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Google Algorithm Changes and Their Effect On Your Web Presence

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Google is constantly updating its core algorithms which are becoming more and more difficult to follow for business owners, marketers and agencies managing clients’ web presences.

In order to ‘keep up’ with these changes and to support your online presence in line with the trends, you need to focus on what these Google alterations are and the effect they have on your website and search rankings every day.

Google updates its search engine ranking algorithm up to 600 times each year”, Markets Insider.

Most Recent Google Algorithm Changes

The top three main changes that Google made in 2018 focused on securing websites, mobile website speeds and SERP changes. These changes are the most influential of the 600 made in the last year and the most damaging to your website rankings overall if not followed.

By following these updates on your own website, you can be seen as ‘following the rules’ and be placed into Google’s good books when it comes to ranking and domain authority.

SSL Security Importance

It was back in 2018 when Google first used SSL as a ranking factor in its core algorithm. If your website is not HTTPS, it can seriously effect its position in Google rankings and it can be instantly penalised as dangerous for any users and therefore not pushed forward in searches for them to visit your site over another.

SSL doesn’t only secure your website but it also builds trust amongst your users and credibility with brands also. As well as “safety for all your subdomains”, SEO advantages and increased security online, there is no reason to not have SSL on your website in 2019.

Mobile Website Speeds

Although marketers and web developers have been discussing mobile websites for years, Google now looks at the speed of them as a ranking factor also. Your mobile website could look great, work easily for all users but if it isn’t fast enough in Google’s eyes, your website will not rank highly amongst its competitors.

The most common factors taken into account with page speeds on mobile devices includes redirects, compressions and minifications. Google now uses “Real User Measurements (RUMs)” to score your website page speeds which is created using data directly from the chrome panel your users are active in.

The Impact of SERPs

A SERP is a ‘search engine results page’ and it is the list of websites you see when you use Google to search for a keyword, location or service. All current SEO gurus are tracking SERP’s and the changes that are happening every day from Google and the following has been found.

It was right at the start of 2019 when the first big changes were noticed, shifting the overall rankings and keyword capabilities. This is one of the biggest signs Google has given recently when it comes to their algorithm changes because until now, there have been times when they haven’t let on at all they were updating their core methods.

Today’s SERP rankings now include videos, images, featured snippets and other related products rather than just the usual text snippets. With so many more ways to rank and so many ways to get there, SEO is a never-ending rollercoaster of changes and updates that even the most experienced marketers can struggle with.

The Complex Nature of SEO

There is not one SEO expert on this earth, that can clearly predict the future of SEO or even tell you what needs to be done next week in order to stay on top. SEO is a waiting and watching game in order to keep up with Google core changes.

There are so many tactics involved in SEO that it is one of the most expensive forms of marketing that every business will dedicate budgets too. Although it is so complex, it is so important in the world wide web and without it, you will not rank and will not compete online at all.

Get in Touch

To speak more about SEO for your business and Google Algorithm updates, call First Digital Media today on 0845 094 1830 and find out what we can do for your business online.

GDPR

What Is GDPR & How Will It Impact Me?

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With just over a month to go, preparing for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is important for every business. Full compliance with new data protection is required from the 25th May 2018. Knowing what GDPR is and how it will impact your business is important. This week our blog focuses on the regulation and how it impacts you.

 

At First Digital Media data protection has always been top of our list. With our help, you can make your business more compliant with new EU law.

What is GDPR?

GDPR is a result of EU discussions into data protection. Aiming to standardise legislation across the EU, the regulation is giving the consumer more control over their data. There are 3 key areas of the legislation that you should be aware of. These include data permission, data access, and data focus.

Data Permission refers to the consent that must be gained from a customer to store their personal data, as well as the right to be forgotten. This means that customers must ‘opt-in’ to external marketing such as newsletters and agree to how their data will be used. Customers also have a right to have their data removed if they are no longer a client.

Data Access requires companies to provide easy access to the personal data they hold about individuals. If a client contacts you about what personal data you store, you must be able to tell them what there is and explain why you hold it.

Data Focus means that you should always be transparent about the reasons behind the data you gather. If you are processing personal data, then there must be a legal justification behind it.

