Category: Google

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Google for Jobs being investigated by EU over anti-competition allegation

By Peter Morrow   August 29, 2019  
Google in trouble for using its market dominance to promote its own search tools ahead of established job aggregation sites. A complaint made by twenty three jobs-search sites at the beginning of August has asked the European Commission to temporarily order Google to stop anti-competitive behaviour, while it investigates the issue.Since its launch, numerous complaints from rivals have alleged anti-competitive behaviour, deliberately pushing them down the search ranking, increasing their costs, stealing users and ultimately affecting their profits.Alternative views suggest that Google has brought competition back to the job advertising market and the benefit of recruiters seeing better matching of job seekers to jobs.Google for Jobs - launched in 2018 in the UK - places a widget at the top of searches, that filters and saves vacancies aggregated from many sources. For businesses to have their jobs advertised on Google for Jobs, they must present the job details using ‘schema microformat’ on their website for Googlebot to read them. While many job-search sites charge recruiters for advertising their jobs, Google does not ...although competitors point out that after the opening shot to gain dominance in the job market, it may start charging for advertising to create a revenue stream.Savvy recruiters have seen an opportunity to cut costs (a competitive advantage) and reduce their spend with job search sites while ensuring their recruitment websites are compliant with the Google schema.Google for jobs image Fall out There are indicators that some competitors have seen a decline in traffic. Recruit Holdings (owner of Indeed) has lowered its forecasted sales for 2019/20, while traffic has declined 5% since 2016. Steps taken by the company include boosting advertising.While Monster has seen an increase in traffic by conforming to Google for Jobs requirements. Steps taken by the company include asking recruiters to improve the content on their job postings to generate more clicks. Our guidance here.Google has been under pressure from the EU and other regulators for anti-competitive practices before. The EU has previously fined Google a total of £7.64bn, in similar anti-trust cases.The EU has spoken to Google before about its job search tool and the company stated it had made changes, linking directly to job offers available on a single site and offering direct links to third-party job sites.Despite the threat of large fines, Google for Jobs is here to stay!If you’re interested in having a website that works with Google for Jobs, call one of our experts on 08000 199737 or email sales@reversedelta.com.More here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-49483655 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-google-antitrust/eus-vestager-checking-to-see-if-google-favors-own-job-search-tool-idUSKCN1VH133

The single best thing you can do for great SEO…

By Steve Riley   January 26, 2015  
Awareness of Search Engine Optimisation has moved from the geek-sphere to the commonplace. Anyone vaguely in the trade will be familiar with the shift — people at social gatherings will now happily sidle up and ask 'what should I be doing about my SEO?'Collectively we've been in the trade now for well over 20 years and with Reverse Delta since 2002: we're well used to the query.Our answer has shifted over time, as the web matures and people have become wise to the smoke and mirrors of the early generation of 'SEO gurus', we've focused less on SEO as a separate activity and more on the way good practise, effective structure and great content will naturally keep the search engines interested.More and more of this can be taken as read with a well-crafted website from an established developer and built on a suitable web platform. There are many, many things you can do behind the scenes to keep the search engines interested ...but many of these now simply fall out of a good development process. Just play great football The single best thing you can do for SEO is to have great content. Just as the single best thing a football team can do to get noticed is to play great football. If you have something interesting to say, people will be interested. And if people are interested, the chances are the search engines will want to find and promote you.Nobody wants to back a loser, and that's how you should think about the search engines. They like a flutter — see Google's 'I'm feeling Lucky' button — but mostly they back the winners. And winners have great content.Make sure your website has the basics covered — useful tagging, image tags, a good rich structure that's easily crawled, headings that match the content — but don't try and be something you're not. Be yourself, and be excellent.

Why your website is never truly finished

By Steve Riley   November 20, 2014  
I’m going to try and convince you to think of your website as a living, breathing thing. You already know that it should be more than a shop window to your company (and even shop windows change their displays) and certainly more than a static brochure. Brochure sites might have been acceptable once but to keep both your visitors and search engines interested you need a steady supply of dynamic, fresh content. The importance of great content Reverse Delta’s recruitment clients are at an advantage because the nature of the sites means they are always generating fresh content and the all-important ‘Google juice’. But all clients need to be mindful of the need to keep on top of the site content. Don’t think of the website as a single project with a start, middle and end. The point where you’ve finally launched and ironed out any little niggles is a line in the sand and cause for celebration at reaching a significant milestone. But it’s not the Finish Line.Search engines are fickle and have a short attention span. If they start to see an unchanged site they’ll stop coming back. Nasty machines! But the truth is they’re only doing the same as your human visitors — we all crave the new and the novel.The good news is that all our sites are carefully optimised to interest the search engines. The slightly less good news is that exactly what interests the search engines is a moving target, so a site that measures well at launch still needs regular monitoring and maintaining. This is why you should think of your website as an ongoing task, rather than a defined task you can mark as ‘finished’ at launch.We'll take a look at some of the automated tools you can use to help you with this maintenance in a future blog post soon.  Take-away messages:Keep an eye on your site. Give it an owner. Keep asking yourself basic questions like: ‘what distinguishes me from the competition?’, ‘why should clients choose me?’ Get this message across to your clients. 

New Chrome browser (version 32) causing many users much pain!

