Welcome to episode 52 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.
In this episode of This Week Online Today, I talk about the following:
- Google updating their broad core algorithm
- Why you should not worry too much about any drops in ranking
- Amazon delivering parcels to your car
- The problems with ‘Amazon Key’ promotional video and why it does not seem trustworthy
- What you should do about becoming GDPR compliant
- And of course, the bonus the tip of the week
- Google’s tweet confirming the recent broad core algorithm update
- Amazon’s new service to deliver parcels to the boot of your car
- The official Amazon Key promotional video
- How I became GDPR complaint
- The list of 3rd party tools that are taking data about you
- PageRank Updated – The Patent by Google
Welcome to This Week Online Today Podcast with your host, Ahmed Khalifa, 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.
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 started onto the show.
Google Confirming Broad Core Algorithm
What’s up, everyone? I am Ahmed Khalifa and this is episode 52 of This Week Online Today, exciting times. I’m going to start off with a news by Google, of course. You may have noticed it or not, depending on how your ranking had been going, but Google has confirmed that they have released what they call a broad core algorithm update. Let’s just clarify a few things because Google update their algorithm hundreds of times every year.
In fact, the average is about twice a day. You think about that. It’s like actually a lot of time. Most of the time, we don’t feel it. They do this kind of routine broad core updates for the algorithm where you may see some shift in your ranking. It might go up. It might go down, and it might settle again as well.
This was kind of done two weeks ago, but it was confirmed this week, which is kind of a normal thing for Google. Here’s the thing. People think about, “Okay, what do we do? What happened?” For example, if you have got some rankings for a certain keyword, it dropped, what do you do then? Well, Google said that not much. There’s not much you can do because your site might be fine.
On Monday, we released a broad core algorithm update, as we routinely do throughout the year. For background and advice about these, see our tweet from last month: https://t.co/uPlEdSu6xp
— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) April 20, 2018
There might not be any pages which used to perform well but is not performing as well at the algorithm update. Sometimes, these changes, I quote what Google said, “Instead, it’s that changes to our system are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded.” Google said that they have no fix for pages that perform less rather than others, and you should remain focused on building great content, which is something that have been said over and over again, and they will never stop saying that.
You may have seen it, and hopefully, you’re tracking some of your keyword ranking just to keep an eye on things, but this has really happened. Again, I wouldn’t panic over there, unless you’ve been doing something either maybe unethical in terms of SEO or maybe something that it’s just not the standard that you would expect in terms of … You want to provide the best quality kind of content on your site, and you want to make sure that your audience, your visitors, your customers, your clients, whatever they are, you want them to be able to get everything possible on your site.
All the information is there. It’s engaging. It’s high quality. If it’s some kind problem they’re looking for, they need a solution, you have provided that solution the best way possible. That’s what’s having a website is all about. That’s what Google’s trying to do. That’s why there are a lot of focus on great quality content.
There’s been a lot of chatter about the update, and people have been thinking about, “Oh, I’ve had a ranking drop. Oh, it’s gone up. Oh, whatever.” As I said, they do it all the time. You would always see ranking changes. It will never ever remain consistent and the same throughout. That will never happen.
There will always be little bumps, up and down, or major bumps up and down, and that’s just something we have to accept, especially the way they update the algorithm hundreds and hundreds of time every year. That’s something you should be aware of. Keep an eye on your traffic. Keep an eye on your ranking, but also, if something negative happened, don’t worry. You keep on working on it. Keep on building that good quality content, and just make sure that you’re consistently providing that value to your audience.
Amazon to Delivery Packages to Your Car
How about this for another news from Amazon, and they’ve been different in trying to be creative with their eCommerce and trying to provide for their customers. This is another kind of thing they’re doing right now. Amazon, right now, well, they’re testing it, but anyway, they can deliver packages to the boot, or should I say trunk for the American listeners, of your car. If you have ordered anything online, you can get it delivered to the boot of your car.
I’m going to stick with boot, by the way.
That’s interesting. How the hell can you work that out? Who would’ve thought that you actually want to have … People actually want their package to be delivered to your car?
