Why Business Owners Need to Remove Intrusive Interstitial Ads Pre 2017

If your business uses intrusive interstitial ads on its website, then now is the time to consider removing them. Google’s ranking algorithm is about to be updated and will view intrusive interstitials as a negative ranking factor.

Business owners have until January 10th 2017 to remove intrusive interstitials, if they do not wish to have their webpages penalised.


What are Intrusive Interstitials

Google is about to crack down on intrusive interstitials on the mobile web and this type of advert usually opens as a webpage is loading in.

A statement from Google expresses that “Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.”

Google further states that “While the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google, content may be visually obscured by an interstitial. This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result.”

Pages that continue to use intrusive interstitial ads may be penalised from this date, and in mobile search results, they may not rank as highly.

Removing this type of ad should not be overlooked. The importance of this action becomes apparent when we consider that more searches are made from mobiles, compared to searches made on desktops.


Problematic Interstitials

Examples of Interstitials that make content less accessible


Problematic interstitials are easy to identify and will generally be one of the following types of ad:


  • Pop-ups that cover the main content immediately after the visitor navigates to a page or while they are browsing the page.
  • Standalone interstitials that have to be closed before the page’s content is visible.
  • Layouts that show the above-the-fold portion of the page as an interstitial, while the original content is in-lined underneath the fold.


Non-Problematic Interstitials

Examples of Interstitials that would not be affected by the new signal
Not all interstitials are problematic. Here are three types of interstitials that are not problematic:

  • Interstitials that are incorporated in response to a legal obligations, such as age verification interstitials or cookie usage interstitials
  • Top or bottom advert banners that don’t take up too much space and that are easy to dismiss
  • Log-in dialogues on sites where the content is not publicly index-able or the content is behind a pay wall


Why Intrusive Interstitials are Important

Google has focused on intrusive interstitials as part of its strategy to improve the user’s experience, which is one that is more and more likely yo be taking place on a mobile device. These ads are just part of an overall strategy that business’s need to respond to, in order to rank well in SERPs.


Currently, Google has identified that 85% of pages in mobile search results are mobile-friendly. This means that the content on these pages is readable without zooming, and tap targets/buttons are appropriately spaced for touch screens.


Business owners should begin by checking if their website is mobile friendly. This can be done by using the mobile friendly test and mobile usability report, found in Google’s Search Console.


Is your Business using Intrusive Interstitials?

If you need help removing intrusive interstitials or optimising your website for mobile search, then Odyssey New Media can help. Contact Odyssey New Media today at info@odysseynewmedia.com or call us on 0844 500 6911.

How to Monitor Clicks & Impressions with Property Sets in Google’s Search Console

Analysing the performance of individual websites is straightforward enough, but for most business owners, the picture becomes less clear when multiple websites are in use.


The solution to grasping an overview of the overwhelming amount of analytic data that can be created, by running multiple websites, has been provided by Google and its Property Sets concept. Property Sets allow allow a business to track the combined search visibility of desktop websites, mobile websites and mobile apps.


Property Sets have been added to Google’s Search Console and here bundled websites and apps, for monitoring purposes, can be viewed as a single group. Businesses who set up Property Sets can see the aggregated impressions in search and overall clicks.


How to Create a Property Set

Example Property Set Google Search Console


In order to create a property set, businesses need to visit the Google Search Console. From here website owners can begin by either choosing ‘Add a property’, or if properties are already listed, by choosing ‘Create a set’.


In order to add interested properties when creating a Property Set , businesses need to give the set a name and then, under ‘Members in set’, use the drop down box to select the desktop websites, mobile websites or mobile apps, that they wish to be included in that particular Property Set.


How to Monitor Clicks and Impressions

When the Google Search Console page is revisited, the new Property Set will be listed. The business owner needs only to click on the Property Set to view its Search Analytics. After the initial creation of a Property Set, the collected data becomes visible after a few days.


After the initial first few days, the Search Analytics will give new insights, to profit upon. Property Sets will be of particular interest to business who are looking to gain insights into their international websites, their different departments or brands, or a mix of HTTP and HTTPS sites.


Essential Information Businesses need to know about Google Property Sets

Property Sets can be used to group up to 200 properties and these can be mixed and matched to create a number of Property Sets, using any mix of verified properties. Property Sets themselves however, cannot be added as a property to other Property Sets.


The business user must be at least a verified restricted user or above, on all Property Set members, in order to view the Search Analytics. Created sets can have only one owner and no users, so each individual user will need to set up their own Property Sets.


If a member of the Property Set becomes unverified, then the entire property set becomes inaccessible. Data is still collected on the Property Set even if the owner becomes unverified, but if a Property Set is deleted, then the data is permanently deleted as well.


Need Help Setting Up, Monitoring or Interpreting the Data Produced by Property Sets?

If you need help with Property Sets then Odyssey New Media can provide a whole range of Property Set Management Services. Contact Odyssey New Media for help at info@odysseynewmedia.com or call us on 0844 500 6911.

