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Google Webmaster Central Blog has come out with a list of measures which can be used to make smartphone sites load faster. Today’s avreage mobile page takes more than 7 seconds to load. Google has announced new guidelines to help webmasters optimize their mobile pages for best rendering performance & also updated Pagespeed Insights tool. These guidelines focus on rendering above the fold content to users in one second or less while the rest of the page continues to load. The above-the-fold HTML, CSS, and JS is known as the critical rendering path.
Following are some of the best practices & guidelines which can be applied.
1) Server must render the response (< 200 ms)
2) Number of redirects should be minimized
3) Number of roundtrips to first render should be minimized
5) Reserve time for browser layout and rendering (200 ms)
B2B Case Studies on BPM Solutions – How Keybank & Coriell used IBM BPM Solutions to achieve success?
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With Videos taking a center stage in the digital marketing activities & engaging with the customers, Periscope & Meerkat provide a great opportunity for marketers to engage with the customers. Some of the ways in which these can be used to connect with the customers include
1) Provide product/service demos. This would help customers understand & learn more about your product/service
2) Use these services to broadcase Industry trends, market inforrmation & other related news
3) Connect with a customer & broadcast it to your audience
4) Participate with other industry leading experts on your area & share comments
5) Provide info about your periscope/meerkat videos on other social media channels with hashtags & links
7) Live streams are also available on the web now & can be braodcast to a larger audience
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With the increase in mobile browsing & consumption of news articles/content incresing, facebook's Instant articles will play an important role in which we read news on the mobile. Facebook has announced a partnership with top publications like NYT, national geographic & others where Facebook will actively host entire articles on behalf of news organizations. Some of the top benefits of the instant articles include
1) Fast and Responsive
2) Interactive and Immersive
3) Simple and Scalable
4) Control and Customization
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Google's mobile search will no longer display a website's URL. The algorithms have been updated to better reflect the names of the website, using the real world name of the site instead of the domain name, & URL structure of the sites in a breadcrumbs like format. As part of the changes, following items will be introduced.
1) The website name to be used instead of the domain name
2) The URL structure of the URL as breadcrumbs
These changes are rolling out gradually and affect only mobile results. The site name change is US-only for now and breadcrumbs are rolling out worldwide. The shift supports schema.org structured data to signal algorithms to display new search results. More information about the same is available at Google webmaster central
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With an increase in global web traffic from mobile devices & also studies showing that mobile visitors are more likely to revisit mobile-friendly sites, mobile usability has now become an imp part of search results. Mobile usability report helps identify issuses affecting your pages. This can be used to fix errors & also their search performance & relevance. Most mobile browsers do not render Flash-based content. Also your pages should specify a viewport using the meta viewport tag
For the mobile friendly websites,
1) The viewing area should adjust to the device screen size
2) Content should flow in viewport
3) Scaling of the fonts
4) Buttons should be well placed & visible
5) Using mobile friendly tech for the mobile website
Six primary mobile usability errors are
1) Flash Usage
2) View Port Not configured
3) Fixed-width viewport
4) Content not sized to viewport
5) Small font size
6) Touch elements too close
Google Mobile-Friendly Test URl is https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/. This test will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.
Source : Google Webmaster Tools
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Locale-adaptive pages change their content to reflect the user's language or perceived geographic location. Not all content variants of locale-adaptive pages may be indexed completely. Google has introduced new locale-aware crawl configurations for Googlebot for pages. Depending on how the content is served based on the request's language and perceived location.
1) Geo-distributed crawling - To use IP addresses that appear to be coming from outside the USA
2) language Dependent Crawling - Crawling based on the accept language HTTP header in the request
Users will not be required to alter their CMS or server setting. These new crawling configs are enabled automatically for pages which are local adaptive.
Source : Google Webmaster Central Blog
Google has released a penguin refresh called Penguin 3.0 affecting fewer than 1% of queries in US english search results. This algorithm looks at a backlink profile and may demote a site that may have a poor backlink profile. This is the 6th release of Penguin. Panda update looks at content & language and hence is rolled out by region & language. While the penguin update is about bad links & hence affects globally. Some of the highlisghts of the update are
1) This is a worldwide update which will impact all versions of Google
2) The rollout will continue for the next few weeks
3) It will impact less than 1% of queries in english but may impact other languages as well
4) This refresh helps sites that have already cleaned up the webspam signals discovered in the previous Penguin iteration. This would push up their rankings in search & hence better traffic & visibility.
5) This would demote sites if they have spammy neighbourhoods.