Anyway, how do that work? Well, they have kind of partnered up with General Motors and Volvo. They’ve got a deal going on where they’re going to roll, I think, in about 37 cities in America right now to test this kind of new version of home delivery kind of thing. There’s a lot of process behind it, but how it works is that you need what’s called an Amazon Key app, and you provide your details there.
Also, technologically, they work with the General Motors and provide information there as well. This will allow access for the delivery people to, I guess, open the trunk of your car, but not necessarily, obviously, they can’t turn the car engine on, just to open that. It’s only going to work with certain car models, and obviously, more of a recent one which has specific kind of accounts with Volvo and that kind of thing.
Also, it’s only for smaller packages or lower value. I mean, if you are sending several laptops, they’re not going to deliver it to your car. They need signature and confirmation and that kind of thing because it is high value. It’s weird. It’s just interesting because if you’re not aware of it about maybe a month ago, maybe more than that, Amazon was trialling out delivering your parcels, but they can open your front door and put the parcel or package right there, and then close the door, and that’s it, which is a bit weird.
I don’t know if I can even do that. I don’t know if I want that to happen, but apparently, they’re trying it out and people are doing it, which is, okay, fair enough. Now, it’s like another level, not just access to your house, but your car as well. It’s just never-ending. It’s just constantly trying to find a way to do this.
That’s interesting, I find. Really, it’s very quirky. What I’ve found also funny is that they, obviously, they did a promotional thing, Amazon Key promotion. One way of doing it is actually using a video of, of course, people trying it. It’s like using real customers who are using Amazon Key and about how amazing it is. I thought it could be funny. Let’s watch the video.
I’m going to put the video in the show notes, and you need to check it out. It’s quite amusing. I mean, whether it’s genuine or not, I don’t know. It just seemed a bit weird, a bit different. I’m not even sure if I can believe it, but anyway, they have different people of different demographic, different background, different personas using Amazon Key.
Another lady say, “Oh, I don’t want to deliver a birthday present because I want it to arrive in a box in my car.” I thought, “It’s already in the box anyway.” That’s a bit weird. There’s one particular guy in the video, and I was like, “Surely, it’s not real.” This person who is in the Amazon Key promotional video, you must check out because that person … First of all, it’s so obvious it is scripted, and he is not looking at the camera.
He is looking just beside the camera and trying to read the word line by line to make it look genuine. The way he’s saying it is, obviously, he’s reading it, and it’s obviously being scripted. That’s the thing. It’s like, how can that fool anyone? I’m just not sure about that particular person and saying, “Oh, I’m an Amazon Key customer. I use it. I recommend it.”
Come on. That just seems a bit weird.
Anyway, it’s just, something like this, you have to make sure that people trust your service. If you’re going to be providing people access to your car and your household as well, and you want to do a promotional video and telling people that it works, it’s safe, real people are using that kind of thing, fine, but make it believable because the video is not believable at all, in my opinion.
Some people might think, “Oh, it’s genuine for the few people that they have used in the demonstration part.” I’m not sure. Because of that video, the way I looked at it, I’m thinking, “No, that’s all scripted.” It doesn’t seem genuine to me. I’m reluctant to use Amazon Key because of that, or even try it if it ever come to the UK. Who knows? It may never come.
You need to have that assurance. I think that applies to anything that you are selling, whether products or services. You need to have that assurance, be trustworthy, and make people believe in you. Of course, the best way is probably, one of the best way anyway, is to use videos of testimonials or case studies, video of yourself talking about it, so that it’s really you who has made that product.
It’s really you who’s providing that service. You want to build that trust with your audience but make it believable. If you’re going to have someone read the script and talk almost like a robot, then it’s not going to work.
If you’re going to do that, please make sure that it’s genuine. Please make sure real customers. Don’t find any actors because that can really shoot you in the foot if you find actors to pretend to be your customer. That’s not going to work. You don’t want to lie to your audience because that is kind of lying.
