GOOGLE SEO: What are the SEO trends in 2017?

London, UNITED KINGDOM
MEHFUZ HUSSAIN (writer) with VIJAY SHAH (editor)

 

This article was written by Mehfuz Hussain, a digital marketing specialist based in London with expertise in online marketing concepts and Google Analytics.

Search Engine Optimisation has seen many changes in 2016 thanks to Google. From the launch of its ambitious AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Project in February 2016, Google has shaken up the way traditional SEO worked. Understandably, Google knows well that the best way to dominate the industry is to be aware of how search engines are changing, and strategising SEO and content techniques accordingly. The world of SEO continues to evolve at high speed. While some SEO techniques have been a staple for several years, there will be many new ones that you will have to pay attention to. Here are some of the game-changing trends to help you stay ahead this year.

 

Photo credit: BigOakInc.com

 

1. Mobile-first Approach by Businesses

With ongoing improvements in the mobile computing field, browsing on mobiles has become equivalent to desktop browsing if not more In many countries, mobile browsing is more popular and dominant than via traditional desktops and laptops. In the last few years, the plethora of new smartphones with internet capabilities has changed the way search engine look at them. Remember Mobilegeddon?

A few months ago, Google said, “To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.” This influenced their latest search algorithm which prioritised ‘responsive’ websites at the cost of older, mobile-unfriendly sites.

So, in 2017, your top priority is to separate your desktop and mobile measurement plans to account for the fundamental differences between mobile and desktop behaviour.

 

2. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Google Rank Brain

There is no doubt, Google’s main focus in 2017 is on Artificial Intelligence. If you followed the Google I/O event 2016, most announcements were related to AI. Google also said that the speech recognition errors have reduced from 25 to 8 percent. It’s been officially named Google’s third-most important ranking factor. Voice search will grow even more in 2017, with better voice recognition and understanding.

 

3. Infographics

Infographics make complex information eye-catching, shareable and easily digestible. An image coupled with information tends to stay in the minds of readers. Such content generates more social shares and also generates leads. Of course, your content should also be suitable enough to add Infographics to it, and they can really make it pop.

 

4. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) takes centre stage

A great way to ensure better user experience is switching over to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). More brands are using this option as Google also has begun to favour the use of AMP. It contains three sections – AMP HTML, AMP JS, and Google AMP Cache. Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) allows websites to make pages equipped for loading right away onto mobile screens. Interestingly, sites that have switched over to AMP are given more visibility with a special icon in Google searches.

 

 

5. Branding gets personal

There is no denying the power of personal branding. If used strategically, it can be a powerful tool in ensuring the success of SEO campaigns. Even social media platforms like Facebook refine their algorithms to favour individual posts over branded posts. Also, once you have a personal brand in place, it gets much easier to boost user trust and engagement. This, in turn, will up the traffic to your site.

 

6. HTTPS Everywhere

Google has inducted https as a ranking factor in its algorithm. Since then many companies hurriedly made the transition from HTTP to HTTPS in order to protect their own and their users’ privacy. It helps even more if there is money transactions happening on the website (e-commerce) and gives consumers extra confidence about their privacy. Let’s expect more websites switching to HTTPS than ever before in the history of the Web.

 

7. Focus on Content Curation

Though many people do not realise it, content marketing and SEO needs to work together for better results and visibility. Include all types of content in the mix: press releases and newsletters as well as articles and blog posts. A good content mix will help you increase backlinks on authority websites and establish you as an expert in your field. This strategy will help you boost your business to the top of Google’s SERPs.

 

2017 will see a massive hike in Internet usage. People are more concerned about the content they read. Now is the right time to prepare a well-developed strategy to survive in the market and beat the competition. As an SEO marketer, you have to be prepared for changes. Keep an close eye on SEO trends in 2017. All the best everyone!

 

IMAGE CREDITS:
“Google SEO Magnifying Glass” – BigOakFlickr, Flickr (1 July 2016) https://www.flickr.com/photos/31682982@N03/27940989741
“Free illustration: Seo, Web Page, Responsive – Free Image on Pixabay – 2016484” – Templune, pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/seo-web-page-responsive-web-design-2016484/

LIAM GIBBONS: The funky light show experiment

 

The above video is of a GIF posted on Twitter by Liam Gibbons, a game maker and writer currently living in Melbourne, Australia. This special ‘funky light show’ as he calls it, features an assortment of differently-sized cubes and cuboids, five of which give off coloured light in a strictly defined pattern. The show responds to both mouse clicks and its own internal environment. Gibbons shared this as part of Twitter’s ‘Screenshot Saturday’ event, where game developers and CGI designers tweet snippets of their latest projects.

