Two changes to Google rankings you should know about

Two changes to Google rankings you should know about

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is not something I write about much. While I try to stay in touch with what’s going on, I don’t count myself as an expert on the topic. (Which is not to say that the countless self-proclaimed experts on the topic are all experts themselves.) However, there are a couple of changes website owners should be aware of that do (or will) affect the way Google ranks websites.

Mobile search results will soon favour mobile-friendly sites

You may have read about the first change as it is starting to appear in mainstream media. It has nothing to do with the words on a website, but I include it here to help spread the word. 

Dubbed ‘mobilegeddon’, it boils down to this: when someone does a Google search on their mobile device, the results Google returns will (very soon) give preference to websites that are ‘mobile friendly’. Sites that previously ranked highly but are not mobile friendly may fall well down the ladder on smartphone and tablet search results.

What’s a ‘mobile friendly’ site?

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Add pictures to your writing … without breaking the law

Out there in internet land, there is a widely held belief that images found using Google’s image search function are ‘public domain’ and free to use. This is wrong, and thinking otherwise could be costly.

Finding a photo or diagram on Google does not mean that you can freely use that image in a Word document or Powerpoint slide, on a webpage or on your blog, nor anywhere else. The same goes for any other image, piece of writing or piece of music, for that matter. 

You wouldn’t steal a shirt from a clothing store just because you can pick it up and try it on. Re-using anything you find on the web just because you can copy and paste it is no different. At the very least you should be aware of your right to copy that content before you do.

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