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Why Mobile Friendliness Is So Important

The term Google algorithm update typically has webmasters running for cover and fearing for their website traffic. However, for those webmasters that utilise ethical marketing and ensure that their websites are properly and efficiently set up, algorithm updates can actually provide benefits. As sites fall away around your own search ranking position, it leaves you to rise to the top.

One of Google’s most recent updates, referred to as the mobile-friendly update, took effect on 21st April, and if your website isn’t set up to benefit the end user, then you may already have witnessed its effects.

Around half of Internet searches are conducted on mobile devices, but the mobile experience can be very different to the traditional PC experience. Smaller screens, lower resolutions, and different browser software are just some of the differences – and, while users once had to put up with slow loading pages, images that took over more than a whole page, and elements of website design that simply didn’t load at all, responsive designs and faster mobile Internet experiences mean that this is no longer the case. As such, if you’re providing a poor experience to end users, then they can simply leave your website and head to a competitor’s site that has been developed offering a mobile-friendly experience.

What’s more, Google knows that mobile search and mobile Internet usage share are growing in popularity, and they want to ensure that they are directing their users to those sites that offer the best experience to users. Their mobile-friendly algorithm update does exactly this – it incorporates mobile ranking factors into mobile search results, promotes those sites that offer a decent mobile experience, and potentially penalises those that offer a low user experience to mobile searchers.

Mobile friendliness, then, can help drive additional traffic to your website and prevent you from losing search engine traffic. It can also lead to reduced bounce rates from those visitors that do use a mobile device, and because mobile users are inclined to use social networks, it means that a responsive design could even help increase exposure and improve your overall web performance.

About Big Red Rocket

Big Red rocket is a digital marketing agency that specialises in web design, content publication & distribution and social media marketing.

Based from our offices in Manchester we specialise in servicing the digital marketing needs needs of professional organisations and businesses alike. We have a solid reputation of platform delivery and service within the legal, financial and leisure sectors.

We are always happy to have a chat with you about your digital marketing or web design projects, be they new or the development of an existing platform. You can call us on 0161 410 0351 or send us a confidential email by clicking here.

The Importance Of A Secure Website

Whether you collect customer data, offering online purchases, or ask for email addresses in exchange for free offers, Google wants you to collect the data as securely as possible. In August 2014, the search giant announced that they would be giving slight weight in their algorithms to sites that are hosted on more secure connections. Specifically, if a website uses 2048-bit key HTTPS certificates, then they will enjoy slightly better results.

At the same time as saying that the changes would only be minimal when they were made, Google also said that they may incrementally increase this in the future. Changing your site over from HTTP to HTTPS could give you a slight improvement in rankings now, but may ultimately lead to much better results, and offering a more secure user environment can only be seen as a positive move by your website visitors.

Google has long pushed the use of HTTPS certificates on websites, and they have also said that upgrading from HTTP would not mean a drop in SEO rankings. Many website owners were concerned that they would lose rankings because links and page popularity would not carry over after the site has transferred. Despite this, concerns have still existed for many people, but not only has Google once again stated that owners will not lose traffic, but they have made it easier to inform them of the changes and ensure that this is the case.

If you do take payments or collect data of any sort from visitors, then you should realistically already have an HTTPS website. Not all visitors check these things, but there are some users that will baulk away from using websites that do not appear safe and secure. Many online shoppers are already attuned to checking that ecommerce sites, and ecommerce site elements, are secure, before they will part with credit card information, for example.

The improvements garnered by changing from HTTP to HTTPS may be slight, and Google has said that quality content is given more weight, but they also said that this may change over time and that site security may become an even more important ranking factor. What’s more, every little helps, and if you implement a number of changes that offer slight gains, they will eventually add up to a noticeable increase in website traffic.

About Big Red Rocket

Big Red rocket is a digital marketing agency that specialises in web design, content publication & distribution and social media marketing.

Based from our offices in Manchester we specialise in servicing the digital marketing needs needs of professional organisations and businesses alike. We have a solid reputation of platform delivery and service within the legal, financial and leisure sectors.

We are always happy to have a chat with you about your digital marketing or web design projects, be they new or the development of an existing platform. You can call us on 0161 410 0351 or send us a confidential email by clicking here.

Mobile Friendliness, Encrypted Data, And The Google Benefits

Google regularly updates the algorithms that it uses when calculating which pages are relevant, and which pages should appear at the top of search engine result pages. While there are hundreds of different factors that are incorporated into these algorithms, the astute marketer is one that stays on top of the most recent changes and the latest additions to the algorithms. Most recently, Google has implemented a mobile-friendly update, while changes made several months ago that may have slipped under all but the most astute of marketing radars mean that websites utilising HTTPS encryption will gain a slight benefit.

