Welcome to Episode 38 of This Week Online Today, where I will be talking to you about the big online news that has been happening this week today to make sure that you are ahead of the game when it comes to running your online brand successfully.
And at the end of the show, I will also be giving you a bonus tip of the week to help you further.
- YouTube implementing stricture requirements for creators in response to advertisers’ concerns
- New Google Search Console is gradually rolling out to more people
- Page speed will be a ranking factor in mobile search
- Hawaii’s missile alert agency keeps its password on a Post-it note
- YouTube Sets Stricter Requirements for Creator Partners in Response to Advertiser Concerns
- Page Speed Will Be Ranking Factor in Mobile Search (on July 2018)
- Google Search Console is Rolling Out to More People
- Google Search Console
- Chrome User Experience Report
- Google Lighthouse on Chrome Developer Tool
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Hawaii’s missile alert agency keeps its password on a Post-it note
- LastPass Password Manager
Ahmed Khalifa: Welcome to This Week Online Today podcast, with your host Ahmed Khalifa, where I’ll be talking to you about the big online news that has been happening this week today to make sure that you are ahead of the game when it comes to running your online brand successfully.
At the end of the show, I will also be giving you a bonus tip of the week to help you further. Let’s get straight on to the show.
Welcome to the show everyone. It’s going to be a great episode today.
YouTube Settting Stricter Requirements for Creator Because of Advertisers’ Concerns
We’re going to go straight into the whole YouTube situation, and if you haven’t listened to last week episode, episode 37, I talked about the whole YouTube reprimanding Logan Paul, the YouTube star, after he was taking videos of a person who committed suicide in a forest in Japan, and there had been a lot of backlash.
YouTube have kind of reacted and got back into it by releasing a statement, they have changed their policy around creating revenue on YouTube. They made it more restrictive in two ways. One of them is, if you want to earn revenue on YouTube, you need to have accumulated 4,000 hours of video watch time for the videos in the past 12 months, and have 1,000 subscribers to be eligible to earn the advertising revenue. That’s one side of it.
On the other side of it, all the YouTube videos that are in Google Preferred, which is the major advertising platform representing the top five percent I think, the most viewed channels on YouTube, they would be reviewed by human moderators before they are monetized. You’ve got two different things going on in there. It basically kind of started with the whole advertisers being concerned about being advertised on inappropriate videos, something disturbing, and they’re not happy about that.
There has been backlash, and they’re the one obviously who are investing million of pounds and dollars onto YouTube advertising, and they’ve been pulling out. Now when you have this whole Logan Paul situation, that kind of adds a bit more pressure on YouTube to do something about it, and this is what they’ve done.
They’ve got the right idea, I think, trying to control the situation better. There have been mixed opinion, just like any time there are changes, there are mixed opinions. One thing that people are saying about, if you are a small time YouTuber, you’re just starting out, but you do actually have good content, you’re not going to be able to monetize it. Some people believe that even if you get that first few pennies, dollars, pounds, it acts like a motivator for you to keep going and keep trying to grow your YouTube channel.
The other argument as well are people saying, surely the creators who have big followings are the one who’s causing the problem. You can understand where they’re coming from. They’re the one who’s making the big news, for example, Logan Paul. At the same time, YouTube has to do something. In some way, it could work.
Sometimes you do see on YouTube people saying, “Sub for sub.” That is when they say, I will subscribe to your channel if you subscribe to my channel. That is an easy way to get a lot of subscribers. It’s not the best way of doing it, it’s a bit scammy if you want, but people do that just to make themselves look good. It’s a bit of a vanity thing for them as well, and you want to get that minimum threshold of whatever you want to achieve.
It’s changed now. Even if you had done this sub for sub and you have at least 1,000 subscribers, if you haven’t got that 4,000 hours of video watch time over the past 12 months, then you’re not going to be eligible to earn revenue on YouTube. I guess it’s like a double layer of security if you like to make sure there are less bad content out there and just weed out the bad one from being able to make money out of it.
