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Marketing, design, and technical resources for making your digital and print communications more effective.

SSL encryption is now a ranking factor for Google

April 12th, 2015

Earlier this year Matt Cutts of Google stated that he personally would like to see sites that use SSL encryption be given favor in Google’s rankings.  In August, Google officially announced this as their policy as you can read in this official Google Webmaster blog post.

How important is changing your site over to SSL?  Like all on-site SEO improvements there is no one thing that can be done technically that will magically boost a site to the top of the search engine. Quality and relevant content are and always will be the most important SEO strategy.

However, correctly coding, structuring and configuring your website are vital tasks to ensure that your quality content is being optimally indexed and distributed to the world.  There is no single factor of this on-site SEO which is a magic bullet, however cumulatively the small benefits of on-site optimization add up and do matter.

With SSL, Google says that it is a ranking factor now but is presently a “lightweight signal”. However, and most importantly, Google says: “But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”

For this reason we are now recommending that all our Web clients migrate their sites to SSL.  It’s not an emergency but it should be part of a sites long-term development plan.  If you have more questions about SEO, or would like to discuss a strategic SEO analysis for your site please contact us.

How Google Searches Work

September 28th, 2014

A simplified presentation by Google of how their searches work and how they determine how high on the results page to list your site.

Google Update

May 28th, 2013

Last week Google updated its main search and ranking algorithm to what it calls Penguin 2.0. According to Google, there is no dramatic change to how one optimizes for Google however it’s important to take a look at the directions and changes that Google has made and what it might mean to your site. In short, Google is continuing to refine it’s ranking criteria to reward legitimate sites with real relevant content which offer real value to a community and penalize those sites which are full of cheap tricks.

To bring yourself up to speed I recommend this article on Website Magazine by Michael Garrity and the video from Google below.

Google Explains SEO

August 16th, 2012

If you watch this very short video from Google and believe what they’re saying, you will catapult yourself into an elite group of  people who actually understand the “secret” of SEO.

I emphasize the word believe because I’ve learned from years of Web development that many people persist with a misconception that SEO success is determined primarily by how that site is coded, even when they’ve been enlightened with the truth. Many, if not most, people think that there is some method by which a developer can arrange the code on their site to make a big impact on their SEO. We get inquiries all the time from people who are looking for someone to take their existing site and have it recoded so the same content is listed higher in Google.

That’s simply not how it works.

As stated in this video from Google, “First and foremost we [Google] care about content.”  Not to go down another wrong path, this does not mean Google is looking for some special arrangement of content and keyword stuffed pages. What they are ultimately looking for is content that is unique and truly valuable to your target visitors. By no coincidence, that’s what real people are looking for too.

To be clear, there is still a place for proper coding (on-site SEO) . . . but it is not the driving force behind the overall success or failure of your Website’s SEO.

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