Category Archives: News

Is there a Storm in a Teacup over Google’s RankBrain Machine Learning Technology?

RankbrainIf you track what is going on in the SEO industry, you may have heard of RankBrain and wondered what all the recent fuss has been about in the past few weeks. Or maybe not… especially if you leave SEO to the experts.

But, the time has come now for you to start to get a grasp as to what the truth is with Google RankBrain.

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Google: Make your Contact/Enquiry Forms Easier for Mobile Phone Users

As you probably know Google is pushing webmasters to significantly improve their websites mobile experience, and now they are requesting that your online forms are made easier to fill out for someone on their mobile phone.

According to the firm it is apparent that many website owners have been marking up their site forms for auto-completion by way of Google’s “autocomplete” feature included in  their Chrome browser.

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Google instructs: Get your site ready for mobile by 21st April 2015

Google have announced their campaign to get website owners and webmasters ready to update their websites for changes in mobile friendly ranking factors, with a deadline set by the firm of the 21st April 2015.

As of this date Google has advised they will be expanding their use of “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking signal, and that it will affect all mobile searches worldwide. There is expected to be a significant impact in Google’s search results so we are advising below what web site owners can do to ensure they are ready in plenty of time.

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Supporting Female Entrepreneurs Once Again

WOTB stand 2014Last week it was the third annual Festival of Female Entrepreneurs at the Colston Hall in Bristol and All Things Web® were there to support the day.

This years’ theme was ‘Reach Wider for Success’ aimed to encourage women to reach beyond their own skills to partners, suppliers and mentors on their journey to become successful business women.  The day featured some fantastic talks from an outstanding line up which included Fiona Stewart of Green Man Festival, Jessi Frey from Microsoft and Sue Tumelty, Founder and Executive Director of The HR Dept.

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Google Authorship is no more

Google announced at the start of September they will be dropping Google Authorship altogether (after removing Authorship Photos from search results in June).

Interestingly – around a year and a half ago – Google announced that “Authorship” would become rather important  – in fact their CEO even suggested in the future that you might end up “irrelevant” i.e a bit of a nobody if you didn’t tie up your Google+ author profile with your published blog posts.

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UX/SEO Interview with Alison Boyle of LA Marketing

Combining UX and SEO - Feature Interview with Alison Boyle










Every now and again we meet some fellow web design and marketing folk who really impress us – one such firm of marketing and web designers is LA Marketing, based just over the border in rural Dorset.

We’ve worked together on a few sideline projects and loved their understanding of the good, the bad and the ugly of SEO and their knowledge of UX – so much so we were thrilled when Alison Boyle, Co-Director agreed to be featured in our latest SEO interview!

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Helping Innovative Franchisors with Great SEO and Web Marketing

HR DeptThe HR Dept is a franchised outsourced professional HR services provider, and has been a client of All Things Web for the past eight years.  The company’s investment in its online presence over such an extended period has really paid off (it charts at number one in organic search and web searches deliver 20 – 30 new business leads per month), but it wanted to maintain control of its own website and domain name, despite its franchisor status, through the adoption of a centrally controlled approach to SEO.

It’s franchisees, or licensees, were being bombarded with cut price offers from rival SEO firms, and were confused as to the quality and integrity of these “experts”.  Engagement of any one by a licensee could have compromised the organic search status of the company as a whole.

The HR Dept approached All Things Web and asked the team to develop an offer which could be tailored to its licensees, and would enhance their searchability without compromising the central integrity of the SEO and web marketing work being conducted for the principal website.

All Thing Web’s small business entry level offer was ideal for The HR Dept’s licensees.

The offer allows licensees to understand what they should be considering and prioritising when optimising their web presence.  It consists of:

  • a monthly hour of phone or email support and advice
  • a monthly ranking report showing the business’ position in the search rankings using five keywords and tracking against a major competitor
  • a monthly analytics summary tracking the business’ performance against its goals
  • a monthly newsletter containing tips and expert advice
  • free guides on subjects including how to use social media for your business
  • access to a trusted and pre qualified supplier network able to give advice on complementary aspects of marketing including web design, photography and PR
  • and a discount on additional services from All Thing Web

The HR Dept has communicated the new package to licensees through email alerts, an article in the company’s internal newsletter, and during visits and business development updates, and so far, the response has been positive.

“Being able to offer our licensees a pre-qualified, tailored and appropriately scaled offer makes them less vulnerable to the charlatans in this particular sector of the marketplace.  More importantly, it allows us as the franchisor to preserve the integrity of our online presence and approach to SEO, while giving our licensees the freedom to make an additional investment in their business’s lead generation,” says The HR Dept’s General Manager, Tom Doherty.

