"Mobilegeddon": Google's Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Changes Come Into Effect

Today’s the day Google introduces a major update that focuses on penalising sites that aren’t mobile friendly. “Mobilegeddon”, “Mobile D-Day”, whatever you want to call it, this is a pretty big deal.

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This change to the mobile search algorithm is set to cause some pretty hefty ripples across the web, with websites that are not deemed mobile-friendly likely to witness a dramatic reduction in the number of visits they get.

As always, Artemis are fully aware of all the latest Google updates and algorithm changes and we’re monitoring the situation closely.

Who’s Going To Be Penalised?

It’s being dubbed “Mobilegeddon”, with major organisations including Microsoft, Wikipedia and the European Union likely to be negatively affected by Google’s changes to their search formula. It’s also the first time ever that Sky have reported a Google algorithm change, which further highlights the significance of this particular update.

In truth, anyone with a website will be anxious to find out if they are classed as mobile-friendly and you can do so by entering your web address here. Google’s mobile-friendly test analyses your URL and reports back with the results of whether your site has a mobile-friendly design or not.

The Outcome For Smaller Businesses

While Google provided site owners and webmasters with a two-month warning about the impending change, it’s highly likely that many small businesses were either unaware of today’s update or unable to finance a mobile-friendly site.

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We will certainly see many sites fall away from their original positions in Google’s search rankings, so what does it mean for smaller businesses?

Google have said that “Mobilegeddon” won’t have an impact on “local pack” results.

However, local listings aren’t the only traffic drivers for businesses who also rely on neighbourhood blog posts and web pages, all of which must now be mobile-friendly.

Both business and non-business websites, who may well have worked extremely hard to brush up on quality content in the past, are likely to suffer.

This begs the question “Is mobile-friendly content more important than highly-trusted content?” It’s certainly up for debate over the coming weeks.

Mobile-Friendliness “One Of Many” Ranking Factors

A Google representative was quoted on the BBC website this morning citing mobile friendliness as “one of many” ranking factors.

“As people increasingly search on their mobile devices, we want to make sure they can find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens” the representative said.

Get In Touch

If you are at all concerned about your site feeling the effects of “Mobilegeddon”, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts here at Artemis Marketing. We have already helped many of our clients prepare their sites for today’s update and we will do the same for you.


Google's Antitrust Charges – Accused by EU of "Search Abuse"

Google have spent many years attempting to settle or potentially dodge antitrust charges in Europe but it seems that their attempts have come up short. News outlets have widely reported a filed complaint from the European Union against Google this morning over alleged “anti-competitive behaviour”.

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The competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, stated that Google’s promotion of associated shopping links accumulated to an abuse of its dominance within search and subsequently issued a “statement of objections”. Google now have 10 weeks to respond to the complaint.

Billions in Potential Fines

What we know from recent news and leaks is that Google was anticipating antitrust charges. The decision by Europe to press on rather than settle is similar to their efforts against Microsoft over a decade ago.

If we consider what’s at stake here, Google could be hit with billions in potential fines and will also see their reputation and market cap damaged depending on the charges and proceedings.

It’s clear that Ms Vestager has determined that Google violated antitrust laws in Europe and has now come to a legal conclusion. The formal charges do not necessarily rule out a settlement, although Google’s history of reaching a settlement isn’t all that positive.

Vesteger’s predecessor, Joaquin Almunia, came close to reaching a settlement with Google in the past but failed to advertise his “rival links” plan to Google’s critics and opponents.

The Future of EU-based Search

Settlement proposals could have a considerable effect on the future of search. For instance, it has been suggested that a new proposal could lead to the end of universal search in Europe.

The tens of billions in fines that Google faces as a result of these antitrust charges will come about as a result of not satisfying the Commission with new proposals. If you consider that Google accounts for more than 90% of EU-based web searches, there’s a chance we could see a rather significant conclusion to proceedings.