It is an interesting video, and not just in terms of the technology. From a perspective of aesthetics, the experiment is very calming and ordered and the flashes of different colours add a fun and funky vibe to Gibbons’ work.

Liam Gibbons has a background in game design and carries out both 2D and 3D projects with ease. His focus is on  level design, environment design and virtual architecture. As a writer, Gibbons had been published by several games and CGI design publications including Unwinnable, Kill Screen, and Overland. Previous projects he has worked include ‘Take That Ya Lousy Dimension’, ‘Looking Back’, ‘Broken Space’, ‘Sais Quest’, ‘Metaheroes’ and ‘Shades Desending’.

If you have a slow connection, please allow a few seconds for the video to show on your screen, and then click the blue and white play button.

www.liamgibbons.com

SOURCES:
interactive storytelling, ICIDS, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/icids/lists/interactive-storytelling
GameDevBRbot, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/GameDevBRbot
Liam Gibbons, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Liam__Gibbons
“About” – Liam Gibbons http://www.liamgibbons.com/
“Projects” – Liam Gibbons http://www.liamgibbons.com/projects/

EHI AWARDS 2015: Special event for healthcare IT professionals in London

EHealth Media, a division of the conferences and training brand Informa, is hosting a special event for national specialists in healthcare ICT this October.

The EHI Awards is a flagship awards event within the healthcare IT calendar. This unique and well-subscribed event will bring together more than 700 information technology and clinical professionals from the National Health Service (NHS) along with suppliers of health ICT engaging their customers for a night of celebration, fun and networking.

The evening will be a celebration of the important work that people in IT and informatics help contribute to the running of British healthcare services and the vital role they maintain in enabling services and adding benefit to the NHS in particular. As the 21st century progresses, ICT and technology in general is playing an increasingly essential role to the day-to-day running of NHS front-line and administration services.

English: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust
English: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The awards will be hosted at a glamorous ballroom at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel, in the centre of London on the 1st October, 2015. There will be live entertainment from a big name comedian, plus a pre-dinner drinks reception on arrival, a three course dinner, a half a bottle of wine per person, mineral water, coffee, petit fours and late evening entertainment. Attendees can reach the Park Plaza very easily from Waterloo Station and Underground, a five-minute walk away, plus easy access to local buses and taxicabs. There will also be a dinner and music as part of the entertainment.

The categories under which awards will be handed over by a celebrity host are:

Interested parties should send in their entries by Friday 15 May at 4:00 pm at the latest. The event organiser also asks that potential awards nominees attend a judging day on Wednesday 15 July 2015 at the King Power Stadium, Leicester, in order to present to the awards judges there. The event nominations are open to any healthcare IT organisation of any size based in the UK. Entry to the competition is free but tickets for the night are to be paid for.

The EHI Awards 2015 are being organised by EHealth Media in conjunction with Informa Life Sciences, a fellow division of Informa plc engaged in the provision of events and training for experts in the fields of pharmaceutics, biomedicine, and other scientific industries. Category sponsors include Dell, CGI, Lexmark Healthcare, Intersystems, IMS Maxims and General Dynamics Health Solutions.

(c) V. Shah/M. Kampf/MyFunStudio

 

Celebrating our 400th post on the Half-Eaten Mind.

DISCLAIMER: The writer is an employee of Informa plc.
SOURCES:
Informa Accounts, The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/informa-accounts
Life Sciences Events, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/ls_informa
“Awards ceremony” – EHI Awards 2015, EHealth Media/Informa PLC http://www.ehealthawards.com/awards-night
“Categories” – EHI Awards 2015, EHealth Media/Informa PLC http://www.ehealthawards.com/view-categories
“FAQs” – EHI Awards 2015, EHealth Media/Informa PLC http://www.ehealthawards.com/faqs
“Sponsorship opportunities” – EHI Awards 2015, EHealth Media/Informa PLC http://www.ehealthawards.com/sponsor
IMAGE CREDITS:
“File:East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust.jpg” – East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Wikimedia Commons (26 May 2009) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:East_Midlands_Ambulance_Service_NHS_Trust.jpg
“Fireworks graphics” – Picgifs.com http://www.picgifs.com/graphics/fireworks/graphics-fireworks-733533-761515/

INTERNET EXCHANGE POINT: Mauritian government aims to bring in faster nationwide internet

The Mauritian government plans to unveil a new internet exchange point in the island’s premier technology hub to help bring faster web-surfing and e-commerce infrastructure to the public and businesses, it was reported today in the French-language newspaper L’Express.

