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Don’t get lost in Cyber space…

Hacker Graphic

More and more businesses are getting in contact regarding Cyber liability insurance, there is a great deal of interest about this particular risk, however there is also a great deal of misconception regarding the cover available.

Senior managers in three-quarters (73%) of micro/small businesses say that cyber security is a high priority, with over two-fifths (45%) of all micro/small businesses having identified a cyber security breach or attack in the last year. Of the micro/small businesses that consider it a low priority, over a third (35%) have nonetheless identified a breach.

“over two-fifths (45%) of all micro/small businesses having identified a cyber security breach or attack in the last year. “


As an independent broker we are best placed to advise on a number of different policy types and cover limits available to the business community, however the biggest problem to-date is that most businesses will assume that they already have cover in force, when in fact they don’t.


Cyber liability will be a general exclusion for most, if not all business insurance policies and with the advent of the new “General Data Protection Regulations” (GDPR), I would advise any business, large or small to review their insurance arrangements.

Currently there is very little penetration within the SME market place for Cyber liability insurance, however it is exactly those businesses that are at greater risk.

Cyber liability insurance can protect you and your business including employees (1st party) and your supplier and customer chain(3rd party) in the event that you experience a data breach and it is not only restricted to malicious events, accidental data loss can also be included.


Whilst there are restrictions and limitations for social engineering or invoice fraud, this would be considered financial crime, the Cyber liability cover is there to protect your reputation and any costs associated with getting your business back to normal following a “breach” including consequential loss.

Think of it as an “emergency red button response”, so that whilst someone else will contain the breach and manage the fall-out, you continue to run your business with limited impact.

Guest blog article from Ashbourne Insurance Services Limited
https://www.ashbourneinsurance.co.uk/
Leone.richardson@ashbourneinsurance.co.uk



Toucan Internet have been assisting clients in Cyberspace since 1997 and continue to advise, support and inform on online matters in the bigger field of digital awareness and empowerment.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
01279 871 694
www.toucanweb.co.uk




It’s your online reputation at stake. Consider not, not renewing old domain names

What if your online reputation was sullied by association with pornography and the more seedy side of the Internet? Then compound that with being practically helpless to correct it.

To survive in modern business, we all strive to build a reputation that emphasises who we are and the values we hold dear. Our reputations are extensions of us online and influence whether people choose to engage with us or not. No matter what size of enterprise you are, your online reputation will influence your success in one direction or another.

Consider a business called “XYZ Enterprises PLC” and over the years they’ve gathered domain names in their portfolio for the main business, for niche marketing and for sub divisions. They make the pragmatic decision that a largely unused domain with an old website such at www.xyzenterprise.tel is no longer of any use so it’s not renewed.

The domain then expires after the registration period is over and it goes into a grace period of 0 to 405 days followed by a redemption period of between 14 to 30 days. After that it goes into the public pool again and anybody can register it for themselves.

Here is a live register of expired domains – https://www.expireddomains.net/backorder-expired-domains/?o=alexa&r=d

Consider the dismay when the owners of XYZ Enterprises PLC see that www.xyzenterprise.tel is now a gateway site into a porn-hub, furthermore it’s now registered in Russia so a polite “cease and desist” is not really going to have the desired effect.

The new owner is using the good standing and following of XYZ Enterprises’ old domain to drive visitors to this illicit website. They’ll probably be open to a large Bitcoin deposit from you to relinquish ownership or you may choose to address this via the registrar for remedial action on the grounds of cybersquatting or abuse. I’d not hold out too much hope for a result.

The moral of the story is to play safe, renew your domains that clearly point back to you and don’t get in to a pickle in the first place.


About the author

Simon Thomas is a founding partner of Toucan Internet LLP; making a difference for clients looking for greater and unexpected outcomes from their digital engagement.

Toucan Internet have been custodians of clients’ domain portfolios since 1997 and understand the intrinsic value of “keeping your nose” clean online.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
01279 871 694
www.toucanweb.co.uk

What SSL

Background information on SSL Certificates

What are SSL Certificates?

