Our prediction for 2017’s most Googled  

 

It’s been a busy year for politics, global news and the entertainment industry and while we can agree that there have been highs and lows, it’s these moments that begin trending with people flocking to Google to find out more.

 

Each year Google releases their Top Charts for global and domestic searches in categories such as Searches, Global News, People and more. We’ve come up with our top picks for Google’s Top 10 based on all the craziness that 2017 has had to offer. Here’s our guess for each category, we’re betting that one of these will at least land Top 10.

 

Searches: Royal Engagement

 

Global News: Trump/Russia Collusion

 

People: Meghan Markle

 

Consumer Tech: iPhone X

 

Global Sporting Events: Fifa Qualifiers

 

Losses: Hugh Hefner

 

Movies: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

 

Musicians: Taylor Swift

 

TV Shows: Stranger Things

 

Each of these search terms have been the centre of media frenzies for positive and negative reasons and while there are still a few weeks left of the year, here’s to hoping nothing too crazy happens in the meantime.

Livin la vida Fred

Remember Fred? That elusive and mysterious Google update that was never really confirmed or denied earlier this year?

 

Google’s Gary Illyes was interviewed last month at Brighton SEO and when questioned about Fred – a name he created as a Twitter side-comment, Gary clarified that rather than a single algorithm Fred is in fact a collection of algorithms within the same umbrella.

 

Unlike Panda and Penguin, Fred actually refers routine algorithm updates that Google makes on a daily, twice daily or thrice daily basis. We can see how there are only so many animals to name these updates after.

 

Illyes went further to explain, “Right, so the story behind Fred is that basically I’m an asshole on Twitter. And also I’m very sarcastic which is usually a very bad combination.” The name Fred was borne out of a Tweet from Barry Schwartz requesting a name for the algorithm to which Gary recalls, “And I just told him that, you know what, from now on every single update that we make – unless we say otherwise – will be called Fred; every single one of them.”

 

So basically we had it all wrong, Fred isn’t one update, it’s all of them and we’re livin la vida Fred everyday we use Google.

Google releases mobile friendly measuring tool

It’s no surprise to anyone that mobile usage in increasing and that mobile commerce is increasing so clearly it’s very important to have a mobile friendly site – but that is old news and not what we’re here to talk about.

 

We have written a few articles in the past that help build a mobile friendly site that is easy to navigate and to use but without consumer feedback it can be difficult to measure how successful any changes were… until now.

 

Google has recently launched a tool that allows users to measure the friendliness of their mobile site, and it is completely free! Simply type “mobile friendly” into Google and paste your site’s URL into the search result box that appears.

 

Google will then let you know if your site is mobile friendly or not, so there is really no excuse for not updating your site.

 

 

While this seems like just another feature that Google is providing businesses it is in fact part of a bigger picture. Next year Google is rolling out their mobile-first index and sites that are already mobile friendly will be given priority in this process.

 

So get ahead of the curve now and start making all those little and big changes that you keep procrastinating.

 

Google penalty bounce back

While we all try hard to be good at what we do, the fact of the matter is that everyone makes mistakes. Whether it’s a Google update that you’ve missed or you just slipped up, penalties are bound to happen. But what do you do once those penalties occur?

 

We’ve found the most common SEO penalties and paired them with a solution, because we know that everyone from the experienced to the novice needs a bit of help from time to time.

 

 

PENALTY 1: LOW QUALITY CONTENT

 

Low quality content that consists of copied paragraphs, poor information or borrowed content from other website is a common and easy way for your site to be penalised.

 

The solution? Luckily, the solution is almost as easy as the problem. Revise your website content, delete duplicates, add content that is information rich and useful to your readers.

 

 

PENALTY 2: UNNATURAL LINKS

 

Unnatural links are bought links or links from schemes that are used to boost SERP. Because this it’s directly against Google guidelines, it leads to almost automatic penalties.

 

The solution? Filter through each of the links on your site to find out if any of them violate Google’s guidelines and remove the links that you find in violation or unnatural.