It’s a bit of a mixed opinion, mixed news, but the idea, if you’re going to complain about it, there’s not much you can do about it, that’s one thing. Also, it should act like a motivator for you to keep going and build up a backlog of videos.
If you have five, 10 videos on your channel and they get about 50 views a month or something like that, then obviously it will take you a long time to get that 4,000 hours. If you have a backlog of them and if you have, let’s just say 500 videos and they are all two minutes each if you like, then you’re going to slowly build it up and build it up kind of thing without you knowing it.
You just have to keep going, you can’t stop. There’s nothing you can do about this rule, it’s just the way it is, and we’re going to have to keep going and try our best. That’s the big news of YouTube this week. Let’s see how it goes, let’s see it makes any changes to how people react, to how people create their content there, and whether their big names have any issues with it and the small micro influences, will they have any issues with it. We don’t know yet. It’s quite knew, so let’s see how that goes.
Page Speed will be a ranking factor on mobile search (in July 2018)
On other news this week and sticking to the topic of Google since we talked about YouTube, is that they are going to be using page speed in their mobile search ranking. Most of us would know that page speed is a ranking factor for your website. People are not aware of that Google are using the desktop search, the ranking factor, even if you’re on your mobile, the desktop search behaviour and the page speed on that side is influencing the mobile search. Now this time, it is going to be page speed for mobile search ranking. It’s kind of a separate thing. Also, Google is going towards the whole mobile first indexing kind of thing as well, which is probably another reason for it.
Google released a statement about it, well, a blog post about it, and I put that in a show note for you. What they’re saying is that it will only effect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users, and it will only effect a small percentage of queries.
There’s two thing with that is, it’s kind of a useless statement, because they’re saying it will only effect the slowest experience. We don’t really know what that means. There’s no example of the slowest experience. What’s the metric in there? We have no idea. Small percentages, what does that mean? That’s a bit subjective really about small percentage of queries will be effected.
There’s a lot of confusion about that. There’s even more confusion about AMP, or accelerated mobile pages. That’s the pages that you get when you search on mobile at the top, you see that small lightning logo on the search result, and that allows it to load instantly as well.
There have been people in the SEO community asking, what does that mean about AMP? Do they get ranking factor as well for page speed, or is that a completely separate thing? Google didn’t really answer clearly. They’ve kind of been a bit PRish about it, so it’s a bit of confusion about that. At the same time, let’s just say page speed in mobile search ranking, and I need to be clear about this, it’s not a ranking boost for being fast, it’s just a downgrade for being slow. It’s something to be aware of more and more as well.
It’s really big news. The way you can kind of evaluate your performance is, well, there are three different ways. One of them is to use Chrome and to have a user experience report, it’s a bit technical in there. Another tool is called Lighthouse, it’s like an automated tool which is part of the Chrome developer tools, and that also helps you to audit the quality of your webpage with your performance, your accessibility and so on.
Then you have the PageSpeed Insights, and that’s the one that a lot of people are aware of, Google will give you a metric of how many out of 100 in terms of your page speed, as well as the user experience and what you can do to improve that.
There are different ways of measuring it, but it’s something to be aware of. Obviously because Google is going toward that mobile first index where they’re going to be focusing more on mobile metrics, it’s even more important for you to make sure that your mobile site, well if it’s responsive, but on mobile devices, it needs to be up to scratch.
It needs to be as good as it can be, because it’s getting more and more important to be mobile friendly, mobile search friendly, even the user experience in mobile. It’s just getting even more important. That news about the page speed is just another example of that really.
That’s the other news today from Google.
Google Search Console Beta is Rolling Out
Just to continue on some Google news is their Search Console is going to get updated. If you’re not aware of Search Console, you need to have it for your website. Google Search Console allows you to monitor a number of things on your site like your errors and you can submit site map and you can monitor any kind of links in there and so on. It’s a good way to monitor your website. You need to have Google Search Console for your website.