“We expect a good take up of the package among our forward thinking licensees, and we’re confident that their investment will pay off in the same way that ours has.”

Further information

For more information about the HR Services provided by the HR Dept visit their website

To find out how All Things Web® could help to grow your Franchise and help support your individual franchisees build their local businesses online contact us on 01793 766040.


15 Things you Should Know About YouTube!

As All Things Web begins to optimise more and more YouTube channels and videos for our clients we thought it would be fun to list 15 interesting facts about the internet phenomenon that is YouTube. Next time you’re at a dinner party and want to look a 100% uber-geek then feel free to quote from our facts mentioned below!

    • Youtube was founded by 3 ex-Paypal employees (Steve Chen,  Jawed Karim and Chad Hurley) and the website went live in November 2005. By July 2006, whilst in “beta mode”, the site generated over 100 Million Video views per day and – on average – 65,000 new videos were uploaded. Not bad for a beta website!
    • Me at the Zoo was the first YouTube video uploaded to the site in April 2005, it currently has 13,674,906 views, 83,193 comments and 124,609 thumbs up. The video which only runs for 19 seconds features YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim visiting San Diego Zoo.

      • After its owner, Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet – it generates a far greater amount of traffic than Bing, Yahoo and Ask combined)
      • Tony Blair became the first political leader in the world to establish his own YouTube channel, he currently has *only* 732 subscribers on his “The Office of Tony Blair” channel  whilst in comparison Barack Obama has over 546,000 YouTube subscribers!

      • Whilst at PayPal Chad Hurley was responsible for designing the original Paypal logo!
      • In 2008 on April Fool’s Day Youtube redirected every video to Rick Astley’s “Never Going to Give you up” – thereby joining the world in the process of Rickrolling!

      • Khan Academy by choosing to host all 4015 videos it has created on YouTube has become one of the platform’s biggest publishers, with over 300 million total views and its mission? To provide a free, world class education to anyone anywhere.

      • Currently YouTube is blocked by China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikstan, Sudan, Syria and the USA’s Department of Defence – source here:
      • The most viewed user-generated YouTube video is “Charlie Bit My Finger” which was uploaded on the 22 May 2007. It has over 666 million views, 252,000 subscribers, almost 600,000 comments and nearly 1.2 million thumbs up!
      • The most viewed video, at this time, on Youtube is the PSY Gangnam Style Music Video with – wait for it! – 1,915,019,041 views (that’s almost 2 billion views!!!) and over 8 million likes. Phenomenal figures.
      • Google bought YouTube way back in 2006 for $1.65 billion (in stock) just 18 months after being set up – certainly makes you wonder how much YouTube would sell for now.
      • In April 2006 Sequoia Capital provided YouTube with $8 million in additional funding.
      • In 2010 Hurley stepped down from his position of CEO at YouTube to focus on other projects
      • Over 4 billion hours of video (over 450,000 years’ worth) are consumed over on YouTube every SINGLE month.
      • Its estimated that during 2007 YouTube used as much bandwidth as the entire Internet did during 2000, that’s an impressive statistic.



Finally this video with 25 million likes gave us one of the biggest  jump-out-of-your-seat frights on YouTube ever!
Take a (brave) look here:

Enjoy!  :D

Our next post will feature details on how to do Search Engine Video Optimisation for YouTube so stay tuned!

Now that the dust has settled… All Things Web SEO Forecast for 2014


So with all of the commentary and fuss around Google forcing website owners and SEO’s to up their game in order to gain higher search rankings, what’s in store for web marketing in 2014?

Here at All Things Web, the team have pulled together a few of our predictions on the main areas  during 2014 that we believe businesses need to ensure they cover off within their web marketing strategy if they are to succeed.