These are two separate changes, but implementing mobile-friendly responsive design and converting from HTTP to HTTPS together could reap huge returns for your website traffic figures. What’s more, securing your website users’ data and offering them an optimal mobile experience will also help improve your relationship with customers.

Traditional search engine use, i.e. Google desktop searches, are unlikely to ever die out completely. However, consider the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices that offer Internet access and Google search. Now consider the growing popularity of browsers on smart TVs and games consoles, and it should be obvious that the days of marketing solely to desktop users is a thing of the past, if you want the best traffic results.

Fortunately, you don’t have to develop different sites for use on different devices; this is where responsive design comes in. A responsive website detects the type of device that a visitor is using to access a website and then responds by altering the layout of the page so that it fits optimally onto the device display. Google has said that mobile-friendly sites utilising responsive design will fare better in mobile search results pages than if the same sites were using a static non-responsive design.

Another change, although one that only offers relatively minor potential benefits, is that of changing from HTTP to HTTPS, thereby offering a more secure website experience for users. Google has said that making the change will only give a very slight improvement at the moment, but with the caveat that they may opt to dial the weight up in the future, because they want an Internet where all websites offer a secure HTTPS experience to users.

About Big Red Rocket

Big Red rocket is a digital marketing agency that specialises in web design, content publication & distribution and social media marketing.

Based from our offices in Manchester we specialise in servicing the digital marketing needs needs of professional organisations and businesses alike. We have a solid reputation of platform delivery and service within the legal, financial and leisure sectors.

We are always happy to have a chat with you about your digital marketing or web design projects, be they new or the development of an existing platform. You can call us on 0161 410 0351 or send us a confidential email by clicking here.

Implementing Responsive Web Design To Increase Mobile Search Traffic

Roughly as many people conduct web searches on mobile devices as those that use desktop and laptop computers. This means that, unless your website is mobile-friendly, it is probable that you are losing out on a large number of potential web visitors. If your site is a static design, you do not offer a mobile alternative, and pages are inaccessible on mobile devices, you could see traffic figures double by implementing responsive web design, and because of the recent mobile-friendly algorithm update from Google, if you haven’t already made those changes you may have already seen your traffic figures drop by 50% in the past weeks.

Unlike thin content and poor quality links, however, you don’t need to update every aspect of your site, spend considerable time disavowing links, and wait for weeks or months for your site to recover. Implement responsive design today and your traffic levels could be back to appropriate levels in just a matter of days.

Google’s update has been described as being one of the most far reaching updates they’ve implemented in years, although it will only affect mobile search results. Regardless of whether you offer a mobile-friendly experience or not, your desktop search rankings should stay the same. However, bearing in mind that mobile users are also quite social in their Internet habits, you are likely to be missing out on shares, likes, and the social ranking benefits that you would gain by having a responsive web design.

Also consider that alienating potential visitors is never a good idea. Even if your website is deemed to be mobile friendly by Google, so you don’t see a traffic drop, if pages appear bloated, load too slowly, or they simply don’t display properly on all mobile devices, you are still turning potential clients away.

Responsive design doesn’t mean that your overall web design has to suffer. When a visitor arrives on your pages, your website essentially determines what size screen they are using, and then responds accordingly. Mobile visitors will see a pared down version of your site, while desktop users will get the full experience, while you enjoy the benefits of appeasing both groups, and the search ranking that comes from appeasing Google.

About Big Red Rocket

Big Red rocket is a digital marketing agency that specialises in web design, content publication & distribution and social media marketing.

Based from our offices in Manchester we specialise in servicing the digital marketing needs needs of professional organisations and businesses alike. We have a solid reputation of platform delivery and service within the legal, financial and leisure sectors.

We are always happy to have a chat with you about your digital marketing or web design projects, be they new or the development of an existing platform. You can call us on 0161 410 0351 or send us a confidential email by clicking here.

Google Mobile Update Highlights The Importance Of Responsive Web Design

Forward thinking website owners and developers have been extoling the benefits of responsive web design for years now, but not all businesses have really taken notice. The proliferation of mobile devices, the improvement of mobile Internet speeds and data prices, and the convenience that this combination offers, means that many more people are using devices like smartphones and tablets to search, where they would have previously used desktop and laptop computers.

If your site isn’t user friendly, then you are probably already losing traffic – visitors may have been clicking through search engine listings to arrive on your site, but if your pages load too slowly, navigation is missing, or your design doesn’t properly accommodate mobile users, then those visitors will have left your site as quickly as they arrived. Since Google’s mobile-friendly update, things have likely got a lot worse.

On 21st April, Google updated its search algorithms; specifically those that are used when displaying search results on mobile devices, and mobile-friendliness is now considered an important ranking factor. Not only will your mobile traffic have a high bounce rate, but considerably fewer potential visitors will actually arrive on your site because it is likely that your rankings will have dropped off Google’s mobile search results.

