The HTTP/2 protocol was published in 2015 with the aim of creating a faster, more secure Internet. Adoption has been gradual and is ongoing, but there are clear benefits for marketers who make the upgrade. So what exactly is HTTP/2 and how does it affect SEO? The variety and quantities of information transferred on the Internet have changed dramatically in the past decade. Content formats are larger and more complex, mobile usage has increased significantly, and there is a growing global population of Internet users on a daily basis. It is within this ever-changing landscape that a group of developers built SPDY (pronounced ‘speedy’, aptly enough), to build on the syntax of the original Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). As the name suggests, SPDY was developed with the core aim of finding faster ways to transport content on the Internet that would reduce page load speeds. SPDY was primarily developed by a group of Google engineers and it provided the platform for … [Read more...] about What is HTTP/2 and how does it benefit SEO?
The mobile web has a weight problem. Too many mobile sites are slow to load, and bloated with unnecessary bells and whistles, leading to a poor user experience. Chief among the culprits is images, which as we have seen in part 1 of this series, How to optimize your mobile site speed, account for 68% of total page weight. Then, in part 2, we looked at how to reduce the impact of images on the speed of your mobile site, including how to make sure your images are as accessible as can be. This mostly focused on removing images which do not add value, and making the ones you do use work harder. But how can you make sure that any images on your mobile site are light, device-responsive, and use the best format to combine speed and quality? This column focuses on optimizing images for mobile, including responsive images and other clever methods for stopping images ruining mobile user experience. The balancing act of image optimization The problem with image optimization is that there … [Read more...] about How to optimize images for mobile: Implementing light, responsive, correctly formatted images
When asked about her start in marketing, Watkins said she is fascinated by the ways people build systems that help them understand the world. For anyone who uses Slack, Watkins has found a near-perfect environment for understanding how people work and the business-communication systems they create. In her role at Slack, Watkins leads all aspects of the brand's product, platform and growth marketing, as well as overseeing its advertising, events and editorial efforts. Right now, Watkins says her team is focused on Slack's international expansion - aiming to grow its usage beyond the current 40 percent of Slack users who live outside of the US. "I'm most excited about this because we have the opportunity to stretch ourselves and think creatively about how we extend the Slack brand in a way that maintains our voice, but is relevant and resonant for different cultures," says Watkins. "We're wrapping our brains around how Slack can fit in environments with different norms around work and … [Read more...] about How a degree in theology led to a career in marketing for Slacks top marketer
Google is bringing the Chrome browser to virtual reality (VR) and also bringing augmented reality (AR) into the Chrome browser. On the second day of I/O, at the end of its morning keynote, Google made two announcements tied to Chrome that are quite interesting for the future of the mobile web. Google previously authored a web VR spec that allows developers to create VR (360-degree) experiences for the browser. Yesterday, Google said that it was bringing the full Chrome browser to VR headsets. For conventional web pages, you'll see the same 2D experience, but web VR experiences will be fully immersive in the headset. Web video will also be transformed into a large-screen experience. Perhaps more significantly, Google said that it was making AR available through the Chrome browser. Mobile apps permit users to have AR experiences today (think Pokémon Go); the news here is that these experiences can be brought into conventional web pages in the browser. The … [Read more...] about Web browsing coming to VR headsets, AR coming to the web via Chrome
Recently, I attended Baidu’s annual search conference for agency partners in Beijing. One of the premier search events in China for SEO professionals, the conference was hosted by engineers from Baidu’s core search and Webmaster Tools teams. The agenda covered Baidu’s eco-empowerment strategy, its Mobile Instant Page (MIP) project and a wrap-up of the 2016 algorithm updates. The event made it clear to me that 2016 was the year Baidu SEO came into its own. If you aren’t already investing in Baidu SEO, 2017 is your year to start. The eco-empowerment The concept of eco-empowerment was introduced by Dai Tan, Baidu’s Chief Architect of Search. With search, Baidu wants every practitioner in the internet ecosystem to have better efficiencies in production, execution and monetization. In order to fulfill eco-empowerment, Baidu needs to provide relevant technology and form a mechanism for the ecosystem, supported by two pillars: page load speed and HTTPS. Every … [Read more...] about 2016 was a coming-of-age year for Baidu SEO; why you should invest in 2017
If you had to tell an established company to do just one thing to improve their SEO, what would it be? What would you tell them is the one thing that would have the most impact in the least amount of time and would really move the needle for them? Personally, I would tell them to fix their historical redirects. The process involves fixing redirects that were never done (or dropped over time) from old pages on a website that had accumulated links and aren’t properly transferring signals to the current pages. You’re recovering value that already belongs to your website but was lost. In all of my years doing SEO, I would say that fixing redirects has been one of the most powerful tactics. No one really likes to do redirects, and all too often they are completely omitted or forgotten over the years. It’s really important to have a process in place to make sure that redirects get done, that they are done correctly and that they are up-to-date. I can’t tell you how … [Read more...] about Fixing historical redirects using Wayback Machine APIs
The SEO technology space could benefit tremendously from the establishment of technical standards. Implementation of Google’s own specifications is inconsistent within our tools and can lead less-experienced SEOs to believe their sites are in better shape than they are. In the same way that the W3C rallied around the definition of protocol standards in 1994 and the Web Standards Project (WaSP) standardized coding practices in 1998, it’s our turn to button up our software and get prepared for what’s coming next. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. On December 4, I received an email from DeepCrawl telling me that my account was out of credits. That didn’t make any sense, though, because my billing cycle had just restarted a few days prior — and, frankly, we haven’t really used the tool much since October, as you can see in the screen shot below. I should still have a million credits. Logging in, I remembered how much I prefer other tools now. … [Read more...] about How and why the SEO tools industry should develop technical standards
Here’s proof we’re in a fast-paced, immediate gratification online era: If people can’t access a website within three seconds, they’re gone. Buying decisions are made in micro-moments. 70% of people who switch off a mobile app or site do so because of slow loading times. And, your entire overall website bounce rate goes up to a whopping 58% if it takes 10 seconds for your site to load. What if there were some way you could get your page’s content to load much faster for your mobile users? How many more people would read, stay longer, and potentially convert and become your customers? (Could it be as high as 70% on mobile?) Luckily, there’s now a way to get lightning-fast speed and immediately tune into your fast-paced audience’s needs. This solution is called the Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP), or the Google AMP Update, and it’s coming to a website near you. AMP is a completely open-source project that aims to enhance the user experience … [Read more...] about Guide To Creating AMP-Friendly Content
The holidays are all about tradition and bringing cheer to your family, friends, and clients. For me, that applies to the Google Analytics metrics I have come to know and love when sending my clients their monthly reports. For most of us, the holidays are the all-too-short-lived time where families gather ’round a tree, get and give gifts we may or may not use, and eat a harvest of homemade food. For others, the more data-driven geeks like myself, that slew of holiday treats takes second place to the festive findings of my Google Analytics dashboards. Whatever you’re looking forward to this holiday season, I’ve got some easy Google Analytics reports for my SEO marketing friends that will make your extra two-and-half days off a little more om. Ahead, find 6 Google Analytics reports that brought me lots of cheer for this year during this cornucopias gourd filled fall season. Hint: You may want to add these to your wishlist! Before I dive into the details of Google … [Read more...] about 6 Google Analytics Reports That Will Bring Every SEO Lots of Cheer!