Fresh from the Press

Search Engine Updates

Google details how to set up lazy loading for best SEO results

Google has released a new help document aimed at helping webmasters and SEOs ensure their lazy-loading web page content can be crawled, indexed and ultimately ranked in the Google search results. The new document can be found in the Google developer guides over here.

Why you should care

As more and more webmasters and developers look for ways to defer the loading of non-critical or non-visible content on the page until later, i.e. lazy-loading content, it becomes more of a concern for SEOs to ensure those techniques are something that Google can crawl and index. If you implement lazy-loading techniques without thinking of how Google can discover the content that is within the lazy-loading mechanism, then you run the risk of that content not being discoverable within search.

Google outlined that you should ensure the content is loaded within the viewport. Without that, GoogleBot probably won’t see that content as well. In addition, for Google to support infinite scrolling or paginated loading, you must provide a unique link to each section that users can share and load directly. Google recommends using the History API to update the URL when the content is loaded dynamically.

And of course, do not forget to test, test and test. Google recommends using a Puppeteer script to locally test your implementation, which is a Node.js library for controlling headless Chrome.

Company

Business Northumberland – Ignite Your Business

We had a great day at ‘Ignite Your Business’ yesterday with Business Northumberland at the gorgeous Alnwick Gardens, with around 70 businesses in attendance.

We met some great people and our very own John Allan gave a 30 minute presentation on the Benefits of an Online Presence. However, a little bird told us he went on a bit longer – nothing new there then!

If your business is based in Northumberland, make sure you check out the Business Northumberland website to access your fully funded workshops to take your business to the next level.

We’ll post some photos of the event here soon, so please make sure you check back in.

John speaking to the ‘Ignite Your Business’ attendees

Search Engine Updates

“Medic” Core Update

“Medic” Core Update

Reported and confirmed on Moz, Google confirmed a “broad core algorithm update,” with wide reports of massive impact. It rolled out over the period of about a week, but peaked on August 1-2. This update seemed to disproportionately affect sites in the health and wellness vertical, although large-scale impact was seen in all verticals.

General

Chrome Security Warnings

Chrome Security Warnings (Full Site)  —  July 24, 2018

Reported and confirmed on Moz, after warning users of unsecured (non-HTTPS) forms months earlier, Chrome 68 began marking all non-HTTPS sites as “not secure.” The changes rolled out on July 24, but rely on users installing the latest Chrome version, which can take weeks or months.

Company

Arch Northumberland

We Won!

Altius are delighted to announce they have won the contract to deliver a range of workshops throughout Northumberland on behalf of Business Northumberland.

This is a fantastic opportunity for us to teach a number of small business all about search engine optimisation, as well as other useful skills such as building WordPress websites, Google Analytics and many more.

But it’s not just us, they have several trainers delivering a range of courses designed to help you grow your business, including social media, funding, accountancy, HR and many more.

If your business is based in Northumberland, be sure to check out Business Northumberland and see if they can help your business to be a success.

General

Currys PC World Hacked

Oops – Currys PC World have been hacked

Well that didn’t take long. Only a few weeks after the new GDPR regulations were brought in to force, Currys PC World have had to admit they have been hacked and the personal data of 1.2 million customers have been accessed in a massive data breach.

Carphone Warehouse, which is part of the same group, was fined £400,000 in January for a data breach. It will be interesting to follow the results of this one and see if (as we have warned), that the fines could be hefty in order to set an example to all the big corporates to get their house in order.

 

General

GDPR Compliance & You

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The Countdown has Begun

You’re probably sick of receiving emails about GDPR compliance; opt in to this, opt out of that etc.

However, there is a very, very good reason why all these companies are sending you emails right now – they don’t want to get prosecuted after May 25th for not complying with the law. And the fines can be heavy – very heavy.

If you have a data breach, apart from having to pay the fines imposed, you are also required by law to contact all of your clients and inform them of your data breach, what information may have been stolen and the processes that you are putting in place to recover & protect their data in the future. Imagine what impact that could have on your business!

When it comes to your website, if you are an e-commerce site or newsletter signups, online contact forms or any other application that requires a visitor to send personal data to you, then your site must employ encryption during the transmission stage in order to prevent possible data theft. 

Pretty much every website uses the bare minimum of a contact form and therefore these sites must protect the data that they are gathering and the easiest way to do this is through the use of and SSL certificate. 

These need to be purchased from SSL vendors, usually renewed annually and must be installed on your website via your hosting account.

Once in place, your domain will change from http://www.yourdomain.com to https://www.yourdomain.com. Some browsers do not display the http:// or https:// part of web addresses, so you may have been unaware of this in the past. However, with the GDPR update, so too many browsers have also updated, to show the visitor that a site is secure and the website is taking measures to protect their data.

When visiting a secure, encrypted site, visitors will see something like this in the browser window:

However, visiting an insecure site, which is not using encryption, the visitor will see something like this:

Seeing “Not secure” slapped on your website isn’t exactly confidence inspiring for your visitors, is it?

It’s not just your website you need to protect, but also any data that you hold. You probably have lots of personal data stored in various places around the business.

  • Do you have a good understanding, and documented record of the data you hold?
  • Do you need to either gain or refresh consent for the data you hold?
  • Do you have a defined policy for how long you retain personal data, so you don’t retain it unnecessarily, and ensure it’s kept up to date?
  • Is your data being held securely, keeping in mind both technology and the human factors in data security?

Whether you are a data controller or data processor or both, do you have the correct legal arrangements in place?

If you do not have this in place on your website by 25th May when the new legislation comes in to force and you experience a breach in data, you may be prosecuted.

If you are unsure as to how GDPR affects your website, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Search Engine Updates

Google Cache Returns 404 Error

John Mueller from Google said on Reddit that if your cache link in Google returns a 404 error, that it doesn’t mean your rankings will be hurt in Google. John said “that can happen, it doesn’t mean anything.”

So if you are worried that this might result in your page being de-indexed or the rankings may drop, Google says no, no need to worry about that. The Google Cache 404 error is an internal issue with the Google Cache server and doesn’t reflect on indexing or ranking of the web page.