5 Google Ranking Factors you shouldn’t overlook in 2016

With 3.5 billion Google searches made everyday, it is more important than ever to understand the Google Ranking Factors that affect the position of your website, in search results.


The Google Algorithm has 200 major ranking factors and here we take a look at 5 Google ranking factors that you shouldn’t overlook in 2016.


1. Links

Links going into your site still impact ranking significantly and when quality and page relevance issues don’t exist, it is probably the most important factor of all. Domain diversity is key with the number of domains linking to your website correlating directly to its ranking.


2. Content

Content that is topically relevant will of course rank better but it is long form content that can lift a website up through the search results. Each webpage should concentrate on the topic in depth and cover just a single topic. Longer content ranks higher with webpages on the first page of search results typically containing almost 2,000 words on average.


3. RankBrain

RankBrain is a machine learning artificial intelligence system, which Google confirmed that it had been using in October 2015. RankBrain interprets search queries to find more relevant results, even if the search phrase doesn’t match the words on a webpage.


RankBrain does this because it understands complex ‘long-tail’ search queries and how they relate and are similar to other unconnected complex search phrases. This adds weight to the power of long form content, where pages without a keyword can still rank higher than other pages, if the topic is discussed in detail.


4. Mobile Friendliness

Since May 2016, mobile friendliness has played a more important role on mobile search results. Webpages that are relevant and mobile friendly rank highly and with more Google searches being made though mobile devices (50 billion per month) than a desktop, its importance cannot be overlooked.


The page speed of mobile pages will be ranked separately in the latter half of 2016 and this hints that mobile friendly sites will rank higher than those that are not.


5. Local Search

Local search is directly affected by the popularity of your business. The most powerful indicators of popularity includes Google Reviews and Profile Views.


Other important Google ranking factors

There are many other Google ranking factors to consider and the most important of these includes having a HTTPS URL, as discussed in our post ‘How SSL Certificates and Dedicated IP Addresses Affect SEO’.


In addition to this, content with at least one image will rank better than content without an image, although having more than one image does not further improve rankings. Exact match anchor text still has a strong influence on Google rankings and although Click Through Rates (CTR) do not affect ranking, as it is too easy to falsely replicate, it indirectly affects ranking as a low bounce rate will improve rankings.


Improving your Google rankings and SEO content writing

Do you need in depth SEO analysis, management and content writing for your website? If so, please contact Odyssey New Media for help at info@odysseynewmedia.com or call us on 0844 500 6911.

Google’s Changes to Ad Positions in the SERPs – A combined SEO & PPC Search Marketing Approach is Required

Google’s Changes to Ad Positions in the SERPs

Google has implemented the biggest change to the SERP for several years. The new layout sees the worldwide removal of all the PPC ads from the right side of the SERP and now features an extra PPC add in the top ad block for highly commercial terms.
More information on these changes can be found here.



What Effect Will The Changes Have?

The changes will obviously have an effect on PPC and CTRs for the top ads but will also have an impact on organic listings. By adding a new PPC spot in the main results there is another opportunity to have a paid listing in the more visible main block of results. This new spot will be highly sought after, CPCs are likely to increase as companies compete to feature in the top four positions and claim this new piece of SERP real estate.

Search Engine Watch’s Larry Kim offers an interesting breakdown of the new SERP landscape.


Kim claims that the bottom ads and the now defunct sidebar ads share a 14.6% of total click volume, while the top ads attract a majority 85.4% of the clicks. The added fourth spot in the SERP opens up a new opportunity to feature in the top performing block of ads. The organic listings will be lower on the SERP and are likely to see a fall in CTRs.


Why you should use a combined PPC and SEO search marketing approach?

Organic listings will likely see a dent in CTRs but they still maintain significance in an overall search presence when combined with PPC. Being able to dominate the organic and PPC results establishes a SERP presence that demonstrates authority in a market, achieving great traffic that attracts new business. By running a combined SEO and PPC strategy you have double the data to work with and can effectively use this information to successfully target your keywords with the highest conversion rates, optimising the ROI of your CPCs and informing your overall search marketing strategy.

Kevin Gibbons had this to say to searchenginewatch.com

“We’ve definitely seen a significant shift in first page clickthrough rates over the last couple of years especially in organic search. Ranking on page one is often not good enough anymore, every term is different – but I’d recommend that you really should be aiming top three now, otherwise there’s likely to a big drop-off in clickthrough rates.”



Contact Odyssey New Media if you Need Help and Advice following these Changes

With the new SERP shifting the value of organic SEO and increasing competition for PPC ads it is crucial to employ a marketing strategy that optimises ROI with increased relevancy and conversion rates of keywords.

Odyssey New Media Ltd are search specialists and vastly experienced in PPC, SEO, link analysis, recovery and getting websites better rankings and improved traffic through search engine optimisation.

