Welcome to the belated Episode 45 of This Week Online Today, recorded in San Diego, which is a special trip, 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.
In this episode of This Week Online Today, we discuss the following:
- Google confirming an algorithm update, which was worth for them to talk about
- What is the “easiest” win in SEO according to Google
- 2017 being the largest amount of cybersecurity breaches, and what does it mean for the future
- Google confirming algorithm update on Twitter
- The comment by Google on the “easiest” wins in SEO
- The research which announced 2017 being the biggest year for cyber security breaches
- 6 simple ways to protect yourself from cyber security threats
- Why your small business is not safe from cyber attacks and what you can do about it
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. And at the end of the show, I will also be giving you a bonus tip of the week to help you further.
So let’s get straight onto the show.
Google confirming an algorithm update
What’s up everyone, I am Ahmed Khalifa, and this is episode 45 of This Week Online Today podcast. And, first of all, an apology for the delay in this because I normally like to publish on Friday, but I am recording a podcast right now in San Diego. Literally, in my hotel room in San Diego. You have to try and make do with what you have.
So, there’s a reason I’m in San Diego, if you check out the show, there’s a link to the story behind it, and there’s going to be more to the story behind it. But, I was also, you know, on where I had to be in a bed for a bit. Of all the time, in San Diego I have to be unwell.
But, anyway, quit moaning. Enough talking about “I need to get it done,” and just get it done.
So, that’s why I’m here. I need to get straight onto the news. Let’s talk about the confirmation that Google has admitted, and actually, even though I’m talking about the news of last week, Google confirmed it today. And today is, I’m recording, is March the 12th. I kind of feel American now; “March the 12th” instead of “12th of March.” Anyway, they confirmed that they have been kind of updated around the 9th, 10th, and 11th of March. And they have admitted it on Twitter.
Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year….
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) March 12, 2018
Nothing major, I feel. Because, Google updates their algorithm at least five hundred times a year. And, every day there’s tweaks here and there that you may not notice. But, now and then they do what’s called like a “core algorithm update,” and those are the ones where you might feel like a fluctuation in your Google ranking.
And, people have been noticing that. People have been asking “what’s going on,” because there have been some sort of fluctuation for them on their own site. And it’s a variety of them, because some people say it’s only affecting my mobile traffic, other people say I’m seeing better results, other people say I’m seeing only drops. They don’t seem to be like of definite certainty about what happened.
But what Google has said is the core algorithm update, and there’s not much you can do right now. Because, just like they always say, it’s a bit of a PR response, but they always say that you just be focused on making an awesome website, have really really good high quality content, blah blah blah. They say the same thing over and over again.
In hindsight yeah, it makes sense that here’s what you should do, and that is kind of the whole point of having a website. It’s to kind of like inform your audience, isn’t it? Inform your audience: who you are, what you do, and how they can benefit from it. And that’s what Google wants you to do, to create good content. So, there’s not much you can do right now apart from keep going.
And, it’s not like it is related to some sort of spam that you may or may not have done. Whether deliberately or subconsciously, who knows. These things happen. But, it’s nothing related to any kind of bad back link profile, for example. So, that is a bit of big news. Every time there’s news about algorithm update, the whole industry is like, “oh my god, what happened, oh no,” people just talk about it, asking questions on and on and on.
So, if you check out the trailer I will link to the tweet about it, from the Google search liaison team. And they have tweeted, in quite detail what’s this about, and then there have been some questions from different people.
Check it out. Let me know what you think about that. And, let me know also how that have affected you, either positively or negatively. Has it affected you? Let me know, and it’d be interesting to see what you think.
What is the “easiest” win in SEO according to Google
And let’s continue with the Google news and, here’s kind of something that everyone who has a website should be focusing on. One of the Google employee have been talking about it on Reddit. And he has been saying about how good titles and descriptions are some of the easiest wins you can get on web pages.
So, if you don’t know what that means, when we’re talking about titles and description; for example if you have a Yoast plugin installed, they are the SEO title and metadescription and that is what appears on Google. And, that’s what you see in the blue link, and the blue title even. And they’re saying that it’s some of the easiest wins you can get. And, I’m gonna quote what John Mueller said, from Google.
He said, “Good titles and descriptions are some of the easiest wins you can get on webpages. We did a round of site reviews for some NPOs recently.” An NPO is a non profit organisation, “and the number one item that came up for almost all of them was that what they cared about wasn’t front and centre on their pages, and reflected in their metadata with their titles and descriptions. How is our search engine supposed to guess what you want your pages to rank for?” And that is a quote from John himself on Google, he mentioned it on Reddit.
For those who are aware of SEO, whether you’re a full-time person in the industry, or you are a beginner and just learning the basic stuff. And some of you may be aware that it is important, but for those who are more advanced, it is kind of basic. It’s nothing that everyone’s aware of and that’s something they can appreciate because everyone knee deep in the whole SEO technique, what you should do what you shouldn’t do.
But, at the very least when it comes to SEO, is to have your title and description. They are descriptive of the content in the page and how your users will search for it. It’s very basic. A very, very basic thing.
And it’s also a very easy thing to do. You can implement it right now, you don’t need a developer. If you are using your own CMS and Content Management system, like WordPress or Squarespace or whatever, you have access to that. You have control over that. So, make sure every single page, blog post, podcast pages, whatever it is. Make sure every singe one of them have very good titles and descriptions, and also within the kind of character limit and pixel limit. And again, using Yoast SEO plugin will give you a guideline over that.
