June 2015 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Random Free Hosting Site

We'd like to congratulate Masser Ranch for being the winner of this month's free site hosting. At the beginning of each month we will call up our own site's homepage. Whomever's site is the featured site when the page loads will get FREE hosting of one domain for one month. It's just our way of saying thank you.

Non-Mobile Friendly Sites Seeing Ranking Decrease

Google released an algorithm update on April 21 that began taking the mobile-friendliness of a site into account when ranking that site in search results. It’s still just one of many signals Google uses, and it’s not as significant as relevance or quality, but it is clearly a factor Google is taking very seriously as more searches are performed from mobile devices than on desktop now.

The update was largely known as “Mobilegeddon” before it actually launched, but that name has been heavily questioned since then as the severity of its effects have been debated.

As Google’s John Mueller put it, “While it’s had a fairly big impact across all the search results, it doesn’t mean that in every search result you will see very big changes.”

Testing results so far seem it indicate:

  • For URLs that dropped in ranking, the drop for non-friendly URLs was more pronounced – an average of 2 spots – than for mobile-friendly URLs – average of .25 spots.

  • Another significant effect was that URLs being favored for mobile-friendly sites are often different from the ones that ranked earlier.

  • Overall, the study found a 1.3% increase in mobile-friendly URLs in search results. While this does not approach the impact of Panda or Penguin algorithm updates, this is the first such change by Google, and we expect more changes and an increased impact over time favoring mobile-friendly sites.

You can test your site just like Google does at the Mobile Friendly Test. If you site fails the test this may be when you should contact us about making your site, or at least the important pages, mobile friendly.

LastPass Hacked

LastPass, the popular online password management service has been hacked and data was stolen, including the password hints, which is why you need to be alert for scams trying to exploit that.

The immediate thing to understand is that the attackers did not steal LastPass users' master passwords. However, they did get hold of the hashes (long strings of characters or checksums) which are used by LastPass to verify that a master password is correct when the service is accessed.

Should you change your master password? It depends on the strength of your master password. If yours is short and easy to guess, the bad guys can use a so called "brute force" attack where a computer tries thousands of times a second to guess it. If you have a long, very strong password, you should be OK. However, if you have used your LastPass master password on other websites, then RUN to your computer and change your master password ASAP. Could be a bit busy at the moment though! In that case try later.

And there is something else to watch out for as well. The attackers made off with the password hints. That means they could send you a phishing email and trick you into revealing your password because they have the correct password hint. Be especially alert when you get any email from LastPass or claiming to be from them. Think Before You Click!

Old Article Worth Seeing Again

Visitor Duration

Google uses the length of stay for visitors to a site in determining the quality of a search result. Let's take a look at how links to other Web sites can have a positive influence on the rankings of your site's Web pages on Google.

What is visitor duration?

It's when a user clicks on a result and remains on the found Web site for a longer time. A short duration occurs if a user clicks on a result and quickly returns to the search results page to click on another page. Long visitor durations are an indicator for good search results. Short visitor duration indicates the user was not satisfied with the Web page. All things being equal between two sites, the site that keeps a visitor for a longer time (duration) will be ranked higher.

How do you get longer visitor duration?

If you make sure your Web site visitors do not return to the search results, your Web page will count as a good page in Google's search results. You can attempt to make sure your Web site visitors don't go back to Google by doing the following:

  1. Offer your Web site visitors exactly what they want. Try to anticipate what questions the visitor wants answered when they arrive at your site. Then make sure the answer, or at least a path to the answer is visible on the opening screen. If you're a bed and breakfast with a Jacuzzi and you think visitors may be looking for  lodging with a Jacuzzi, make sure there is easily seen verbiage about the Jacuzzi or a picture of the Jacuzzi. If you offer the solution to the visitor's query, the visitor won't go back to Google.

  2. Have links to related Web sites, maybe as part of the verbiage on your homepage. By linking to other Web sites, you can create increased visitor duration for your site. If your site's visitors don't find what they're looking they can click the links to other Web sites offering further information about a particular topic. Linking to other Web sites is not a sign of bad page content. Sooner or later, users will leave your site anyway so offering links to industry related content will keep them from going back to Google. Of course, you shouldn't link to random non-industry related Web sites. Link to other Web sites that help to satisfy the user's query. Doing this will help you increase visitor duration and your Web site may earn more backlinks. Both will have a positive impact on your site's Google rankings.

New Sites Joining Us Or Completed Recently

Help these folks by visiting their site. All ya'll will remember how hard it is to get those initial "hits" so the search engines notice your site. So take a minute and visit their site.

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