TL; DR Yes and No
Keywords are what we put into Google (other search engines are available) to find what we are looking for. For example, if you type “Taco Bell in Bacup” you will get a list of relevant search results.
You won’t find one in Bacup by the way, not yet anyway, the nearest one is in Manchester if there are any Taco Bell fans reading this.
Keywords are also important for businesses too. If inspired by the last paragraph, you have now decided to open a branch of Taco Bell in Bacup, you would want to make sure you appear on or near the top of the search results.Read More
Every now and then there is a post about search which should make every SEO consultant stand up and take notice. Recently, Distilled’s Will Critchlow created one such piece of content when he created a Whiteboard Friday for Moz, about the lessons he learned from interviewing Google’s John Mueller.
The Whiteboard Friday covers a range of topics including Domain Authority, subdomains vs subfolders and a take on using noindex/nofollow. Here’s my roundup and thoughts based on the piece:
John Mueller is the Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google and he’s always prepared to be super helpful when it comes to questions about how Google is treating things differently from a technical SEO perspective.
Okay so your business is going well, and according to your sales figures, (and quite possibly some SEO analysis), your website is well optimised and getting plenty of traffic. Customers are buying your products… Hurrayyy, you can relax a little, put your feet up and be pleased you are keeping up to date with technology and business practice in the 21st Century.
Or can you? Have you heard of Voice Search and do you use it? Are customers using it to find you? In this ever changing digital age, Voice Search is the fastest growing search type worldwide, and could put some serious pressure on to the Google search model for the first time since it’s launch in 1997. Want to find out more? Read on! Read More
Write a blog on Algorithms they said.
What ARE algorithms? I asked?
And, with a heartfelt, ‘sorry it’s a tough one’ …research them, they said.
So, I did, and this is what I came up with.
Now, if like me, you are a complete algorithm virgin, but you want to find out about what exactly are algorithms, it will be worth reading on. Read More
If you’ve got Google Analytics you’ve probably just received an email from Google giving you some information about how they will help you conform to GDPR in Google Analytics.
Eh up, me Duck! SEO consultants extraordinaire, Grow Traffic, has arrived in South Yorkshire and its bloomin’ lovely! Sheffield, with its digital credentials, was the obvious choice for us to set up doing friendly SEO and with Rotherham, Doncaster, Worksop, and Barnsley right on the doorstep we are in the centre of a thriving region.
So put down your snooker cue, grab a pint of Pale Rider, gi’or wi thesen, and read on to see what SEO actually is and why you need it for your business.
In a recent ruling the European Union Court of Justice has decreed that hyperlinking could infringe on copyright.
The Dutch publisher of Playboy has won a landmark victory about their photographs being uploaded on a file sharing website without their permission. Read More
According to the latest search market share numbers released by ComScore on 14th August 2015, Google’s share of the US search market has dropped slightly. Before we all panic and predict the demise of the search giant though, I must qualify that statement by admitting that the fall is not significant; nevertheless, the latest figures do show a loss of ground on Google’s part, to the benefit of its two largest competitors, Bing and Yahoo.
So, let’s take a closer look at the most recent figures and statistics and see what they’re showing us about the performance of the largest search engines globally. Read More
(This article was originally written and published in May 2014)
OK, so you’ve paid your fancy web designer a small fortune and you’ve got the whizziest website on the World Wide Web, but your sales haven’t increased and your boss thinks you’re crazy for wasting all that money. Don’t panic! There’s one simple thing you can change to instantly improve your snazzy new website; the content.
Whether it’s content or copywriting, it needs to be good and it needs to be plentiful. Yes, a website needs to look good and it always helps to be innovative, but what you say on your website is even more important than how it looks. As the research is now proving, without well written, relevant and regularly updated content your website will fail to climb in the rankings or to produce those all important conversations. Read More
Beware web users, there’s another Google algorithm update on the way and this one is likely to affect quite a lot of websites, one or two of my own clients included. This time, the masters of the universe have got their beady eye on mobile search results and it’s quite a significant change that is rapidly approaching.
What Is The Update?
On 26th February 2015, Google published the following announcement on their Webmaster Central Blog;
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
What Does It Mean?
As more and more people are now accessing the internet via mobile phones or tablets, websites need to be responsive to this so that they can be returned in the search results and viewed on any media. To makes sure that users continue to get the best results for their searches, Google’s mobile ranking factors will now not only be used to label a site as mobile friendly but will be actively used to rank websites too.
In plain English, that means that all websites will need to be responsive by 21st April 2015, otherwise they will be penalised and may even fall off the rankings altogether.
