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FAQs about the April 21st mobile-friendly update

FAQs about the April 21st mobile-friendly update

We’d like to share answers to your frequently asked questions. For background, in February, we announced that the mobile-friendly update will boost the rankings of mobile-friendly pages — pages that are legible and usable on mobile devices — in mobile search results worldwide. (Conversely, pages designed for only large screens may see a significant decrease in rankings in mobile search results.) To get us all on the same page, here are the most frequently asked questions:

General FAQs

1. Will desktop and/or tablet ranking also be affected by this change?

No, this update has no effect on searches from tablets or desktops. It affects searches from mobile devices across all languages and locations.

2. Is it a page-level or site-level mobile ranking boost? 

It’s a page-level change. For instance, if ten of your site’s pages are mobile-friendly, but the rest of your pages aren’t, only the ten mobile-friendly pages can be positively impacted.

3. How do I know if Google thinks a page on my site is mobile-friendly?

Individual pages can be tested for “mobile-friendliness” using the Mobile-Friendly Test.

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Test individual URLs in real-time with the Mobile-Friendly Test.
To review site-level information on mobile-friendliness, check out the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools. This feature’s data is based on the last time we crawled and indexed your site’s pages.
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Mobile Usability in Webmaster Tools provides a snapshot of your entire site’s mobile-friendliness.
4. Unfortunately, my mobile-friendly pages won’t be ready until after April 21st. How long before they can be considered mobile-friendly in ranking?
We determine whether a page is mobile-friendly every time it’s crawled and indexed — you don’t have to wait for another update. Once a page is mobile-friendly, you can wait for Googlebot for smartphones to naturally (re-)crawl and index the page or you can expedite processing by using Fetch as Google with Submit to Index in Webmaster Tools. For a large volume of URLs, consider submitting a sitemap. In the sitemap, if your mobile content uses pre-existing URLs (such as with Responsive Web Design or dynamic serving), also include the lastmod tag.
5. Since the mobile ranking change rolls out on April 21st, if I see no drop in traffic on April 22nd, does that mean that my site’s rankings aren’t impacted?
You won’t be able to definitively determine whether your site’s rankings are impacted by the mobile-friendly update by April 22nd. While we begin rolling out the mobile-friendly update on April 21st, it’ll be a week or so before it makes its way to all pages in the index.
6. I have a great mobile site, but the Mobile-Friendly Test tells me that my pages aren’t mobile-friendly. Why?
If a page is designed to work well on mobile devices, but it’s not passing the Mobile-Friendly Test, the most common reason is that Googlebot for smartphones is blocked from crawling resources, like CSS and JavaScript, that are critical for determining whether the page is legible and usable on a mobile device (i.e., whether it’s mobile-friendly). To remedy:
  1. Check if the Mobile-Friendly Test shows blocked resources (often accompanied with a partially rendered image).
  2. Allow Googlebot to crawl the necessary files.
  3. Double-check that your page passes the Mobile-Friendly Test.
  4. Use Fetch as Google with Submit to Index and submit your updated robots.txt to Google to expedite the re-processing of the updated page (or just wait for Google to naturally re-crawl and index).
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The most common reason why a mobile page fails the Mobile-Friendly Test is that Googlebot for smartphones is blocked from crawling resources, like CSS and JavaScript, that are crucial for understanding the page’s mobile-friendliness. 
To reiterate, we recommend that site owners allow Googlebot to crawl all resources for a page (including CSS, JavaScript, and images), so that we can properly render, index, and in this case, assess whether the page is mobile-friendly.
7. What if I link to a site that’s not mobile-friendly?
Your page can still be “mobile-friendly” even if it links to a page that’s not mobile-friendly, such as a page designed for larger screens, like desktops. It’s not the best experience for mobile visitors to go from a mobile-friendly page to a desktop-only page, but hopefully as more sites become mobile-friendly, this will become less of a problem.
8. Does Google give a stronger mobile-friendly ranking to pages using Responsive Web Design (which uses the same URL and the same HTML for the desktop and mobile versions) vs. hosting a separate mobile site (like www for desktop and m.example.com for mobile)?
No, mobile-friendliness is assessed the same, whether you use responsive web design (RWD), separate mobile URLs, or dynamic serving for your configuration. If your site uses separate mobile URLs or dynamic serving, we recommend reviewing the Mobile SEO guide to make sure Google is properly crawling and indexing your mobile pages.

9. Will my site / page disappear on mobile search results if it’s not mobile-friendly?
While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.

Specialized FAQs

10. What if my audience is desktop only? Then there’s no reason to have a mobile site, right?
Not exactly. Statistics show that more people are going “mobile only” — either because they never had a desktop or because they won’t replace their existing desktop. Additionally, a non-mobile-friendly site may not see many mobile visitors precisely for that reason.
The mobile-friendly update will apply to mobile searches conducted across all sites, regardless of the site’s target audiences’ language, region, or proportion of mobile to desktop traffic.
11. I have pages showing mobile usability errors because they embed a YouTube video. What can I do?
We suggest paying close attention to how the YouTube video is embedded. If you are using the “old-style” <object> embeds in the mobile page, convert to <iframe> embeds for broader compatibility. YouTube now uses the HTML5 player on the web by default, so it’s mobile-friendly to embed videos using the <iframe> tags from the “share” feature on the watch page or from the YouTube iFrame API. If you have a more complex integration, that should also be mobile-friendly, since it’ll instruct the device to use the device’s native support.
For Flash content from sites other than YouTube, check if there is an equivalent HTML5 embed tag or code snippet to avoid using proprietary plugins.
12. Is there a clear standard for sizing tap targets?
Yes, we suggest a minimum of 7mm width/height for primary tap targets and a minimum margin of 5mm between secondary tap targets. The average width of an adult’s finger pad is 10mm, and these dimensions can provide a usable interface while making good use of screen real estate.
13. To become mobile-friendly quickly, we’re thinking of creating a very stripped down version of our site (separate mobile pages) until our new responsive site is complete. Do you foresee any problems with this?
First, keep in mind that we support three mobile configurations and that your website doesn’t have to be responsive to be mobile-friendly. In response to your question, please be cautious about creating a “stripped down” version of your site. While the page may be formatted for mobile, if it doesn’t allow your visitors to easily complete their common tasks or have an overall smooth workflow, it may become frustrating to your visitors and perhaps not worth the effort. Should a temporary mobile site be created, once the RWD is live, be sure to move the site properly. For example, update all links so they no longer reference the separate mobile URLs and 301 redirect mobile URLs to their corresponding RWD version.

