It’s Here! The Big Google Mobile Algorithm Update Hits Today

This was posted on April 21st, 2015

google-update

If, like us, you’re a big fan of all things search, mobile and websites, the news that Google planned to start giving big ranking advantages to mobile-friendly sites was a pretty big deal. We’ve blogged about it a few times recently, mostly thanks to Google giving website owners a lot of notice of the changes. Now, though, the changes are here.

The update will be rolling out throughout the day, with some users seeing the new results begin to creep in already. As servers begin to update and reflect the new results, you may well see rankings fluctuating and changing throughout the next couple of days.

So what’s new?

Put simply, Google is now giving ranking preference to websites which are fully accessible across a number of devices. Designing a website for a computer screen is no longer a simple task — compatibility with iPhones, Android devices and tablets are all vital in the current online marketplace, with enormous numbers of people using these devices to search every day.

A worryingly high number of those searches resulted in users being taken to seemingly ideal websites which were then found to be unable to display content properly on their devices, making the number of successful search results through Google much lower than anyone would’ve liked.

With Google now giving preference to mobile-friendly websites, however, the aim is that anyone searching for a product or service using a mobile device will be shown websites which are optimised for viewing on their device, keeping everyone happy. Everyone, that is, except website owners who haven’t optimised their sites for mobile.

If you’re one such website owner, it’s not too late to act. You will likely see the traffic to your website drop over the coming days, weeks and months, and stopping this traffic leakage will be a priority. Your best bet is to get things moving quickly and speak to us about a website redesign to ensure that your site is fully mobile optimised and able to take advantage of the new ranking algorithms — perhaps long ahead of your competitors, ensuring you get the lion’s share of this new traffic and potential new customers and clients.

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Whip Your Website into Shape with a Spring Clean Session

This was posted on April 18th, 2015

spring-clean

Most of us have been enjoying the nice weather that spring has brought us and we’ve even spent our weekends and Easter holidays clearing out the garage, loft or even just the kitchen cupboards. Yes, it’s spring clean season again, but are you neglecting your website when it comes to the great annual tidy-up?

Websites need a lot of love too, so here are some ways you can spring clean your website for 2015.

1. Keep it up-to-date
There are probably a whole host of small details on your website which will need to be kept up to date. Some of the common culprits are:

  • Copyright dates in footers (Top tip: Consider having this auto-generate using PHP or ASP)
  • News articles — are they current?
  • Staff profiles or About Us pages — are the facts still true? Does everything still add up?
  • Upcoming Events pages — are these showing future events or past ones?

Put simply, anyone visiting your website needs to be under the impression that it’s current and relevant. If it looks like it hasn’t been updated for months, they’ll likely go elsewhere.

2. Make sure everything’s working
Websites need a little oil every now and again, and it’s time to make sure everything on your website is working as it should be. Test your contact forms to make sure they send properly, ensure email autoresponders are working, check your social media widgets to make sure your content is shareable, check for broken links and ensure that everything on your website is functioning as it should be.

If you have a lot of broken links or functions on your website which don’t operate properly, you might also be getting penalised in Google as a result. Losing your search rankings through neglecting your website is likely to be disastrous and is best avoided, to say the least!

3. Tune up your content
Is the content on your website relevant and up to date? Content can always be improved, and ensuring it’s regularly updated and changed will keep Google interested and give you a rankings boost as you’re showing that your website is always relevant and current. Make the most of this — it’s one of the easiest ways to add to your SEO efforts.

4. Consider a makeover
All websites need redesigning to fit in with current and changing expectations. For example, websites which aren’t mobile responsive will suffer in Google rankings starting on 21st April 2015, so ensuring your design is modern and responsive will become absolutely vital. Don’t lose out — consider giving your website a makeover. The results will be worth far more than the initial outlay.

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One Week Left to Ensure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly!

This was posted on April 13th, 2015

mobile-friendly

As already mentioned a couple of times on this blog, Google has pre-announced a major update in the way it ranks websites. The update is due to hit next week, 21st April, and will give huge ranking advantages to sites which are mobile friendly and accessible across all devices.

Mobile internet usage has grown enormously over the past couple of years, with people browsing on iPhones, Android handsets, tablets and miniature computers. Even watches can now browse the internet, so ensuring that your website is viewable across all these devices is vital. Although it used to be the case that a site owner only really needed to worry about different screen resolutions and sizes of computer monitor, the focus is now on accessibility across devices.

Google has a number of mobil guidelines in place and has publicised the update well, ensuring that website owners are able to take advantage of the shift in the algorithm and make the most of the benefits which can be had by making their sites mobile friendly. With such huge numbers of people browsing for products and services using their mobile phones and tablets, this is an enormous chunk of business you could take advantage of, which might otherwise go to your competitors.

It stands to reason that Google’s main business aim is to make search easier for its users, and with a large number of people searching using a mobile device, it’s in their best interests — as well as yours — that they’re sent to a website which they can actually view on the device they’re using. If a user can’t view your website, that’s not great for Google and it’s certainly not great for you as a business owner. As with anything in business, it’s all about ensuring the customer (and potential customer) is kept happy and has confidence in your business.

Google will begin to rank websites according to their mobile accessibility from next week, which doesn’t give you much time to rectify any existing problems on your website, but it’s still possible to make the most of this major update by giving us a call today to see what we can do.

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5 More Internet Easter Eggs

This was posted on April 2nd, 2015

buzzfeed-easter-egg
Last month we showed you some cool online Easter eggs, and with Easter now much closer we’ve decided to show you some more. Here are another 5 of our favourite online surprises.

  1. SkyBet — Quick, the boss is coming!
    Online gambling site SkyBet, amongst many of its competitors, has a hidden link which, when clicked, brings up a false Excel spreadsheet which makes it look like you’re busy working hard. Particularly handy if your boss walks past while you’re putting a few quid on the 3.20 at Kempton Park.
  2. Netflix — The Example Show
    Netflix like to keep at the forefront of streaming technology, and as such they use an 11-minute sample video for testing purposes. It’s meant to be internal and features a man running around the Netflix offices, performing cartwheels and delivering Shakespeare monologues. If you know where you’re looking, though, anyone can watch it…
  3. YouTube — Doing the Harlem Shake
    If, by some miracle, you haven’t already seen every version of the Harlem Shake, head to YouTube and type ‘Do the Harlem Shake’ into the search bar. The website itself will do the dance, which is… interesting.
  4. Vimeo — The height of maturity
    Video streaming website Vimeo, many people’s preference over YouTube, has a nice mature Easter egg hidden within it. If you search the website for the word “fart” and then scroll down the page, it’ll make fart noises at you as you scroll.
  5. BuzzFeed — Getting in on the Konami code craze
    To many people of a certain age, Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A means something. The internet has embraced this piece of nostalgia in quite a big way, with a number of websites reacting to the input in their own special way. Try it on BuzzFeed, for example, which reacts by replacing all of the photos with those of sloths, and even replacing every single word on the site with the word ‘sloths’. Which is handy.
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