Don't make Facebook the face of your business

Watching Facebook go from an insignificant little upstart to an industry-dominating juggernaut has been fascinating, as has watching something as inherently geeky as Internet social networking become an accepted and normal part of life and business. Facebook has become an integral part of how some of businesses, including some of my clients, portray themselves to the world.

I don't think that's always a good idea.

Read More

Speed... is good

Hot on the heels of the commentary in our last newsletter regarding the importance of your website's geophysical location for search engine listings ("Location, location, location") comes news that Google now includes your website's load time as a factor influencing your Google Ranking. Load time? What? Well, what this means is that Google will consider your website to be less important if it loads slowly. If you can click on a link to your company website then go and make a cup of coffee before the frontpage loads, you should be worried.

Here's Matt Cutts from Google explaining why:

So how can you speed up your website and get back in Google's good books?

Here are some quick tips:

Make sure your server admin has tuned your web server for speed. A simple tweak like enabling HTTP compression on the server can speed up your site's load time by a huge degree.

Make sure your site is well-designed at the code level. Clean efficient code makes for a faster-loading website. If you wouldn't know a well-coded site from a badly-coded one, talk to someone who would!

If you have a database-driven site, consider implementing a software solution to enable your site to be presented as static pages. Every millisecond that your site has to talk to its database now counts against you.

Optimise your site's images. Image files like GIFs, JPGs, and PNGs each have advantages and disadvantages. If you don't know why you should choose one over the other, you may be slowing your site down unnecessarily.

When Google announced this change to its ranking policy, we made several "speedup" tweaks to one of our testing sites and saw improvements immediately. If your website is crucial to your business and you need someone to translate the search-engine technojargon into plain English, talk to us today about Search Engine Optimisation.


Location, location, location

Google's search engine is based on an link analysis algorithm known as PageRank. Google occasionally tweaks the PageRank algorithm to place greater or lesser emphasis on particular variables in order to improve its service. One of the things that Google has done recently is to include the geographical location of a website's server as an influential factor. Where your website is hosted now affects your Google ranking.

Read More