However, an internal Google memo was obtained prior to the formal EU announcement by re/code which reacts to the antitrust charges. The memo suggests Google will look to present themselves as underdogs in certain categories including shopping, citing third party data and traffic.

The memo also expresses confidence with regards to Google’s prospects as far as search goes and concludes with a reference to the now confirmed Android OS investigation as part of the inquiry.

Shopping Market Claims “Wide Of The Mark”

What’s more, Ms Vestager said that she was not asking for a complete redesign of Google’s algorithms or search results. Ms Vestager also said that she was “open” to any response from Google, which suggests that the matter could take a long time to resolve.

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Google’s search chief Amit Singhal responded to the claims that their Shopping service “distorts” the market on the firm’s blog.

“While Google may be the most used search engine, people can now find and access information in numerous different ways – and allegations of harm, for consumers and competitors, have proved to be wide of the mark” wrote Mr Singhal.


Looking at Learning about SEO

When I was first tasked with the job of ‘learning more about SEO’ in order to improve my content, it seemed like an impossibly daunting task. Although I’m a relatively fast learner, I had never before dared to delve into more technical elements of how Search Engines work and until recently I have been perfectly content with my ignorance.

However it is becoming more and more important to keep up with Google’s latest algorithms in order to make sure that your SEO remains on track and up to date. After all, if your site or business is penalised by Google, boom, there goes a sizeable chunk of your traffic and subsequently, your business. Fewer visitors mean less custom for your site, which is never good for a commercial business!

As Told by Google

So in order to ensure that your site remains green listed by Google, everything has to be running smoothly and in accordance with the mysterious guidelines set out by Google. This includes the site content, as this is what Google and all visitors to your site will see once they click that link. Actually even before they click that link, they’ll see a meta-description hopefully pointing them in the right direction, so content is very important in keeping your site at the top of Google’s Listings!

We need to make sure that our content appeals to both Google and our site visitors so it is important to know what is relevant and what isn’t when it comes to adding in the key terms for your website. On site content needs to be:

  • Rich in related keywords  but not over-saturated with keywords
  • Written with your audience in mind (informative if needs be, using key terms and phrases etc.)
  • Written so that it reads well and is is inclusive of those outside your potential intended audience
  • Broken up into clear paragraphs with good headings.
  • Relevant to your business!
  • Written with a call to action at the end (such as call now or contact us here)

There are more but those bullet points are just what I can think of off the top of my head. What is important is that you don’t just write what you want willy nilly and then post it online without checking it through. There are limits to what you can feasibly do with your content, and limits to what is acceptable by Google’s standards so it is important to keep these in mind.

Starting off – The Scary Part Broken Down

Starting off learning about any topic that is as random and constantly changing as SEO can be quite a challenge, particularly if you don’t quite know where to start. There are countless resources available to those who look for them, you just need to pick a starting point and try to springboard from there.

The trouble with learning about SEO is that it is always being updated as Google learns new things, but of course in order to learn from the past we must also look into its mistakes. In fact any book about SEO is often out of date by the time it comes into print, but that doesn’t stop it from being useful as an entry point into SEO.

I personally have started with the infamous Dummies series in using “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) For Dummies”, but there are a wide range of options available, including Google’s own Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

The worst part about learning a new thing is worrying about it, so get started today and stop your worrying! It is easier than you think!


Mobile Friendly Search Results Going Postal

Evolving Mobile Search Results

Yesterday Google announced that they will be introducing into their algorithm more mobile friendly results, not a huge surprise in itself as they have been pushing webmasters, developers & site owners through Google Webmaster Tools messaging to clean up our sites and evolve with the way the web is evolving (read:Google).

The message is now loud and clear and they have been kind enough to even give us a date! I say kind because in my entire history as an SEO at being awoken by search algorithm changes or algorithm updates, it has always been after the fact. Sometimes subtle hints that they may be moving towards improvements but never a date!