  • Social Media sites such as Facebook will begin to lose advertising revenue from business page owners –especially the ones in the B2B sector who will tire of seeing very few likes and shares of their content.
  • Google+ will (begrudgingly) gain ground in terms of business users as they realise the importance of it in promoting their inbound content. The average internet user will still not truly understand the importance of Google+ (author’s note: I forecast it will become part of most smart Internet users’ lives in 2016 unless something comes out before that to usurp it).
  • Forums will gain a lot of ground in terms of people returning to these types of sites as they seek more detailed answers to questions (i.e. knowledge). Forums may see significant rankings gains on Google in 2014.
  • With Hummingbird in place it is increasingly likely you will need to optimise for people’s questions… though how you find out the right questions (as we rarely see them come up in Google’s Keyword Planner) is beyond my crystal ball right now! Just think “what, why, when, where, how” etc and go from there.
  • SEO’s who can’t create online marketing campaigns – and I mean coming up with marketing campaigns with clever, unique content ideas to promote a client rather than just coming up with SEO’d how to lists are going to struggle to get clients ranked.
  • Websites that do not offer anything but purely sales content (without any ability to order via an ecommerce section) will have to rely more on PPC to offset any ranking decreases. Websites that offer knowledge, unique content, video, infographics and more will thrive.
  • Google will penalise websites who have too many guest post blogs with followed anchor text links. This maybe offset if these blog posts attract +1’s, FB likes and shares or tweets which could help demonstrate quality posts not just vanilla.
  • Branded links will become the absolute norm, we saw one such site last year that ranked on the first page of Google for keyword terms and Moz’s Open Site Explorer showed every link they had acquired to be set as branded AND nofollowed. Shame I can’t find it now though!
  • Using your client’s username and password to log in and review analytics? Google, with their improvements in location history technology will work to understand if someone is actively sharing their Analytics actual login details – this could be deemed to be in breach and access denied to the user.
  • Using your own third party login to access your client’s analytics account to assess traffic data? Then Google will know if you have access to both Adwords and Analytics. If it’s just Analytics (i.e. you don’t provide clients with PPC) then expect to be charged to view client data. It’s a longshot!
  • More businesses will discover that Google uses Analytics for its own purposes to gather data and therefore move from GA to other analytical software that’s free (or low cost) to use.
  • More businesses will realise that posting links to their content marketing efforts on LinkedIn can be more effective than posting on Facebook or – dare I say it – Twitter.  LinkedIn will become the platform in sending greater numbers of traffic to B2B websites.
  • Sites that do not offer a mobile friendly version to effectively show on tablets and smartphones will suffer in the rankings (certainly in sectors where their competitors take the steps to invest).
  • If you did not already know Google will increasingly want its users NOT to leave its results pages. Don’t believe us? Ok, go search for “UK Weather”, you just need to use the slider Google provides to get a quick forecast for the day. Admittedly it’s not BBC Weather quality but it gives the Google user an answer they need quickly.
  • More businesses will begin to adopt Google Adwords and PPC to ensure they are capturing a share of search traffic. even for longtail keyword phrases.  More businesses will find PPC is increasingly too expensive and rely even more on content marketing and SEO to send a substantial share of traffic.
  • Automated marketing will be increasingly requested by clients – though many won’t understand what it actually is so will be ripe for a new breed of junk marketers to take advantage of with cookie cutter/boiler template marketing  <sigh, here we go again>
  • Instagram could start to allow nofollow links inside comments, enabling traffic to be sent to websites via images posted on this platform, users will also be given the opportunity to share others IG’s photos to their network. Instagram will begin gamification to encourage users to make their platform a place to hang out more often.
  • Online PR sites such as PR Web will increasingly struggle as their influence over rankings is now on the wane. PR will blend with marketing and stories to help create a #RCS ranking signal.
  • With the intrusions of the NSA and GCHQ even the average user will begin to surf the web via a Private or incognito browser setting to hide their behaviour and prevent themselves being tracked for remarketing data purposes.
  • Google Wildfire will be released as a free version (in a bid to gain greater usage with Google Plus?) with some extra special feature limitations to capture a greater market share of social media marketers.
  • A greater number of businesses will realise that #RCS means helping others in the community, genuine PR opportunities, sponsorship of local sports teams, competitions, conference and exhibition attendance – these can all be blogged about and show a “real” marketing signal to Google.


  • Rich snippets will only gain greater ground making Google’s job easier with data markup.
  • Google Now will be switched off in droves on phones as users realise Google is tracking their movements for their own purposes.  Hell, some will resort to calling it Google Nag.  People will worry it is too “Big Brother(ish)” when they find that Google can predict what they want before they need it.
  • More SEO’s will look to disassociate themselves with the term “SEO” and move to calling themselves “content marketers”.
  • Content marketing will rocket, the term SEO will become more synonomous with technical aspects (301’s, structure, 404’s) than with link building. Can only say this is a good thing.
  • A number of large SEO agencies will go to the wall, whilst smaller more dynamic web marketing companies will move in to take their place.

We hope you find something of use within our list of predictions for 2014.  We will of course be continuing to monitor developments on the web throughout the year to ensure that our clients are kept ahead of the game.

If you need help on understanding how any of these impact your business or web marketing activity contact the team here at All Things Web for some further help and insights.