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Google’s mobile algorithmic update – Part 1 of 2

As we approach April 21st, the date that Google is to action the greatly anticipated ‘Mobile-Friendly’ algorithmic update, the digital world is waiting with baited-breath to see what this actually means for online search.

Having recently returned from one of the UK’s largest SEO conference’s, BrightonSEO the USdigital team witnessed multiple takes and interpretations on what this update could mean for the industry and indeed what measures should be taken to prepare clients’ websites for this update, (amongst other hot topics such as SEO vs. PR and a great talk by Jon Earnshaw on the perils of internal cannibalisation) both of which deserve a blog post in their own right.

So, what do we know at this point?

Well it is common knowledge that Google is doing it’s very best to become more and more humanised, the search engine strives to serve its users with content that is as meaningful and as accurate as possible. When we look at mobile usage stats since 2007 it is clear to see just how big the mobile search market has become.

mobile-algorithmic-update-01

Google made a strong hint late in 2014 that change was on the horizon with the introduction of the ‘Mobile Friendly’ tag which immediately lets users know whether sites had been designed with a smaller screened device in mind:

mobile-algorithmic-update-02

As ever, Google has kept quiet on exactly how this algorithmic change will impact the search results – it is thought that initially the update will be limited to search results on mobile but we wonder how long it will be before desktop results will also see an impact.

Prior to the developments in late 2014 the USdigital team were making all clients aware of the importance of mobile and we are pleased to say that a very high proportion of websites hosted by ourselves are indeed mobile responsive. With this in mind we are still monitoring a high number of keywords and ranking positions on desktop and mobile on a daily basis across the board for our clients so that we can pick up on any search result fluctuations as soon as possible.

We will be back following the update with part two of this post in order to give our opinion/findings and to review the opinions of the SEO industry (of which we are certain there will be many!).

View the mobile responsive section of our website for more information: http://www.usdigital.co.uk/what-we-do/mobile-web-design/

5 SEO New Year Resolutions for 2015

To start 2015 we have put together 5 great New Year SEO objectives for your website.

Admittedly it was difficult to pick a top 5 as there are so many different SEO factors to take into account when optimising a website, but here are our top 5 SEO tips for the New Year:

1. Make your website Responsive

responsive-showcase

Google has made it quite clear through a number of tests that they have been carrying out, having a responsive website (a website that adapts to different screen sizes and is optimised for mobile users) is a BIG THING!

If you think about it, it makes obvious sense. Google’s aim is to show users the most relevant website for their search query. If someone is searching on a mobile device and your website is not mobile optimised, then your site is less likely to engage the user.

Even if you do not have a great amount of mobile visitors , not having a responsive website is extremely likely to affect your rankings over 2015. If you haven’t done it already get onto it, make your site responsive!

2. Carry out a Technical Audit

A new year, a new start, time for a new audit! If Google cannot read your website efficiently your rankings will struggle. Google has created tools such as Schema to enable you to tell Google specifically about each page, it can also allow the search results page to display more information about your company or product, such as the price. Are you taking full advantage of your headings, page titles etc? Is your Webmaster Tools squeaky clean? If you are not sure what should be included in a technical audit get in touch and we will endeavour to assist you.

3. Link Detox

Since Google has started updating its Penguin algorithm on a daily basis it would be wise to get your backlink profile in check. Make sure any remaining “nasty’s” are removed or at least do your very best. Ensure that the links you build in 2015 are as natural as possible, and thoroughly check the websites you are getting a link from – you don’t want their negative ‘juice’ being passed through to your website!

4. Write Engaging Content

The Panda update has also been a focus for Google throughout 2014 and there is no reason to suggest that this will not continue throughout 2015. Ensure that your content is unique, engaging and well written to keep Panda at bay. What is your audience is interested in, are they looking for particular information? Find out what they need and deliver it to them!

5. Do more on Social Media

Google now takes into account your websites/company actions across the internet as a whole. Who recommends the website? Who is connected with the website? Etc. Are you engaging audiences elsewhere? If it suits the business you are in then you really should allocate some time or somebody to keep your profiles updated in order to spread the word of your brand, and as a result help gain more visitors to your website.

Panda packs another punch!

Since it was first introduced in February of 2011, the Panda update to Google’s algorithm has sought to make search results more relevant to EXACTLY what users are looking for, rather than web masters and business owners telling search engines what they should rank for. This has always been the case, and Panda sees the evolution of this process for Google. Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, tweeted yesterday: Continue reading

Is your website optimised for use on today’s mobile devices?

Here at USdigital we see a huge number of websites that are not built with mobile devices in mind. In many cases a quick snoop into the Google Analytics of a particular website can give a good indication into what proportion of users are viewing a website on an unsupported mobile device – often the figures are alarming.

It can be extremely frustrating to mobile & tablet users when a website is not optimised as it becomes difficult to navigate, time consuming to browse and ultimately they may end up taking their business elsewhere. Continue reading

Ready, Steady, BLACK!

We may have all logged online today to see the digital world full of references to ‘Black Friday’, a term originating from the USA referring to the Friday following Thanksgiving. The term has become more of an event because generally, this is when Christmas shopping and preparation begins. People in the USA continue to enjoy their holiday season as there are five weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. While we do not celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, our Christmas shopping and preparations share the same trend, and today is when it will really get going. Continue reading

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