For anyone concerned about the effect the new SERP will have on their website and organic search rankings contact the team at Odyssey New Media directly on 0844 500 6911 or email us on info@odysseynewmedia.com we can help.

Google’s New Real-Time Penguin 4.0 Roll-Out is Imminent

Google announced last year Google that they will release version 4.0 which they’re calling the ‘real-time’ Penguin Algorithm. This update will undoubtedly affect the performance of websites rankings and organic search traffic on Google.


Essentially any websites with bad/poor/spammy links could see demotion a lot quicker than before (real-time updating). Equally, anyone who takes steps to address and remove these links as well as those who build good quality links into their website will see promotions quicker than before.


More information on the algorithm update can be read here on this post and others on Search Engine Land – http://searchengineland.com/preparing-penguin-make-sure-youre-penalty-free-2016-235834


Why It’s Important to ALL Businesses with a Website

As mentioned above, the new release of Google’s Real-time Penguin 4.0 will start to see demotions and promotions of websites and their rankings according to whether they have bad/poor links linking into their website.


The effect of this could severely impact businesses that rely on organic search as a main channel for brand awareness, traffic and sales or leads.


As a result it’s vital that you have your backlink profile analysed and any bad links removed or disavowed with Google (getting Google to disregard back links). It’s also important that you get good quality, relevant links coming into your website.


The Solution – Backlink Analysis, Link Removal, Disavow & Building Quality Links

The following process should be deployed by anyone who has a website:

  • Analyse all the existing links coming into your website.
  • Remove any bad links you can either manually or by emailing webmasters to request removal.
  • Create a disavow file and submit this to Google with any links that you are unable to remove.
  • Build more good quality links.
  • Monitor rankings and the effect your positive actions have on your website.
  • Repeat the process every 3-6 months to ensure you aren’t picking up any spammy links.


Odyssey New Media Ltd are vastly experienced in SEO, link analysis, recovery and getting websites better rankings and improved traffic through search engine optimisation.


For anyone concerned about the effect this will have on their website and organic search rankings contact the team at Odyssey New Media directly on 0844 500 6911 or email us on info@odysseynewmedia.com we can help.


About the Author:

Rob Stoubos is the Managing Director & Owner of Odyssey New Media – a leading full service Digital Marketing company based in Birmingham, UK. Rob has been working in digital marketing since 2005 and has helped many UK and international clients improve their sales, return and overall ROI through digital marketing channels.

Google Announce 302 Redirects Will Be Made into 301s

302 Redirection to 301 Redirect Google

302 redirection to 301 redirect Google | Image Source: eamonlooney.com

During a Google+ hangout on Oct 16th 2015, Google’s John Mueller announced that Google may decide to view 302 temporary redirects as 301 permanent redirects.


Video Summary – 302 redirects will be made into 301s

Mueller mentioned that there is confusion around 302 temporary redirects. It’s deemed okay to use 302s and that they pass PageRank and link weight through just like 301s. When a 302 redirect has been setup, initially Google will show the originating URL in the search results because Google will count this as a temporary change. Then over time, Google may interpret that the 302 hasn’t been removed and class the URL change as permanent i.e. view it as a 301 redirect the same as a normal 301 redirect.


Video – English Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout

Here is an embed of the Video from the 22:15 minute mark where John Mueller discusses 302 redirects:


Here is the transcript from the YouTube Video

I think there is a bit of a misconception out there on 302s being bad for your web sites and being bad for your PageRank… In face, it is definitely not the case.

When we recognize a redirect and we see it is a 302, we assume it is a temporary redirect first and we assume you want the original URL indexed, not the redirected target. In general, that is one thing we like to do there.

However, when we recognize it is actually more like a permanent redirect and 302 is something that you may have accidentally set up, then we do treat that as a 301. We say, instead of indexing the redirected URL we redirection target.

So it is not a matter of passing PageRank or not, both of these redirects pass PageRank, it is just a matter of which of these URLs we actually show in the search results. Is it the one that is being redirected, which would make sense if it is a temporary redirect. Or is it the one that is it being redirected to, which would make sense if it is a permanent redirect.

We do look at the HTTP result if it is a 301 or 302, we also try to be smarter about that and try to fix any mistakes the webmaster might have made.


About The Author

Robert Stoubos – Founder & Managing Director at Odyssey New Media, a leading Digital Marketing Agency based in Birmingham, UK. With over 10+ years experience in Digital Marketing Rob has is a results-driven marketer with the skills required to successfully implement cross-channel digital marketing campaigns that generate increased brand awareness, sales and ROI. Specialising in search marketing i.e. SEO and PPC. Other channels Rob has experience and interest in include Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Social Media and Website Conversion Enhancement. If you want to improve your sales, increase sales leads and grow your customer base then contact us today and see what we can do to help your company acheive your goals. Email info@odysseynewmedia.com or Call us now on 0844 500 6911.

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