So what happens to a site that is not “Mobile Friendly”?

A picture paints a thousand words. During December data for Mobile Traffic started playing havoc with my senses on a client site. I searched high and low for technical reasoning and found no answer, it was not until I noticed updates coming out of Dejan SEOs Algoroo that made a little more sense, it was not just this site, it was many and it was hidden amongst the “Penguin Double Take”, “Panda Refresh” & “Penguin Tweak & Rollback”.

Mobile Friendly Testing

That image is taken directly from Google Analytics with the “Mobile Traffic” segment applied & compared to the previous year (December 1st – January 17th). In that particular example the data drop was at 61% of mobile traffic. Now consider around half of most sites traffic is mobile & tablet. Quick maths – using the above as an example we have just over a quarter of the sites sessions obliterated.

As a proactive SEO agency Artemis contacted all clients that were not mobile friendly or responsive to let them know their next course of action, we did that back in December & now the majority are close to migrating to their new mobile responsive sites or they already have, our priority has always been our clients so our switch has had to wait until last :sadface: but we too will be ready!

So what do you need to do?

Firstly Google has the tools to help

  1. Guide & Getting Started with Mobile Sites
  2. Use their Mobile Testing Tool
  3. Compile a Mobile Usability Report

April 21st is the official launch date where the algorithm will be updated.

So what happens to sites that do not make the switch?

Batten the SEO Hatches

In a nutshell your organic search traffic will feel the pinch along with your revenues & leads generated.


8 Factors That Determine Quality Content

Quality content is now a top priority, but what exactly do we need to look out for when separating the very best content from the rest? Quality content is now one of Google’s biggest ranking factors, so it’s essential that we’re able to identify what it is that makes content stand out.

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To give you a better idea of what Google are after, here’s a list of characteristics every piece of content you write from now on should include.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Google introduced some clever algorithm updates that search for authoritative content through keyword synonyms and other related phrases, so stuffing your content full of keywords has essentially become a major backwards step.

You can make it easier for search engines to understand your content by structuring your keywords effectively across the page.

Strong Headlines

We rarely shy away from an opportunity to demonstrate our creative skills through clever headings and subtitles, so it’s a shame when you realise that readers don’t have time to work them out. Your titles need to be strong, clear, relatable and a realistic length.

Keep Your Audience In Mind

Do your best to write for your audience rather than your peers, in which case you should be thinking about what your audience wants to read.

Avoid lots of technical jargon if you know they aren’t all that familiar with complex industry terms and avoid talking down to an audience primarily made up of industry professionals.

Will It Be Shared?

Content needs to be built around plenty of share value, so it helps to consider whether or not your social media followers would have an interest in it. Try reading your content back as a consumer to see whether or not it talks to you.

Word Count

A ranking factors study from Searchmetrics suggested that the ideal word count for a page of content was 1000 words. However, there’s no strict set of rules you need to follow as far as word counts go, although Google does seem to favour longer, heavier content pages.

Proofread (Always!)

It’s quite easy to miss typos; no matter how much experience you have proofreading content.

You could lose significant credibility as a writer for constantly failing to pick up on your mistakes. It’s not always a bad idea to let someone else read your work before sending it out.

High Quality, Natural Links

You should only ever link to reputable, high quality sources and this is something any experienced SEO will be aware of.

However, your links should also come from natural phrases within the text, so not just standard terms such as “click here” for instance.

A Compelling Layout

Bulky text isn’t a good look, so use every ounce of creativity you’ve got to design a content page that’s well structured and appealing to the eye.

Avoid long paragraphs and throw in a few additional headers and bullet points, especially when listing. The most imposing images are best placed at the top of a content page.

There’s plenty of additional changes you could make to your content writing style in order to improve your ranking capabilities, but the characteristics mentioned above are certainly some of the most important when trying to get the upper hand with Google.

If you’re looking for unrivalled SEO results from a company that’s always up-to-date with the latest algorithm changes at Google, get in touch with Artemis today.