SSL Certificates provide secure, encrypted communications between a website and an internet browser. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, the protocol which provides the encryption. SSL Certificates are typically installed on pages or whole websites that require end-users to submit sensitive information over the internet such as personal data, credit card details and passwords. Pages such as payment pages, online forms and login pages should have SSL encryption.

Why Do I Need an SSL Certificate?

Data transferred in non-encrypted format can be intercepted between you and the webserver such that your communication and the data therein could be compromised and stolen. Online transactions may involve sending personal information such as credit card information, social security numbers, usernames and passwords. Cybercriminals who intercept unencrypted communications will gain full access to this data and can use it for fraudulent activities including identity theft and purchases.

Trust and security are what make people confident enough to provide private or sensitive information online. SSL certificates demonstrates that a website or web page can be trusted. Any organisation must use an SSL certificate to secure their site if they wish to take online payments or expect their visitors to submit confidential information. Apart from building essential trust and security into your website, SSL certificates also help with SEO efforts as Google rates the use of an SSL as a positive ranking indicator.

SSL Products Overview

All SSL certificates are typically a combination of a Validation Level and Type.

Certificate Validation Levels

Extended Validated Certificates:

EV certificates provide the highest levels of security, trust and customer confidence for online businesses. EV certificates are issued only after the issuing Certificate Authority has conducted rigorous background checks on the company according to the guidelines laid out by the Certificate Authority/Browser (CA/B) Forum. Because of this, EV certificates contain a unique differentiator designed to clearly communicate the trustworthiness of the website to its visitors. Whenever somebody visits a website that uses an EV certificate, the address bar will turn green in major browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox however Chrome have dropped this pointing out that safe websites should be the norm on the internet. EV certificates are used by all major online retailers and banks and are highly recommended for businesses that wish to immediately build customer trust in their site. The browser address bar will include the company name with most popular browsers.

Organisation Validated Certificates:

OV certificates include full business and company validation from a certificate authority using their established and accepted manual vetting processes. Each OV certificate contains full company name and address details, which means they provide significantly higher levels of assurance to end-users than Domain Validated certificates. However, because they are not validated to the CA/B forum standards, they do not possess the ability to turn the browser address bar green.

Domain Validated Certificates:

DV certificates provide the same high levels of data encryption as the other validation levels however do not provide assurance about the identity of the business behind the website. Whereas EV and OV certificates are only issued after the applicant organisation has been manually vetted by a Certificate Authority, DV certificates are issued after domain control has been established using an automated online process. DV certificates are a popular choice amongst small-medium sized web sites because of their faster issuance times and lower price points.

Free Non-Validated Certificates:

FNV certificates are only available to Toucan Internet LLP clients and provide the same high levels of data encryption between the website and browser. There is no validation on the domain or the organisation but will engender trust with website users and assist as a positive ranking signal to Google. These have some value however any enterprise should consider a DV certificate as a minimum.

Certificate Types

Single Domain Certificates

A single domain certificate allows a customer to secure one Fully Qualified Domain Name on a single certificate. For example, a certificate purchased for www.domain.com will allow customers to secure any and all pages on www.domain.com. Single domain certificates are available in DV, OV,EV and FNV variants at a variety of price points and warranty levels. The straightforward nature of the single domain certificate makes it ideal for small to medium sized businesses managing a limited number of websites. However, businesses that operate or anticipate operating multiple websites may benefit from the added flexibility, convenience and savings offered by wildcard or multi-domain certificates.

Wildcard SSL Certificate

A Wildcard certificates allows businesses to secure a single domain and unlimited sub-domains of that domain. For example, a wildcard certificate for ‘*.domain.com’ could also be used to secure ‘payments.domain.com’, ‘login.domain.com, ‘anything-else.domain.com’ etc. A wildcard certificate will automatically secure any sub-domains that a business adds in the future. They also help simplify management processes by reducing the number of certificates that need to be tracked. For growing online businesses, Wildcard certificates provide a flexible, cost effective alternative to multiple single certificate purchases.

