Google’s Latest Revelations

<sermon>
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was that of Google, Lord of Search. At first all was void and chaos, then Google moved its force over the Internet, and separated the bad from the good. It did punish with low rankings and lists of blackness those that flouted its search maxims: the link farmers, the spammers, and the content duplicators. Yet Google did reward the worthy – the generous givers of valuable, rich, original content that users beheld with joy.
The Word of Google was discerned by many to be a rigorous set of rules; by others, as precepts with scope for interpretation. Amidst the uncertainty of digital times, so it came to pass that in its beneficence, Almighty Google did distribute Webmaster Guidelines – or commandments – to those who would hear the Word. And yet, many of Google’s 200+ ranking factors remain sub rosa – arcane knowledge possessed only by the illuminated few.
As a reader of this blog you are no doubt one of the worthy, one who seeks to engage users with high quality content. Therefore, as humble disciples of Google’s Word, we reveal to you the good news: Google has updated their Webmaster Guidelines.
</sermon>

Thou shalt encrypt thy site

In essence, Google’s new encryption guideline makes what had previously been mere recommendation more official. Though Google has advocated HTTPS for some time it has now been explicit in stating, ‘If possible, secure your site’s connections with HTTPS. Encrypting interactions between users and your website is a good practice for communication on the web.’ 
Therefore ‘secure’ sites are no longer the dominion of ecommerce pages, but extend to all data that may exist within any given site.

Thou shalt not favour certain devices

As the ways in which we access our information changes, it stands to reason that Google’s guidelines formally acknowledge the transition from laptop to mobile by creating sites that are fit for purpose across devices. Google says, ‘Design your site for all device types and sizes, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Use the mobile friendly testing tool to test how well your pages work on mobile devices, and get feedback on what needs to be fixed.’
To those of you who have long been aware of the importance of making content pan-device friendly this advice might appear quaintly behind the curve.

Allow thy content to be seen

The accessibility theme is continued with a new guideline specifically aimed at creating sites accessible to those who are visually impaired. Google says, ‘Ensure that your pages are useful for readers with visual impairments, for example, by testing usability with a screen-reader.”

Hide ye nothing

Google is able to crawl HTML content hidden inside navigational elements such as tabs or expanding sections, but make your site’s important content visible by default. Google says, ‘We consider this content less accessible to users, and believe that you should make your most important information visible in the default page view.’
Ironically Google includes this advice in hidden tabs, making it non-searchable. But perhaps Google can flout its own rules because it is already Lord of the Search Kingdom.
Though several changes in the latest guidelines expand upon existing recommendations, the above are the four main new additions.

Brands we've helped.

Latest news.

Three Benefits of Training Employees On Social Media

April 16, 2019

It’s a bit of a no brainer that part of a successful marketing strategy for any business – whether a well-established brand or a small start-up – includes social media. With 83% of the adult population online and using at least one social platform, most businesses now use these channels to engage their customers or […]

Three Benefits of Flexible Working

April 9, 2019

Flexible working has become increasingly topical in recent years and is no longer limited to parents returning to work – achieving a work/life balance is now a common expectation for all workers. The rise of flexible working has been so dramatic in this decade that 87% of UK employees now either work flexibly or want […]

Reasons Why Brands Are InHousing (The Six Cs)

March 28, 2019

InHousing is such a hot topic at the moment (and we’re not just saying this because of the launch of InHouse). Every brand we’re in conversation with is talking about this internally – their HR and digital leaders are coming together to work out how they can bring their digital marketing InHouse. So why is […]

Send a message.

Contact Us