Displaying items by tag: web design spain
Is your Business worth a cup of Coffee a week? Because it seems that many site owners out there don't seem to think so!
And unfortunately for those people, Google are now telling their site visitors exactly how much value they actually place on it.
I'm talking about SSL encryption! Because for the past few years Google has been telling people how important it is to have SSL security encryption on their websites. We first brought it to your attention over two years ago in SSL for SEO.
Since that time we've updated you on the increased importance that Google (and other search engines) have been applying to it. In fact Google has even gone as far as to confirm they are interpreting the presence of an SSL certificate as a criteria in search engine positioning.....as we announced back in July 2015 in GOOGLE AND SSL SECURITY.
Now things have moved on again! In the past Google were giving incentives for site owners to put this in place. Now they're potentially penalising insecure sites by warning users that it could be a risk to their personal security. Effectively they're saying "We've given you two years to put this in place.....you haven't bothered, so now you're going to be penalised".
They're doing this by showing a warning icon in the browser address bar if SSL security is not in place. Prior to this, it was just a fairly innocuous blank icon of a page.....but now it's a large "I" denoting important information. Here you can see the difference between safe and unsafe sites:
As you see, WebSpain is in green with the padlock displayed, while the insecure site has the "I" icon. And when the user clicks that icon they are told "This page is not secure".
We didn't even notice that this system had been put in place! It was only when a client contacted us about one of their customers being reluctant to fill in an online form due to the risk of data theft, that we became aware of it.
As we've covered before, SSL encryption protects you and your clients from the risk of data theft and phishing. It also gives you potentially improved search engine positioning, while enhancing professionalism and client confidence. Additionally, you are protected from anybody else on the server getting the shared IP address blacklisted.
Ultimately it's your choice on whether you choose to implement it......we are just making you aware of the direction that things are headed. Taking this further, if they decide to redirect straight to their full page insecure message then users will see this:
Personally, I wouldn't bet against them putting an "Unsafe Site" warning in the search listings as well. Be aware that this isn't going to go away! If anything, they'll up the ante even further! So I would suggest that you address this issue now.....before your business starts getting disrupted.
Look at the benefits of SSL encryption......and balance that against the cost! It isn't even 2 Euros a week, which basically equates to a cup of coffee! Our businesss is most definitely worth a cup of coffee a week......is yours?
There's been a marked escalation of Brute Force Attacks aimed at popular web applications recently!
First let's establish what is a Brute Force Attack?
Essentially it's a number of remote computers who control thousands of other infected computers that bombard your site with hits from thousands of IP addresses. Their target is the Administrator login area in an attempt to get access.
Besides the risk of them getting access, there's also the knock-on effect of this extreme volume of traffic on the server itself. This sort of scenario can bring a server to a complete halt with all sites going offline as a result. But in the case of recent attacks nobody else was affected.....only the actual site that was under attack. And we can thank Cloud Linux for that!
So what can you do about this very real threat?
The only solution is the installation of a commercial firewall on your site BEFORE an attack happens! I'm not going to openly divulge what it is and what it does for obvious reasons....but it works!
Be aware that if you do come under Brute Force attack without the firewall then Cloud Linux will just take your site offline till the attack subsides. That way no other clients are affected.....just YOU! How long until it comes back online again? That depends on how long the attack is sustained for......the last one was hitting the server from 8500 IP addresses, so it's not as if we can blacklist 1 IP and be done with it. If only it was that simple!
When the attack subsides we will then be able to access the site and install the firewall to prevent any further disruption. But until that point we're limited in what we can do because the attacks are coming in thick and fast from thousands of locations throughout the world. So if you're the next target be prepared for some downtime if you don't have this firewall in place ready.
One thing I can confirm though.....no sites were compromised in any way and nobody got access. We're proud of that because it's a testament to what we already have in place! But with the site firewall as an additional security layer we'll then be in a position to pick them off en-route.....well before the stage where the site goes offline. If you want business continuity, then this is the way forward.
