Search engines are about “news”

Focus on being “up-to-date” for search engine success

The most popular searches on Google in 2014 were almost entirely about major news items. An analysis of search trends for the past 12 months shows that the most requested item was anything to do with Robin Williams – more popular than the football World Cup, which was in second place. Almost all of the items in the Top 10 popularity stakes on Google were major events, or significant product launches, such as the Disney movie, Frozen.

Google Search Trends 2014 Chart

The research demonstrates that when something is “in the news” we tend to go to Google to find out more. That should be a clue to anyone with a website.

The data shows that even though we are now surrounded by digital information, our fundamental behaviour has not changed that much. When something happens in “our world” we want to find out more about it.

So, rather than spending hours and hours on keyword selection and trying to get your website up the search engine rankings you could better if you spent those hours creating “news” which people then search for.

Remember, people did not just suddenly go to Google to find out more about the death of Robin Williams – they heard about it first on TV, Radio, on social media and so on. In other words, those websites covering the story benefited from the sad item being “in the news”.

Get yourself “in the news” and you will get more search engine traffic.

But how do you go about that? What is “news” and how do you create it?

News is “new” – that much is obvious. But new does not mean brand new; it means that it is novel information, something that the recipient has never heard before. So, it is not news to me that I have an Acer laptop. But that is “news” to you because (unless you know me personally) you did not know that. There is tons of information within your business that is new to people – because you already know it, you tend to think it is not news. But it is news if other people do not know it.

However, being told the brand of laptop I own is not really that interesting, even though it is new to you. So, it would hardly cause an international stir with millions of people searching for the details on Google.

News has to be exciting. Not only does it have to be new, but it has to be relevant to the audience you are targeting. The death of Robin Williams would have been of no real relevance to those people who did not like his movies, indeed to the millions of people in the world who had never even heard of him.

Plus news has to be unusual – something out of the ordinary. Knowing I have an Acer laptop is not unusual. But if it were made of cardboard, then that would be unusual and would make “the news”.

So, within your business there are bound to be things which you think are old, but which other people do not know about and would find unusual. Focus on those things and let journalists know about them. Get coverage in trade and professional journals as well as local newspapers. Get people talking about it.

Then people will search for it – and because the news item is specific to you, those searches will inevitably lead to your website.

The biggest boost to your SEO you could do this year is to concentrate on producing more news.

Oh – and one other thing – as any SEO specialist will tell you, Google just loves new and fresh material. So if it is “news” you get added search engine benefits anyway.

If you have a choice of where to spend your search marketing money in 2015, putting a greater slice of the budget into news generation will have a real impact.

You might not be up there in the global trends when we look at the data at the end of the year, but you could well be top in your sector or local area.

Hire Me to Find the News in Your Business


Internet is making some jobs extinct

10 Professions That Are Becoming Extinct #infographic

Email is mostly mobile nowadays

Responsive design is essential for email marketing

Email is always with youEmail is a mobile communication method. Many of us check our emails on our mobile phones or tablet devices, but new data shows that 53% of all emails are now opened on a mobile device, rather than a desktop computer.

The research also shows that 50% of clicks from emails now come from mobile devices, such as smartphones.

In other words, if your emails are not mobile-friendly you are reducing the likelihood of clicks through to your website as well as the possibility of any sales. Indeed, research shows that sales from mobile phones are up 40% compared with the previous year. That means more and more people are seeing email as a mobile method of communications, not something they do sitting down at their computer.

For businesses this means a potential change in attitude. It means that we need to realise that people are no longer having an “email session” at their PC; instead they are checking and responding to emails “on the go”.

This means they prefer short emails, not longĀ  ones, perhaps. It also implies that email recipients need easy-to-follow messages which are focused and have clear calls to action.

Great long, multiple-offer emails are probably going to become less successful as people increasingly use mobile for email communications.

If you are still using desktop email clients to compose email messages, you are likely to have lowering response rates to your campaigns as your emails will not show up so well on a mobile device.

What you need are email marketing systems that provide responsive designs for emails, adjusting the size and format according to the type of mobile device the recipient is using. Mailchimp is one service which provides this feature automatically for many of its templates. You could also use a responsive design system, such as Responsive Layout Maker from Coffee Cup Software.

Crucially, though, it is the way we perceive email that has to change. No longer is it mainly a thing we do on computers. It is now mainly something we do on smartphones. And because of that we need to change the way we think about email marketing, providing emails that work on small screens that people navigate using their thumb. Complex emails will not work on that situation, even though they work well on desktop computers.

Time to re-think the way you focus on email marketing.

Google: your regular web pages influence your mobile rankings

In a video on YouTube, Google’s John Mueller said that the desktop version of your web pages will influence the position of your web pages in Google’s mobile search results. A user was afraid that hidden content in the mobile version of his web pages had a negative influence on the rankings:

“We are looking at the desktop version. That’s the canonical version so if you have the connection between the two pages, if they’re separate pages and we’d be looking at the desktop version and that someone would be using for indexing.

