The search marketing rumour mill is rife with discussion around the apparent roll-out of mobile-first testing from Google.
Ensuring your website is mobile responsive means focusing on the key concerns for mobile users – performance and usability. This means making sure that your website loads quickly, and is easy to use on mobile.
To check how your website performs on mobile, take a look at Google’s TestMySite toolkit, which provides a free audit of how your site performance on mobile.
If you would like to talk to anyone about the points raised in your Google Test My Site audit, we are on hand to explain the results and let you know how to fix it.
This month, we have seen a number of interesting little changes to Facebook, including some new features, metrics and plugins – alongside a couple of Google updates.
Google will now feature icons for PDFs and PPTs in search results
This is a subtle but useful change from Google, showing labels on search results for raw PPT and PDF files uploaded to websites, so the user will know what type of content will open when they click on the link.
It’s clean and consistent with other Google labels, it will only appear if you are linking to a direct PPT file, not one that’s embedded onto a web page. It has the potential for increasing click throughs if people are specifically looking for this type of content – such as people looking for evidence or reports.
Facebook releases a new Messenger Chat plugin for websites
This month, Facebook revealed details about its latest version of the Messenger platform – featuring a customer chat plugin for business websites.
The move was after huge demand, with businesses wanting to reach their customers in new ways – customers are already using messenger, so companies want to speak to their customers in the environment that they are already present on.
The plugin will allow businesses to continue conversations seamlessly between their website and Facebook Messenger without losing any of the chat history.
You can find out more about the messenger plug in on the Search Engine Journal.
Facebook introduces a simple polling feature – including GIF functionality
This month, Facebook rolled out a new feature to both business pages and personal profiles, allowing users to post simple polls and include GIFs to make them engaging and stand out in news feeds.
The polls are simple, they will include one question and a choice of two answers. They are found by creating a status update and scrolling to the bottom of the menu to find the poll option.
I think this is something we will start seeing a lot of on our Facebook feeds!
Facebook inform publishers of the pages who have shared their videos
Another new bit of Facebook news this month, Highlighted Shares. This feature gives brands, publishers and creators more information about who is contributing to their video views.
It’s done via a tab on all pages that will list the top 5 pages that have shared your videos on Facebook. This new Highlighted Shares metric will be accessed through video insights.
It’s hoped that this new ability to see who is engaging with your content the most will encourage businesses to then in turn share their content, creating a network of businesses who engage and share with each other’s content – helping each other grow their audiences.
A really helpful metric, and certainly something worth including in your regular monitoring.
Google is now prompting all users clicking on unsecured websites to be careful, as they are about to enter data into a potentially ‘unsafe’ website. But what does Google count as an unsafe website?
To Google, an unsafe website is one that has no encrption – one that doesn’t have an SSL certificate or (more simply) HTTPS at the beginning of the URL (instead having HTTP – which is the standard protocol).
The SSL in SSL certificate stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is a very high-level encryption standard. SSL enables a secure connection between the client and the server for which information is sent over. Google (understandably) wants everything on the web to be travelling over secure channels, so now they will flag any unencrypted websites as not secure whilst using their Chrome browser – displaying a red ‘X’ over a padlock in the URL bar.
This change means that Google is making it very clear that it believes the internet should be surfed securely, wanting all sites to be served using HTTPS. HTTPS is basically a secure layer on top of the usual HTTP web protocol.
It’s a move that is welcomed by companies and tech experts, noting that the change is a strong idea. Right now, HTTP is still common place, however it isn’t secure and presents a potential danger to website users and brands.
Encryption has been encouraged on websites by Google since 2014, with HTTPS contributing to their ranking algorithm.
If you would like to learn more about security on your website, drop us a line at [email protected]
With just over half a year to go until the GDPR deadline (25 May 2018), you are bound to be asking questions about what the update includes and how your organisation can get ready for it. To help out, we have outlined 7 principles of GDPR – meet these and you are on your way to being compliant.
The GDPR update is for personal data, so this doesn’t include organisational data or data that has been put out into the public domain.
The 7 principles of GDPR
Know what you need and why
The main thing I am picking up about GDPR is the ability to justify every field of data that you are collecting. Why do you need to know ethnicity, is it relevant for the function of your organisation, or is it analysis? I’m afraid analysis or ‘just in case’ is no longer good enough. Know exactly what information you need to collect and document why you need it.
Gone are the days that privacy notes are small print buried in a sea of terms and conditions. Now you need to be clear about what data you are collecting, why you need it and what you will do with it. This has to be prominent on the page that you are collecting the data on – not buried in footnotes.
Keep the data secure
It sounds obvious but you would be surprised! Make sure all personal data is encrypted and kept on a secure server. The system needs to be trusted and compliant with DPA. It’s your responsibility to thoroughly check where your data is stored, so complete an audit before the 25 May 2018 to ensure that your data is safe and secure.
Don’t keep data longer than you need to
As part of the privacy notice you need to let people know how long you will keep their data for, and stick to that. Make sure you cleanse your data regularly and get rid of old information – or get consent and update it.
Dispose of data securely
When you are archiving old data, know that you are deleting it securely.
Don’t send data internationally
All of Europe needs to conform to the new GDPR update, but other countries may not match up to the standards and requirements of the law – so you need to ensure that if you are sending your data to any third parties, that they are also compliant to the regulations.
Ensure data you have is kept up to date
Another principle showing how important data cleansing is. You are responsible for making sure your data is up to date and correct – so book in time regularly to do a data check, if emails bounce then delete them. If you send data to third parties you are also responsible for sending them updated data, making sure they are up to date too.
SO basically, make sure you document:
- What we have
- Why we have it
- Where did it come from?
- Who are we sharing it with?
The main message from me is – don’t panic. There is lots of noise out there at the moment, but for more information about GDPR visit the ICO website for guidance and advice.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not legal advice for your company to use in complying with EU data privacy laws like the GDPR. This blog provides background information in relation to understanding GDPR and its effect on you and your marketing practices – this is not the same as legal advice. If you would like legal advice on your GDPR practice, please contact a solicitor.