Effectively, the bar has now been raised in terms of security threats. So to counteract this we've got to offer additional commercial security applications installed into the sites (not the server) to protect our clients' interests. We're certainly not burying our heads in the sand! If you choose to bury your head in the sand then that's your choice....but be aware it's only a matter of time before somebody else becomes the next victim. Really, the only question on my mind is "Who's Next?"
We've now entered the CloudLinux era, as our main UK server is now running on this commercial operating system. CloudLinux is purely designed for shared hosting environments, and delivers numerous benefits to you as a user, and to us as a web host.
1. Each account is contained within a “Lightweight Virtualized Environment” (LVE), that totally isolates each user. This means that tenants cannot jeopardize the stability of anybody else's site, or the server, because each one will be allocated a specific amount of memory, CPU etc that they can use.
2. CloudLinux OS also “cages” tenants from one another using a component called CageFS to minimise the risk of security breaches. This way, unstable scripts or malware are unable to spread across other sites causing defacement. This short video is a bit simplistic but it shows how individual users are caged to prevent them causing harm to anybody else's site.
3. LVE Manager will limit all CPU, IO, memory resources, numbers of processes, and concurrent connections per each user to maintain stability right across the platform.
4. CloudLinux comes with a PHP Selector which will allow users to define the version of PHP that they use. But unlike others, we will not be using this component to continue to run outdated and vulnerable versions of PHP.
If PHP have discontinued security updates for a particular version then it will be removed, because we won't abuse this feature by turning it into a "workaround" for potentially vulnerable software. That's just asking for trouble.
5. We have also implemented the additional security initiative known as Kernel Care! This automatically updates the linux Kernel of the operating system as soon as vulnerabilities are discovered. There's no waiting weeks for patches to be released while you remain at risk......it happens instantly!
The implementation of CloudLinux was something that we have been working towards for many months. Earlier this year we doubled the server memory to 32GB, and changed the PHP handler to FPM-FCGI, in order to take full advantage of CloudLinux and recent advances in server processes.
And when the time came to implement it, we didn't just get the datacentre support staff to handle the process, we took the unprecedented step of paying for the services of an external CloudLinux specialist to carry it out. Simply because we wanted to ensure that all aspects of this operating system were deployed in the most effective way possible.
It's a very specialised system, and a generic "one size fits all" installation is not what we wanted. We wanted it fine-tuned and optimised just for our sites!
As I've stated before, not all web hosting is the same. We know for a fact that we were already offering a far superior hosting platform to our competitors anyway.....the majority of which only operate on reseller accounts on other companies' shared servers. I'm not knocking that......we all have to start somewhere, and that's where we were 15 years ago.
But the reality is that you can't compare that environment to the type of infrastructure that we deliver via our own private dedicated servers. Now with the addition of CloudLinux, we've taken a big step forward once again!
We're determined to offer our clients the very best in all areas......and we'll make whatever investments that need to be made in order to achieve that, at no additional cost to yourselves!
Bottom line is that nobody else does what we do.....in the way that we do it. That is absolute fact, and for those of you who've been with us for many years......I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.
If you think you don't need HTTPS/SSL security on your site, then you may need to re-evaluate this opinion as things are changing.
Back in August 2014 we published an article called SSL for SEO. This related to the announcement that Google had made at the time informing webmasters that HTTPS/SSL security was now a ranking factor in search engine positioning. So what's changed since then? At first not much......but stats now demonstrate that having SSL security in place is getting very important.
Let's first look back to July 2014 prior to Google's announcement! This chart shows that only 7% of the results delivered on the first page of Google were sites with SSL encryption.
Fast forward two years.....and now the chart shows that the percentage of sites with SSL on the first page of Google is 35%.
At the current rate of increase we're going to hit 50% earlier next year. And industry analysts consider that 50% could well be the balance point where Google really turn up the algorithmic volume on SSL. In the initial stages they couldn't downgrade sites for not having SSL because it would diminish the quality of their search results. But now the bigger players like Wikipedia, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, eBay, Twitter etc are all on board with SSL.....things are likely to change.
So what is SSL? Basically it's a a 2048bit data encryption method, and these days it comes with multiple benefits:
1. 2048 bit encrypted connection between the user and the site giving a higher level of security for data transmission.