Arguably the easiest way of ensuring that a website is mobile-friendly is to implement a responsive web design. HTML and CSS are used to determine the type of device that is being used to access your site, and then effectively rearranges and even removes elements of your template, your design, and your content, to make sure that it effectively and comfortably sits on the size of browser screen that is being used. Visitors will enjoy an optimal experience, whether they arrive on your site using a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop PC.

What’s more, responsive design can help you plan for the future of browsing, too. Smart TVs may still offer a relatively poor user experience in a lot of cases but they are improving. Games consoles, too, provide access to the Internet via massive 40” and even 50” monitors, and these kinds of dimension will be attainable using responsive design.

Responsive design not only helps ensure that you can keep up with Google’s most recent update, but it means that you can give your website visitors the best possible experience, no matter how they choose to access the Internet.

About Big Red Rocket

Big Red rocket is a digital marketing agency that specialises in web design, website visibility (SEO), content publication & distribution and social media marketing.

Based from our offices in Manchester we specialise in servicing the digital marketing needs needs of professional organisations and businesses alike. We have a solid reputation of platform delivery and service within the legal, financial and leisure sectors.

We are always happy to have a chat with you about your digital marketing or web design projects, be they new or the development of an existing platform. You can call us on 0161 410 0351 or send us a confidential email by clicking here.

Google To Rank Sites According To Reliability Of Data

Researchers have said that the search giant, Google, has developed algorithms that will enable them to rank websites according to the reliability and accuracy of the information contained on pages, rather than on the popularity of the page, which is currently the main factor that drives search result positions. The group points to a Knowledge Trust ranking that means more inconsistencies on a page will result in a lower ranking position, and which could mean that unpopular pages that contain highly relevant and accurate facts may finally be able to rank in the upper echelons of the search results.

The new algorithms would use Google’s Knowledge Vault as a means of verifying data, and this would presumably be expanded upon in order to include more data and greater details on a wider range of topics.

A Google Spokesperson has said that the company conducts considerable amounts of research every year, and that the search giant had no plans to implement the proposed changes at any point in the future, yet. However, with such attention paid to the quality of content, and the search engine’s growing library of facts and data, it is possible, at least, to see where this kind of ranking factor might prove useful, and it further points to the importance of ensuring that website content is high quality, accurate, and reliable.

The algorithm would, according to the researcher, check fairly basic facts using what are known as knowledge triplets where the algorithm would check Object, Attribute, and Value and compare the result to Knowledge Vault results, which are widely accepted as being accurate and true. For each inaccuracy that a page has, there would essentially be a penalty of sorts, and those pages with the fewest penalties would enjoy the greatest Knowledge Trust ranking gains.

Whether Knowledge Trust will be introduced to Google search algorithms in the future remains to be seen, but there are those that would certainly welcome it. Currently, those sites that are the most popular, in terms of the number and popularity of links that they receive, are the ones that appear at the top of rankings, and this does not guarantee accuracy in any way.

Google Retains UK Market Share But Bing Tops 7% In Global Stats

According to the latest report from analytics provider StatCounter, Bing has continued its march on the global search engine market and has topped 7% of the overall share. However, in the UK, Bing remains third choice at a relatively stable 1.43% with Google taking a massive 93.6% and Yahoo managing 4.75%. However, if analysts are correct regarding Apple’s impending decision to drop Google as its default search engine provider on iPhone’s Safari browser, this share could change reasonably significantly in favour of one of the other two providers.

While it was not surprising to see entertainment categories taking the majority of the most popular search terms, it was surprising to see that only one actor made the top 10 searches in a month that saw the Oscars being celebrated. The Lucy Beale storyline conclusion, news of Bobbi Kristina and updates on her coma, and the launch of the 50 Shades of Grey movie were among the most commonly searched topics.

The only actor that featured in the top 10 was Jamie Dornan, the actor that plays Christian Grey in the film. He was also among the most popular image searches as people tried to put a face to the name of a relatively unknown actor taking a lead role in a massive adaptation that was always set to be a blockbuster release.

Apple’s deal with Google, which sees the search engine installed as the default search option on Safari browsers on the iPhone, is due for renewal this year, and analysts from Citi believe it is more likely that the deal will be ended than renewed. While they have said that this would mean a drop in traffic numbers, they also believe that a combination of users reinstalling Google as the default and the lower rate that Google would have to pay for this traffic, means that the impact on bottom line profits and revenue would be much lower than expected.

With such a massive margin between Google and other search engines, they can certainly afford to lose some of their traffic, but they will not be happy about losing out to either of their main rivals, in terms of market share.

