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Archives for May 2017 | Aqueous Digital

Archive for “May, 2017”

Aqueous Digital discusses the closure of DMOZ

What does the closure of the DMOZ directory mean for SEO?

 

The SEO community was left to reminisce about the good ol’ days of the internet after the ancient relic that was the DMOZ directory closed its doors last month, but has the closure had any effect on SEO or rankings?

The AOL-owned DMOZ web directory disappeared from our browsers on March 17th 2017, leaving just a link to a static mirror of the site which can be found at www.dmoztools.net and the following message.

 

 

What was DMOZ?

For those that weren’t familiar with DMOZ.org, the website was an Open Directory Project that had been around since 1998 (under one name or another) and used human editors to organise websites rather than computers. The directory listed millions of websites that had all been added and categorised by thousands of volunteers.

When it started out in 1998 (the same year Google launched) its main competition was the Yahoo Directory.  Over the years Yahoo saw the benefit of machine-generated search results and gradually phased out their directory, until eventually closing it down in December 2014.

 

SEO and DMOZ

Then

For SEO, having your website listed on the DMOZ directory used to be a highly sought after prize.

This was during a time when the directory was very active, with new links constantly being added, reviewed and modified.  Before Google’s rise, DMOZ bought websites a lot of direct traffic and Google even had the directory copied as the Google Directory which they linked to on their homepage.

However as Google grew, DMOZ began to decrease in popularity and requests to be listed on the directory began to take a longer and longer time to process, until it became a near impossible feat.

 

Now

10 years ago or so having your link listed on DMOZ may have been the Holy Grail, but over more recent years the directory’s SEO value had significantly decreased as it has become less popular, relevant and current.

Machine-generated search results and Google’s growth have slowly but surely bought about the demise of the open directory.

Late last year both John Mueller and Gary Illyes from Google made negative comments about directory listings, suggesting that they now provide less SEO value than ever.

 

Will DMOZ’s closure effect rankings?

So far there has been no obvious reported effects on rankings from the closure of the mostly redundant DMOZ directory.

The only reminder to webmasters and SEO professionals will be the NOODP meta tags that have been used to instruct search engines like Google not to pull in descriptions from open directories like DMOZ.  If you have this tag in place on your website it will not have a negative effect, it will simply now be redundant.

 

Curlie?

Although many people in the SEO community may believe that it’s time to let open directories like DMOZ rest in peace, for those that have devoted years to the project it is proving hard to let go!

On the 31st March the DMOZ Facebook page posted a link to a website called https://curlie.org/ that contains a static page mirroring the late DMOZ directory and the defiant message ‘Humans still do it better.’

Jonathan and Emma Guy receiving the Halton Business Award for Marketing Excellence

Aqueous scoop top Marketing award at the Halton Business Awards

Aqueous Digital were delighted to win the prestigious Marketing Excellence award on Friday evening at the Halton Business Awards, held for the first time this year at the Select Security Stadium in Widnes.

The awards, now in their tenth year, are a showcase for the best and brightest businesses in the Halton region. With fifteen individual sponsors, the main sponsor of Mersey Link and attended by over 300 guests on the night, this was a chance to highlight the region’s talent.

Following a wonderful meal and keynote speech by James Rule, Chief Executive of Widnes Vikings, the awards ceremonies began.

Aqueous Digital were shortlisted in two categories; Apprentice/Young Achiever of the year and Marketing Excellence and were successful in the Marketing Excellence category.

The award recognised the achievements Aqueous had made with customers they help, including helping move one business from a kitchen table start-up to over £1,000,000 turnover in just three years.

There to collect the award on the night were Jonathan Guy, Managing Director and Emma Guy Director of Sales Operations and they accepted the award on behalf of the entire Aqueous team.

The atmosphere on the night was bright, energetic and enthusiastic with companies mingling, congratulating and supporting one another. We were overwhelmed by the support shown by everyone and the accolade of being crowned the best in Halton.

Established in Runcorn in 2011 the firm has gone from strength to strength, employing local people and growing year on year. The award reflects the hard work and dedication of the team and their daily achievements on behalf of customers who are looking for a return from their Paid and Organic search budgets. Without the individuals who make up the Aqueous team we would not have been able to achieve this.

As we look forward to our sixth birthday next month we are looking forward to a bright future where we can help even more companies succeed with their marketing.

Article discusses Accelerated Mobile Pages

AMPing up your website’s mobile speed in 2017

Could AMPing up the speed of your website’s content give you the edge over your competitors?

Did you know that all around the world more people are now searching for information online using their mobile devices than they are desktop computers? (According to Google)

Mobile browsing has been on the increase for some time now and this doesn’t seem set to slow down any time soon.

With the digital landscape constantly shifting and becoming more mobile-oriented is your website keeping up and delivering a mobile-friendly experience?

 

What is AMP?

Since 2015 Google have been slowly rolling out accelerated mobile pages (AMP) in response to the increase in demand from users for more instantaneous access to information on mobile devices.

In a world where we have access to almost any information we could dream of at the tips of our fingers, we don’t want to have to deal with the frustration of slow pages taking an age load – we want answers and we want them now!

Accelerated mobile pages can be identified in search results by looking for the AMP initials and lightning bolt symbol next to the listing as shown here:

Rudy Galfi, the AMP Project Product Manager has been quoted saying that on average an AMP-formatted webpage takes 0.7 seconds to load, whilst the average time for other webpages is 22 seconds!

So far AMP has most commonly been used by news websites and blogs but is now being adopted by a more varied mix of websites.  It is expected that as with most things Google, early adopters of AMP will be the ones that reap the rewards!

How does it work?

AMPed pages load almost instantaneously because they are coded to prioritise loading text content.  Additional content like imagery is kept to a minimum and loaded after the text content on the page.

 

Why AMP?

The key benefits of using AMP are:

  • Improves user-experience by minimising frustration caused by slow-loading pages, which will in turn keep people on your website.
  • Fast-loading pages are great for SEO. AMP is not yet known to be an individual ranking factor, but site speed is!
  • Improved visibility of content. Google uses a ‘top stories’ carousel that highlights AMP content.

 

How can I get it?

In order to get AM on your website you will need new versions of your web pages built and developed using the AMP HTML.  These new pages will strip out all ‘non-essential’ information on the page when it is being viewed on a mobile phone.  When your webpage is viewed on a desktop computer, visitors will still see the full webpage, giving users on both mobile and desktop devices the best experience for their browsing device.

Worried about duplicate content?

We’ve all had it hammered home that duplicate content is bad for SEO, so won’t your new AMP webpage contain the same duplicated content as the desktop version?

In short, yes, it will contain the same content but using a rel:”canonical” tag will prevent Google from marking either version as duplicate content.  The rel:”canonical” tag simply tells Google which piece of content is the original and should be applied with all the credit and lets it know that the AMP page is a related copy of this page.

 

Want to find out more about AMP?  Visit the AMP Project website for more details and tutorials or give one of our team here at Aqueous Digital a call on: 0800 285 1424.