Multi Domain SSL Certificate (MDC)

As the name suggests, a Multi-Domain certificate allows website owners to secure multiple, distinct domains on a one certificate. For example, a single MDC can be used to secure domain-1.com, domain-2.com, domain-3.co.uk, domain-4.net and so on. Indeed, an MDC will allow you to secure up to 100 different domains (or wildcard domains) on a single certificate. Customers can easily add or remove domains at any time. This simplifies SSL management because administrators need only keep track of a single certificate with a unified expiry date for all domains instead of keeping tabs on multiple certificates. In addition, MDCs usually represent a cost saving over the price of individual certificates.

Unified Communications Certificate (UCC)

Unified Communications Certificates are specifically designed to secure Microsoft® Exchange and Office Communications environments. UC certificates use the Subject Alternative Name (SAN) field to allow customers to include up to 100 domains on a single certificate – eliminating the need for different IP addresses per website that would be required otherwise. UC Certificates also support the Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover service, a powerful feature which greatly eases client administration. As with MDCs, a single UCC can greatly reduce SSL management duties while allowing customers to realise cost savings over individual purchases.

References, Sources and further reading:

https://www.cnet.com/news/say-good-bye-to-that-green-secure-lock-on-google-chrome/

https://www.instantssl.com

https://opensrs.com


Simon Thomas is a founding partner of Toucan Internet LLP; making a difference for clients looking for greater and unexpected outcomes from their digital engagement.

About the author

“Guidance like this is important to our clients when we provide SSL’s for websites and web apps that Toucan Internet has developed.”

Simon also has 20 years direct marketing experience pre-internet and provides a unique blend of innovative advice based on experience and an informed understanding of today’s and tomorrow’s enabling technologies.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
01279 871 694

Author Simon Thomas
12th December 2018

https://www.toucanweb.co.uk

Is our relentless need to upgrade hastening the exhaustion of Earth’s resources?

Broken tech

Am I alone in thinking that the upgrade treadmill we find ourselves on with cutting edge tech devices is somewhat irksome? Sure, we all love the latest gadget or upgrade that is so seductively packaged with new features such that your life just won’t be complete without it. Then before you realise, you to have bitten the bullet and bought into yet another next upgrade step.

Additionally, with the trend for manufacturers to seal products there’s little opportunity for us to gain access for repair. Even with the most nimblest of hands, even changing a smartphone battery becomes an impractical feat for most of us. This puts the control firmly in the hands of the manufacturers who are continuously innovating the next must have device.

If lifecycles for devices could be increased by the ability to repair them and the lengthening of the upgrade cycle, then in the instance of smartphones if these had a life of 4 years, the impact of resourcing, mining and production would be halved; that’s one sizeable global environmental impact.

Countering the trend of irreparable smart phones is Fairphone (https://www.fairphone.com/en/), built with ethically sourced materials, available with open source repair manuals and even repairable with 3D printable components. Maybe the planet and us consumers would both be better off if other leading smartphone manufacturers took the bold step and adopted this more people and earth friendly business model?

Article inspired by PC Pro’s Dan Stevenson ‘fixing the unfixable’.


About the Author

Simon Thomas is a founding partner of Toucan Internet LLP, making a difference for clients looking for greater and unexpected outcomes from their digital engagement. Simon also has 20 years direct marketing experience pre-internet and provides a unique blend of innovative advice based on experience and an informed understanding of today’s and tomorrow’s technologies.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
01279 871 694
www.toucanweb.co.uk

5 Sales Mistakes to Avoid in the New Digital Environment

Now that everything and everyone is online, we live in a world of information overload. Getting people’s attention is harder than ever. With so much access to choice and knowledge, customers are taking their purchase journey online, where the influence of salespeople matters less and less.

The good news is there’s still a way to sell online. It takes a new approach and great tact. The online environment has a short attention span but a long memory, so making certain mistakes will cost you dearly. Make sure you avoid these five selling mistakes:

1. Regurgitating obvious information – Before we all went online, prospects needed someone to explain products or services. Now they can find this information online by themselves. Salespeople have to provide something more, giving new insight that sparks that Aha! moment in a prospect’s mind. That’s the best way to avoid being seen as just an opportunist, an order-taker, or entirely unnecessary to the buying process.

