SEO tips

Weekly SEO tips from Adam at Visit Sørlandet.

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If you manage a website and want to keep up to speed with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) it is a good idea to monitor various forums and websites for handy info. It is also useful to put these tips into practice and learn by doing. I have been doing that for years and it works. As annoying as it may be sometimes, it does help a website’s performance.

Google Page Rank
This was a tool that I used religiously as an indicator of a websites importance and strength on google. They have now indicated that it will not be updated again – ever. This is speculation, but if it is true, going forward this is something businesses can no longer market.

Yahoo directory is to close

Yahoo began in 1994 and back then in the search days, people used directory lists to find information they needed. Google arrived in 1998 which used an automated way of finding information rather than manual updates that the yahoo directory required. it is basically old technology that is no longer of use.

Yahoo search engine still exists as it uses Microsoft Bing technology.

Google snippets
Notice when you are on google and do a search and there comes up a box with information based on your search? This was introduced by google in September and is powered by googles «Knowledge graph».
It’s also not surprising that a lot of the structured snippets showing today are from Wikipedia. This is because the website is built with tables in a consistent manner which is easy for google to extract and present in the search results. The results are not just related to wikipedia, but also to ANY site that presents the information in that way.

For web designers this is a challenge because google advises new sites to be responsive and a table is structured so that it needs to be held steadfast. Designers are being advised to key vital snippets of information within a table – technically they need to work it out themselves.

The google triangle

The golden triangle was coined back in 2005 based on a study on how searchers looked at the Google search results page back then. They focused on a specific triangular location on the page. The new study released last week shows that behavior has changed and searchers are looking outside of the box.

Here are a couple of results:
1. Businesses that are positioned lower on the SERP (especially positions 2-4) see more click activity than they did several years ago, making this real 2 estate much more valuable.
2. The #1 Organic Listing still captures the most click activity (32.8%), regardless of what new elements are presented.
3. Top organic results are no longer always in the top-left corner so 2 users look elsewhere to find them.

Google advises against using flash on mobile sites
Flash, Adobe’s multimedia based website technology, is not a friend of mobile devices or search spiders and now Google has decided to step up their campaign against such sites using the technology.

Google announced that starting today, they will be issuing warnings to searchers when their algorithms detect that the website is not supported on the device they are using. For example, if you are using an Android device or iOS device and the search results show a listing of a site designed fully in Adobe Flash, Google may issue a warning that Flash is not supported with your device and encourage you to not visit the site.

Google is highly recommending you try HTML5 instead and upgrade your sites to support it because they work in modern mobile devices and desktop browsers.

Google and https sites 
Google encourages web masters to adopt https pages.
HTTPS, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, makes it more difficult for hackers, the NSA, and others to track users. The protocol makes sure the data isn’t being transmitted in plain-text format, which is much easier to eavesdrop on.

Google rates https pages as more trustworthy (although not sure how their algorithm will interpret these.

Here is an interesting fact:
only 10% Of URLs on the web are HTTPS
30% of page one google results have HTTPS URLs

Here is a link with info from google about encouraging web masters to adopt https pages
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.no/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html

Cheers,
Adam @ Visit Sørlandet

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