Facebook says the idea for adding Accelerated Mobile Pages and Apple News support to its Instant Articles toolkit came from frustrated publishers asking for an easier way to produce all three formats. That rings true; format fragmentation is a growing burden for news publishers. But generating Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) from Instant Articles seems like a strange answer to the wrong question. Instead of looking for incremental improvements to the underlying problem, publishers and platforms should revisit the premise that all of these formats are necessary in the first place. What if one distribution format could work across multiple platforms? Consider AMP, Instant Articles and Apple News, which are essentially three different ways of presenting news articles. Of those, AMP is the only non-proprietary format — and by far the most flexible. Instant Articles policy forbids ads above the fold, limits ad frequency and blocks ad networks except Facebook’s Audience … [Read more...] about Is AMP the answer to format fragmentation?
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) standard was designed to bring the fast-loading, clean experience of native apps to the open web. With most large publishers now producing AMP versions of their content, distribution platforms and other referrers are starting to experiment with AMP as an alternative to standard outbound links and app web views. Publishers might see this trend in their AMP referral analytics. At Relay Media, we’ve tracked an increase in non-Google referrals to the AMP content we convert for publishers — beyond the usual traffic from users sharing AMP links on social media. Here are our top non-Google referral sources over the past five months: Google still represents about 80 percent of total AMP referral sessions to Relay Media’s platform, with another 8 percent categorized as “(direct) / (none)” in Google Analytics. Identifiable non-Google sources represent around 10 percent of total referral sessions. It’s a modest piece of the … [Read more...] about Links to AMP content are showing up outside of search results
By all accounts, yesterday was a big and important day for the tech and online marketing industries. Hundreds of websites protested the SOPA & PIPA bills that are currently moving through the U.S. Congress by either going completely dark for the day or — as we did here on Marketing Land and our sister site, Search Engine Land — blackening a portion of our site and adding anti-SOPA/PIPA messaging to their home pages. Did it work? Well, the two bills are not dead, but they’re certainly damaged. By Wednesday night, the Washington Post says that at least four co-sponsors dropped support of PIPA, the Senate version of the bill. The House version, SOPA, also lost prominent support after yesterday’s web protests — protests that extended offline to include hundreds of phone calls to Congress. How big was yesterday’s anti-SOPA/PIPA movement online? Here are the numbers. Wikipedia More than 162 million users saw Wikipedia’s blackout page. More … [Read more...] about 7 Million Petitions, 3.9 Million Tweets & Google Crawling Dropped 60%
Are you a robot? A spammer? A sock puppet? A trusted author and content developer? A trusted agent in the eyes of Google? (More on trusted agents below.) When you interact on a social network, or write a review online or update information to an internet mapping service, how much does the service you are using trust the content that you add, or the changes that you might make? These aren’t rhetorical questions, but rather ones at the heart of approaches from services like Google Web search and Google Maps, which are focusing more and more upon social signals and social collaboration to provide the information that they do to the public. If you’ve seen a +1 button within Google’s search results or on a site, and you’ve clicked upon it, or shared a page or post or site in Google Plus with others, you’ve engaged in endorsing the work of the author who created that site. How much weight does Google give that endorsement? If you find an error on a Google Place … [Read more...] about Are You Trusted by Google?
