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New Page Layout for Facebook

Facebook

The world’s most famous social media platform ‘Facebook’ have developed a new page layout on their website.

The new page design incorporates a new navigation section,prominent call to action button, cover images and ad free pages.

Although all of the same features have been retained, Facebook has reorganized them in a more appealing and efficient order.

Profile pictures will no longer appear on your cover image and will instead appear at the top left of your page above the new navigation section.

Below your profile picture and page name you’ll find a new navigation system for friends to look at different sections of your Facebook page, about, videos, photos, posts, and events.

You will have the option to customize your navigation section depending on the type of business you run. You can now create and connect tabs to show content from your other social media channels like Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

With profile pictures now displaying on the right side, your profile picture will no longer interfere with your cover image. Facebook cover images will still remain the same size at 828×315 pixels.

There is a new blue prominent call-to-action button beneath your cover photo. This button will allow you to invite your Facebook friends to take an action on your website.

Another change that will appeal to some users is that pages are now entirely ad free where as in the past ads have appeared on the right side. This change will be welcomed by public users more than business users.

So will users like the new layout changes, one thing is for sure Facebook will continue to dominate the social media platforms regardless of changes in page layout.

 

How to Download Google Maps

Download Google Maps

Have you ever been on Holiday and have used up all of your mobile data trying to download a Google map to take you to your destination?

GPS systems on mobile phones are excellent for guiding us to our destinations if you have a 3G/4G or WIFI connection. However the good news is you can download your Google Maps prior to your holiday and be able to use them without an internet connection.

The charges for using mobile data abroad can be high and as we all take our phones on holiday with us, the temptation to use them regardless of cost is prolific.

Google offline maps have been around for a few years but have only recently been available to quickly download to your iPhone or Android phone. Using these maps offline will restrict you from the usual features available such as finding restaurants and stores and you will also be unable to select cycling or walking directions but you will be able to get driving directions to an address or postcode.

It is advisable to download any map you require before you set off on your trip to avoid high data plan charges. Although Google has a limitation on the size of the map you can download which currently stands at 120,000 square kilometers which should be enough for most trips.

Here is a guide on how to download google maps that can be used offline for navigation.

Downloading Google Maps

Follow these easy steps to download a map.

  • Open the the Maps app on your smartphone with GPS. To check if you are signed in tap the three horizontal bars to the left of the search bar and it should display your name or email address. If not there is a Sign in option.
  • On the same menu, you’ll see offline areas. If you tap this you’ll probably see ‘Recommended areas’ and your Home location.
  • Depending on the density of the roads downloads can use up to 500MB, but rural areas can use up to ten times less. There’s no limit on how many downloads as long as the internal storage on your phone can cope with the downloaded data.
  • You need to search for the place you intend to visit or simply scroll there on the map. When you find the place go back to the offline areas menu and tap the big blue + button. You can zoom in or out – the app will tell you if the area is too large or not.
  • On occasions there’s a limit to how much you can zoom in – don’t worry if you can’t see individual roads as they will still be downloaded. Just tap the download button when ready.
  • Some areas are unavailable to download because of restrictions, but on the whole you should find you can download what you need.
  • You must leave the Maps app open until the download is finished and keep checking on its progress by going back to Offline areas.
  • Tap the cog icon at the top of the Offline areas screen and you can choose whether to have those offline areas updated automatically or not, and whether to download map data over WI-Fi only or also with mobile data.

Deleting a downloaded map

  • A good point to note is that downloaded maps expire after 29 days so don’t download your map for your trip too early.
  • To delete a downloaded area, tap on it in Offline areas and you’ll see the Delete button. Here you can also rename it.

Navigating a downloaded Google map

  • Navigating your offline maps involves the same process as if you were online.
  • Tap the turn arrow in the blue circle near the bottom of the map and search for your destination in the search bar.
  • You can get driving directions from your current position – or you can choose a different starting address.

Has Anybody Seen My Website?

Google

You have had a modern well presented website built for your business but are you wondering why nobody is clicking on your website?

Statistics show that websites placed in the lower realms of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPS) will not get viewed as much as sites placed on page 1 or 2 of the Search Engine Giant.

When you ask that question ‘Has Anybody Seen My Website’ unless you have applied ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ (SEO) to your site then the answer will be no. Your website may look good but the overall health or behind the scenes factors could be affecting your chances of ranking well in the SERPS.

There is no need to worry, Hedgehog Digital can provide your website with a one off full technical SEO audit to identify the changes needed to ensure your website is meeting Google’s requirements for a high quality website.