2. An SSL certificate also provides authentication. This means that users can be sure that they are sending information to YOU, and not to a criminal’s server.
3. Protection from Phishing, where a criminal tries to impersonate you or your website.
4. Dedicated IP address that gives you protection from any IP blacklisting of your site and e-mail caused by other users on the shared server IP address.
5. Enhanced professionalism giving clients confidence in doing business with you.
6. Trust! Browsers give visual cues, such as the lock icon in the address bar, which tells visitors that their connection is secure.
7. SSL is a criteria for search engine ranking, so potentially higher placement in searches.
If those benefits are not important to you, then there is no need for you to consider SSL. However, if that's the case, I would advise you not to make statements in your terms and conditions like "We take your security and data protection seriously".....because in reality you don't. So probably best if you omit that part because you're leaving yourself wide open.
To summarise, HTTPS/SSL encryption delivers numerous benefits to both site users and site owners alike, and it's importance is going to continue to rise.
At some point it may well be that those websites without HTTPS/SSL will be viewed as inactive or dormant businesses. Or even worse, as some analysts have suggested, Google may show a message to users warning them that it's an insecure site, or actually force HTTPS through the browser. If that happens, it could have catastrophic effects on businesses without SSL security.
We've used HTTPS/SSL on our site for almost 10 years now.....simply because it was the professional way to do things. For those of you considering making the switch now, there's many more incentives to do so as I've indicated above. Because you never know, in the future it could come down to Google viewing unsecured sites as.....NOT ENCRYPTED? Then you're NOT RELEVANT!
Are you really Driving Your Business? Or are you a passenger just going along for the ride?
Because the landscape of business promotion and marketing is always changing, so you need to adapt to those changes to be able to stay relevant within your industry!
What am I talking about? Well think back to late last year when I told you about RankBrain.....Google's Artificial Intelligence (AI) system for search engine positioning evaluation.
Since then it's got much more efficient in it's processes because it has the ability to learn as it goes along. Consequently Google is now applying more importance to it's recommendations! It's purpose could best be described as the "translator", because it instructs the algorithm what to think about the content....with a view to making the search results more relevant to the user.
RankBrain has the ability to "humanise" the assessment, and is able to interpret the "intent" behind a user's query rather than just give a result based on matching words. Therefore you need to be delivering high quality relevant information by means of supplying answers, recommendations, and solutions to users' queries.
What we have now is three areas in the SEO process.....RankBrain, Content, and Links. When I say links I mean the number of quality backlinks on high authority sites that are pointing to yours.
So what is a "high authority" website? Essentially I'm referring to sites like Governmental, Educational, national newspapers, international news portals, multinational corporations etc. We're talking major league players here.....not a useless backlink on your mate's website for Jock Strap repairs that he made using a DIY sitebuilder. Links of that nature will see you dropping like a stone because you're grouping yourself in the same category as nonentities.
While we're on the subject of links, do NOT exchange mutual links with business colleagues. Reciprocal linking will get you both canned in double quick time as it looks like you're trying to cheat the system. This is not 2005! The only backlink worth having is one that you've earned on a high profile website! Quality not quantity is what counts, exactly the same as with the content that you publish on your site.
You cannot cheat your way to the top of search engines! Anybody who tries to convince you that they can guarantee high search engine positioning is just misleading you. Simply because you're now dealing with a system that has an artificial intelligence! Think of it as a robot in some respects. It has the ability to learn as it goes along, and is able to ascertain exactly what users are looking for in terms of their "intent". At that point it instructs the Google algorithms on how to make the relevant assessment.
RankBrain is geared to reward websites that deliver high quality content and offer a mobile friendly experience. Without both you have no hope whatsoever if your business is competing in a large, competitive business market like property, vehicles, tourism etc. Conversely, the knock-on effect of delivering a great experience on those factors, means there is more likelihood of you earning links on a high authority site which will help you even more.