Did you know that you can increase your SEO task efficiency by using extensions in Google Chrome? If you perform most of your SEO tasks manually, these extensions can help reduce the headache of repetitive tasks and help you make your work day run more smoothly. Following are five free Chrome extensions I use on a daily basis to help increase productivity. From screen shots to checking links to content analysis, it’s all here! 1. Nimbus Screenshot and Screencast As the name suggests, Nimbus is a handy screen shot and screencast tool. This tool is handy for capturing and annotating screen shots, which can help when putting together a report for a client, convincing a client to take a particular step or showing them errors we are seeing on our end (that they may not be seeing on theirs). You can make annotations right within Nimbus: arrows, text, image blurring for sensitive materials — it is possible to do all that with this tool. In addition, you can use Nimbus to create … [Read more...] about Five free Chrome extensions for SEO practitioners
During its peak, the KISSmetrics blog received 768,766 visitors a month and was growing at a rapid pace. Can you guess what our monthly traffic is now? We get 543,348 visitors, which means our traffic is down by a whopping 225,418 visitors. Some of the traffic drop is intentional, but some of it isn’t. Here is what I learned from a 29% traffic drop: Lesson #1: Don’t Let People Re-post Your Content When you get hit up by big blogs like Business Insider to republish your content, it’s tempting to say yes. Why? Because you can get a lot of brand exposure. For that reason, I would let every big brand republish our content. The problem with this strategy is that most big brands don’t understand SEO, which means they republish your content in a way that can hurt you. Most of these blogs will take your content and link back to you, citing you as the original source. Although this may seem like the right thing to do, it actually isn’t. The correct way is to use a … [Read more...] about 7 Content Marketing Lessons You Wish You Know
The creative is stellar. Headline and value prop impactful. Hero image delightful. But peeps ain’t converting. Because the single biggest conversion killer is lurking behind the scenes, completely untouched. Which is a shame, because speed (or lack thereof) often has a bigger impact on campaign conversions than any of that other stuff. The Impact of Speed Google experienced a 20% traffic drop years ago as a result of a 0.5-second delay — 0.5! Think that’s bad? If an e-commerce page fails to load in under three seconds, it stands to lose nearly half its traffic. As a result, some of the savviest online brands now load in under a second. Less than one second! The impact of speed only becomes exacerbated on mobile, where limited processing power and spotty connections are the norm. According to Kinsta’s excellent page speed guide, 74% of people on mobile would abandon if the page doesn’t load in 5 seconds. And this is a world where mobile internet usage is … [Read more...] about 11 Ways to Boost Page Load Time
Online security is no longer an optional extra for businesses – it’s the basic price of admission for businesses of all size. One of the most basic forms of online security is switching to HTTPS hosting. Of course, there are loads of factors to consider, but aside from the advantages of presenting a safe and secure website to your visitors, switching to secure HTTPS hosting (as opposed to HTTP) is good for business. As well as reassuring your visitors, HTTPS is actually endorsed by Google. And in the coming years, the question isn’t going to be so much whether you need to migrate to HTTPS, it will be when are you going to switch. The problem is that many businesses, smaller ones in particular, are not making the change. Recent research indicates that HTTPS adoption is in the 2% to 3% band. But if you are not prepared, or you’re not familiar with this sort of thing, then all you need to do is to follow the steps below to ensure that your site is migrated safely, … [Read more...] about A Step-by-Step Guide to Migrate Your Site to HTTPS
Does your site collect sensitive visitor information such as passwords, credit card information, or personal data? If so, be warned: by the end of January 2017, Google Chrome will begin marking sites without HTTPS as non-secure. Put another way; Chrome will now require HTTPS for sites that collect sensitive information. If you have not done so already, protect your visitors and your site with an SSL certificate and migrate to HTTPS. Reel It Back – What Is HTTPS? HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) are both protocols, or languages, for passing information between web servers and clients. All you need to know is that HTTPS is a secure connection, whereas HTTP is unsecure. With a standard HTTP connection, it is possible for unauthorized parties to observe the conversation between your computing device and the site. This “conversation” is typically mundane, unless you are entering sensitive information such as your password, … [Read more...] about Google Is Requiring HTTPS for Secure Data in Chrome
If you can increase the speed of your site, traffic can increase and conversion can double. Here I won’t just be talking about your website speed, but the overall “speed experience” of your online business. A 2015 Microsoft study that surveyed 2,000 people and monitored brain activity of 112 additional people with EEGs, revealed that the average human attention span has reduced to eight seconds, from 12 seconds in the year 2000. Interestingly, declining attention spans is affecting online transactions as well. Here are some interesting statistics on what happens when you delay people’s access to your website: A one second delay in page load time will result in a 7% loss in conversion. 40% of people will abandon your website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. A study that monitored real time data from 33 major retailers found that improving a site’s load time from eight seconds to two seconds boosted conversion rates by 74%. Slow loading sites … [Read more...] about How to make speed a core part of your traffic and conversion strategy