So, it’s just something for you to be aware of.
2017 being the largest amount of cybersecurity breaches
And the last big news that has been happening last week is about cyber security. And, there’s been research that’s been put together by a company called AppRiver. And, they tend to do an end of the year review about cyber security, the breaches, and numbers in detail. AppRiver, they provide cloud-based email solutions and cyber security solutions for businesses and so on.
Anyway, they have been talking about how 2017 had been kind of predicted. The biggest in terms of cyber security breaches had been the largest amount ever. And, what’s worrying is that it’s expected to increase in 2018. It’s not going to slow down and despite all of the information and the tips and the advice, the awareness is increasing as well about cyber security and what you should do about it. It’s expected to be bigger in 2018 and it’s gonna continue.
On the other hand, it’s good for cyber security business. They have the services they can continue providing for it. But, at the same time, it’s something that nobody wants it to happen to your own site.
So, they talked about number of area. Everything from the crypto currency to the common vulnerabilities, to even the latest they’ve been talking about is obviously Internet of Things, the IoT. And they are the smart voice activated systems, for example the Google Home, and the Amazon Alexa, and even any kind of blue tooth tracker like the fit wrist band kind of thing. Any smart appliances. You get where I’m going. They have also been at risk as well from security breaches.
And, it could be simple as because of poor password choice. Maybe you left it in default. Maybe it’s too simple. Or even if it’s not been maintained properly, there are some unpatched vulnerabilities that’s not being fixed. And, it’s actually really opened my eyes a bit. If you check out the research, it’s really detailed. And the numbers are astonishing as well. And, the worst is still to come.
So, I talk about it all the time and I don’t think I’ll ever stop talking about it, because it’s so important to protect yourself. People always talk about protecting themselves offline and protecting their homes, and making sure they’re locked up, and their cars and whatever. Yet, for most, if not all of us, who kinda put everything online. So, why would you not treat it as the same as you do offline, in terms of looking after yourself and making sure that you are as secure as can be?
So, I’ve put a link in the trailer of a blog post I’ve written in the past, about six simple ways to kind of protect yourself online. Like, password manager, and not writing it down, and about the free public wifi that you get when you go into a café and so on.
Small simple things that could make a huge, huge difference to your online security. And, you gotta read it. Just read it. I put the link in the trailer, and it’s something for you to be aware of and something for you to just implement now. Don’t waste your time. Because the numbers are there, the AppRiver research has shown that it’s huge. It’s going to increase, and if you don’t do something about it for your own site, then you risk having really nasty kind of breaches. That can affect your business, can affect your personal life, because it’s personal data.
It’s a scary thought, but it can happen to you. Nobody is invisible from it. Everyone can be a culprit to this crime. It’s a crime. So, make sure you protect yourself online. Just do it.
Bonus Tip of the Week
And now, time for the bonus tip of the week! This week I want to talk about conversion rate optimization. And it’s an industry that there are so many specialists and people who know much better than me about it. And, you can’t forget how important it is to take into consideration for yourself.
And, it is something that everyone can do for themselves. So, it’s just something for you to just kind of appreciate and take into consideration of how your users are going through your website. Whether they convert or not because they might, conversion rate optimization, or CRO.
So I want to talk about giving the users a personalised experience. And you may think, okay you want to say the person’s name, for example. You get the emails and newsletters, that although it is sent out in mass, it is mentioning your name.
Because, trying to be more personal. Trying to talk to you. And, yeah, that is one thing that is actually a personalised experience. But there’s another way to it, it’s not just about that. It’s not all personal. If you have a webpage or a, let’s just say, a product page that goes to or the shortcut page. It’s not going to be always possible to mention a person’s name. Because, you’re kind of talking to everyone.
So how do you personalise your copy? Well, the first thing you can do to make sure that you use webpages that are not just stuffed with so many unnecessary, useless details. You need to be very specific. You need to be, almost like buyer specific when you’re writing the content. And when you’re talking about, say for example, a product page. Make sure you know who you’re talking to. Think about your buyer’s profile.
Think about their behaviour, their taste, their preferences, their attitude, their age, their demographics. These kind of things kind of make it more personalised. Instead of going for this whole one size fits all approach.
There’s absolutely no point to just stuff your content with so many different things, so that you can hope that it can resonate with someone out there. Just throw it out there, just find out. It’s a scatter-gun approach, you know. You just shoot everywhere and hope that someone catches it. That’s not how it works. That’s not how it works, so it’s not just about emails and saying, “Hello, first name” kind of thing. You don’t have to do that but it’s one thing you can do. It’s also in your webpages.
Be relevant about that topic. Don’t stray off to something different. And I talked earlier about how you should make sure your titles and your descriptions are relevant to your content. It makes sense that it kind of related to it.
You need to make sure that it is relevant to that page because it’s more personal. If you’re trying either be very generic or trying to say as many things as possible, it’s not going to make anyone happy. If you’re kind of fooling them in terms of what you are telling them is going to be on that page but it’s actually not there…
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 this show, please do leave a review on iTunes. It would mean the world to me. I really would appreciate that.
Thank you again. One more thing: Do your thing. Because it matters, and I’ll see you next week.
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