Once again.....there is no "magic bullet". There are no shortcuts that can be taken! There is no way of cheating! It takes time and commitment to build up an extensive content base of high quality articles on your site that actually deliver value to users! I've been doing this for years, and I'm still doing it now. Hence our permanent placement at top spot on Google for "Web Design Spain".
Ask yourself why the businesses offering additional "SEO services" don't have the level of dominance that we have? After all, we don't even offer SEO services! The reason, quite simply, is that we practice what we preach by continually delivering quality unique content. And we then market it via Social Media! There is no mystery whatoever.....we just do what we advise you to do.
Now all this has nothing to do with Web Design (which is what we do), but it has everything to do with the promotional and marketing initiatives that are an integral part of your business (which is what you do).
There's no reason why any of you can't achieve the positioning that we have. We all use the same software, and nothing has been done technically on our site that hasn't been done on yours. The only difference is the content......or more specifically, the quality of the content, and what we do with it.
What do we do? If you're reading this article, there's your answer! We continually publish quality unique content that delivers value, which is then marketed across all Social Media channels! We hope you'll find these articles to be of help to you, but ultimately it's up to you whether you choose to act on them.
If you do, you'll need to do it on a permanent and ongoing basis. It's hard, and sometimes I wonder whether anybody even reads the articles! But what motivates me is I know who does read them.....and that's Google! I make sure they index it within an hour, and then it's one more star to add to my report card.
This sort of initiative can be classed as just one aspect of driving your business! And you know the old saying....."If you're not driving your business, then you'll be driven out of business".
I'm in the Driving Seat! I've always been in the Driving Seat! Are you?
As we get older, we tend to look back and think that life was better in the past! It was certainly simpler then that's for sure.
But time moves on for all of us and the only option that we have is to go with the flow! There's no pause button to lock our life into one moment in time!
And never is this more true than with technology.....it just keeps advancing. I know that some people tend to resent change in these areas.....but ask yourself, would you like to go back to the pre-mobile era of basic flip-up phones? Ten years ago we could never have dreamed that we'd be walking around with the internet, and in many cases our business, right in the palm of our hands. These sort of advancements require change, as older technologies and applications are gradually replaced by more efficient versions. You're getting the benefits of these developments every day....in everything you do.
The same principle applies to the software applications that power websites and servers. They all get better, quicker, more efficient, and more secure. And I want to touch on just one aspect of that.....PHP. PHP is a widely used scripting language for web applications that powers most of the sites that you visit every day. Including your own!
Those of you on older sites are aware of the upgrade to PHP 5.6 this month which could render some of these obsolete sites as unuseable. We are able to relocate these sites to alternative hosts that are still running older PHP versions, so the sites will still be able to run. But all you're doing is hitting the pause button and trying to lock yourself into a moment in time that's now gone. And it's not just the time that's gone......it's the security and efficiency as well. Security always has to be the predominant factor in the equation.
As we've touched on PHP, let's examine how it's improved over the years by looking at the graph below. This only relates to speed, but you'll get an idea of the groundbreaking improvements that have been made.
We originally started on the PHP 4 series, and then started moving incrementally through the PHP 5 versions.
By 2008 we were on PHP 5.2.....and due to the advancements it made, the time had dropped to 4.2 seconds.
In 2012 we upgraded onto PHP 5.3, and the time went down to 2.9 seconds.
In 2014 we moved to PHP 5.4....which dropped the time down to 2.18 seconds.
Last year it was time for PHP 5.5 which resulted in yet another drop to 2.03 seconds.
June 2016 and it's time for PHP 5.6, as PHP 5.5 is end of line. And we're now below the two second mark at 1.92 seconds.
Compare the times from 2006 (over 12 seconds) to 2016 (under 2 seconds)......that's an incredible difference in speed. And also in efficiency, because it uses less server CPU and memory doing it, while being totally up to date on security.
The next PHP upgrade after this will be PHP 7.......and that will be at the start of 2019. Current tests seem to suggest that it will cut the PHP 5.6 time by 50%, and come in at under a second to run that task. Now that is amazing, and it just shows how far we've come!
