February has absolutely breezed past this year – and we couldn’t be happier! The evenings are finally getting lighter and the temperature is rising (kind of). Even though it’s been a short month, there’s been plenty going on…
Even though Google have not formally announced it, plenty of Webmasters saw a major flux in the search results around the start of February. There’s been plenty of speculation about what it could be, but all we know so far is that branded terms and high-traffic keywords have taken a hit.
We’ve known that it’s been coming for a while, but Google finally announced that it’ll be changing how mobile results will be ranked based on how mobile-friendly the site is. Make sure the 21st April is marked down in your diaries as this is the deadline Google have set for the mobile changes to come in to force – although we reckon they’ll start rolling it out prior to this.
Whilst Google have been tinkering, we’ve been scouring the web for our favourite articles of the month. Grab a cuppa and get reading…
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The Ultimate Guide to Blocking your Content in Search by Rick DeJarnette (@rickdejarnette)
Another aging post from me this month, but one that’s definitely bookmarkworthy… Written by Rick DeJarnette of The SEO Ace, for Internet Marketing Ninjas, this is a comprehensive look at how to hide (and how not to hide) content from those pesky crawlers and prevent it from being indexed.
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How to Write the Highest-Performing AdWords Ads, Ever by Jonathan Dane (@JonathanDane)
The great thing about this article is that the concepts go way beyond adwords. It’s about crafting copy that converts, about what motivates people. You could use similar principles in email marketing, landing page copy, title tags, product pages and even sometimes offline advertising. Think like the potential customer and phrase things in a way that makes the benefit to them clear. Create a fear of loss. Keep things real, current, personal and specific. Then test. Get creative and think about different ways you can apply these principles in your regular marketing messages. You might be surprised at the results.
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Variable Fonts for Responsive Design by Nick Sherman (@NickSherman)
Touches on an important aspect of web design for today’s plethora of screen ratios and resolutions, with some pretty cool tool suggestions.
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This month I’ve had my eyes on some really nice UI tidbits.
Theres some blissful simplicity in what people are doing with regular UI elements and making them better or just more useful.
Some great SVG loaders here:
This pretty clever (and just plain pretty) morphing full page search:
Add subtle ambiance to your backgrounds with this great tool:
Finding ways to use some of those great stuff in concert is going to be exciting in the coming months.
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People are Turning Away from Google Search by Joshua Barrie (@JoshBytheSea)
When writing web content with one eye firmly on SEO, it’s easy to fall into the trap of playing Google’s game and almost forgetting about the other search engines.
But with Google’s U.S search share dropping below 75% and their deal with Apple as Safari’s default search browser set to expire this year, Yahoo and Bing are sending a very clear message that they are still here and still important players.
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How I Made It To The Front Page of BuzzFeed Twice, and How You Can Too by Matthew Barby (@matthewbarby)
This article runs you through how to publish your content on BuzzFeed and how to really get leverage from your content. I love recycling content so can’t wait to give this a go!
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Crawl Optimization by AJ Kohn (ajkohn)
This is quite an old post (mid 2013) but it was an eye-opener for me as it’s something I’ve considered and a technique I’ve suspected other websites of using – Brian Dean at Backlinko.com always seems to be updating his old posts – is this to get them recrawled more often?. For some reason I’ve never read anything about Crawl Budget Optimisation; it’s an interesting idea and it seems to be widely appreciated by SEO influencers as an under-utilised – yet highly effective – tactic.
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UK Journalists Spending Less Time on Social Media, Cision Finds by Isabelle Aron (@IzzyAron)
Figures prove the number of hours spent on social media by UK journalists has declined by more than 10 percentage in the past three years.
However the same latest research shows that PR professionals are the most important sources for journalists on social media (yeeeepeeee!).
I found it reassuring and not that surprising though. They need us as much as we need them. That’s the beautiful world of PR.
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Designing for the Elderly: Ways Older People Use Digital Technology Differently by Ollie Campbell (@oliebol)
When starting a project, designers often ask clients about their core demographic and frequently a key factor is age. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the elderly are often overlooked as a minority typically ill at ease with technology and the web. This article suggests why we should consider their unique needs and how we could go about making the web (and technology) a more accessible place for all.
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Forgot to pause/unpause/rebudget for a weekend of shoppers flocking to your e-shop? Fear no more, because if with the new adwords app you can make quick changes on the go (in Canada – on Android – only). This is just a quick shout out to all Canadian marketers – feedback to Google with haste, so we can get our hands on it too!!
Call-only campaigns (where a user bypasses the attractive website you’ve built), isn’t for everyone – but if you’re business thrives on telephone leads this is definitely worth a shot! This will also appeal to the abundance of people searching on-the-go on their mobiles. If your site doesn’t look absolutely beautiful on a tiny screen (yet), then this might be a great one for you to try.
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A busy month, Google has announced a significant change to how it will rank mobile search results and how you have a deadline to make your site mobile friendly. They have released a tool to make it easier for you to find out if your site is mobile-friendly (although it might not be that accurate).
In other news:
Don Rhoades came out of writing retirement to put together this great article called The Kaizen Approach to SEO, in which he discussed some pretty smart approaches to creating continuous improvement in your SEO (or anything for that matter).
Matthew Barby wrote a great post entitled How I Made it to the Front Page of BuzzFeed Twice, and How You Can Too. Not only was it a great read but Matthew put together a post that was interesting, actionable and combined some pretty data, insights and images. How a post should be put together.
Tony Dimmock showed that a well curated list is still a good thing and AJ Kohn berated (a little bit) the number of round-up posts that litter our little community.