It has been quite dated, and people are saying, “When are we going to get this done? When are we going to get more data? When are you going to get this, this, and that?” For years I have talked about it in the past and asked Google about it and a number of other people.
Well, now they have actually revamped it. It’s in beta, but it’s going to be slowly rolling out to more and more people, and they’ve been sending out invites to webmaster to join the new beta of the new Search Console. I think it’s going to be great, because there are certain things in there which can be amazing. For example, one thing that I would’ve collected is more data in the search analytics. That’s where you’re going to get an idea about the number of impression you have and what keywords people are using to find your site.
The problem is, you can only go back to like 90 days, and there are a lot of times where you want more than that, but it’s going to be even more. I think someone said it’s going to be over 12 months actually of data. It will be able to do a year-on-year comparison, how much you have improved this time last year, which is great, because we never, ever had that on Google Search Console.
Keep an eye on that. If you don’t have the access to the beta programme, it doesn’t matter. Just get yourself a Google Search Console property to your website and use it. It’s very, very useful.
Hawaii Missile Agency Writing Passwords on Post-It Note
The final news this week is a bit of a crazy one. It still makes me think, what the hell happened there? In Hawaii, there was a warning for the local people about an incoming missile. Basically, they have received a text message on their phone, and it says that, “A ballistic missile is inbound to Hawaii, seek immediate shelter, this is not a drill.” Imagine you get that text message, it’s pretty scary.
There was even a similar message broadcasted on TV and radio. This is what they said when broadcasted:
“If you are indoors, stay indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay on the floor.”
You can imagine the people of Hawaii were absolutely terrified, and they just panicked, because the previous month prior to that, they were testing this nuclear warning sign, and for the first time since the Cold War. Because this whole issue between United States and North Korea and they’re kind of threatening each other with my nuclear button is bigger than yours kind of got to the state where they had to practise that drill. That alert, it was a false alarm.
It seems that the agency, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, an employee there had pressed the wrong button. Imagine that. Someone clicked the wrong button and then they had to go through the cancellation process and get back to normal and that kind of thing.
You think, okay, one, you think, fine, mistakes happen. It’s a bit of a crazy one to say that missile alert and you panic. The other thing what people were saying is that the mistake happened because of a very kind of poor user experience. Basically there are two buttons that look quite similar to each other, and one is for testing, and one is for like, it needs to be broadcasted out. Because of the way the system’s set up, these two buttons were beside each other. It wasn’t text, it wasn’t separate, far away, or colour-coded.
The employee there pressed the wrong button because they looked exactly the same. That is just an example of a user experience gone bad. It’s a serious one obviously. You’re making people panic about a missile coming to Hawaii, which is crazy.
That’s not all. You think if that’s bad enough, then there’s another thing that had kind of been uncovered really. Someone took a picture of the office or someone finds a picture of the office online. Again, it’s the Emergency Management Agency in Hawaii. Not only they did that missile false alarm and it kind of took about 38 minutes apparently to allay the fear, which is again crazy.
The other thing that people have noticed that there’s a picture of the office, and on the different computers, there is a Post-it note with a password on it. We’re talking a major company, an agency that they’re using the old fashioned approach of putting a password on a Post-it note and then paste it on the computer. That’s insane.
— Rob Price (@robaeprice) January 16, 2018
There’s nothing to be proud about about that. If you’re doing that, don’t ever do that, do not ever put any form of password written down in a book somewhere. If you’re going to put it on the computer on the monitor, then what’s the point of having a password? It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
Anyway, there was a photograph of the office and it was clear as day, I’m going to put that link in the show notes so you can check it out yourself, but they put, I can’t believe it. They put the password on a Post-it on a computer. What’s the point of that? It’s careless, and it’s pretty stupid. You don’t do that.
You can imagine what I’m going to say and I’ve already said it. This is more of a story of don’t do that, don’t write down your password anywhere. Don’t have a journal which list all your passwords anywhere. If you want to have it anywhere, the best place is on a password manager.
