1. Engagement Metrics
When a search engine delivers a page of results to you, it can measure the success of the rankings by observing how you engage with those results. If you click the first link, then immediately hit the back button to try the second link, this indicates that you were not satisfied with the first result. Search engines seek the “long click” – where users click a result without immediately returning to the search page to try again. Taken in aggregate over millions and millions of queries each day, the engines build up a good pool of data to judge the quality of their results.
2. Machine Learning
In 2011 Google introduced the Panda update to its ranking algorithm, significantly changing the way it judged websites for quality. Google started by using human evaluators to manually rate thousands of sites, searching for low quality content. Google then incorporated machine learning to mimic the human evaluators. Once its computers could accurately predict what the humans would judge a low quality site, the algorithm was introduced across millions of sites spanning the Internet. The end result was a seismic shift that rearranged over 20% of all of Google’s search results.
3. Linking Patterns
The engines discovered early on that the link structure of the web could serve as a proxy for votes and popularity; higher quality sites and information earned more links than their less useful, lower quality peers. Today, link analysis algorithms have advanced considerably, but these principles hold true.
Tomorrow is the day that everyone in the Search Engine Marketing realm has been waiting for. Or was it dreading? Either way, if you don’t already know – tomorrow marks the day that Google changes it’s algorithm to give a bit of a nudge (some say a rather large nudge) to websites that are mobile ready. As site owners, here are some last minute things you can do to get ready.
Visit the Google Mobile Testing Tool – While this is not a tool to check if your site will be listed in Google, it is a very accurate resource to test your site’s mobile response. Notice I said “response” and not just responsiveness. This is because there is not clear indication that responsive sites are given more of a boost that those that are mobile by other means. Google has shown that they stand by responsive coding as the right way to serve lean mobile, but again – no indication of more weight give to a site that is served mobile in pure jQuery for instance.
If you have a CMS such as Joomla, Drupal, or a blogging platform like WordPress – their frameworks support mobile plugins and/or mobile components and views. While they do not always spit out the results you would like visually, they do take your website data and put it into mobile markup that Google (and other engines) can understand. This could be a great way to still provide your content while working on a responsive layout for your current website.
If you find yourself stuck or just need an expert webmaster to help get your site mobile ready – contact us. We’d love to help get your website mobile ready!
When setting up access to your blog, ask your ISP to enable SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol). As for software, there are many programs available, including: WinSCP, WS FTP or Filezilla.
With a WordPress site it’s important to regularly update your passwords. Use a minimum of 16 characters and a combination of alphanumeric and special characters. Never use the default “admin.” If you have, it can be changed after the fact in the database. Keep your blog updated with the latest version of WordPress and make sure you make regular backups. One way is to use a plugin, like WordPress Database Backup. Another option is to make backups with cPanel in the database section.