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Google Algorithm Change Shakes Things Up

Keep focused on great content.
- Google

Google routinely adjust its algorithm a couple times a week to no fanfare, but an update that rolled out in early November caught the attention of SEOs and website owners.

Some websites saw their traffic drop 30-50%. Some of our own clients were slightly affected, and we’ve already initiated activities to get them back on track.

In response to questions from SEOs, Google confirmed that an update had occurred but gave no indication of what website owners could do to combat the change, beyond its usual advice to provide “great content”:

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Chrome Security Hurdle May Affect Your Website’s Usability

50% of U.S. browser traffic comes from Chrome, which means many site visitors may not be able to view your site properly starting in March.

Google is set to throw a new wrench into how visitors view your company’s website. Starting in March, Google’s Chrome browser will start blocking “mixed content” on secure websites.

Which might sound like confusing jargon, so let’s have some definitions first:

A secure website is one whose address starts with https, rather than just plain http. The “s” means the site is secured by extra coding to deter hackers from intercepting the personal data entered by a visitor to that site. The extra coding also allows your browser to verify that it’s really displaying the website you want to view.

A nonsecure website doesn’t have that extra layer of protection. Google often labels these sites as “not secure” and can even block users from easily reaching the site.

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Newest Periodic Table of SEO Factors Outlines What It Takes to Get Good Search Engine Rankings

The basics are simple – good content, careful coding, no sneaky tricks.

Search Engine Land has released the 2019 version of its Periodic Table of SEO Factors, a handy chart of the activities that can positively – and negatively – affect your website’s search engine rankings.

With 200+ ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, Search Engine Land distills all the known information about Google’s methodology into 35 elements, which cover multiple ranking factors.

Positive Attention

Twenty-nine of those elements represent positive ranking factors, those activities you can undertake to help improve your website’s position on the search engines. Seven of the elements dealt directly with content.

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GDPR, Your Website & Your Company

The penalty for violations is just over $23 million or 4 percent of your global revenue for the year, whichever is higher.

You’ve surely seen a lot more emails coming into both your work and personal email accounts from companies providing you with their updated privacy policies or asking for permission to continue contacting you.

That increase isn’t a fluke or a coincidence – it’s a direct result of the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation, which was passed by the European Union in 2016 and goes into effect May 25, 2018.

And, yes, the regulation likely pertains to your company.

And, yes, this is serious business. The penalty for violations is 20 million euros (just over $23 million, based on exchange rates earlier this week) or 4 percent of your global revenue for the year, whichever is higher.

A GDPR Primer

The regulation’s goal is straightforward – to give individuals living with the EU full control over how any of their information is used by any company.

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Google Algorithm Changes Stir Things Up

Remain focused on building great content.

Google is up to its old tricks, unleashing several algorithm changes since the beginning of the year.

One of the most important is also one of the ones we’ve known about the longest: Google’s move to a mobile-first index. Although it’s been talking about this change since 2016, Google only began testing mobile-first indexing on a few, select sites in October.

And then on March 26 Google announced that it was officially moving larger batches of websites to mobile-first indexing. Basically, if there’s a mobile version and a desktop version of a website, Google is going to display the mobile version in its search engine results, which is what people will see whether using their mobile devices or desktop computers. Eventually, Google will have one index that favors mobile-friendly websites.

If you have a well-optimized website that works on mobile devices, you should be in the clear. 

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15 Tips for Better Password Protection

Do not store your passwords or master password in your email, or, on your computer in a text file, even if that text file is password protected.

Password protection is a crucial part of cyber security that not only impacts the security of business websites, but also personal information for anyone using the Internet.

Yet, many of us don’t take it as seriously as we should. The convenience and expediency of using easy-to-remember passwords, or, not changing passwords for a long period of time will, sooner or later, compromise your online security. Despite the risks, we have all been guilty of this.

As hackers continue to become more and more sophisticated in their means of stealing information our risks will continue to increase. Although there is no guarantee of a completely fail-safe solution, there are a number of things that you can do to drastically lower the risk of password theft and the catastrophe that could follow.

  1. Do not use the same password for more than one account login.
    If hackers get ahold of a password from one account, they can get into all of your accounts with that same password.
  2. Use a password manager.
    Use a password manager to help generate secure, random passwords that you won’t have to remember on your own, except for one very secure master password. Once you are logged in with the master password, some password managers will automatically, and securely, fill in your hard-to-remember passwords for you.
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Striking a Blow against Hackers and Cybercrime

By 2020, we'll need 1.5 million more information security professionals.

You can always count on Pilot Fish for some useful B2B SEO tips, insightful commentary on Google updates or user-friendly website design strategies.

But we’re interrupting our regularly scheduled programming today to talk about something a little farther afield yet still important: cybersecurity and the need to recruit more women to fill rolls in that industry.

Pilot Fish is a woman-owned business, but encouraging women to enter cybersecurity isn’t a stance of political correctness. It’s been predicted that by the year 2020 (just three years from now), the world will need 1.5 million more information security professionals, and simple statistics dictate that men won’t be able to fill all of those positions.

Since it’s unlikely that the flora and fauna of our world will be taught to code by then, women are going to have to fill the gap. To that end, ESET is offering a $5,000 scholarship to a woman who’s pursuing a college-level degree and desires to join the cybersecurity field.

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