The regulation refers to a wide variety of data including:

Names

Addresses

ID

IP addresses

Cookie data

RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) Tags

Health and genetic

Biometric

Racial and ethnic

Political opinions

Sexual orientation

 

Despite the UK leaving the European Union as of March 2019, the GDPR regulation will still be in place. For more information on GDPR, you can visit the European Union’s website here.

How You Can Prepare

Ensuring that your business is fully GDPR compliant does not have to be stressful. It can be difficult to understand the jargon and legal elements of the regulation, but there are a few steps you can take to prepare yourselves.

Conducting an audit of all data you hold lets you know what you have and what you need to do about it. Launching an email marketing campaign to re-establish consent from your clients is a great way of achieving written confirmation. This creates an easy paper trail and makes sure customers are receiving the content they want.

Updating any disclaimers and your terms and conditions is another must. This provides clients with the vital information they need.

If you need further information, then the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) are an ideal company to contact. They can guide you through the process and provide specific advice for your business.

How SSL Certification Impacts Your Website

Keeping your client’s data safe as a business is incredibly important. There are steps we can take to help prevent data from being accessed by unwanted sources. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a form of updated security which encrypts data between a web server and browser.

Every website should have SSL as it is the best form of protection out there against data thieves. The system uses HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) to protect the confidentiality and integrity of data between a customer and website. HTTPS can be easily spotted by a green padlock at the start of your website address in the search bar.

Having the certification can also improve your website’s rankings on Google. The search engine has let its public support for SSL be known. It has said that websites without SSL will be marked as insecure, enabling the visitor to see how secure their data is.

Contact Us

If you have any further questions about how GDPR will impact on you or your business, do not hesitate to get in contact with us. Our team are more than happy to help you prepare. Call us on 0845 094 1830 today or fill in our online contact form.

SSL and the Importance of Internet Security

SSL and the Importance of Internet Security

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The safety of personal data is the most important topic in society right now. With new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) coming into force next month, there is an increasing need to keep websites secure. With SSL Certification you can ensure the safety of your customer’s personal data.

At First Digital Media, it means a lot to us that all our client’s websites are safe. That is why we are providing SSL certification for websites with us. For more information, call us on 0845 094 1830.

What is SSL?

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates authenticate the identity of a website and encrypt information sent to the server. This makes it incredibly difficult for potential thieves to steal data. The new security feature impacts on companies that are business to consumer (B2C).

SSL uses an internet communication protocol known as HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) to protect the confidentiality and integrity of data between a customer and website. We’re all used to seeing a HTTP at the start of an address bar, but SSL changes this.

HTTPS is widely used by websites and can be easily spotted by a green padlock at the start of your website address in the search bar.

The Importance of SSL Certification

Having SSL Certification in place is important because it helps to keep customer’s data safe. Customers are savvier when it comes to their internet security, making sure that websites are safe before entering their data. Google have publicly supported the use of SSL, bringing in changes to search engines.

Chrome Security Product Manager Emily Schechter has said:

“For the past several years, we’ve moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. And within the last year, we’ve also helped users understand that HTTP sites are not secure by gradually marking a larger subset of HTTP pages as “not secure”. Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”.

Future rankings of websites will be affected if they do not have SSL.  The search engine plan to mark websites without the certification as insecure by July 2018. This will be easy to see in the top corner of a search bar on any website. If there is no green padlock, then the safety of a website cannot be guaranteed.

SSL certification keeps your website up-to-date with security protocols.

SSL and the New GDPR Guidelines

Many businesses, large and small, have been bringing new browser security in to protect their client’s personal data. The new GDPR guidelines require businesses in the European Union to report any data breaches to their country’s regulatory body with 72 hours. It is important that appropriate security measures are put into place by a business to protect personal data. The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) are the main regulatory body for the UK and any breach should be reported to them.

SSL Certification is a step you can take towards protecting personal data. The security system encrypts any data that is inputted into your website by a customer. This includes contact forms and requests for information. Protecting this data is important as thieves can use it to target individuals. It is important that steps are taken to protect the following types of personal data:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • ID
  • IP addresses
  • Cookie data
  • RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) Tags
  • Health and genetic
  • Biometric
  • Racial and ethnic
  • Political opinions
  • Sexual orientation

Access to any of these can give scammers enough to personally target people. SSL helps to prevent data such as this getting into the wrong hands.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about SSL Certification and the importance of website security, then do not hesitate to contact our team. You can call us today on 0845 094 1830 or fill in our online contact form.