2. Looking for leads behind a door – We still need to go where the customers are. But gone are the days of knocking on a door and being welcomed for your information. Same with cold calls. Customers are not waiting for the phone to ring. They’re online, doing their own searches and spending time on social media. To nurture prospects as response rates dwindle, forget doors and phones — and head online. It’s a different allocation of time and energy, but vital to selling in the digital arena.

3. Using an antique selling model – The traditional purchase funnel is 120 years old. It was widest on top to fit in an enormous volume of prospects, tapered down through the attention phase, and then out popped enough sales to make the effort worthwhile. The digital sales funnel is altogether different. It’s not funnel-shaped, but widest in the middle. Attention is today’s rare commodity, so the longer we can contain it, with insights and other added value, the better the chance of influencing people’s buying decisions.

Waiting for face-to-face to build a reputation – Time together in a room is unlikely with everyone online, but we all get to be media personalities. No one waits for an introduction to check someone out, and opinions are formed quickly. Salespeople should craft their own online reputation, connecting with influencers by interviewing them, collaborating on a joint webinar or trading guest posts on each others’ blogs. Testimonials and online feedback from satisfied customers are great ways to build credibility, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Producing meaningless content – What makes a platform compelling is its content. Given shorter attention spans and abundant information, content must provide value. No one is going to stay online staring at a “Buy Now!” button for long. Salespeople need to understand what will reach their prospects. What material will engage people and lead them to a purchase? It should be visually appealing, and speak powerfully to a customer’s core buying motivations. Otherwise, you’re a step away from obsolescence, as attention jumps to a more captivating channel.

Selling online takes time, but it’s time spent differently. There are terrific tools, apps and platforms to help — and salespeople should take full advantage. There are apps to manage a social media presence and create content, and tools for monitoring attention and online effectiveness. The digital selling arena is an entirely new environment, filled with opportunity — as long as you can make the most of it.


Reproduced here for Toucan Internet’s readership with the kind permission of the author Grant Leboff

Grant Leboff is a leading expert on digital marketing. Based in the UK, he is the founder of Sticky Marketing Club Ltd., a strategic global consultancy that is transforming how we sell in the digital environment.

Your New Website – Have you failed at the last hurdle?

search engine marketing

Your Effective New Website

So your website has been built and properly optimised for the search engines, directories and local search tools – Job Done!

No, more like Journey Started to greater ROI.

During the build of your site, you’d have commissioned a design that was in line with your brand and visual identity, you’d have research the most effective keywords used for your market and then worked with the SEO team and the copywriter to maximise the search engine results, then you’ll have launched the site, normally to a fanfare and great accolades.

The final hurdle is seeing how it fares out in the big wide world as despite doing everything according to the rule book there are still pot holes to avoid. Avoid these and turn your great website into a star performer.

“You really don’t want to be scratching your heads in six months from the website launch
wondering why it’s not performing and regretting the investment.”

Considerations for an effective website:

  • Spotting and disavowing toxic backlinks that will damage your site’s reputation
  • Mapping missing landing pages from valuable legacy backlinks to new pages
  • Spotting and correcting tags and titles with insufficient or poor content
  • Correcting blacklisting by association with a tainted server
  • Correcting missing or incorrect site maps
  • Removing false Google reporting due to bots
  • Advising Google of remedial work on items completed that it flagged up as needing attention
  • Spotting trends in:
    • Falling Smartphone audiences
    • Poor social media engagements once on the site is published
    • Backlinking sites
    • Internal cross linking on new pages
  • Search terms that are performing well and those missing the mark so you can apply more suitable content and pages
  • Security issues
  • Changes in Google’s SERP’s algorithm – playing fair and by the rules is important!

“playing fair and by the rules is important!”

There’s a raft of checks and feedback to be done periodically to make sure you’re getting the best from your investment. This analytical work is not normally the domain of your marketing company, they normally do a great job with content provision, and inbound marketing with blog articles and social media strategy, but do not major on the mechanics that underpin the entire site.

