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Is your site being affected by the Google Speed Update?

A small number of SMEs could be affected by the latest change to Google’s algorithm, after it rolled out its Speed Update to all users. It is not something that everyone needs to worry about, as it will only be the slowest sites on the internet that are affected.

Zhiheng Wang and Doantam Phan, of Google, said: “The Speed Update, as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”

How to assess if your site is affected by the update

Google implemented the Speed Update in July, 2018, so if your website visits have dropped significantly since then, you may have seen your position in search penalised as a result. As ever, the search engine has not released specific metrics to find out for certain, so it may take some detective work.

What it has said is that it uses a combination of methods to assess the speed of a webpage, with several tools representing good places to start. These include the Chrome User Experience report, as well as the Lighthouse and PageInsights features.

Has page speed been a ranking factor before?

Page speed has long been among the factors that Google takes into account, but it highlighted in 2010 that this was based on desktop searches only. After years of promising to extend the reach to mobile, this type of search will now be considered too.

How to improve mobile page speed on your site

To improve mobile page speed, it’s a good idea to look at several different contributing factors and make changes where you can. The first is elevating your server response time, which can be achieved through better web server software or configuration; the quality of web hosting; and the resources needed by your pages.

The second measure you can take is avoiding redirects, as these routes take up vital milliseconds, therefore slowing down the page. This issue is exacerbated on mobile, which often uses less reliable networks to meet requests.

Another way to circumvent speed problems is to ensure your website is loading above-the-fold content first. Even if the rest of the page isn’t yet available, users will get the impression that content is ready sooner and therefore their experience will be improved.

Lastly, migrating a website from HTTP to HTTPS has also been shown to reduce load time. In fact, Velocity, Load Impact and Mozilla have found that the improvements can be as much as 50 to 70 per cent, making it a no-brainer for SMEs wanting to make sure they’re not falling behind their competitors.

Analyse the speed of your website with Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool.

Is your site being affected by the Google Speed Update? For more information, advice and help, please get in touch us us here.

Are you SEO savvy?

Are you SEO savvy?

Gone are the days when Search Engine Optimisation was all about getting as many keywords into your website as possible. Now, Google’s algorithms are much more complex, evaluating a number of aspects in order to rank your website against your competitors.

There is no set list of the things Google looks for, and the algorithm changes so regularly that it would be next to impossible to keep up with a list anyway, but the search giant does announce some of the top aspects that it considers to ensure that businesses can try and stay on top of their SEO.

Some of the key things that we know Google measures are the speed of your website, mobile optimisation, high-quality back links, high-quality content and organic keyword usage.

So, the main message you get from this is that looking at the quality of your website is key.

When it comes to creating the copy, you want to think about providing relevant and engaging information to begin with. If you’re doing this, then keywords should organically fit into the content without you even thinking about it. If you find that you’re having to shoehorn them in, then you need to think about whether what you’re writing is actually what your website visitors want to read.

The speed of your website is also a hugely important aspect, as well as its usability. Google has a free tool that measures the speed of your website and gives recommendations for how to improve it. However, if any big changes need to be made, your best bet is to speak to a web developer, as they have the skills and expertise to ensure any changes are made smoothly.

How users interact with your website is also key, as this is an indication of its speed and usability. If people are quickly dropping off your website without interacting in any way, this suggests that they have an issue with it.

It’s important to continuously track your Google Analytics so that you can monitor this and make any necessary modifications.

You don’t just need to think about the usability of your website on a computer any more, as mobile devices are increasingly being used for internet searches. In 2015, Google updated its algorithm to penalise any website that wasn’t optimised for mobile. Learn more here.

This involves having a web developer create a slightly different website for you that is easier to use on a mobile device.

Of course, these are just a few of the key things that you need to keep up with to get the best results from your SEO. It can be difficult at times, as you don’t always know what you need to do to stay on top, but an SEO expert will be much more up to date with the trends, be able to track your website’s success and be best placed to make any changes you might need to ensure that you can reach those top-ranked positions on Google.

© Fast Online Marketing Experts


Working with a Professional and Ethical SEO Company in London

Search engine optimisation has never been a one-man job, no matter what you might see on the internet. That’s why most business owners turn to SEO companies when it’s time to launch a new site or company.

Just as with any other service offered in the world, there are companies who want to take advantage of the general population. These are unprofessional and unethical companies. They may use unsafe methods that actually harm your site and business. They may not even deliver on their promises and simply disappear after taking enough money from customers.

What to expect from an ethical SEO company

As a business owner, it’s up to you to figure out which SEO companies operate on an ethical basis and which companies gladly walk the grey line. To do this, you’ll have to do things like research and read reviews. Once you’ve started working or communicating with a particular company there are also some things you can do to judge their intentions. For example, there are certain things you should expect from an ethical company and some things you should expect to hear from an unethical company.

You shouldn’t expect a professional and ethical SEO company to try and tie you into an unneeded, long-term contract. Rarely do you want to be tied into any sort of lengthy contract. You really don’t want to be signed into one with a company when your business is still in its infancy. You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive and you shouldn’t sign long-term contracts with SEO companies unless you know it’s worth it.

Any professional and ethical company knows how to break down the various processes into individual modules. Keeping you up to date as each module is completed lets you better judge their ability to work and how fast they are working.

For example, one of the first modules to complete is the appraisal or audit. After it is completed, the company should then report to you regarding what is currently working with your marketing efforts and what isn’t working. They may offer their recommendations as well.

Other modules include keyword researching, identifying the audience, and analysing the competition. These can be broken down into 2 – 4 week blocks of time in most cases.

You should always expect an open sharing of all information from your search engine optimisation company. This includes sharing all data and account information from third-party accounts. For example, you should have access to any analytic or PPC accounts established on behalf of your company. You should also have access to all data generated for your campaign, such as keyword rankings, lists, and website analysis.

Companies that aren’t eager to share the information they have gathered are usually companies that have something to hide. Don’t make the mistake of working with an SEO company that isn’t professional and ethical.

© Fast Online Marketing Experts