 


Building Up Your Brand for 2015

Small businesses are currently going through a phase of focusing on their brands instead of trying desperately to build more links as they look to succeed further in the world of search marketing.

The days where you could build a selection of target keywords and start ranking have long gone, with social media presence, pay-per-click advertising, user-friendly web design and SEO all essential parts of the process.

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It’s now all down to how much you can impress Google, so a brand that’s well constructed is far more likely to rank well. Unfortunately, small businesses don’t necessarily have the resources other businesses have and may well have to carry out the entire branding process themselves.

It’s not uncommon for small businesses to build their own brands though, so all it takes is a little bit of hard work and dedication before you’ve got a brand that’s capable of success. Here’s what you need to prioritise:

Engage in Social Media

There’s no better way to assert yourself as an industry leader and showcase your expertise than through social media. Joining a community of industry experts gives you the chance to tell everyone what your brand is about and lets you engage with potential followers, clients and customers.

64% of marketers are integrating social media into their marketing plans today, while 65% of marketers witnessed an improvement in search rankings after investing a minimum of 6 hours per week in social media, so it’s important that you jump on the bandwagon as quickly as possible before you get left behind.

Come Up With a Logo

You won’t get anywhere with a brand unless there’s something your followers can recognise you by. Logos have always been a crucial part of branding as they demonstrate what your business is all about. People don’t have the attention span in the modern day to focus on something that’s not going to be instantly recognisable.

Your logo will feature on everything that’s associated with your business, from your website and promotional materials to your business cards. Consistency is essential when branding as clients can easily lose faith if you aren’t coping with basic aesthetics.

Participate in Charity Events

Adults in the UK donated a staggering £10.4 billion in 2012/13, so it’s no surprise that charitable events are regarded as one of the best ways to build a brand within a community.

So much is donated to worthy causes because they help small businesses as well as those who need it most. As a brand you’ll get plenty of exposure and your business will gain huge amounts of awareness as a result of your participation. Don’t forget that people are attracted to the prospect of working with small businesses who like to help others.

We have over 10 years of experience delivery unrivalled SEO results here at Artemis, so be sure to get in touch with us if you’re hoping to push the success of your brand even further.

 


Artemis Internet Marketing Part Of The UK Government Growth Voucher Programme – Get £2000 Towards Your SEO

 

Artemis Internet Marketing is UK Government Growth Voucher approved, with the Department for Innovation Business and Skills introducing the programme as a means of helping SMEs to gain all the strategic advice they need to help their business grow.

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The programme will run for 15 months from February 2014 and covers everything from recruiting and leadership to digital technology, cashflow and finance.

You can apply for your Growth Voucher and see your funding input matched by up to £2000 if you are eligible. The scheme will cover half of the cost of your SEO e.g. a £4k project will only cost you £2k.

You can find out more about the Growth Voucher programme and check your eligibility by visiting the government site or by getting in touch with us.

As accredited marketing experts, we can offer you all the expert advice and information you need.


How SEO Campaigns Change Over Christmas

We’re getting ever closer to the big day and for many online businesses the process of drawing in customers this month has been the predominant goal.

Online shopping has been a hugely popular choice for many consumers this year and business owners have done everything they can to take full advantage of the festive season through heavily planned and thoroughly scrutinised SEO campaigns.

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Online retailers are always looking forward to introducing their own unique SEO campaign to entice a wider audience.

We’ve seen a hugely competitive retail market this year whereby many of John Lewis’ rivals have stepped up their game and introduced many a heart-melting advertisement.

With the popularity of the festive season growing every year since the first Coca-Cola advert in 1943, we’ve looked at three specifics associated with a successful Christmas SEO campaign.

Social Media

Keeping your social accounts up to date with Christmassy-themed posts and putting a festive twist on your social media advertising is a great way of supporting your new SEO strategy.