Google Analytics example

Universal Analytics example

The above are just a few of the many review items website owners who are earnest about being the best that they can be online should be actively monitoring and acting upon. Post launch of your website, just one or two of these items can seriously impair a website’s performance. It’s such a shame to see website failure or significant underperformance when such blocking errors are not spotted and the owners are unaware of how much they could get from their investment.

“be the best that you can be online”

The business message here is find someone to look after the health of your website and manage its performance.


About the Author

Simon Thomas is the lead partner at Toucan Internet LLP who have provided progressive web development and online marketing resources to clients since 1997. Simon also has 20 years direct marketing experience pre-internet and provides a unique blend of innovative advice based on experience and an informed understanding of today’s and tomorrow’s technologies.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
01279 871 694
www.toucanweb.co.uk

 

 

Search Engine Marketing

Fundamental health check and opportunity spotting for your website

Introduction

Keywords

So your website has been built and properly optimised for the search engines, directories and local search tools; it is now ready to be promoted.

This doesn’t necessarily mean engaging a dedicated search engine optimisation and marketing team, though the results from such programs are normally very effective. It does mean making certain that the world is accepting your new web site as you expected and making sure that nothing that could impede its success remains undiscovered.

“We really don’t want to be scratching our heads in six months from the launch wondering why it’s not performing and regretting the investment.”

You want to be celebrating the website meeting the objectives you set for it.

Don’t for one minute think that building a great website with quality content will work on its own. Your website is part of a bigger marketing ecosystem and needs to be linked in accordingly; linking typically with Social Media programs, the wider marketing activities of the enterprise, the blog, the traditional marketing, your legacy backlinks etc.

It’s at this stage where so many websites of great potential fail as there is a need to watch how a website is accepted or not by the search engines and optimise accordingly.

The Search Engine Marketing (SEM) performed by Toucan Internet is a mix of promotion, monitoring and feedback. The feedback is provided to you with the sole objective of improving your website performance and is focussed on specific outbound and inbound improvements in line with your performance goals.

We provide feedback in the form of basic reports and a commentary that you can act upon as you feel appropriate. It does give you the professional test and monitoring essential to any business activity where performance is critical. Search Engine Optimisation and SEM are essential and inseparable partners, each one feeding the other in a loop of continuous improvement.

Promote, Monitor and Feedback

www.ebusiness-cards.co.uk

Our mission is to see our clients get greater results and we promote to the search engines (SE) and directories in a number of ways. Since Google is the prime referrer nationally and internationally for b2b and b2c, this search engine is the prime focus of activity as it will return the highest rewards once successful. Google performance and feedback is reviewed manually every session in some depth. You will be asked to include a Google verification code in your website so we can gain access to Google’s valuable activity and performance data held for your website in their webmaster section. We will also need you to add a Google tracking code so we can access the visitor data captured by them and therefore provide qualified feedback.

We promote to the prime SE’s manually and the rest using automatic submission software.  We manually verify your listing on Google, Yahoo UK, Bing and DMOZ – The Open Directory Project.

We manually submit the site to local and individual referrers such as UFindUs and Hotfrog and subsequently check for a positive listing.

Once the promotion is complete, reports are compiled including one for all the automatic submissions and a more detailed one for the manual SE including a comprehensive analysis of Google’s take on your site.

We analyse these results in line with your goals and will feed back our recommendations. The recommendations should be considered for your SEO activities and will likely involve updates to the website so the site will play a stronger hand to the search engines, particularly Google.

The Typical Routine
For most clients we perform this comprehensive SEM routine on a cyclical basis with most clients having such a review every three months

After the first registration session the next recommended session is at the six-week point and then three monthly thereafter. This programme can be tailored to specific needs.

After each session you will receive submission and analysis reports. After the second session the results will normally start to appear and we can see clear indicators as to how to improve the results, if need be.

Whilst there is no firm guarantee of a search engine position without paying for it by a Pay Per Click campaign (PPC), Toucan does gain good results for its clients who understand that we have to work together to get the results over a period of time. We will of course also help you establish PPC campaigns if required.

