Mobilegeddon Google is here!



Mobilegeddon Google is upon us! Run for the hills.

Google next big update is going to target non-mobile friendly sites and is expected to roll out April 21, 2015, and roll out for a few days to a week.

This is a big one, and could affect a large portion of your web traffic and seo results.

In the last few years, mobile traffic has increased dramatically. It’s speculated that more than 50% of Google searches are performed on mobile.

Even Google is saying this update is going to have a bigger effect on search rankings than Panda or Penguin, the biggest updates Google has ever launched, as quoted by a member of Google’s Webmaster Trends team, Zineb Ait Bahajji at SMX Munich.

The problem is many sites are not responsive, meaning that they were only built for desktop computers and are hard to navigate on mobile devices.

Google doesn’t want to serve up results that  are not mobile user friendly, so they are implementing a new algorithm change to demote sites that aren’t usable on phones and tablets.

Google has officially announced the update and it’s coming on April 21, 2015 so you still have time to prepare your site.

Google has said there is no degree of mobileness, it’s either yes or no.

Test it for yourself by clicking on and if you’re concerned we’ve got a fantastic ‘mobile friendly’ website package available.

If your website isn’t responsive, call Spiros on 0431 926 575  or email us .

If your website is responsive, relax and pour yourself a cup of coffee and grin:-)


Content is King #5: How to Use Google+ for SEO Boost

Compared to other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn,  Google+ often is mislooked when it comes to creating online marketing strategies. This is because Google+ does not have as many users as the other larger social platforms.

But, while Google does not command as large a slice of the social media pie, it does have a lot more elements that provide your business more value than say Twitter or Facebook, especially when it comes to increasing a website’s organic SEO traffic.

Here are a bunch of ways you can use Google+ for an SEO boost for your business.

#1: Personalised Searches

One of the most individual ways that Google+ helps businesses with their organic rankings is through a personalised search. Simply put, personalised search takes place when a user is logged into their Google account and as a result they see different results compared to what people would see when they are not signed in. This is because Google logs a user’s preferences when they sign into a Google account and tries to rework search results based on these preferences.

There was a study researched by Eric Enge in 2013 who found that some webpage results can be lifted higher for individuals that follow a user or business on Google+. This is because Google recognises a user’s preference for that particular business, or author and wants to display those subsistence higher when a query is typed into Google that already was answered or discussed by that business or individual.

#2: Google+ Local

Google+ local is Google’s social integration of a businesses into it’s social media platform. It can be very useful to set up a Google+ local profile page so you can get added exposure. When a user types in the name of the business or the services that the company offers, it triggers a knowledge graph that pulls data from the Google+ local page and adds it to the search results.

Service/Product Results
When a user types in the name of a service that is viewed to be geographically important to the user, Google will implement knowledge graph listings below search advertisements in the results page. If you hover over a particular business, it will set off an additional knowledge graph that overlays in the right trail of the search result page.





Brand Search Results
When a user types in the specific name of a company it triggers another knowledge graph. The information that is shown in a brand knowledge graph is more detailed than a service/product knowledge graph.

With brand knowledge graphs, the user will be able to see a Google+ profile picture of the company, or, if Google already has a picture of your picture in its database, it will show a map of where the business is, reviews from users, and business details like address and a phone number. All of this is all pulled from information on the Google+ business page.



#3: Indexing

Unlike other social networks like Twitter and Facebook, Google+ has their search bots crawl through each article / post in Google+. This keeps for content that has been posted on here to be discovered very quickly. In the same study by Eric  mentions how he has witnessed his content being indexed faster by Google when he posts it into Google+.

Sometimes Google will index content 1-3 days more quickly if it is posted in Google+ right after launching the article on my client’s websites, but other times it doesn’t work.

#4: Google+ Ranks Your Social Media Posts



Not only is every post on Google+ crawled by it’s bots, but it is also indexed and then ranked into the search results pages. This helps in extending the value of each of your posts, and then makes it more important to get right. Google has ranked other social networking pages previously in the past but these are mainly just community and profile pages, not actual posts.

One advantage is there is no character limit on Google+ posts, so you can easily re-post your current website content, then post it on your Google+ profile page under a related keyword, and have the ability to rank twice on the same topic. How great is that!

#5: Gets Your Web Content Viral Quickly

Google+ may not be the biggest social media platform yet, but it’s network has some of the best engagement on the world wide web. This is true for webmasters and content writers that use Google+ communities to heighten their work and network with professionals.

Connecting with people and using Google’s advanced capabilities to share posts to certain audiences could be your best shot at using social media to market content to contributors, bloggers, and webmasters who then pick up and share the content on their websites.

#6: Keeping Up with SEO Best Practices

The world of SEO is always changing and it’s real important to keep up-to-date as best as you can on the latest news, trends and tools. Although Google+ may not have as many users as other social networks, it does have one of the most active communities on the web for SEO professionals, so do we need to say more.