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If you have an android app for your business or services along with a website, Google now allows you to connect both the app & the website. This helps users searching on their smartphones & tablets to be directed to the respective app content. Once the users have installed the app, the users will be directed to the relevant part of the app. Many sites have already implemented this feature & Google has made it even more simpler to connect the website & app. These new features also help analyze the performance & find out the errors. The steps involved are
1) Add deep link support to your app
2) Connect your site and your app
With the normal crawling & indexing process, Google will discover app/site deep links & provide the deep links results in Search. A new feature has been added in Google Webmaster Tools to help find any issues during the app-site link. It will show you what type of errors have been detected for the app page-web page pairs & can be corrected to show correct links.
Competitive analysis for SEO is one of the important aspects. It helps understand how the competitors are doing with respect to ranking, keywords, website & others. This helps implement some new strategies for your website. Some of it can be done manually in Google by searching for their website. There are also some tools available which helps in this process. Earlier Alexa was one of the important tools. Now a variety of free & paid tools are there for the analysis. Some of these tools are 1) Alexa 2) Compete.com 3) Quantcast 4) Google Alerts & others.
These provide a wealth of information for the SEO purposes. This would help outrank your competitors website. The page authority and domain authority plays an important role in the competitive analysis. The page titles are very important for SEO purpose and these should be unique and should target keywords customers are looking for. Some tools provide top keywords for your competitor websites & these can be used for your websites.
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If the Infinite scroll in websites is not implemented in search engine friendly way, crawlers find it difficult to crawl & index. Then the content will not surface in search results. Google Webmaster Central has a great article on how to implement the Infinite Scroll in a search engine friendly way.
1) The webpage or the CMS used should produce a paginated series to go along with the infinite scroll.
2) All the individual items are accessible. However, with the normal infinite scroll, crawler can’t discover individual items displayed after the initial page load.
3) Decide how much content to have in each page.
4) The content should be so divided that there is no overlap.
5) Each component page contains a full URL.
6) Use rel=next and rel=prev values in the section to configure pagination.
7) Implement replaceState/pushState on the infinite scroll page.
With the increase in mobile browsing & search, mobile websites should be built properly to drive more traffic from search & provide better customer experience. Some of the check list from Google webmaster central to improve mobile websites are
1) Optimize crawling, Indexing & search experience. Unblock resources that are robots.txt disallowed. Implement search engine best practices.
2) Optimize mobile persona workflows for your site.
3) Seperate mobile site & include CSS @media query.
4) Search integration with mobile apps. Build for mobile behaviour & also provide for social sharing.
5) Remove cumbersome extra windows from all mobile user-agents. Also remove features that require plugins or videos which may not be found in the users device.
6) High traffic, poor user experience mobile pages should be designed properly.
7) Tablet users be served with the desktop version or if available, the tablet version.
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A new feature in Google Webmaster Tools helps find out security issuses related to your sites. This helps site owners find more about the security issuses on their site, pinpoint the problem with code snippets & also request for review. Under the Security issuses, you can find out more on if your site has been hacked with spam or malware. Type of hacking, sample URL's & the date of detection of the issue is shown. Malware code injection, error in template injection, SQL injection & other information is available.
Google's In-Depth articles search results help users learn about a broad topic. Google has recently introduced this new feature in its search rankings results. According to research,10% of people's daily search needs are for more in-depth content. These results are ranked algorithmically based on many parameters with high quality & in depth content. Google's webmaster guidelines also provide information on how to create compelling content. Search engines love fresh & updated content. This helps drive traffic to the pages.
Following are some of the ways to notify Google about a in depth article
1) Using schema.org “article” markup
2) Providing Authorship markup,
3) rel=next and rel=prev for paginated articles
4) Provide information about your organization’s logo,
5) creating compelling in-depth content.
Well-researched Quality content & which is original is a must for higher rankings. The content should be non commercial & should not have any selling proposition. The content should be relevant. Images which can crawled should be included as part of the article.
Websites which target many countries have usually a dropdown in the home page to select language & country. Sometimes they are configured to point visitors to localized pages by redirects or through changing the content to the user’s language. rel-alternate-hreflang annotation is a new way supported by Both Google & Yandex to specify homepages. This would look like
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://website.com/” hreflang=”x-default” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://website.com/en-us” hreflang=”en-us” /> Targetted for US
The new x-default hreflang attribute value tells the Google algorithm that website.com is the default page & doesn’t target any country or language. This helps webmasters set x-default hreflang attribute value to suit particular requirements of the country based websites. This can be done through sitemaps or through HTML coding. More info about the same can be had at official Google Webmaster Central blog