So if it’s visible on the desktop version and you’re kind of holding it away, simplifying it on the mobile version, then that’s absolutely fine.

If we run across situations where we see that people are abusing this that they’re kind of […] showing cartoons on the desktop side and showing adult content on the mobile site then that is something where we might have to reconsider that and see what we are doing there.”

Watch the video

What does this mean in detail?

There are two important things:

  1. It’s okay to hide content on the mobile version of your web pages. Actually, it is often necessary to hide some parts of a page to improve the usability of the mobile pages.For example, some content might be hidden until the visitor of the mobile page clicks on a ‘more’ button, a panel or another navigational element on the page.
  2. The desktop version of your pages influences the rankings of your mobile pages.According to John Mueller, Google will use the desktop version of your web pages to calculate the rankings. If your desktop pages are relevant, this will also have a positive effect on the rankings of your mobile pages.

New Year’s resolution: get better Google rankings

Better rankings for the right keywords lead to more website visitors, more customers, and more sales. Do the following to improve the rankings of your web pages:

  1. Find the right keywords that will deliver targeted customers to your website.
  2. Optimize different pages of your website for different keywords that are related to your business.
  3. Improve the links that point to your site. A good backlink profile is important.
  4. Check your web pages for technical errors and other things that can have a negative influence on the rankings of your web pages.
  5. Monitor social networks for mentions of your company and products. React to positive and negative comments about your business.

Improving the rankings of your web pages can have an extremely positive impact on your business. Fortunately, the tools in SEOprofiler make it as easy as possible to improve your pages. If you haven’t done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now.

Article by Axandra SEO software

Smartphones bad for your hands, good for your brain

Touching your mobile phone affects your brain

Touch screen mobile phone, in handMillions of people now use their thumbs and forefingers more than ever before. They are doing so because they are tapping away on their mobile phones to send messages, check emails and keep up-to-date with friends on social networks. Never before have we used our thumbs and forefingers so much.

New research now suggests that this is having an impact on our brains. That’s hardly surprising. After all, your thumb and forefinger are packed with sensitive nerve endings. Indeed, it is the sensitivity of the nerve endings in our thumb and forefinger that helps separate humans from other primates. It means we are capable of much finer control and have significantly greater capabilities, allowing us to write, for instance, thereby making us even more communicative than other mammals.

So the notion that by using our thumbs and forefingers more is having an effect on our brains makes logical sense. This research just confirms what you might have expected from a theoretical basis.

It means, however, that our ability to sense touch is now determined more by our digital life than what you might call “normal” touch, such as using hand-held items.

This might have an impact on our brains in the long run, too. It could reshape the way our brains and our hands communicate and understand the world around us.

But that might be short-lived. Using our thumbs and fingers to the extent we do on our mobile devices is leading to repetitive strain injury, amongst other mechanical problems with our body.

It might well be that our brains do not get the long-lasting effect of digital reshaping, because it simply hurts too much to use our smartphones for too long. The potential brain boost produced by our thumbs and fingers might not be around for too long as we struggle to cope physically.

It is another reminder that too much of a good thing can also be a bad thing.

Digital Marketing Map – 2015

Digital Marketing Map

Map courtesy of Hallam Internet.

Christmas tablets may disrupt your sleep

Tablet DeviceGetting an iPad for Christmas? It might not be as useful as you think it is. Tablet devices could disrupt your sleep, making you permanently jet-lagged.

New research from Harvard University has shown that if you use a tablet device within the hour before going to bed you get disrupted sleep. Not only do you sleep less, it takes longer to get to sleep and the kind of sleep you have is of lower quality than normal sleep. As a result you wake up less refreshed than normal.

Millions of people this Christmas will get tablet devices as presents and they’ll be busy surfing the web, checking emails or shopping online right up until bed time. That’s nothing new, of course; millions of people do this on their mobile phones.

If that’s you….STOP….! It is BAD for you.

Indeed, you shouldn’t even be looking at your computer or a TV screen in the hour before you go to sleep.

The reason is simple biology. Your eyes are receiving a huge and direct input of light. That means that a gland deep inside your brain, called the Pineal Gland, sends out signals to your body saying “hey, it is still daytime”. It responds to the amount of light your body receives and as it gets dark it adjusts hormones – including melatonin – in your body which prepare your body for sleeping.

You can spot this easily working naturally. In the winter you tend to get more tired at an earlier time in the evening than you do in the summer. That’s because the long dark nights prepare your body at an earlier time for sleep in the winter than happens in the summer when you get more natural light.

But tablet devices – and mobile phones – which we hold close to our faces provide a huge burst of light, making our bodies start to wake up again thanks to the hormone changes this stimulates. In other words, you are producing jet-lag.

The answer is really simple: stop using tablets, mobile phones, gaming machines and computers in the hour before you go to bed. If you must have some kind of mental stimulation read a real physical book or listen to the radio or a podcast.