 

 

 

PENALTY 3: KEYWORD STUFFING

 

It seems like good SEO practice to repeat keywords as many times as possible, but this isn’t the case. In fact, keyword stuffing leads to penalties as users get little benefit from it.

 

The solution? Mention your keyword no more than 3x throughout the text and ensure that each mention is useful and informative to the audience. Avoid using the keyword in sentences that don’t make sense just because it is the keyword.

 

 

Penalties are a pain and sometimes out of our control, so there’s no point stressing about them too much. What is important is knowing how to fix these problem when they do come along.

YouTube adverse to adverts?  

Gone are the days where you could watch a YouTube video in peace. Whether it’s at the start or middle or sometimes both, there is always an ad interrupting you. Finding a video that isn’t riddled with advertising is a rare, rare gem.

 

Luckily for us though, that gem may not be so hard to find anymore. YouTube has announced that they will be preventing videos with less than 10k views from displaying ads in their videos.

 

This move comes as a surprise seeing as YouTube made $8.5b in 2015 from advertising, so why would they restrict their lucrative stream of revenue?

 

And no, this hasn’t happened due to the frustration and complaints of viewer, if only…

 

It turns out that companies have been removing their advertisements the video-sharing platform after appeared next to videos with controversial content.

 

In a bid to halt a potential exodus, YouTube has imposed this viewership restriction to limit advertisement to content creators and influencers. This was done with an understanding that extremist and controversial videos will not have the viewership or audience to reach 10k views.

 

It is unclear whether this will have any success as there is no way to limit the number of views a certain video can gain.

 

Another option for YouTube to protect their revenue is to remove extremist content from their site, however, this could ultimately could another headache for the platform.

 

There is a fine line between free expression and hateful content, as stated in YouTube’s community guidelines. So how would they begin to remove content, will an impartial board need to established in order to revise content? Or would this decision be at the discretion of individuals within the organisation?

 

As for aspiring YouTubers who wish to earn an income through the platform, it simply means that newer or smaller channels simply need to work on growing their viewership before they can start earning money.

What the Fred?

 

Who is Fred and why has he decided to suddenly creep into my website?

 

Fred is the name of an unconfirmed Google update that has not been announced but has been felt throughout the SEO world. Why does the update have a name if it is unconfirmed and why is it not named after another member of the animal kingdom?

 

Well, Google representative Gary Illyes has commented on his Twitter that “from now on every update, unless otherwise stated, shall be called Fred” and though Fred is not official, is it is no secret the Google is continually updating its algorithm.

 

There have been rumours that this update will be targeting link quality, but because no official statement has been made, we can only speculate. This speculation was spurred by volatility amongst site tracking tools, the tell-tale sign of a change in algorithms.

 

Another theory regarding Fred is that most of the sites that are being targeted by him are considered to be low value content sites that are heavy on ad placement. The primary intention of such sites is to purely generate income whilst not providing useful or valuable content to the reader.

 

Whether Fred is here to stay or is just passing through, the name has certainly stuck, hopefully Google catches on to this and we get an update called Susan.

Google slightly bruised and mildly battered in recent court case

 

Google is no stranger to court cases, some ruling in their favour, others, not so much. In June 2016, the search engine giant was sued by e-ventures Worldwide LLC, for de-indexing several of their websites. The problem arises from the fact that Google actioned this through an anonymous tip, from an unknown, unverified source.

 

The court case aimed to challenge Google’s ability to arbitrarily change and de-index sites on their platform. A final ruling was decided upon in February 2017, which ultimately favoured Google, however, it was not a total victory.

 

The presiding judge ruled that Google was protected by the First Amendment (the freedom of speech and freedom of press for those non-Americans) and therefore has the right to arbitrarily and independently decide the ranking of sites on their search engine based on their site guidelines.

 

There was however, a catch. Google will now have to investigate and verify the information and tips they receive regarding sites that violate their guidelines. So what does this mean for websites and online businesses?

 

Yes, Google can de-index your pages, but they must provide sufficient and verified evidence to support this action. Unfounded and malicious tips can no longer be actioned upon, protecting you and your site from competitors.

