Engage Web February 2020 - Engage Web

Changes to Google Images revealed

Posted on February 28, 2020

Search company Google is in the process of updating the results pages of its image search section to add icons that indicate the type of content images are leading to.

Images that (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

Is WordPress Gutenberg any better a year on?

Posted on February 27, 2020

Almost a full year ago, we shared our thoughts on Gutenberg, the newly introduced editor on content management system WordPress, which was gradually making ‘blocks’ into its default setting. Well, more accurately, I shared my thoughts, but they largely mirrored those of the whole Engage Web team at the time.

Put simply, we didn’t like it. We found a number of (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Directory section introduced to results pages

Posted on February 26, 2020

Google has introduced a new section to the results pages of its search engine – one that it has tested in the past.

In April last year, the (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

When Google Search Console warns of coverage issues for no reason

Posted on February 25, 2020

Google’s Search Console is a great tool. It’s an absolute must for every website owner as it gives you invaluable information about your website and the way Google sees it. You can locate errors, submit sitemaps, see what you’re receiving traffic for and what searches you’re appearing for. You can see if you’ve been manually penalised and even check your page speed.

If you’re not using it, you should be.

The tool also sends you regular updates of issues that affect your website, such as one we received recently. Google sent us a message warning of coverage issues on a particular domain.

Coverage issues, you say? This sounds like something we need to take immediate action on. At least, that’s what you’d think. The message stated:

“Search Console has identified that your site is affected by 1 Coverage issues”

The warning went on to say:

“Warnings are suggestions for improvement. Some warnings can affect your appearance on Search; some might be reclassified as errors in the future. The following warnings were found on your site: Indexed, though blocked by robots.txt”

This sounded serious. Some content on the website was indexed by Google, but it was being blocked by the robots.txt file. Robots.txt is a simple text file that sits in the root of your website and contains a series of lines of code telling search engines which files they should and should not access.

The fact Google says some files have been blocked means the content can’t appear in a Google search. Unless we fixed this we’d have a big problem, right?

Wrong.

After investigating the issue in Google Console, we could see there was just the one affected page. It was a page flagged up by Google a few days ago, and was one that was intended to be blocked by the robots.txt file as it’s a page inside the Admin directory.

You don’t want pages inside your admin directory to be indexed as you don’t want people finding them in Google searches. They’re private files, used only by logged-in users.

What this teaches us is that you don’t need to panic just because you receive a message from Google Console. Not everything it flags up is an issue. Not everything it says is a problem is actually a problem. Sometimes you can just leave the ‘issue’ alone, as it’s supposed to be that way.

This is also the case for many other online marketing tools with which website owners can, sometimes, get a little preoccupied. Tools such as YOAST for WordPress, Majestic, Google PageSpeed Insights and many others are all there to ‘help’ you to improve your website in search. They are just tools, and you need to know to use them effectively, interpret their findings and understand what they actually mean before you can get the best out of them.

If you base everything on your Trust Flow score on Majestic, your mobile website score on Google’s PageSpeed Insights or whether or not you get a little green smiley face for your homepage on YOAST, you’re missing the real point.

The tools we mentioned, and many more besides, are great. We use them, and you should too. They can highlight really important issues or areas for improvement with your website. Please don’t get bogged down with the detail, however. Digital marketing for your website is about a lot more than ticking boxes and getting a clean bill of health from online tools.

If you find you’re not getting the results you want from your website, we’d be happy to take a look for you.

Posted by Darren Jamieson

Are companies singular or plural?

Posted on February 24, 2020

When we speak, we have a tendency to refer to businesses and organisations in the plural form. For example, we might say that “Sainsbury’s are taking on more staff” and “Microsoft have released their latest version of Windows”, but why do we do this? In both those examples, there’s only one company doing it.

It probably comes from (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Three questions to ask when adding links to your website

Posted on February 21, 2020

Inserting links into your site, whether they direct users to another part of the site or somewhere else entirely, is a neat and modern way to get people where they need to be online. In 2020, it’s pretty awkward and old-fashioned to write “go to Engage Web’s website” when you could just say “click here”.

There are things that (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Search Console introduces new tools to assist site moves

Posted on February 20, 2020

Google has begun to roll out a new set of features for its web service Search Console that will help webmasters when it comes to changing domains.

The updates are (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

How can I speed up my website?

Posted on February 19, 2020

One of the things I have been looking at a lot, of late, is the speed of websites. What causes a website to run slowly, what can be done to speed one up and, most importantly, does it even matter?

Let’s tackle the ‘does it even matter’ part. Google declared in as far back as (more…)

Posted by Darren Jamieson
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