Our Promise

  • We agree the goals for the website in the form of key terms & phrases under which the site is to be found in line with your website optimisation
  • We manually promote to the key search engines and monitor accordingly
  • We manually monitor in-depth Google activity
  • We manually promote to emerging directories and local search type websites
  • We provide a report of manual monitoring and promotional activity
  • We provide an online report of automatic submissions with history
  • We provide you an online Ranking report for Key engines and with history and graphs for multiple key terms
  • We provide you a list of recommendations in summary for future SEO of the site

As Toucan needs to keep up to date with the ever changing requirements of SEO and SEM this programme is subject to change as new practices, search tools and requirements evolve.

If you have any special requirements or would like to discuss these programmes in more detail, please contact us at:

Toucan Internet LLP

t: 01279 871 694

e: info@toucanweb.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Has your web developer covered all the SEO bases?

Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation

We’re all trying to make sure our web pages are best placed in the search results on the key search engines such as Google or Bing and these days it is much more of a meritocracy than ever before; the genuinely good websites rising to the top for their sphere of authority.

That’s not to say that they can’t be influenced. Please dispel any ideas of the black hat techniques of the past and concentrate on writing quality websites that are genuinely better than their compatriots, better content, better written, better composed, better liked, better coded, basically fundamentally better by any real measure.

Today we’ll consider ten key on-page items that make websites perform better in the search results. In other editions we’ll go deeper into this as well as looking at other off page factors. Follow us @Toucan_Group for later editions of the SEO Checklist.

Let’s now look at the on-page items that we consider mandatory for good SEO in this session. There are hundreds of items to consider but here is a snap shot of ten very important on-page items. Don’t shoot the web developer if these are not implemented exactly as prescribed here in your site as it can depend on the brief you’ve given them and the mission for the site.

To check many of these you’ll need to see the code that makes up your pages. This is browser dependent but is normally under a term such as “view page source”. In Chrome on PC, right click and you get that option.

  1. Keywords in the Title Tag
    The title tag is the webpage’s second most important piece of SEO content and it therefore provides the search engine a high SEO ranking.
  2. Title Tag Starts with Keyword
    Title tags that start with a keyword invariably perform better than title tags with the keyword elsewhere in the word order.
  3. Keywords in Description Tag
    This is a less relevant tag than in the past however these still make a difference to ranking with some search engines.
  4. Keyword Appears in H1 Tag
    H1 tags are the next most important item to get right after the title tag. These send another relevancy signal to Google as they reinforce the title tag.
  5. Word Count
    The extent of the content on your page with more words expanding on the relevant topic is a ranking signal and will affect the Search Engine Results Position. A bare minimum of 100 words is a fair rule however 300 words of more will give better results.
  6. Cross linking within the site using Keywords
    In the text within the site use links on the keywords to navigate to other sections of the site. Google picks up on these as items that are of high relevance within the site.
  7. Page Loading Speed in a browser
    Google and Bing monitor page loading speed as a ranking factor. Poorly built sites with no code minification, bloated code, badly compressed images and alike all increase page load time. For an impartial test of your site go to https://tools.pingdom.com/
  8. Duplicate Content
    Never use identical content anywhere in a site, it will be spotted and the site penalised in the search results as it is a negative indicator of quality. This includes all tags, meta and image except the keyword tag.
  9. Image Optimisation
    Images with a page provide search engines relevancy signals and usability factors. Use the file name to be descriptive, use alt text to describe the image so that text readers for partially sighted get an explanation and consider adding title, description and caption.
  10. Page html errors
    Poorly coded web pages are indicative of a poor website. If the code doesn’t comply with standards then there’s a chance the search engine spiders may even baulk at indexing it altogether and not all browsers will render it properly. The standards book is W3C and they provide a validation tool at https://validator.w3.org/. Once again don’t cane your web developer too much if there is the odd Warning however if there are many Errors, then you should delve further.

Further publications will deliver further manageable bit-sized advice on this enormous topic. All announced @toucan_group.