This report will be unique to your website and niche.We can produce a clear and concise report within 5 working days focusing on the changes you need to make to allow your website to attract a good flow of organic traffic from the SERPS.

Our detailed Audit will analyse the following areas:

Indexing
Robots.txt
Preferred domain
Sitemaps
Broken internal links
HTTPS
Mobile-friendliness
Google PageSpeed
Real page speed
Internal link structure
Broken external links
Duplicate titles & descriptions

From our analysis, we (or you) can optimise your entire site to industry standard best practices. To generate a clear and concise list of errors we have to analyse and sort through a lot of data.

Take advantage of this one off deal and get a complete SEO Audit & Website Analysis Report for £300

Facebook Live Video

Facebook Live

Facebook’s introduction of live video to their popular Social Network platform gives users increased functionality in creating and sharing new content.  

The new feature was launched in mid-2015 and by early 2016 was available to all Facebook users.

Facebook Live video enables you to use your phone to capture and share a moment instantly with friends and family. This allows the user to post instant responses to comments and allows you to see their reactions.

A spokesman for the Facebook company commented on how well things have been going since the launch. “Since launching Facebook Live last summer we’ve been surprised and delighted with how people are using live video to connect and interact with each other all over the world”.

Some examples of interaction were explained:

  • People are letting their friends discover their hobbies.
  • Parents are using it to share moments in their kids’ lives with their extended families.
  • Athletes are giving people a window into their training.
  • Chefs are bringing their fans into their kitchen.
  • Journalists are hosting global conversations on topics they care about.
  • Aspiring musicians can now put on a live concert for their friends.

New updated features to Facebook live have recently been released.

Live for Groups and Events

This feature allows you to go live with people in your Facebook groups and events. You can broadcast live to just the people in your group and also share events you are staging live with family, friends and the general community who share your interests.

Live Reactions Android

Live filters, interactive options, live reactions and replay comments are all new features for users to react live to each others broadcasts. Animations used show up on top of the video giving the broadcaster an idea on people’s feelings during the live broadcast.

Live Creative Tools iOS

Users can personalize their broadcasts. There is a set of five live filters which will allow the option to draw and annotate on your video when it’s live.

Video Home iOS

So you don’t miss out on live World exclusives, Facebook have dedicated a spot on their mobile app allowing you to search live and non-live videos from around the globe.

Live Map

Live Map gives you a visual experience to explore public live broadcasts from around the world for desktop users. Sixty Countries now share Facebook Live Video and the live map gives you an instant view of what is going on in the world.
Facebook have confirmed  “they are committed to creating the best experience for everyone who wants to create, watch and interact with live videos on Facebook and provide the best ways to broadcast, interact with, and discover live video”.

However can Facebook live video pose a serious challenge to established video platforms Snapchat, Meercat and Periscope? Only time will tell.

 

 

Google Local Business Cards: A Quick Guide

Google Local Business Cards

Google Local Business Cards, What are They?

Here is a quick guide to what Google are looking to achieve with these ‘ Local Business Cards’.

Google have recently been experimenting with Local Business Cards in Search Results. The new card carousel test has involved a number of businesses specifically chosen for the trials. Content has been carefully created for the purpose of the tests and has not been extracted from Google My Business or similar sources. The Local Business Cards will include animation and GIFS which have previously not been allowed on the search results page.

The aim of these business cards is to allow local businesses to promote their specific content allowing it to be shared directly from the card carousel and displayed near the top of the search results.

Google has confirmed these tests are genuine and will be using the same functions that were used on the Candidate Cards that were launched a few weeks ago.

The creation of these Local Business cards were specifically aimed at mobile users however they will display equally fine for desktop users. For the desktop user Local Business Cards will appear immediately adjacent to a section known as the Knowledge Panel which will feature that business. On the mobile platform it’s displayed below the Knowledge Panel equivalent.

Similar to the Candidate Cards, the intent is to allow a business to communicate specific content directly in the search results. Content can also be shared directly from within the Card Carousel.

With regards to Local SEO this could be quite a significant feature. It has been made apparant that Google has not made a decision yet to roll out Local Business Cards on a broad scale or whether to introduce it initially to Large National Local businesses. Whatever Google decides to do it will not be announced until all of their tests are completed.