I find it interesting. Amazon Key, check out the video in the show notes. It’s really, really interesting, but let’s see how it works, maybe it’s going to roll out across the world, but right now, it’s only in the US. Let’s see how it works out for them.
Being Compliant wth GDPR
I’m sure most people listening to this are getting really bored of GDPR or General Data Regulation Protection that’s coming out and going to be rolled out on the 25th of May, 2018. Even though it’s been around and been talked about for at least a couple of years. It’s only now, obviously, people are frantically putting things together and getting ready for it. There’s a lot of scare stories, and scaremongering about the fines that you can get, and if you’re not ready by it, you’re in trouble, all that kind of stuff.
Why am I talking about this? Well, it’s not new, obviously, but I just thought I’d go and do a little bit of personal aside in terms of what I’ve been doing, just quickly, in terms of how I did in terms of complying with GDPR. Also, just share a little bit stories with yourself if you are struggling or you’re scared about it, or you’re worried about how to get it done, hear me out.
Just hear me out for a little bit. I spent some time just putting together the documents that I wanted to say. Before doing that, obviously, I just looked at, first of all, what data I have, how I’m processing it, and also, in terms of what tools I’m using and what are they doing. Are they going to comply with GDPR? That’s the one thing I should also ask as well.
It’s like, find out what tool are you using, software, online account, even stuff like worthless plugins, what plugins you’re using as well. You need to find out what are they doing. What are they doing there, but in terms of complying with GDPR? If they’re not doing anything or they’re just brushing aside and not taking it seriously, then I would suggest you ditch them. Just forget about them because it’s not something to joke around with.
This is serious. We’re talking about possessing, potentially, the most valuable commodity now in the world. It’s not about oil. It’s not about gold and all these things. Data is so valuable now that people will do anything to steal them, extract them, possess them, and take advantage it for monetary gains, kind of thing.
I guess, it is the whole point of GDPR to look at what data you have, how you’re handling it, how you’re processing it, how you’re protecting it, and also, what are you doing with it in the long-term as well. If you’re thinking of GDPR as, “Oh, God, yet another regulation I have to comply with,” then I think you are looking at it in the wrong way.
You need to look at why you’re doing this. Check out what you’re using, and read about it just briefly, are they doing anything about it? I’m not saying you have to read the nitty-gritty details of what they’re doing. Just find out what they’re doing.
I’m going to put in the show notes of … I’ve created a page about the third party that I’m using who are potentially using data about you. At the end of the day, whatever software online account you’re using, you are the product and they are learning about you. It’s time to be honest about that.
If you’re doing that, then maybe it’s time for you to be honest about how you’re doing that and what data you’re taking, what tools you’re using that’s also taking some data about your audience, your customers, that kind of stuff. Little things like, for example, Google Analytics obviously taking data, and what you’re doing about that, and what are they doing about that as well. It’s good to keep on top of it.
Be honest about that. Be specific. Be detailed, and just be upfront about it. There’s nothing to hide because nobody can hide online kind of thing. If you are reading about your customer’s data like their user engagement on your website and how they are going around your website, they need to know that. It’s obvious for a lot of people, but it’s not obvious for others. You need to be honest and upfront about that.
You have to talk about it, what you’re handling, how you’re possessing it, what you’re doing to protect it, which is why I keep on talking about password manager and being very strict about your online security and your privacy and protecting the data that you are possessing. That’s essential. You can’t just joke about that anymore. It’s really, really important in the days where cybersecurity is becoming a hot topic, and it’s increasing all the time. I’ve talked about that before.
Talk about it as well. You need to mention what you’re doing to protect your data, their data even about themselves, and what you’re going to do in the long-term, in terms of how long you want to keep it. There are certain things that you don’t have to keep forever, and it’s also an opportunity for you to look at your data and delete anything you don’t need. If you have emails about your customers from 10 years ago, do you really need it? Unlikely. Very, very unlikely, so delete it. Get rid of it. You don’t need that at all.