So why would anybody want to run on old, outdated, and insecure versions of PHP? Every version of PHP below 5.6 is now a serious security risk, and every website running on obsolete software is also a serious security risk. Put the two together and you've got the perfect storm!
If you have a current and viable business, with your website being an integral part of it.......can you seriously afford to take the risk of Living in The Past?
Security is the most important aspect of any internet based application. Bar none! Just because you haven't experienced bad things.....bad things do happen, and it's getting worse. Every day we battle with various attempted security breaches at both server and site level. If they're particularly serious then we let clients know.
It doesn't help that despite numerous security advisories, some clients knowingly continue to run obsolete and insecure software. Unfortunately there's only so much we can do in these situations because vulnerabilities actually exist......so it's only a matter of time before somebody exploits them. That's an absolute fact.
If you're on current software (which 99% of our clients are) then the risk is greatly reduced. It doesn't mean you're impervious to intrusion by any means, but the odds in your favour are a lot better. But what do you do if somebody wants you taken out of commission for either business or personal reasons?
Now this is where it gets interesting......because recently, two sites have gone through a period of sustained and premeditated hacking attempts. And one of them was ours! Yes.....I'm talking about this site!
In our case, somebody (for whatever reason) bombarded the site with intrusion attempts. And despite everything being locked down tight, they got in. We were onto it virtually instantly and dealt with it, but the results could have been catastrophic.
So it was at that point we had to rethink our options. We immediately put in a commercial website firewall application along with a number of other security related initiatives......which for obvious reasons we can't elaborate on. Since then all has been well, but we're expecting a repeat at any time, and no doubt this will be at an even higher level of expertise.
The second incident occurred very recently......and it was directed at one of our lady clients. Somebody who's been with us for many years and has a very successful business. Her attacks were perpetrated over a longer period and at a much higher volume than ours. It sent her bandwidth usage through the roof resulting in her site going offline for a short period.
We then set up the same security system as we'd done on ours, but we even had to take the unprecedented step of blocking transmissions from a number of countries. Yes.....it was that bad. I'm pleased to report that since then everything is back to normal.....however, as in the case of our site, we're monitoring any traffic to her site very carefully.
So why were we, and our client, attacked in this manner?
The common denominator is we've both been in our respective business sectors for nearly 20 years and are very well established. It could well be the case that we're the dominant entities in our markets......and if either of us were taken out of commission then others could potentially stand to gain from it. Neither of us have any problems with any person (client or otherwise) past or present, and neither of us have any bad business relationships with competitors or associates. So there's absolutely nothing conclusive to go on.
The fact remains that two of us with current and secure software were taken out of commission in a clinical, systematic, and sustained manner. This was no script kiddy or opportunist behind it.....this was a pro who no doubt was being paid to get the desired result. Disruption was minimal in both cases as we were on it fast......but it just goes to show that even when even when all your web applications are up to date, a pro can still get to you. If you're running obsolete software then the result will not be a short disruption, it'll be a trainwreck......but that's your choice.
The cold, hard truth is that even if all applications are up to date and all normal security processes are in place, you're still vulnerable. Not vulnerable in relation to the amateur hackers (like obsolete sites are), but you are most definitely vulnerable to the pros. And it doesn't cost much for somebody to hire a pro to do this sort of job! Both my client and I are fairly sure this is what happened in our cases......and we may not be in the clear yet, as only time will tell.
My feeling on this whole business is that now I would never run a site of mine without having the commercial firewall (and other initiatives) in place. Our property was violated....the site felt "dirty" afterwards so we replaced it entirely. If you've ever had a car stolen and returned then it's the same feeling, and I don't want to be in that position again. Should any clients want to have the same level of protection put in place to secure their site, and the way things are these days I would certainly consider it, just contact us at
It seems that the Next Big Thing is on the way.....and it's called AMP! Which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages!
In Google's words “The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is an open source initiative that embodies the vision that publishers can create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere.” Read more HERE!
So what they want is a mobile experience with virtually an instant page load! This is achieved by adhering to a limited set of technical functionality that is defined and governed by the open source AMP specifications. AMP files will then take advantage of various technical and architectural approaches that prioritize speed to provide a faster experience for users. So this is an additional aspect solely relating to mobile devices that potentially could be included with the current web frameworks that we use.