I use LastPass myself. I recommend them, there are a number of others, but this is what I use, and I’ve been using them for a number of years. That is the most secure way of having your password stored away, and also making it as complex and unique as possible. Ideally, you want every single password to be different and complex as possible, including numbers and special characters and letters, big, small letters, everything. Please do that. It’s a very, very serious thing. Don’t mess about with the password.
Obviously the other side to the story is, is there anything on your website that is confusing your visitors? We have a situation where they sent a missile warning because two buttons look exactly the same. If you have a quick look on your site, is there anything that is confusing the user? Sometimes it’s difficult for you to see that, because if you look at your website all day every day, you don’t really see the problem with it, you don’t really see the mistake.
Sometimes, if you have someone else to check it and have a look at it for you, a fresh pair of eyes, it can maybe crop up these issues. If they’re having a problem, then maybe everyone who is accessing your website is having a problem. Whether you like it or not, visitor experience is a vital part of anybody’s website. You need to make it as easy, as smooth as possible for anybody accessing your website to find what they’re looking for and to create the action that you want them to do to buy, to subscribe, to contact you.
Whatever it is, you need to make it as easy as possible. That’s our responsibility. That’s the moral of the story, and I hope you will take that on board.
Bonus Tip of the Week
Now, it’s time for the bonus tip of the week.
This week’s bonus tip of the week is a very simple one, and it’s something that everyone can do. On your website, if you have a number of pages, an archive of blog posts and all kind of pages on your site, but if you have a number of them which are either old or just not useful anymore, or maybe it’s very thin on content and you want to do something about it, you don’t want it anymore.
The one thing I’ll say to you is, don’t delete it. If you delete it, it will cause more problems because, number one, it will cause an error page. If you delete a URL and you don’t redirect it, then you’re causing an error page. In a situation where you have deleted it in the past, make sure you redirect that URL to the most appropriate page after that. If you haven’t done, it will cause an error page.
If you have pages on your website with links to that page which you have deleted, then imagine, again, we talk about user experience, imagine what it’d be like for someone to click on a link to take you to your page which is actually a 404 page or a broken page. They will leave the site most likely and not necessarily go back and check out your site again. They could say, “Forget it, I’ll move on.”
Instead of deleting your page, there are several things that you can do. One as I said to you is you can redirect that page to the most appropriate page. Say for example you have two blog posts that cover exactly the same topic. Instead of deleting one of them and that’s it, just redirect it to the same page, same post. If there’s no exactly the same page, then maybe the most equivalent one, the most appropriate one, maybe even a category page for example or maybe just to that blog page in general. That’s another option for you. That’s one thing you can do.
The other thing you can do is also to update it, update the existing page. You can make it more up-to-date, you can freshen it up, you can add more content to it if it’s very, very thin. That’s very good. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, there’s nothing wrong with going back to an old post that you had many years ago, and if it’s still attracting traffic, then you can maybe make it better, update it, and you never know what might happen after that.
Speaking of if it’s attracting traffic, it’s really important to use Google Analytics to work out whether it’s worth updating it or not. Maybe if it’s got no visits at all and you don’t think there’s any point updating it or adding more content to it, then okay, you can organise redirects and see what you can after that.
If there’s a page where it’s maybe the same or low in quality, it’s getting traffic for some reason somehow, but it’s maybe ranking low or anything like that, then consider updating it. If you update it making it fresher, then maybe you can encourage people to stay on that page longer.
Check out the bounce rate of that page. If it’s really high, maybe you can tweak it, make it different in terms of updating it, add more internal links to you, and link to other pages on the site. Just make it more engaging.
If you have old pages, don’t delete it. Either redirect it, update it, add more content. Check out Google Analytics and then you’ll see, hopefully you’ll see things improve for your site as well.
Thank you for listening to this episode of This Week Online Today. I really do appreciate it, and I hope you found it useful. If you have enjoyed the show, please do leave a review on iTunes. It would mean the world to me, I really would appreciate that. Thanks again, you rock. One more thing, I just want to remind you to do your thing, because it matters.
I’ll see you next week.
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