 

Ultimately, this court case does not impact the way in which SEO is performed, but it does provide some security for websites and a code of standards to which Google must obey.

What to expect when you’re not expecting: SEO Edition 2017

Top SEO predictions of 2017

Whether you love it or hate it, SEO is one of those things that will keep changing – for some it keeps life interesting and for others it’s a struggle to stay ahead. There are constant updates, developments and new trends.

 

Of course there are the usuals, user experience, mobile use and updates but in an attempt to get ahead for the New Year, we’re going to run you through a few of 2017 SEO predictions that are a bit outside the box.

 

  1. SEO is far from being over…

 

Okay, so this one isn’t the mind blowing or head scratching prediction you expected but it’s an important one to start with. Over the past few years, there are always sceptics who declare that the industry is dwindling and every year it is nowhere close to happening. This is because every year that passes, technology and the digital world become more important and more complex.

 

We’ve covered a few statistics last year that highlighted the growth of e-commerce and the significance this holds for businesses and their SEO rankings. This is just one trend of many that requires professional and specialised SEO to get the best and most competitive results possible.

 

 

  1. A Google crackdown is on the way

 

Because of the rise of the SEO and digital-sphere, there are more and more people utilising SEO, whether it is self-taught or through an agency. Sometimes, users intentionally or not use techniques that incur penalties.

 

From the looks of things, the crackdown has only begun. There is no doubt that Google will be enforcing more stringent criteria to ensure the quality of content on the search engine.

 

The best way to avoid the wrath of Google is to invest in an ethical and experienced SEO agency such as SEO Premier to ensure that all industry guidelines are being adhered to and that your site avoids potentially long-term setbacks from penalties.

 

  1. Algorithims

 

We’ve already seen changes to the Google algorithms in the past year from the wonderful Penguin update to Panda becoming a core rank algorithm. The next year shouldn’t be any different with more developments to come. This is especially true considering the growth of SEO and the digital sphere, meaning there will be more aspects to improve and refine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A huge 71% intend to increase digital spend

 

New year, new you, new budget. Not only is the New Year a chance to start that new hobby or lose that 2kg but it is also an opportunity to reboot and re-evaluate your business. Whether it’s a new workspace or investing in endeavours that will benefit your business both long and short term, it’s the perfect opportunity to start fresh. And this is exactly what people intend to do. A recent survey has indicated that 71% of individuals wish to increase their digital spend, while only 14% wish to spend less and 15% intend to maintain their current expenditure.

 

Because the digital sphere is so broad, it can sometimes be difficult to choose which branches of the industry to specifically invest in. Some of our top picks for the biggest digital activities to invest in for 2017 include:

 

  1. Social Media Marketing

 

Social media is one of those platforms that continue to grow, change and develop as they become more and more popular.

 

Each social media network are developing their own twist on ephemeral content, live video and of course the traditional images and posts have not been forgotten either.

 

It is no longer enough to have a social media account but to actively engage and make use of this medium, so it’s definitely worth the investment this year.

 

  1. SEO

 

SEO is one of digital tools that you will need regardless of annual trends because until search engines are rivalled by another source, your rankings have a large impact on your business.

 

Use SEO to increase traffic to your site, not only for brand awareness but also to increase e-commerce. It’s important to note that SEO is best invested outside your business, in an experience agency to avoid penalties that can incur from lack of knowledge and understanding of the process.

 

  1. Content Marketing

 

Content material is an excellent way to showcase your knowledge and expertise within your industry. It also provides the opportunity to boost your online presence, which as you would know is a critical aspect of owning a business within this technological age.

 

Content includes anything from the content on your website, well-written blogs, lifestyle posts graphics and even guides. It’s easy to assume that because you have the knowledge needed for your content, that you are able to do this yourself, however, this is not always the case.

 

Using an agency such as SEO Premier to professionally write your content for you ensures that your content marketing is superbly written in a manner that is both engaging and easy to understand.

 

Content is only valuable if it can be consumed by the traffic on your site.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Katreena Pevec

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