web pages and don’t do the right things, Google are likely to temporarily down-rank your website to make sure that you are not spamming them.
Solution: You need to encourage them to index your new webpages quickly by submitting a new xml sitemap via a Google Webmaster Tools account.
If you have web pages that have high rankings in Google for important keywords, only change these pages with great care. Make sure that most pages of your website are relevant to the topic of your site. Relevancy to the topic is as important as relevance to a particular keyword. If a new site is being launched create redirects from these highly ranked pages to the new pages that replace them.
Reason 2: the links to your website are problematic
If you have an old website with an established link structure then it’s not likely that your site rankings will drop because of a link change.
If the links to your site are mainly paid links or include a significant proportion of automatically created links from past SEO initiatives then it is likely that your website has been penalised by Google. Sudden changes in the link structure of a website make a website look suspiciously spammy to the search engines.
Solution: If you still use shady automated link building tools or services, stop it now.
New links should be relevant, good quality and built steadily over a period. Link building is a process, not an event. If you don’t work on the links that point to your website then your website will be replaced by websites with a better link structure.
Reason 3: the websites of your competitors change
Everybody wants to be on page one of Google’s results – there are only 10 places! For that reason, it’s only natural that other websites will be listed better than yours if you don’t always view your website as continual work in progress.
Many websites target the same topics and keywords as you do. If these other websites have better content and better links than your site then it’s understandable as to why these sites get better rankings.
Solution: You must offer better content than your competitors. Make sure that you offer many web pages that are relevant to what you do – your products, your services, your expertise and experience. You should also have link building programme in place so that your link profile is stronger than that of your competitors.
Reason 4: your web pages contain spam
Search engines don’t like spam. If search engines find out that you use cloaking, hidden text, doorway pages or any other spam technique on your web pages then it is extremely likely that your website will be penalised.
Solution: Don’t try to cheat Google. It’s simply not worth it if you want to develop a sustainable business online. Remove all spam elements from your web pages. Just because your website hasn’t been penalised yet doesn’t mean that search engines won’t find the spam elements in the near future.
Reason 5: technical problems
Your web server can be the reason for a ranking drop. If your website is down when the search engine spider tries to access your website then search engines cannot give your web pages high rankings because they cannot see your pages.
Some websites display the correct web page in the web browser but the server returns an error code. In that case, search engines won’t index the web pages.
Solution: Make sure that your website is hosted on a reliable server that has no downtime. An SEO web audit will inform you if there are any technical issues on your web pages that can cause ranking problems.
There will be times when there is no obvious reason for a website to drop in the rankings. Again, don’t panic such events are usually short lives and if you stick to a regime of good quality relevant content and good quality relevant links your website will always do OK.
For more information about our SEO Audit services, content marketing and link building services please leave a comment below or call us on 01273 328877