Your Monthly Digital Roundup

Issue 23

orth East digital marketing agency Mediaworks keeps you up-to-date with some essential digital developments.

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, rarely does a month go by without some form of update — and the past month has been no different. From industry whispers to full-blown Google changes, we explain what has shook-up the industry most recently:

Introducing Google Fred

Google Fred may sound like the name of Google’s new personal assistant, but it’s actually the name given to the search engine’s latest update. Although the update took effect around March 7th and 8th, it wasn’t officially confirmed until March 24th, when Google’s Gary Illyes took to Twitter.

In typical Google fashion, it’s unclear exactly what the update targets. However, analysis of rankings in the weeks following suggests that the update is a reaction to content and link quality. Further comment from Google’s John Mueller suggests that sites targeted by the update were those that do not follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. He said: “Essentially, if you are following the Google guidelines and you are doing things technically right, then that sounds to me like there might just be just quality issues with regards to your site. Things that you can improve overall when it comes to the quality of the site.”

“…There is no simple kind of answer, like there is no meta tag that would make your web site higher quality. It is just in general, you probably need to take a step back, get random people who are interested in that topic to review your site compared to other sites to kind of go through a survey to see what you can be doing better to improve the quality of your site overall.”

From his comments, it’s clear that Google is placing a strong emphasis on content quality and the overall user experience. However, improving search quality has been Google’s main priority for a while now — so this should already be a fundamental aspect of your existing digital strategy.

Mobile-First Indexing

With the dominance of mobile, Google has been experimenting with a mobile-first indexing since November 2016. Since then, we’ve been anticipating the rollout of the index.

Essentially, the mobile-first index would invert the ranking process; the mobile version of a site will determine its ranking potential over the desktop version. This month, Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed the search engine is aiming to roll out this index by the end of the year.

If your current mobile offering is sub-standard, the delayed rollout is good news, as it gives you time to improve your presence across mobile devices, in advance of the update taking effect.

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