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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.

Google + Changes Should Marketers Worry?

Close up photography of the Google Plus logo on  LCD computer screen. Google Plus is a popular social networking service created by Google.

Recently,Google divulged some changes to it’s social networking platform Google +.

Google + was launched in 2011 to challenge the social networking world and although users engaging in the platform increased between 2011 and 2012 it was soon evident that it was not having the impact that was first anticipated.

Google confirmed it will not be treating Google + as the digital adhesive for all of it’s platforms. Google employee Bradley Horowitz explained how users do like access to all of their utilities with one account. However it does not make sense for your Google + profile to be your identity in other Google products you access. Read more

5 Steps to Prevent an Hack Attack

According to Google there has been a 180% increase in the number of websites hacked in the last year. For the user, any form of content published on the internet is at risk of a hack attack. Security should always be top priority for a user in preventing these attacks and the loss of valuable data.

So how do we stop or prevent a hack attack? Below is a list of five important steps that will stop any hackers gaining information from your website. Read more

Consumer Reviews: How Important?

Before making that all important online purchase, do you read the customer online reviews or just hit the buy button and hope for the best?

A new study suggests that nearly 9/10 online consumers checked the reviews when buying online. Too many to argue with, so if you’re running an online store, these are the stat’s for you. Read more

Office Cleaning Manchester

As a new regional branch of Total Clean, the Manchester office cleaning service providers wanted a website which was clean, modern and provided a broad overview of the various different cleaning services that they provide.

We began working purely on wireframes and design, but bumping all ideas at the technical staff to make sure there would be no restriction on functionality. Read more

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