From social communities like Technical SEO that has SEO pros and webmasters actively helping each other through optimisation issues, to Google’s own John Mueller, who is in charge of webmaster relations at Google, doing regular Google+ Hangouts to answer webmaster questions is one of the best ways to keep track of SEO best practices.

#7: Google+ Hangouts

Online videos have become very valuable to SEO these days. With Google+ Hangouts, recording and uploading an online video has never been so easier. Google+ Hangouts is a live video streaming utility and recording service where you and other Google+ users can get together to talk about topics, or have meetings. Best of all, it’s a completely free tool! Although the actual videos do not show up in the search results, you can still rank the actual post containing the video and automatically transfer your Hangout video to YouTube to get it ranked that way.

#8: Author Rank

Last year Matt Cutts, head of Google’s search spam team, mentioned of an intention for Google to start recognising authorities on certain subjects. In a video Matt recapped that intent and even added that Google will begin to rank pages based on that authority. Though it is unlikely that Google+ will be the only way that Google determines authority based on a user’s popularity within the social network, it is very likely Google+ will be tied into the algorithm somehow based on its current features and capabilities.

#9: Rich snippets



Another way to get recognised by Google+ is impacting search results via Authorship and Publisher rich snippet markups. By entering code to your website then linking to a website on your Google+ page, webmasters and writers have the capacity to integrate Google+ information like author name, Google+ follower count, and profile picture into the search engine results page.


As you can see that it is really important all businesses make the time and effort to register a Google+ page, it adds value to your online marketing and helps boost SEO. At DesignLab we now offer creating Google+ pages for all our customers, because we feel it is an important step to getting more hits.


Content is King #4: Can Online Reviews Impact Your SEO

I guess that you’d would stand up and either pat yourself on the back if your business has a strategy already in place for getting reviews and managing your online reputation.

Online reviews are important for a number of reasons, and have significance through their ability to affect:

  • Your rankings in search engines
  • Which search results actually gets clicked on
  • Consumers purchasing decisions

This means reviews online as critical to your SEO as building reference and on-site optimisation.


How Do Consumers Use Online Reviews?

Before I get started about data surrounding and how online reviews are used by consumers and how it impacts their decision, it’s vital to consider where it all fits into the purchasing cycle for services and products.

Usually, by the time someone has started looking at a review, they’ve already know their needs/wants, how a business might fulfill that need/want and are now are ready to select a business.

The important thing to now is that the mental gap between reading a review and making a decision to purchase from a business is very small, and results in a yes/no decision almost straight away. So as a small business, your reputation online can directly influence your business.

But, how many people actually read reviews? According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, roughly 83% of consumers reported reading online reviews.


But, how many reviews do potential customers they read before making up their minds? The survey also has an answer to that. About 65% of consumers will read 6 reviews or less before they form an opinion about a given business.


Meanwhile, another survey conducted by Dimensional Research found that 90% of their respondents claimed that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions, while 86% had responded saying that negative reviews impacted their decisions.




Hopefully this helps you understand at least from a customer’s perspective how important online reviews are in helping push their purchasing decisions.


Why Reviews Matter For SEO

All search engines love online reviews for one reason, customers love online reviews. They are in business of providing consumers on the go or at home with the most accurate information to help them make decisions around their purchases. The faster you do that, the more customers will turn to them time and time again. Have a look at the below screenshot of results from Yelp for the keywords “boutique fashion Toronto.”


According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, reviews make up 10% of how Google decide to rank search results. Here’s chart they provide to break down the different parables:




Preparing a Review Strategy

Before you start on creating a review strategy that works for your business, it’s a good idea to have some thoughts on which review platforms would work best for you’re business.

To figure out that, start by going to Google and doing the following search, “[Industry] + reviews” and see which sites pop-up on the first page. For example, have a look at what shows up for “shoe store reviews”:


Something else you can do is click over the leading search results and you will see two arrows pop-up that help you to open up what Google refers to as the “Knowledge Panel” for that business and look at the sites listed under “more reviews.”


Something else to keep in mind before we show how you can obtain more reviews is understanding the different review policies all platforms have that you should stand by. For e.g. Yelp forbids any small businesses from approaching online reviews and will act quickly if it detects something off. Meanwhile, other platforms don’t really have any issues with businesses making the ask.

Here are some review guidelines for some of the most critical review platforms:

Once you’ve had a look through, here are some hints and tips to help you start:

  • Use this “Review Handout Generator” by Whitespark and Phil Rozek that helps you create handouts for clients to give clear instructions on how they could leave you a review on Google.
  • Link to your review profiles from your website.
  • Create a Google+ page and invite customers to leave a short positive review.
  • Create print or digital materials that list all the different sites customers can review you’re business.
  • Request a “Find Us on Yelp,” if you haven’t gotten their “People Love Us On Yelp” sticker.

We hope this has helped a little in understanding the importance of online reviews.