Recommendations

If you’re totally new to building a mobile-friendly site, it’s not too late! Check out our Getting Started guide in theMobile-Friendly Websites documentation.
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Get started on your mobile site at https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/.

 

If you already have a mobile site, investigate the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools to make sure that Google detects your site’s pages as mobile-friendly.

Source: Google Blog

Posted in: Blog, Google Updates, Latest News, Mobile, Website Design & Optimisation

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$100Bn: 400% Increase in Mobile Ad Spend

$100Bn: 400% Increase in Mobile Ad Spend

More than $101.37 billion will be spent on ads served in 2016 to mobile phones and tablets worldwide. That’s a 400 percent increase from 2013. From 2016 to 2019, mobile ads will nearly double again, rising to $195.55 billion. That figure will account for 70.1 percent of all digital advertising as well as more than one-quarter of total media ad spending worldwide. Source: VentureBeat.com

Posted in: Blog, Latest News, Mobile, PPC Advertising, Strategies

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Forget Keyword Search, Think Knowledge

Google has realised that people are searching for real objects and not a random selection of “keywords”. It is important when creating content for your website that you think about answering a question that your customer is seek an answer for. Google has developed the Knowledge engine to link the two together, see the video below:

Posted in: Google Updates, Latest News, Website Design & Optimisation

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Social Media Trends for 2015

Social Media Trends for 2015

Most-Important-Social-Media-NetworksWhenever conducting primary research, try to keep an open mind about the potential results. But I’ve learned that, in spite of your best hypotheses, the data can always reveal a few surprises. For this research, here were a few results that weren’t necessarily shocking but did illustrate that marketing is a hard job:

  • Facebook and Twitter remain the most business critical social channels, in spite of many newcomers and a lot of noise about other networks.
  • Marketers really struggle with building a content machine, and feeling understaffed and needing to be too many places online appears to be part of the challenge.
  • Marketing metrics are multiple and broad – no one marketing metric of success stands out.
  • Marketers are using a ton of different tools, but all depend heavily on Google Analytics.

Source: RivalIQ.com

Posted in: Blog, Latest News, Social Media Marketing, Strategies

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Facebook Bans The “Like Gate;” Pages Have 90 Days To Comply

“In an update to its Platform Policy this week, the social network said it will no longer allow Pages to require a user to Like a Page to gain access to content, contests, apps or rewards.”

Facebook has killed the “like gate.”

In an update to its Platform Policy this week, the social network said it will no longer allow Pages to require a user to Like a Page to gain access to content, contests, apps or rewards. The new policy will take effect on Nov. 5, when any existing like gate will be disabled. Any app created between now and then will not be able to create a like gate.

Here’s Facebook’s explanation of the change:

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.

Like gating was a common Facebook fan-building tactic in years past, but has largely fallen out of favor as marketers concentrate on engaging with the fans they have. Diminishing organic reach for Page posts has also somewhat reduced the value of each new fan.

Posted in: Facebook, Latest News

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Smartphone and Tablet usage is booming in New Zealand

 

New Zealand is on a major growth for the usage of mobile smartphones according to a new recent survey by Frost & Sullivan New Zealand Mobile Device Usage Report 2013 

According to Frost & Sullivan, 64% of New Zealanders between 15 – 65  own a smartphone and 26% own a tablet. With tablets being a less personal device, it’s relevant to note that 42% of all NZ households have at least one tablet, which is used by multiple people.  The New Zealand Mobile Device Usage report looks at smartphone and tablet ownership and usage trends.  Also covered are forecasts for device ownership to 2018, with NZ predicted to reach 90% smartphone ownership and 78% tablet ownership in 4 years time. Read the full article

Source: Haptic Generation

Posted in: Latest News, Mobile, Retail Strategies, Website Design & Optimisation

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Billions Spent on Marketing – Does it Pay?

Research from Massey University has revealed traditional marketing is no longer effective. The research also highlighted the fact marketers are now becoming accountable for the budgets they are using to generate business. The ROI on marketing is now a hot topic in the Boardroom.

We have been advocating ROI tracking and monitoring for almost 10 years. With the use of today’s tracking and analytics techniques, it is almost possible to monitor the marketing spend 100% and allocate that spend to effective marketing solutions.

Adwords & PPC are the best methods for advertising effectiveness.

The following video is a NZ Herald interview with Harald van Heerdle, Professor of Marketing, Massey University.

Posted in: Latest News, Strategies

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B2B Brand Strategy – How the Big Boys Do It

McKinsey & Company presentation on 18th March 2014 showed some amazing results in how big brands excel in developing their brand strategy and communication with their B2B clients. The following slideshow is from their presentation. Slides 8,9 & 10 we believe are the most revealing in terms of what makes a strong brand. Slide 11 shows the steps to be taken in implementing the strategy. If you require help in creating your strategy, please call us and we can arrange a workshop to help you effectively and efficiently capture the required information.

Posted in: Brand Development, Latest News, Strategies

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