Google Say More Searches Now On Mobile Than On Desktop

Google confirmed yesterday at a digital advertising conference that for the first time ever, more searches were being conducted from mobile devices than PCs. While they haven’t told us exactly how many searches are coming from our mobile screens, we can safely assume that it’s a pretty significant amount considering more than 100 billion search requests are processed by Google every month.

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Many will have been anticipating the mobile search leapfrog for some time, so this is certainly a landmark for Google and coincides with their recent, well-publicised algorithm update. There were some informal whispers coming from Google last year that suggested mobile would soon overtake desktop searches, so it would seem confirmation hasn’t come out of the blue.

Where Is Mobile Search Most Popular?

Google cited 10 countries where mobile search is most prevalent, naming the US and Japan as two of these countries. As well as not disclosing specific search figures and the additional eight countries, Google also declined to comment on how recently the change happened. They did say that mobile queries included browser-based searches as well as those coming from Google’s mobile search apps.

Remember that Google place desktops and tablets in the same bracket, so recorded mobile search queries only ever come from our smartphones. It’s difficult to determine the specifics behind the mobile take over with very little information released, although comScore have previously released a report and graphic that shows the volume of US-based search queries on PCs, tablets and smartphones.

comscore data

ComScore’s data greatly contradicts Google’s revelations, so it would seem that mobile search has either grown much faster than anticipated since these findings were published this time last year or the data is simply incorrect.

Impact Of The Mobile Changeover

What we do know is that online behaviour has changed considerably since 2007, when the first iPhone was released by Apple. This saw an influx of similar devices introduced to the market, changing the way we stayed connected and used online services. The popularity of mobile search today will certainly rock manufacturers loyal to their desktop and laptop computers.

However, Google were also affected in the past by the dramatic increase in smartphone sales, with ad prices declining to this day due to marketers being cautious over commercial messages displayed on smaller mobile screens. Google have countered this in the past, saying that ad prices have actually been rising and will continue to do so as marketers recognise the value of connecting with prospective customers through mobile-friendly advertising.

Mobile Is The Future For Marketers

These revelations have come about swiftly after the release of Google’s most talked-about algorithm update, giving the mobile-friendly algorithm a bit more colour and context. There’s no doubting the fact that mobile search is growing and smaller screens could now be exactly what marketers have to prioritise.

Contact Us

To find out if your site is mobile-friendly or to learn more about how Google’s latest revelation might affect you, get in touch with Artemis today.

 


"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.

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.

 

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”.

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.


The Latest on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm – Due To Roll Out on April 21st

Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm is released on the 21st April, so we’re interested to see what this means as far as SEO is concerned and what else can be expected.

The mobile-friendly algorithm, which Google confirmed will roll out over the course of a week, will be on a page-by-page and real-time basis. So how can you be sure if your page is going to benefit?

Big Expectations

This is one hell of an algorithm update as far as Google are concerned, with the impact likely to be much more significant compared to the likes of Panda and Penguin. It’s no surprise that there are plenty of webmasters out there who are sitting anxiously on the edge of their seats in anticipation for the release.

A Google+ hangout that took place on Tuesday brought up the new algorithm update and a number of important questions were answered in the process. Here’s what we found out:

  • There are no set degrees of mobile friendliness, which means you will be judged on whether you are mobile friendly or you aren’t. It’s as simple as that.
  • The easiest way to discover whether you are currently mobile friendly is to check live mobile search results and see if you have the mobile-friendly label attached to it. You can also use the mobile-friendly testing tool to match live Google search results. Mobile usability reports in Webmaster Tools may be delayed based on crawl time.
  • The algorithm will take between a few days and a week to roll out on a global scale.

The Dates

So firstly, the 21st is more of a guess as the algorithm will take a few days or so to roll out. It’s not unheard of for algorithms to take a little longer than expected, so we can’t be too sure on the dates just yet.

You Are or You Aren’t

Now comes the interesting part. This is an on-or-off algorithm that works on a page-by-page basis, but you have to be mobile friendly to see any benefits. In other words, it doesn’t matter how mobile friendly your pages are.

Some of the criteria mentioned in the Google+ hangout were small font sizes, tap links being spread out and content being readable from a mobile viewpoint. However, it was also stated that there were over 200 different factors that will determine whether you are, or indeed aren’t, mobile friendly.

Are You Mobile Friendly?

The easiest way to see if you are mobile friendly is to check for a mobile-friendly label in the live mobile search results. The label confirms Google understands you are mobile-friendly.


Optimising Keywords Effectively in 2015 – What’s Changed?

When it comes to optimising keywords, content is widely overlooked despite it being the driving factor. It is likely to be the difference between your prospects choosing you ahead of your biggest competitors.

Advertising involves referencing and reminding people that they need to be up to date with the latest products. On the other hand, mass marketing puts us under pressure as we have to appeal to a much wider audience.

It’s impossible to appeal to everyone through short advertising ploys, so I guess that’s why websites with quality content need to exist…

The Wrong Kind of Optimisation – The Dangers and History of Keyword Stuffing

It all comes down to how you utilise your website of course, with many people optimising keywords the wrong way for some years before Google told us about their latest algorithm.

