You might have recently heard about an upcoming update to Google search, which is focused around mobile compatibility. Google will be changing how it ranks websites on April 21st, and websites that aren't mobile friendly - or don't have a mobile friendly version - will be penalised.

The good news is that all Jack Marlow websites are either Responsive (meaning they're mobile friendly out of the box) or are mobile compatible via an alternate version. Better yet this mobile layout, if it's not already on your site, is free!
The mobile layout that Jack Marlow uses for non-responsive sites takes your existing website content, and simply resizes everything for a mobile device. What this means is that you won't need to create a second version of your website specifically for mobile, just keep working on your existing Jack Marlow website and we'll take care of the rest.
Sadly some of our clients have reported contact from some SEO companies, either to advertise their own mobile layouts, or to try and cause panic by saying that your website is not mobile friendly. Sometimes this has happened, even for sites that ARE ALREADY mobile friendly!
We're continuing to roll out our mobile design to all Jack Marlow websites over the next fortnight before the Google update takes place, so there's nothing to worry about. If an SEO company contacts you (or has already!), please let us know - we're collating some of the worst clangers for a future blog post. :)

In a previous post I discussed Google and Bing. Google does what it does so well that I think it unlikely that Bing (or any other Search Engine) will seriously compete with Google.

But what about things that Google doesn't do as well?

When you do a Google Search, Google of course does not search the entire internet for that query. Google searches its index of the internet, and the information that appears highest in your Search Results could be days or months out of date. For most searches that probably won't worry you too much. Although it can be frustrating waiting a number of days for Google's "spiders" to re-index your website after you make changes to it. But what if you're interested in finding something that wasn't on a webpage a few days ago? What if you're interested in finding information about an event that happened a few days ago? Or even a few hours ago? Or even a few minutes ago?

Google has added some additional search options to the sidebar to help resolve this. You now have the option of narrowing your search results to pages updated within a certain time frame, such as the past year, past month, or even past hour. However, since Google can only produce results for the pages it has already indexed, many of the results that you would get from a search for the past 24 hours wouldn't be as comprehensive as one you would get from the past week because Google hasn't crawled all the new pages yet.


You can pay a lot for SEO – but what can you learn, right now, in one minute? An ongoing series.

When Google or another Search Engine indexes your website (looks through it and stores information about your website for when someone does a search) it will follow all of your links to read all of the information on your pages.

A good way to ensure that the search engine sees all of the pages on your website is to provide a sitemap to the search engine. A good Content Management System will build and update a sitemap for google to read automatically.

All websites running the Jack Marlow software have a sitemap for Google which is updated whenever you update the structure of the site. Find out if your content management system automatically updates the sitemap served to Google. Along with listing the pages a good Sitemap will also tell Google the relative importance of pages and how frequently they are likely to change (so that Google Spiders know when to come back and update your listing in the Search Engine)

If you don’t have a sitemap generated automatically, you’ll need to get a sitemap which you can update as you make changes to your website: there are a number of Free online tools which will generate a sitemap for you:

Try: or search on Google for "Generate XML Sitemap".

Further Reading:


This is my latest Blog Entry

Would you use the words “This is a billboard” on a billboard? Or start a brochure with “welcome to our brochure”? Probably not – pretty much everyone knows that a billboard is a billboard and a brochure is a brochure and pretty much everyone knows that a website is a website.

Following on from my 1 Minute SEO blogs on headings and link text you’ll remember that the words you use in headings are important as are the words you use in links.

Don’t waste valuable word space on links that state “click here”. Links are often brightly coloured and eye catching – if you use words which relate to the destination page your visitors will be easily able to find the page and information they’re looking for on your website. And you’re also telling Google more about what you do.

Use relevant keywords in your headings. Don’t waste heading space saying “Welcome to the [company name] website”. Use that space to immediately grab your visitors attention and let them know the benefits of your products or services - and tell let Google know at the same time what keywords are most important to your business.

You can pay a lot for SEO – but what can you learn, right now, in one minute? An ongoing series.

When Google “spiders” (reads through a website and follows all of the links it can find) your and other websites it may associate the words used in a link with the destination page. When you link through to internal pages on your website make sure that you link using the keywords that are relevant to that destination page.

You can also use this to help build up associations with terms you may not use frequently, but which your prospective customers might use to refer to your products or services.

You can pay a lot for SEO – but what can you learn, right now, in one minute? An ongoing series.

The first page your visitors see is your homepage and you only have a limited amount of time to capture their attention.

Additionally, Google and other Search Engines will see your homepage as being the most important page on your website: it’s the page which people will link through to and will probably have the highest “Page Rank” (a ranking of how important the page is).

Text on your homepage can be crucial for telling both your customers and the search engines about who you are and the benefits of dealing with your company.

Remember that you...

You can pay a lot for SEO – but what can you learn, right now, in one minute? An ongoing series.

When Google reads through your website it will try and work out what your website is about – this is so that Google can match your website up with search queries that your potential visitors might be making.

Make your important words stand out

Google, and your visitors, will pay more attention to text which stands out: headings, bold or italic text will call out to your visitors. Think about what your potential visitors are looking for and make sure that those questions are being answered in a way which is easy to find and see.

A good content ...

You can pay a lot for SEO – but what can you learn, right now, in one minute? An ongoing series.

While “Flash” (A kind of software which produces animations) and image based menu and navigation systems can make your website look good, they can seriously impede your website's ability to be read well by Google, and consequently your position in search engines may suffer.

Google and other Search Engines read the text on your website and may associate the words used in links with the content on those other pages: A flash navigation system won’t be able to be read by Google and google won’t be able to read the words on any image buttons you’re using.


Over the next few days Google is rolling out a new search feature called "Instant Preview".

What is Instant Preview?

Using Instant Preview, anyone searching Google has the option to see a popup preview of what each website looks like as they move their mouse over the search result, without leaving the page. This means that a potential visitor will be able to get an idea of how your website looks before they even click through to your site!

For the first time, the way your website looks is going to have a big impact on the number of visitors you can expect from Google.

You can pay a lot for SEO – but what can you learn, right now, in one minute? An ongoing series.

“Meta information” is information you can use to describe your website beyond the content on your site itself. Your Content Management system should allow you to add in Meta Information for your website, and for the individual pages on your website.

The three “Meta Tags” that pertain to SEO are called “Meta Title”, “Meta Description” and “Meta Keywords”.

What is the ‘Meta Title’?

The SEO Title appears in the title bar of your web browser, and appears as your site title when your site appears in a google search.

Placing keywords i...