Here is your weekly news update from the SEO Traffic Lab Team. This week we are talking about Google turning its attentions to mobile-friendly sites, Facebook launching its new Safety Check tool, and what 2015 has in store for SEO according to Moz’s Rand Fishkin.

Google beginning to take mobile into account

Google have hinted that mobile friendly sites may start to see a ranking benefit. AT SMX East, Gary Illyes (Google engineer) revealed that Google sees a site very much as a human does. This means that the human experience is directly relevant to how Google ranks your site.

If you site is in theory mobile friendly, but a user has to zoom in to read your pages, then Google will be aware of this. That translates as your site being offering a poor mobile experience for users. In the future this could impact your ratings. Google already has a tendency to return mobile friendly sites to mobile users so potentially businesses are missing out a rapidly building audience. The video at the end of this blog suggests that 50% of all web searches will be made on mobile next year.

New Facebook App

If your site is not mobile-friendly, Google are also looking into displaying a small icon next to your site URL in search results to let visitors know on their mobile device. In effect this is like Google flagging your site and saying ‘don’t visit this one we have much more mobile friendly sites in your search results that you can take a look at’.  They are not quite saying is as bluntly as that, at this stage they are being subtle.

They are delivering what is best for the user at the end of the day and if audiences are going to be increasingly on mobile then your next website upgrade absolutely needs to be to make it friendly for mobile. This is likely to frustrate website owners but again the user will quickly abandon a non-friendly site so Google is really just doing you a favour by highlighting your number one priority for 2015.

Facebook Introduce Safety Check

People often turn to Facebook in times of a disaster or crisis to check on loved ones and see if they can see nay updates. Communication is crucial in these moments for both the people in the affected areas and of course for the worried friends and families watching events unfold.

new safety tool on facebook

Facebook wanted to provide a helpful tool that people can use when major disasters occur to give people the best access to news possible.  Safety Check is a simple and easy way to say you’re safe and check on others. It is designed to:

  • Let friends and family know you’re safe
  • Check on others in the affected area
  • Mark your friends as safe

There is a privacy to it as only your friends will see your safety status and any comments shared in relation to this. The 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan was analysed to see how people used technology during a crisis. In this case 12.5 million people were affected nationwide.

Emphasis has been placed on improving the experience of reconnecting after a disaster. A Disaster Message Board to make it easier to communicate with others was launched and the response was overwhelming. It was clear that people, relief organisations and first responders were turning to Facebook in the aftermath of disasters.

These events all helped to inform the development process of the tool and each disaster led to an update of the software and a passion to get something immediate in place to meet this specific demand. Safety Check will be available globally on Android, iOS, feature phones and desktop.

‘The team set out to create a simple and easy-to-use tool that allows people to connect with their network of friends and family when it matters most.

Here’s how it works straight from Facebook’s blog post yesterday:

“When the tool is activated after a natural disaster and if you’re in the affected area, you’ll receive a Facebook notification asking if you’re safe.

We’ll determine your location by looking at the city you have listed in your profile, your last location if you’ve opted in to the Nearby Friends product, and the city where you are using the internet.’

If we get your location wrong, you can mark that you’re outside the affected area.

If you’re safe, you can select “I’m Safe” and a notification and News Feed story will be generated with your update. Your friends can also mark you as safe.

If you have friends in the area of a natural disaster and the tool has been activated, you will receive a notification about those friends that have marked themselves as safe. Clicking on this notification will take you to the Safety Check bookmark that will show you a list of their updates.

If you’re ever in a situation that would require you to use Safety Check, we hope it’s a tool that helps you stay connected to those you care about, and gives you the comfort of knowing your loved ones are safe.”

facebook like

What a fantastic tool!

SEO for 2015

There is no doubt in our minds and in that of other experts in this industry that SEO is one tactic among many when it comes to digital marketing. SEO Traffic Lab offers social media management, content marketing, email strategy, Adwords management, Facebook advertising, PR, reputation management. These are all valuable digital marketing strands that are reinforced by solid SEO practices. SEO is far from extinct – optimising each digital marketing approach is essential for giving them an edge in a very competitive market- but it is no longer a standalone strategy. Anyone who sells you SEO as a singular business transforming method are selling you something they absolutely cannot deliver. But with,

‘6 billion searches a day – 50% of those next year on mobile devices’

Optimising your site is a crucial element of your digital marketing strategy, take a look at Moz’s Rand Fishkin’s thoughts on SEO for 2015.

How To Measure SEO Results In 2015

 That’s your news this week – enjoy the rest of your weekend folks!