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Peter’s Blog Star Date 28th July 2015

In which I muse about a slinky new Panda, social media, mobile advertising and an office IT giveaway…..

Creeping Panda

In a week dominated by news about wildlife, the talk of the search engine world was all about a Panda. After a long wait and much heralding, the new Google Panda Update arrived and, unlike some previous updates, did not dramatically change anything. Google’s statement  at the time read “This past weekend we began a Panda update that will rollout over the coming months”, which does tend to give a strong clue that this is going to be a slow gradual change.

There’s a really good post here which gives a pretty  detailed review of the update but, for a quick and dirty summary, this update was a refresh of the data which is used in the Google Panda algorithmic analysis, rather than an update of the signals that are used in the algorithm. It was a refinement of the data rather than a refinement of the algorithm. It will affect rankings but not as significantly or as dramatically as a new algorithmic update.

To reinforce this, The SEO Mozcast, which is a daily forecast of search engine conditions and changes (and which is consulted by many an SEO), has been pretty tranquil, as you can see here:-

Major Google Weather Events

The Mozcast View of Major Google Weather Events

So, what does all this mean to you and me? Well, essentially, Panda is a content/quality algorithm change,  designed to lower the rank of “low-quality sites” or “thin content sites” and return higher quality, better content sites near the top of the search results. Whilst updating and improving your content and site today will not have any bearing on this latest update as, we believe, the data for this update was taken around ten months ago, it is always a good thing to update and improve your content and site quality and doing that right now will duly help your rankings and visibility over the course of time.

The Domain’s the Game, or not as the case may be.

Aside from Panda,  Google also made an announcement about gTLD’s or generic Top Level Domain’s, e.g. .london or .bentley. Google seem to be saying that these domains will be treated as any other TLD. They also reiterated that “Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search.” and that “Even if they look region-specific, we will treat them as gTLDs. This is consistent with our handling of regional TLDs like .eu and .asia.”, however they also added the, rather predicatable caveat, “There may be exceptions at some point down the line,  as we see how they’re used in practice.”

At this stage the recommendation is, probably, to stay as you are, unless there is a good reason to change.

Socially Mobile

There were a few interesting stats about social media which came out over the last week.

Firstly, data from marketing software company Skai suggests that quarterly global spending on Facebook advertising has increased by 114% year on year, with 63% of those Facebook ad budgets directed towards mobile (phones, phablets and tablets).

Secondly, according to The Drum, Instagram’s advertising revenue is set to overtake Google and Twitter’s mobile ad revenue. Given that Instagram is, presently at least, a mobile only platform, this may not be as surprising as the headline indicates, however two years is a long time and the demographic that Instagram has so successfully targeted to date is, by definition, an early adopter of new media and technology. Still, it does highlight how important Instagram is, or could be, for markets which target this demographic.

And thirdly, PR Software company Cision produced a pretty nifty infographic which revealed that 51% of journalists say they would be unable to do their job without social media. I wonder who the other 49% are and where they work?

Office Automation Giveaway

We’ve been using google apps for work for quite a long time now, about five years, I believe, and, I have to say, that not only is it good but it seems to keep getting better and better. We started using it as it gave us a reliable, flexible, robust and very scalable email platform but over time we have used more and more of the apps and now rely heavily on the calendar, Google Drive, Google Docs and more.

I also like it because each email address that we set up is automatically a google account, which has access to the huge range of google products we use, it also makes sharing information across networks and devices very simple and really does simplify running an office IT system. You can try out Google Apps for work for free and there’s also a 50% discount available if you use this voucher 6MC4RUYT6MVCYH before 31st August 2015. Now don’t say I never give you anything!

So, until the next time……..