Security Alert: Do Not Use These Passwords

SEO Cornwall

In 2015 Splashdata released a list containing 25 of the worst passwords. Splashdata are a password management company and compiles this list annually from 2000 passwords leaked online each year. Below is a list of the top ten. For a full password listing go to: https://www.teamsid.com/worst-passwords-2015/

Rank Password
1 123456
2 password
3 12345678
4 qwerty
5 12345
6 123456789
7 football
8 1234
9 1234567
10 baseball

 

Morgan Slain CEO of SplashData said: “We have seen an effort by many people to be more secure by adding characters to passwords, but if these longer passwords are passed on simple patterns they will put you in just as much risk of having your identity stolen by hackers”

SplashData offers 3 simple tips to keep yourself protected online.

  1.       Use passwords or passphrases of twelve characters or more with mixed types of characters.
  1.     Avoid using the same password over and over again on different websites.
  1.    Use a password manager such as TeamsID to organize and protect passwords, generate random passwords, and automatically log into website.

Remember, when you are next setting up a password for an account follow Splashdata’s guidelines to ensure you are secure from threats to your security.

 

Mobile Friendly in 2016?

SEO Bedford

What changes in SEO are scheduled to occur in 2016?. One guaranteed change is the increased emphasis by Google in providing the complete mobile friendly experience for users.

Since the introduction of ‘Mobilegeddon’ in April 2015, Google has stepped up their campaign to ensure all indexed websites meets their stringent mobile friendly requirements. Mobile website design is no longer optional and with the increased usage of mobile devices in search it is essential the user is provided with an error free experience.

For the website owner a mobile friendly site can increase goal conversions, sales and improve ranking in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS).

Act now to ensure your website is mobile friendly in 2016 to avoid potential Google penalties.

Penguin Update 4

SEO Bedford

Look out Black Hats, Google are planning to release Penguin Update 4 at the beginning of the new year. The Search Engine giants have announced this algorithm will be a real time update.

The Penguin algorithm was initially designed to get rid of spammy, low-quality links that were purchased by the Black Hats from link farms.A big percentage of sites were penalised by Penguin and it took a long time for them to recover and re-listed in the search results. This slow recovery was frustrating after all of the necessary issues were corrected.

With Penguin Update 4 being a real-time algorithm it will always be updating non-stop. This will result in a quick recovery from issued penalties, however it also means spammers will be  penalised just as quick.

The release date for this algorithm is not yet known but is likely to be scheduled at the beginning of 2016.

We must not forget that the real-time updates could be used by Black Hats to create bad quality backlinks to gain high positions in the search results and then deleting them afterwards. This issue will have to be considered and addressed by Google however you can be confident this will not delay the release of Penguin Update 4.

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Beware of the Download Prompt

Mobile Downloads

Find it irritating when you click to access a page on your favourite website and a big page prompt delays your access by asking you to download the website app. Well this practice could be a thing of the past thanks to Google.

From the 1st of November Google will be penalising sites that display app interstitials that hide a significant amount of content on the transition from the search page.

Google will consider the offending sites as not being mobile friendly and this will have a significant impact on website owners organic/natural traffic.

The writing was on the wall in July when Google published a blog post asking people to reconsider using app interstitials. It was suggested by various sources then that Google might turn this into some form of penalty.The growing trend is when Google suggests a recommendation, an algorithm usually follows.

Google has updated their mobile testing tool in search console to allow website owners the chance to avoid a possible penalty. The message is ‘websites must promote apps that are more user friendly’.

Google Tackles Hacked Spam

Hacked Spam

Recently Google has started rolling out a series of algorithmic changes that are aimed at tackling hacked spam in their search results. A growing number of legitimate websites are being hacked by spammers and are used to engage in abusive behavior, such as malware download, promotion of traffic to low quality sites, porn, and marketing of counterfeit goods or illegal pharmaceutical drugs, etc.

Website owners need to implement good levels of security or risk their websites being easily hacked. For example these can include government sites, universities, small business, company websites, restaurants, hobby organizations, conferences, etc.

Cyber-criminals and spammers target these sites and fill pages with malicious content in an attempt to gain rank and traffic in search engines.Google are aggressively targeting hacked spam in an attempt to protect users and webmasters.

The algorithmic changes made by Google will eventually impact approximately 5% of queries, depending on the language. As the new algorithms are rolled out, users might notice certain queries, only provide the most relevant results, reducing the number of results displayed.

This is due to the large amount of hacked spam being removed, and improvements will be noticed in the near future. Google will continue to allow their systems to weed out bad content while retaining the organic, legitimate results.

Hedgehog Digital Bedford

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