The more social media accounts you use to spread the word the better, so make sure you take to more than just Twitter when introducing your products to the world.

Time

Unfortunately, it’s no good coming up with a Christmas strategy at this stage in the year, so any last minute plans you might have to make your products a little more festive are going to have to be brief.

The biggest retailers make the most of 6 months worth of planning from the research phase all the way through to executing their new strategy. You simply won’t have the effect your hoping for if you start too late.

Product Prioritisation

Not all your products will have the same effect as others over the Christmas period, so it’s important that you prioritise certain products that are more likely to sell.

John Lewis were hugely successful in selling plushy Penguins this year as a result of their latest advertisement, so you need to consider what products of yours are more likely to attract the attention of your consumers.

Get in Touch

Christmas can prove to be the most productive of times for many online businesses and we know exactly what it takes to adjust any SEO campaign to meet the demands of your clients.

If you’re interested to find out more, call us today and our friendly team will be happy to help.


Another Great Testimonial!

We’re approaching the Christmas season and the office was feeling particularly festive this week when we received yet another positive review from a hugely satisfied client. It goes without saying that receiving testimonials from clients towards the end of the month makes the journey home all the more satisfying.

RMA Surveyors were delighted with the work we’d done for them in terms of assisting their SEO and we felt privileged to work with such a friendly, positive group of people. Here’s what Iona Mountain had to say on behalf of RMA:

Since working collaboratively with Artemis to assist our SEO, we have undoubtedly seen an increase in our leads and an impact in our Google ranking. Once sceptical about SEO companies, Artemis has proved us wrong! They are always willing to talk things through and provide recommendations to ensure the very best for our company. We never thought that a form would be so effective in bringing us new leads – a simple recommendation but worth its weight in gold. In addition, Artemis re-designed our website, which is now functional, easy to navigate and looks good too. We would recommend working with Mike and the team. 

You can visit the Testimonials section of our website to get a better idea of how our reputation has soared since we began providing our SEO services. You can get a free consultation from us today or call us on 014444 645018 for more information. Thanks again to RMA Surveyors!


Google should be broken up, or so Euro MPs say

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We all know Google is certainly not a small company, for many people it is so big they consider it a public service rather than a private enterprise. This often leads to dismay when Google change something, even cries of “they can’t do that!” Well, as we know, they can do whatever they like, just the same as McDonald’s could start charging £100 for one fry or launch a swan burger.

It seems recently though Google’s magnitude has been causing some concern in political circles too, the search giant have been accused of favouring their own services and companies in search results over that of possibly more suitable offerings from unrelated companies. Clearly as a private concern Google is entitled to offer up whatever results it feels correct, after all, its existence is down to it offering good results. If it stops doing that it won’t be popular and so won’t continue to be the most successful search engine.

Taking into account the companies rights to act as they so please there is still some worth in the Euro MPs suggesting Google should be broken up. As I mentioned, the brand has become so big that users sometimes fail to recognise it’s commercial position and as such don’t take the results in a commercial context. This does give some credence to the claim then, that by prioritising its own services Google is actually not acting responsibly.

The European parliament has voted for the break up, much to the dismay of various US trade bodies, but as it stands the final decision lies with the EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

This all stems from a case brought in 2012 by Google competitors taking issue with how, among other things, Google displays its vertical search engine services, uses content from across the web in their own services like reviews, and how Google sells its ads around search terms. Initially there were a number of concessions put to Google that they turned down, and so the case rumbled on. The recent revival and vote is suggesting the only way to resolve the issue is to simply break up the company thus dividing the search business from advertising and other commercial services. The aim, or at least the suggestion here is that it would allow room for other businesses to move in and offer similar services.

Whatever happens, and the likleyhood is that not much will for some time, Google will continue to innovate and dominate search and its ancillary services for the forseable future. But nothing is forever, and the digital world has shown us time and time again that new comers can change the world, remember Yahoo?… only just!