Time for another roundup of my writings across the web. It’s been a while so there’s plenty to cover.
In October of last year Google introduced a new feature to Webmaster Tools to analyse the mobile user experience of your website, which coincided with their announcement that mobile UX would become a ranking factor on mobile searches. If anything this reinforces Google’s commitment to the mobile web, and site owners should take heed.
State of Digital: Google’s Increasing Emphasis on Mobile
Google is intent to claim dominance on mobile as well, and the best way to do this is to make sure they’re seen as the best provider of mobile services. Mobile search advertising is a pivotal aspect of Google’s long term strategy, so they need to deliver the best mobile search experience to beat their rivals.
I attended the 2014 Web Summit in Dublin in November, and found a conference that was at once bloated, directionless, and vacuous. Yet there were some genuine gems to be discovered, if you put in the effort:
State of Digital: Web Summit 2014 – Finding the Gems amidst the Mediocrity
[The Web Summit is] a vast sprawling occasion that demands you actively seek out the worthwhile stuff; just soaking up the talks and exhibitors without direction will leave you overwhelmed with insipid tripe. But when you do your research, find the talks worth listening to and the startups worth watching, you can have a truly rewarding experience at the Web Summit.
One of the few interesting startups I encountered at the 2014 Web Summit was Adoreboard, who have built a powerful brand sentiment analysis platform. It made me think about the viability of brand sentiment as a ranking factor in online search, and I theorise about the implementation of such a factor.
State of Digital: Can Brand Sentiment Replace Links in SEO?
I don’t expect brand sentiment to become an overnight replacement of links, but I do believe we will see early implementations of this technology in organic search results in the near future. It’s too promising to be ignored, and has the potential to solve a lot of problems for Google and other search engines in the long term.