 

This information has been written and collated by Simon Thomas, active in commercial web development and online marketing since 1996, who understands the need to stay current with standards and methods almost week by week.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
@toucan_group
01279 871 694T Bird 72ppi

Mobilegeddon – The Aftermath

When HLNM-July-webAL asked “what are you doing Dave” in Stanley Kubrick’s film rendition of Arthur C Clarke’s classic “2001, a Space Odyssey”, it epitomised our distrust of autonomous processes that we allow to impact our lives. Pre-programmed devices and services fed from the data we leave in our wake steer our lives more than ever and none more than Google providing answers to your questions on which we all rely to make “informed” decisions.

We all understand that Google chooses answers according to a set of over 200 rules or The Algorithm, and this is continually updated to improve the search results in a fair manner. This will improve some companies’ search results and penalise others. Google, as this Information Age’s big player, is the one we must influence to improve our outcome, but we must play by the rules. Fortunately the rule writer in the Google inner sanctum manages this with responsibility, humanity and common sense.

Deciding on the facts from the hype in the search arena and then seeing how this will affect your presence on the web is the job of the search marketer.

If your presence doesn’t depend on Google search results then just consider your users’ needs when putting your website together, if they use smartphones to see your site it makes sense to provide them a site they can use with near equal benefit as someone on a wider screen device like a tablet or desktop.

If your commercial performance does however depend on the search engine result position then the latest Google algorithm update means you do need to have a website that is properly optimised and that now includes having a properly responsive site; that is one that automatically adapts to the device screen on which it’s displayed. There is considerably more paranoia in the SEO market than with previous Google updates suggesting that its impact will tear the very fabric of the Internet apart especially as it’s given the Hollywood blockbusteresque name of Mobilegeddon, implying that if your site doesn’t work on a mobile device you’re out of business on line. The reality however, some weeks since the release on 21st April, is somewhat mixed. Anyone having lived through and planned for digital Armageddon 15 years ago with the Millennium Bug will tend to be a touch more reflective when it comes to such cataclysmic pronouncements.

The real crux of this is how has this update actually affected websites’ search engine result positions (SERPS) since the Mobilegeddon day. The truth appears to be that the sites without responsive pages are suffering significantly poorer search engine traffic for generic search results, however brand specific searches are affected the least as Google will still naturally refer to the best search result to the brand site, be that a responsive webpage or not.

Some facts:

  • This update only affects search results from mobile devices. It does not affect results on searches from Tablets or PC’s.
  • It is a page level change and not site wide.
  • Quality non-responsive pages may still appear high in the mobile search results if there is superior content.
  • If your audience is predominantly desktop you still need to consider that your mobile audience is only going to grow.

Ultimately we should always come back to the simple fact that a good website that best meets the intended audience demands is going to be the winner. So write it well, keep up with and even lead in your market with regards layouts and facilities, keep it relevant, interesting and engaging, and take on board the right expert advice from time to time to stay ahead; then your site will remain in the limelight and return commercially.

Further reading:


Article by Simon Thomas of Toucan Internet LLP

Simon has been developing websites since 1995 and has a wealth of experience in commercial website development.

simon@toucanweb.co.uk
www.toucanweb.co.uk

T Bird 72ppi

April 21 ‪#‎Mobilegeddon‬

HiRes-Advert600Google’s new mobile-friendly algorithm arrives today. This change is to make it easier for users to find web content formatted for mobile devices. Dubbed #Mobilegeddon the change is bad news for websites that aren’t mobile ready, so prepare to see this impact your Google search results.

The rise of mobile browsing means that for you to reach everyone in your audience effectively you need to deliver the webpages in a way that works irrespective of the device, be that a wide PC screen or a small smartphone screen.

The issue is that mobile screens are smaller than desktop screens and websites that are designed for desktop are too wide for mobile, and can be difficult to see and navigate. The solution is to either have a mobile version of the website designed separately, or to update your current website to automatically resize/reformat the web pages when they’re loaded on a mobile. Toucan Internet favours the latter for most developments as it keeps the costs down as there is only one website to develop and maintain.

If your website is important to your business and not yet mobile-friendly, you need to act.

You can test your site here –https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Don’t panic, but do act on this and talk to your web developer to plan the best solution for your particular site. Most modern well-built sites can be modified so you’ll likely not have to start from scratch, but there is a commitment to further development.

Talk to us if you need more on this.