People were insistent on marauding through keyword research data in an attempt to learn every synonym in existence; hoping to use the same fundamental keyword in whatever piece of topical content that was being written. This lead to problematic, keyword-heavy content.

In some cases written content wouldn’t have anything to do with the keywords being thrown into the mix.

After Google introduced its Freshness algorithm we were seeking the best rewards through consistent uploading of fresh content.

Regular Updates Brought About Results

However, this didn’t necessarily monitor what that content was about, as Google were far more interested in discovering whether or not you were regularly updating your website. This wasn’t the road the SEO industry wanted to pursue, so what was it that changed?

Panda’s Influence on Quality Content

Search marketers went through a prolonged period of frenzied content creation after they realised Google weren’t penalising the quality of their written work whatsoever.

Google made the mistake of presuming search marketers would think it obvious that their content would need to be good even though poor content was working just as well.

Google needed to come forward and clarify the issue and they did so with the introduction of their latest Panda algorithm last year, which, instead of targeting just thin and duplicate content, would target thin and duplicate content that offered little or no value.

Making it to the Top

It’s essential that people realise the importance of detailed, comprehensive and informative content that answers all the questions of their audience, as this could ultimately get them to the top of Google’s search rankings without having to build another link.

Links are still an important part of the marketing process but if you’re consistently in the top 10, you’ve probably got enough links to make it to top spot.

The importance of appearing on other publications that you’re audience regularly read up on or visit is vital as people won’t do their research on just the one site. An example would be having your products reviewed elsewhere by influencers.

Search Is Growing

So when it comes to written content and optimising for keywords, it’s important to remember that your content must be relevant to the users’ intent.

Your internal links will only get you so far if you haven’t yet updated the way you see content, while your external links remain vitally important as, with smartphone ownership going through the roof, more and more people are searching all over the place.

Satisfying as many searchers in one go is what the cleverest SEOs will hope to achieve in 2015, especially if they’re hoping to rank for the biggest terms…

 

 

 


RICS Release New Video

RICS VID

Earlier in March RICS released a new marketing video to help chartered surveyors market their practice and explain the benefits of their services to potential clients. A video on your website is a great way of getting key points across to prospects.

The video explains how it is essential to instruct a chartered surveyor to carry out a survey before any potential property purchase. And also flags up the common misconception that a mortgage valuation is a survey when obviously it is solely for the bank’s benefit and not the purchaser’s. The video then goes on to explain how RICS research shows that on average a home buyer will spend £5,750 on repair costs after moving into their new home.

You can see the video below

How to add the video to your practice’s website

  1. Click this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTlJV8z2aM0 
  2. Click on ‘Share’ highlighted in red below
    Share
  3. Click on ‘Embed’ as highlighted in red below.
    Embed

Copy and paste the code highlighted below on to your firms website NOTE: If you need help with this please give us a call and we’d be more than happy to help.

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To see how we help surveyors take a look at our SEO for Surveyors page or get in touch by filling out the form on the right hand side of this page.

 


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.


John Mueller Tells Us More About Google’s Stance on "Whitelists"

If we take a look back at the good old days when Matt Cutts was still head of web spam at Google, you might remember something he spoke of in March 2011 relating to exception lists, also known as “whitelists”.

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Cutts explained that while Google did use whitelists, they existed on a per-algorithm basis. If you caught up with John Mueller’s Google+ webmaster hangout on Tuesday, you might have heard him addressing the issue surrounding exception lists once again.

No Exception Lists for Panda & Penguin

What we found out was that Google uses whitelists for some of its algorithms but Mueller specifically said that there weren’t any exception lists in place for Panda or Penguin.

“For the most part we do not have a whitelist where we can say this web site is okay and we can take it out of the algorithm. For a lot of the general search algorithms, we do not have that ability”.

Why Exception Lists Are Needed

Mueller went on to say that there were some scenarios were they did have whitelists, mostly for the odd individual case. He explained that, with algorithms such as SafeSearch and for false positives on adult content, they do have that ability.

It’s quite clear that leading sites feel the early effects of any newly introduced algorithm or algorithm change and there’s very little Google can do until the algorithm is refreshed.

If you’re interested to hear what was talked about regarding whitelists, start the video provided below at around the 25-minute mark.

“it wouldn’t be feasible to handle them (search queries) manually”

Matt Cutts was asked by SearchEngineLand’s News Editor Barry Schwartz back in March 2011 whether Google used exception lists and the former head of web spam explained that whitelists were necessary for the odd search algorithms that weren’t 100% perfect.

“Our goal is to provide people with the most relevant answers as quickly as possible, and we do that primarily with the computer algorithms. In our experience, algorithms generate much better results than humans ranking websites page by page. And given the hundreds of millions of queries we get every day, it wouldn’t be feasible to handle them manually anyway”.

Cutts went on to say that ideally, Google didn’t want to maintain their exception lists at all but emphasised the fact that search was “still in its infancy, and our algorithms can’t answer all questions”.

If you’re looking to improve your ranking in Google to help boost the success of your online business, call Artemis today and take advantage of our free consultation service.

 

 


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.