Why So Much Notice?
The fact that Google gave webmasters almost two months’ notice is a good indication of how significant a change this is. Clearly, they want to ensure that those websites that need to change have sufficient time to be altered or updated.
In addition to this, a couple of our clients have received email notifications advising them of the upcoming change, again ensuring that all sites are given the option to comply before the algorithm update is rolled out.
What Can You Do?
Google have actually been quite friendly about this too and have provided links on their blog to resources that will help webmasters: all the information that you will need on making your site mobile ready, including a Mobile Friendly Test for your website, can be found in Google’s Guide to Mobile-Friendly Sites. Besides some other useful tools, this guide also includes a little guide to Mobile SEO too, which is always helpful (but not as helpful as me!).
The long and short of it though is that you are just going to have to bite the bullet and make your website responsive, if it isn’t already, and that I’m afraid is going to cost money. As the majority of small to medium business owners have no idea of how to redevelop a website to get it past these new rules, most will have to go back to their web developers and pay a few hundred pounds at the very least.
What Can GrowTraffic Do?
Although we’re primarily a Freelance SEO Consultancy, optimised web design is intrinsic to effective SEO and so it’s something that we offer for what we think are very reasonable prices. We work with a few select Freelance Web Designers, whom we have worked with for years and whose expertise and knowledge we know we can rely on.
As such, we will be offering all of our relevant existing clients an upgrade to ensure their websites will ride out the upcoming algorithm updates and maintain the high position in the search results that we have worked so hard to achieve.
If you are not a current client of ours (you must be mad!) but are in need of some advice on the upcoming changes and how they may affect you, or if you know that your website is not mobile ready and need to take action urgently, then please do get in touch today and we will steer you through the process from beginning to end. We look forward to hearing from you.
I seem to have spent years in agencies, inhouse roles and as a freelance seo consultant saying “when thinking about Google you need to think about the money” and now that line of thought has to be even more pertinent. Read More
Google has failed to end the speculation about the recent search algorithm update many are calling the Brand-eCommerce Update, other than by stating they’re “tuning” their algorithms to improve search result relevancy. Read More
Google and the Law of Unintended Consequences
It is a fact of life that every action has a consequence; we’re all aware of this, but mostly we act under the belief that our actions will have a positive impact in one way or another. Unfortunately though, this is not always the case and the law of unintended consequences is an unavoidable and often darkly humorous reality of the human condition (my favourite example of which being the Streisand Effect, when someone’s (usually a celebrity’s) attempts to conceal something about their private life in reality leads to the fact being promoted vociferously accross the internet. Brilliant).
Whilst some of the most ridiculous – or perhaps best publicised – examples of unintended consequences are usually credited to governments (China anyone? The United States? Even the UK has had its moments!), Google seems to be doing its best to give the current reigning champions a run for their money. In fact, the entire dalliance played out between search engines and SEOs seems to be one big round of ‘how do we deal with this unintended consequence now?’. Or maybe I’m just being grumpy about it all; it has been known.
The giant of search started off its enterprise over 14 years ago with the laudable goal to bring the best possible results to anyone using their search engine for any given search term. Great! That’s exactly what we want, that’s what a search engine should be providing; so how are you going to do it…?
As with any other business, Google’s growth and dominance over the market has been a slow evolution (although slightly more evolutionary, seeing as they’re creating as they’re evolving) and to call it a learning curve would be an understatement, certainly from the point of view of the search engines but also from the point of view of the average folk using the search engines and those of us trying to cunningly manipulate them.
Every link in the evolutionary chain has been forged as the result of the one that went before it; so, there was an issue, Google created a solution, that caused an issue, Google created a solution and on it went, whilst all the while we poor SEOs tried to figure out how to make it work for our clients and look like we know what we were talking about, preferably at the same time.
In the ever changing world of the search engines, the law of unintended consequences is not so much an evolutionary quirk, popping up every now again to give us all a laugh, but rather the primary means of deciding policy and shaping the internet! Read More
Google’s John Muir has confirmed it’s unlikely Google will be updating PageRank in the future, the last time PageRank on the Google Toolbar was updated was 6th December 2013 (I remember when it was just about every 3 months!). Read More
Mozilla released a statement yesterday revealing that their search engine of choice was going to change; starting in December 2014, Yahoo will be the default search engine on the Firefox browser in the US, rather than Google. What’s more, they will no longer have one default search engine worldwide; instead the Firefox browser will use a different search engine depending on the country or continent in which it is being used. Read More