Did you know that Google engineers have tested a self-driving car on the streets of California? According to their recent announcement they’ve clocked up over 140,000 miles.
I was asked by a friend today if I could recommend any bars/restaurants/cafés in Guildford where she could access free WiFi on her laptop. Besides Giraffe I wasn’t aware of anywhere else in town so I posted the question to Yammer in the office and received a number of helpful responses. It seems that Guildford has a reasonable selection of access points; so it made sense to collect them all on a single map.
Since we moved offices to the centre of Guildford we’ve been upping our efforts to optimise our website for particular search terms and with some success, most notably for ‘web design surrey’.
We started way back on page 9 of Google’s search results and today we reached the heady heights of number 2, or so we thought…
Curiously our listing in Google varies from computer to computer and even between different browsers on the same computer. We have seen this before, however, it has always been attributed to whether you are signed into Google or not as Google has been offering personalised search results to signed-in users for some years now. However, we were still getting different results even though we were not signed-in.
After some investigation it turns out that only last week Google made a significant change to the way personalised search works. Google now presents personalised search results to signed-out users worldwide. Search results will be customised for you based upon 180 days of search activity linked to an anonymous cookie in your browser.
You can tell if your results are being customised as a “View customizations” link that will appear on the top right of the search results page. You can actually turn off the customisations or temporarily view the uncustomised results.
So where do we come in the uncustomised results for ‘web design surrey’? Page 2, which is still a decent improvement but clearly there is work still to be done.
What does this change by Google mean for SEO? Well, if everyone is shown personalised results then you can’t really ever claim to be “number one in Google”.
One of the darker sides of web development is down time. The site owners don’t want it, the site developers don’t want it and most importantly the site users don’t want it. Unfortunately, however, it will happen. This is not a defeatist view or an excuse, it’s realistic.
An experienced software development team will know this and rather than bury their heads in the sand, they will be well prepared to deal with the consequences. It’s all about having the problem solving skills, tools and the right approach to solving the root cause of the problem.
The majority of the web industry had, over time, come to the consensus that the keywords meta tag is not used by Google in ranking web search results. However, we’d never heard it from Google itself; that is until now.
Recently on the official Google blog they posted an article on just this issue and clearly stated that they do not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking.
It’s worth pointing out that while this is only Google and other search engines may well use the meta keyword tags, it only serves to enforce our own approach to search engine optimisation that meaningful content is key.
Certainly we’re not within the first 6 pages returned. It makes us wonder if the article has somehow been blacklisted for that particular term.
Even more strange is that we are number one for the term “number 1 in Google” – we didn’t even try to optimise for that search term. View screenshot.
It would appear that our article has been re-instated at the number one position. Amusingly above a new website that has appeared since I first wrote the original article with the domain name ‘numberoneingoogle.co.uk’
Whilst our old residence was beautifully hidden amongst the Surrey hills surrounding Cranleigh, it certainly wasn’t the most obvious place for potential clients to go looking for a cutting edge web agency. Even if it did proudly claim to be “England’s largest village”.
Now that Kyan has relocated to the busy town centre of Guildford we are up against a lot stiffer competition, with numerous other agencies now immediately surrounding us all competing to be top of the listing for terms like “Web design Guildford” and “Web development Guildford”.
Obviously we’re new in town so there’s a lot of work to be done, but a great place to start for any business that wants to show up in location based results is the free Google Local Business Centre (LBC).
Entry into Google’s LBC means that your business listing will show up in search results on google maps.
With the increasing popularity of location-aware mobile devices and desktop browsers utlising Google’s Location Services, optimising for local searches is more important than ever.