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tassarajen Pillay-Chedumbrum announced that Mauritian ISPs (internet service providers) such as Orange Mauritius/Mauritius Telecom and Bharat Telecom, will possibly be able to connect a local exchange point into their service networks to bring about faster speeds and download times for their Mauritian customers. A current point exists, but the newer version will be a faster and more developed service being offered to all the country’s internet providers on a mutual shared basis.

(c) austinevan/Flickr/Compfight

A information technology complex in Ebene’s CyberCity.

The exchange point will be a piece of switchboard-based IT infrastructure that connects the networks of different operators in a technologically mutual effort to rapidly increase broadband speeds on the island. The point will also be a cost-saving exercise that will benefit ISPs, as they will be able to exchange traffic to relieve their networks, thereby slashing the average amount of expenses incurred for each provider. It will also lessen the country’s dependence on costly international satellite and fibre-optic networks. The point will give equal priority to all Mauritius-based ISPs with a lack of traffic hegemony or filtering rules to hinder that objective.

The current exchange point technology is a ‘layer-two Internet exchange’ operating over Ethernet, which means that participants exchange traffic via an Ethernet switch without any settlements, according to the government ministry in charge of the original internet exchange point. It has not yet been publicly announced what the new point’s exact hardware and operational specifics will be.

In order to begin building up an internet exchange point (IXP) especially for Mauritius, the ministry will organise a workshop in partnership with the African Union Commission. This was announced yesterday (Monday 25 August) by ministry representatives at the Cyber Tower in Ebène, the heart of Mauritius’ steadily growing IT industry. The workshop hopes to train up a new generation of Mauritian IT technicians with the requisite skills to lay the foundation of the improved island-wide IXP.

If we can have a local Internet exchange point, this will allow us to minimise the cost. We will not have to pay international fees. In addition, the Internet will be faster, “said Pillay-Chedumbrum.

The exchange point, known officially as MIXP, has already had a web presence established as the groundwork starts up. The MIXP website describes the service as “the professional, neutral Internet exchange that leads the way in global peering services enabling the savings of precious International bandwidth in Mauritius“. A previous incarnation has been in existence since June 2006, but with fewer capabilities.

Telecommunications have had a long history in Mauritius. The first telephone line was installed in 1883, only seven years after the original device was said to have been invented by Scot Alexander Graham Bell. ICT services also took off early on the island, with the establishment of a governmental National Computer Board (NCB) in 1988 to advise the island’s parliament on the formulation of national policies for the development of the IT sector and promotion of technology culture in Mauritius. The following year, the Central Informatics Bureau (CIB) was organised to encourage increased computerisation of civil service records. Since then, Mauritius has become an important centre for IT-related activities in the Indian Ocean and the African continent, with numerous national and international ICT firms setting up shop in the CyberCity park in the town of Ebène, which is south of the Mauritian capital Port Louis.

The new MIXP forms part of the Mauritian government’s ambition to continually raise the standard of corporate and public ICT services on the island. Ministers are aiming to make the ICT sector the ‘fifth pillar’ of the Mauritian economy, after tourism, agriculture and finance, and envisioned transforming Mauritius into a ‘cyber island’.

SOURCES:
Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind
l’express, Twitter https://twitter.com/wwwlexpressmu
“TIC: un point d’échange Internet local pour réduire les coûts de connexion” – lexp Société/lexpress.mu/L’Express (26 August 2014) http://www.lexpress.mu/article/251452/tic-un-point-dechange-internet-local-pour-reduire-couts-connexion
“Home” – MIXP – Mauritius Internet Exchange Point http://www.gov.mu/portal/sites/mixp/index.htm
“About MIXP” – MIXP – Mauritius Internet Exchange Point http://www.gov.mu/portal/sites/mixp/index.htm
“Telecommunications in Mauritius” – Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_in_Mauritius
IMAGE CREDIT:
‘austinevan’, Flickr via Compfight http://compfight.com/search/cybercity-ebene/1-3-1-1