Google Ready To Improve Mobile Search Results

Google has announced that it will be making changes to its search engine algorithms, with the specific aim of improving the user experience for those that access results on a mobile device. From the end of April, there will be an increase in the number of mobile friendly results that show up, and more app content will be visible in results too. For webmasters and marketers, this means that even greater onus will be placed on creating mobile friendly sites and apps.

Google uses many ranking signals to help it determine which results should appear at the top of search engine results pages. Typically, this means that the more popular pages appear closer to the top, but the search engine doesn’t solely rely on link counts; it takes factors such as social signals into account and, according to one report at least, it aims to start using accuracy and reliability as factors in the future.

Mobile friendliness is already considered an important part of a search engine optimisation strategy. Sites are essentially tested to determine whether they can be easily accessed on modern devices like tablets and smartphones, and website owners are encouraged to ensure that their pages are set-up, designed, and developed in such a way that they will display on any type of device, and on screens of any size.

According to Google themselves, mobile friendliness will become even more important in the near future. From April 21st, mobile-friendliness will become an important ranking signal. The search giant has said that the changes will have a significant impact on search results, and have said that it will benefit users because they will be able to access a greater range of high quality content that can be accessed on whatever type of device they are using.

Google has also offered some tools to help website owners in their hunt for mobile friendliness. The Mobile Friendly Test app enables users to test a single URL at a time, while Google Webmaster Tools Mobile Usability Report allows verified site owners to be able to check a whole site quickly and easily. Site owners should check their website, determine whether it is optimised for mobile use, and take actions to provide greater accessibility where required.

Google Do Deal With Twitter – Expect More Tweets In Search Results

In earnings reports published by Twitter, the social media platform has said that Google now has access to Tweets via the Twitter “firehose”. Although Twitter and Google did not disclose any further information, it is likely to mean that the search engine will be able to query the massive database of Tweets more frequently and in greater depth than it does currently. For searchers, this means that there will be more real-time Twitter data to trawl through, while marketers should pay even more attention to their Tweets and Tweet popularity in order to find another viable avenue into Google search results. Google and Twitter once had a similar deal, although it is uncertain whether the search giant will be paying the social media giant this time, as it did with the last deal. There are, however, obvious benefits for both parties.

Google has long struggled to tame the social media beast. It has launched its own social network, Google+ and despite pushing the service and introducing a host of potentially beneficial features, it has never really taken off like Facebook or Twitter. It has also enjoyed deals with the likes of Twitter in the past, that enabled it to deliver real time results in its search engine results.

The new deal would give Google the ability to be able to provide a greater range of results to users, which is something that they have been aiming for for some time. Users can already see photos and video, shopping and maps, blogs and news posts. Adding Tweets means that they may well attract even more market share, or at least ensure that their users have greater reason to stay on the Google search site for longer periods of time.

Twitter is, when all is said and done, a media distribution company, and one of the most important factors to their business is media exposure. They know that having Tweets published in Google results is likely to lead to a massive amount of free traffic. They will gain more traffic, and some of these visitors will inevitably convert to Twitter users, which means greater advertising revenue and increased profits. This makes the deal a mutually beneficial one, although some searchers may rue the day if search results become cluttered with too many Tweets.

Google Could Be Replaced As Default iPhone Search Engine

Google could be about to lose its standing as the default search engine used by the Safari search engine on iPhones, but according to some analysts, this may have a significantly lower impact on revenue than many people might think. In fact, analysts from Citi say that, dependent on the number of Safari users that manually reinstall Google as their search engine, the search giant might end up with a revenue windfall, rather than a shortfall, although they will inevitably lose some market share.

The current deal, which means that Google is installed as the default search engine on the Safari browser, is set to expire this year. The growing level of competition between the pair means that a lot of experts are predicting that Apple will choose either Bing or Yahoo over Google, and this would mean a significant loss in search traffic from iPhone users. Citi actually predicts that this more likely to happen than not.

Google pays a percentage of its search engine revenue generated from Safari traffic to Apple. It pays 45% of revenue for any traffic that is generated from the default Google page on Safari, compared to only 5% that it pays for traffic generated from users that search on Google.com. This is a significant difference, and one that Citi analysts believe could plug the revenue generation gap that might be generated by being replaced as the default engine. In fact, their analysts say that, despite meaning a loss in traffic and market share, the move may actually benefit Google’s net revenue – although it is hard to imagine Google being excited over the prospect of losing market share to any of its rivals.

Citi predict that nearly half of iPhone users would revert to using Google.com as their default search engine on Safari, and they also believe that this would, following the dissolution of the default search engine deal, mean that Google might lose half of the searches that they currently generate this way, but they would only be paying a 5% fee and this would mean a loss of less than $1bn in total revenue. That is still a large amount, but it is an estimate – consider that Google’s market share on all devices, and in all markets, is considerably higher than 50% and it means that many more than 50% might revert to Google. In this case, the search giant may actually generate higher revenue, following any possible change.