I’ll put the link in the show notes about what I’m doing, how I’ve done it, the process I’ve gone through it, some ideas for you to take onboard. Don’t copy it. I’m going to keep an eye on it. Don’t be copying it. First of all, it’s naughty. Yes, but also, you’re shooting yourself in the foot, and you’re lying to your audience if you just copy and paste kind of thing. You don’t want to do that. Trust me. You just don’t want. Check out the link in the show notes about how you can comply with GDPR, and learn about my process, and maybe you can find your own way of doing it as well.
Bonus Tip of the Week
Now, time for the bonus tip of the week. This one could be interesting because I could’ve made it as part of the news in terms of what’s been happening this week, but I thought I’ll share it in here and also tips about it. I wrote a blog post this week about Google’s PageRank. If you don’t know what PageRank is, this is a metric that they use internally to measure the authority of a website based on, especially on links, and links that third-party website link into you because that is kind of one of the ranking factor.
Years ago, that used to be available in public. You have a rating of one to 10, and people say, “Oh, I’m PR this number. If I link to you, you will get benefit. Oh, you should aim for getting PR 10 from links from the BBC or whatever so that it can help you with your visibility on Google.” People abused that. For a long time now, people is not available in public. Google used to have this tool that you have on your browser. You can measure it for every website that you visit, but it’s not available anymore. If you see it, don’t trust it.
However, Google still use it internally to measure performance website and links and that kind of stuff. It’s a very complex thing. It gets even more complex about this broadcast I’ve read where they have published a patent that they want to get approved about their PageRank, which they want to update.
This guy, his name is Bill Slawski, and he’s like … The way he dissects patent, it’s incredible. It’s like reading a PhD document. He goes into the nitty-gritty details of what Google’s patent is all about, what you should be aware of, and what does it mean, just make it understandable, a little bit anyway, just make it more understandable.
He has been reading this patent about PageRank update. It’s quite interesting because the long story short is the fact that they want to make sure that any spammy links are a waste of time. If you are actively looking for random links and getting hundreds or maybe thousands of very low-quality link that is a tactic used to be very popular in the past, and it used to really be the main linkbuilding technique to get visibility. Google want to really stop that because they have been working on it, and they have focused on quality over quantity.
However, whether we like it or not, low-quality links still work. Unethical SEO techniques still works, and the nasty thing that people get annoyed about is how come this website is ranking higher, similar content, hype, and whatever, but their links are terrible if you look at their backlink profile. It’s a hard argument to make because eventually, you can say it will work out in the long run because Google don’t want that to happen to them. They want to tackle that.
The patent that they’re looking at is to focus on just really making sure that low-quality spammy links will not be given any credit at all. Whether it’s going to be approved or not is another story. It doesn’t mean that it’s definitely going to happen.
The whole point is that they want to propose and implement in the algorithm, and it will be an ongoing this, but this is what they’re working on. It is a message too to say that focus on quality. If you want to get link … I mean, yeah, you have to make sure that you have something worth linking to on your website. People call it almost like a “linkable asset.” You have to have something really awesome on your site to link to.
If you’re buying links from all these random website, or you’re getting these spammy emails that maybe say, “Oh, I can get you links from this, this, and this,” don’t accept it. Don’t ever go with it. Don’t even think about doing it at all. You’re going to suffer in the long run, which I can promise you will happen. It’s not worth it. You will get a short-term gain that will boost your visibility, but in the long run, you’re going to drop, and then you’re going to potentially lose up visibility completely.
You don’t want that. It used to be a tactic in the past that people abuse, and then the algorithm changed, it really hit them hard, and it took them a long time, years to get back to normal visibility. Some people might not be able to get back to that kind of visibility. Be aware of it. It’s about quality over quantity. I mean, yes, there is a factor of quantity over it, but if you’re going to focus on quantity and that’s it, in terms of you want just any random thousands and thousands of links, I would not do that. Please don’t do that. Please.
Thank you for listening to this episode of This Week Online Today. I really truly appreciate it, and I hope you find 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.
Thank you again. You rock. One more thing, I just want to remind you to do your thing because it matters, and I’ll see you next week.
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