Will AMP affect you? Yes....it'll affect all of us! Because it appears that Google will be putting a heavy emphasis on AMP pages when delivering search results on mobile devices. It doesn't mean that your current mobile compatible site is now obsolete, that's not the case. It just means that if there's an additional AMP version available then you're likely to see a better result on the search listings to reflect your use of the new technology. And obviously your users will get a much better experience while using the site compared to the current mobile format.
This initiative is still in it's infancy, and we're watching closely for further developments and clarification of standards before fully committing to this aspect. As far as we can ascertain at the moment, it's likely to involve the building of AMP pages alongside the existing site structure. But whether this will be backwards compatible to current mobile sites is unclear. If it is, then hopefully we would be able to offer the option of an AMP upgrade to current clients.
This isn't anything you need to think about at the moment, as development of the project is still ongoing. What we're doing here (as always) is keeping you ahead of the curve on forthcoming technical initiatives which will affect you and your business. And I think you know by now.....technology doesn't stand still. So neither can we!
We all know that over the last decade the technology that we use has advanced beyond anything we ever imagined!
But along with this increased sophistication comes increased danger. I'm talking about cyber crime!
Now before you dismiss this as another paranoid rant about something that's not relevant to you, just take a look at this......because what you see there is happening right now: Live Cyber Attack Monitoring Service.
I've seen attacks in excess of 5 million per day taking place, it's literally a battlefield......and you're in the middle of it. Every day!
What can we do to protect ourselves? Firstly you need to understand that we can never be 100% impervious to cyber attacks, because if governments and giant multinational corporations can be taken down, then what hope do we have?
But realistically the elite level operators who commit acts of that magnitude are not interested in you and I......they want the big fish! And invariably they get them......as nearly 300 million records were leaked and over $1 billion were stolen in 2015.
The lower levels of hackers would certainly be interested in us though. To some it's just a game (and there are online games going on where they score points for defacing sites)......or to some it's personally motivated. By that I mean people with a grudge, or competitors who would like nothing better than to take you out of the game.
What makes it more dangerous is that the entry level for attackers has now been lowered considerably. You don't need to have any skills or knowledge whatsoever, you just pay for access to one of these online cyber attack service portals and you simply click a few buttons. The cost is minimal for basic services, but the more you pay then potentially the more mayhem you can create. Yes.....we now live in a world where you can go online and order whatever services you want in order to commit internet crime.
All we can do is take the necessary precautions......and take security seriously! The server software is always kept current, and whatever security measures we can deploy are always in place for your protection. But that counts for very little if your site software has become end of line and has had no security updates for some time. Because someone could potentially get access without raising any alarms, and the first you'll know about it is if your site gets defaced or thousands of e-mails get sent out supposedly coming from you. Obviously the content contained in those e-mails is not going to be pleasant, and will no doubt result in your domain name getting blacklisted right across the internet.
I would strongly recommend that you don't go down this path of outdated site software.....it's not going to end well. It will result in complete disruption, loss of business, and a degree of diminished client confidence.
As far as our clients are concerned, we always make people aware if they're in that situation, as we believe in complete transparency and keeping people informed. But ultimately what they choose to do is up to them.
I would suggest you now go back and check the Live Cyber Attack Monitoring Service and see how the daily figure has risen since you started reading this article. And if you're knowingly running outdated site software, then go and check your site to make sure that you haven't become Just Another Victim!
Remember the old record players from the past when a record would get stuck.....and one part would keep on repeating endlessly? Well that's me that is! Simply because I've been endlessly repeating for many years that quality content on a website is the key factor in getting good search engine positioning.
In fact I even demonstrated it with the tests in the article Is Content Still King? Plus, the continued dominance of this site on Google Searches is a fairly clear indication that my ideas, if implemented correctly, will produce results.
However.....that's still not enough for some people! They insist on clinging onto a belief that what the man in the pub told them, or what info some spammy SEO company has sent them, is actually true. Well it's not! And after years of battling with people who insist on recounting third party BS, my good friends at Google have at last come to my aid.
Good friends? Well I've never made any secret about it....I love Google! They've introduced superb applications to us at no cost (GMail being one), transformed mobile computing into what we see today, and are always innovating and advancing the technology. Compare that to the dubious practices of other major companies over the years who have made billions by delivering substandard and inherently flawed applications at totally unrealistic price points.
From my point of view, the best aspect is that Google have run the cheaters out of town. Because years ago some "businesses" made a lot of money by cheating their clients' sites into good positioning. They knew full well that it was a blinkered short term strategy that would eventually result in these sites disappearing from Google permanently. But money talks! In later years these people have rebranded themselves as link cleanup and reputation management companies where they're now making even money by cleaning up the mess they created in the first place. You couldn't make this up could you?
Anyway, Google has now come to my rescue by releasing their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines for everybody to analyse. But be aware it's 160 pages long......so I've highlighted the critical points for you.
1. Page Quality: The keyphrase is E-A-T......which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness!
Your site should have a “satisfying amount” of high-quality main content, and be authoritative, trustworthy, and informed about the relevant subject matter. The site should have a good reputation, along with about us, contact, and customer service information clearly displayed. Google also states that pages will be considered low-quality if they are created “without adequate time, effort, expertise, or talent/skill".
2. YMYL (Your Money Or Your Life) Pages and Expert Content. This means that if you're writing on a subject then you need to demonstrate that you're an expert on it. Do you know your business? You're the only one who can answer that......and if you do, then you need to demonstrate it.
3. Supplementary Content: Google emphasise the importance of supplementary content, such as sidebar info and links to other related articles. I've always told people this, so I'm glad to see them come out and confirm it after all this time.
4. Page Design: Let's make this clear.....Google doesn't care if your site is blue or red, and it doesn't care if your images have little twirly effects if you put your mouse on them. You may care......but Google and your users don't. What Google (and users) want is a functional, streamlined, intuitive page that is easy to navigate with main content front and centre. Google values functionality over beauty.
5. Mobile optimisation: It goes without saying that if your site is not mobile responsive today you may as well not even bother doing anything else, because you're not even in the game.
6. Trust: Websites should be trustworthy! What constitutes trustworthy? SSL certificate, linking to credible, relevant sources to substantiate what you're saying, and building a good interaction for your content with social media particularly Google Plus. That way you're establishing yourself as an expert in your field. So it's not just the site that needs to be established....it's YOU!
7. User Experience: Are you meeting the needs of your visitors? They want clear information.......so are you providing it? Users want to be able to find content that is relevant to them.....so are you making it easy for them? If people visit your site and give up trying to get information within a few seconds because you've insisted on some ludicrous system of navigation, it sends Google a clear message that it's not meeting users' expectations. Which means Google will class you as a low quality site.
However, if they stay on the site and navigate to different pages because they find the content of value, that sends a positive signal to Google and will help your rankings. What a user wants from the site may not match your vision of what it should be.....but if you prioritise your choices over theirs then don't expect to get good positioning on search engines.
8. Satisfying Content: For content to satisfy a user’s needs, the Guidelines state that the content must be “fully satisfying for mobile user,” require minimal effort to locate, and provide value to the reader. Does yours?
9. Fails To Meet Content: This is where your information is sparse, copied from other sources, unrelated to the query, filled with incorrect facts, or needs supporting information to validate it's claims. If this occurs then you lose trust and credibility with Google and users.
10. Keywords: Use them sparingly and only when necessary in content! If you start keyword jamming you're going to be penalised. This isn't 2005.
To summarise.....you need high quality, expert content! Simple as that! And if you create pages which demonstrate high levels of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness within your area of business then you will reap the rewards!
Now that Google have openly published their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (they've never done it before) you should look back over the articles that I've published over the years and compare them. If you do that, you'll see that what I have been saying on every aspect of SEO for many years has now been officially confirmed by Google.
So now, officially, I am no longer a stuck record! Strange but True!