By Dave Haygarth   January 23, 2014  
So Google has now taken it upon itself to adopt the Microsoft software release method. You know the one I mean... "We don't care what the customer wants or needs, you get what we want you to get..." Why?  Well it seems that in the version 32 release of the Chrome Browser that happened last week, Google has decided to make some rather unilateral decision about how your browser should operate and look. Firstly, have you noticed that the scroll bars are different.  Thinner, not the same as other applications on your system?  Well that's because Google feels that we should be in line with their Chrome OS look and feel.  That'll be the reason the up and down "stepper" arrows in the scrollbar have also disapeared.  Don't fit into the new 50% thinner, sleek design.  Not great wth mouse control or have accesibiltiy problems?   Tough. Many people have taken to the Google Product Groups to "congratulate" Google on this move and : http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/KCvRExwNxdE%5B1-25-true%5DSo is all the fuss just about a little bit of the UI change?  Unfortunately not. Seems Google has broken Chrome in other ways too, mostly stemming from the scroll changes. The most alarming problem for public users is the 'known issue' of the inability to highlight the lower most option of a dropdown list. You can select it still, but it isn't highlighted to show you're selecting the right one.  Sure you have the pointer in the right location? Just click and Hope! http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/xiJuwZWXcj4 Oh and if you're dropdown is a large one, it won't scroll either using the scroll bar, only with the mouse wheel (if you have one). The cursed "Microsoft blue screen of death" also now has it's Google equivalent: the "Page(s) unresponsive" popup.  A much more frequent visitor these days, affecting users in their day to day browsing.  Gmail users who do this will suffer greatly as will developers using Developer tools.   (http://frankcode.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/chrome-32-broke-the-internet/) So after all this has been said, can't we simply turn off these Updates? Well unless you like hacking around in the Windows Registry (NOT recommended) or you are able to set some permissions in the Group Policies Console to stop this happening, then the short answer is NO.Our advice is to use a different browser while Google sorts out this mess.  Don't email your poor IT support people  and expect them to resolve this, you'll find that they are also struggling with this mess themselves, just like you!

Getting meaningful traffic from Local Results in Google

By Dave Haygarth   June 15, 2012  
A couple of clients have asked me lately what's the best strategy for getting local search traffic for terms like [service] and [location] ... i.e. "Painter in Watford" or "Recruiter in Manchester".  The simple answer is that there isn't a simple answer.  Of course.Early in 2011 Google introduced what it termed "Blended Place Search", which merged "organic" results with "Google Places" results. Remember that Google Places is a Directory and although Google tries to deliver relevance, you can make varying levels of effort to ensure that you are 'listed' in the Google Places directory Again, I hope I don't need to remind you that Google offers no 'silver bullet' to get good results.  Instead, you need to work on being the "best" service provider.  Sorry. I'm not going to piggy back on anyone else's great, original content any more - there is a rich background here on a blog bringing together loads of great resources on David Mihm's blog: www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml  

Cookie Law – Are you ready?

By Dave Bancroft   May 14, 2012  
On the 26th May 2012, legislation comes into effect that require companies with websites to ensure that user consent is obtained to store non "essential use" cookies on their PC. The onus falls upon the owners/operators of websites to ensure compliance and at the current estimate is expected to cost business in the UK £10bn to implement. Obviously, in this climate, this is a burden that most companies could well do without and like many in the industry, ever since we heard about the law we've been waiting for a clear and concise directives from the ICO (Information Commisioners Office) but even so close to the deadline, clarity is the one thing missing in all this. (More general information on this topic can be found at the ICO here - http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/privacy_and_electronic_communications/the_guide/cookies.aspx) In general cookies will fall into two categories:essential - which are exempt (job / shopping baskets) non-essential - fall under these regulations (tracking & analytics cookies)With our FXRecruiter recruitment websites, we feel the vast majority of cookies used fall into the "essential use" category and thus would be exempt. However, there is one cookie that a huge number of sites use and will soon fall under the "non-essential" category, is the cookie used for Google Analytics (GA).  As this GA cookie is used on millions of websites, there is a major concern about this legislation and there are ongoing discussions about how this can be resolved without the cost to UK business, which up to now have yielded little help from the ICO. In fact in one of their earlier updates several months ago, they state that analytics cookies are well down on their list of priorities for action: "Although the Information Commissioner cannot completely exclude the possibility of formal action in any area, it is highly unlikely that priority for any formal action would be given to focusing on uses of cookies where there is a low level of intrusiveness and risk of harm to individuals.”So there, in a nutshell is the problem.  Google Cookies are "non-essential", thus consent must be gained before storing them on a users PC. But hey - if you don't then we are unlikely to fine you.  Confused ?  Join then masses. How do I become compliant? Firstly, as the onus of the regulation falls onto the site owner, we strongly urge you to review the regulations at the ICO site and  ensure that the requirements are met. If you are unsure about them, take appropriate legal advice. We can advise on technical issues only and are not legal advisers. We do have a solution for our FXRecruiter sites that we can discuss individually with our clients and depending on their legal advice.  For other bespoke sites then clients can approach us for advice. There are also other solutions out there on offer which a Google search should find and we can advise you on the best way to integrate with your site should you be advised to display an option to site users. Watch this space...

Google Continues Efforts to Kill Off Internet Explorer 6

By Dave Haygarth   February 24, 2010  
Web designers around the world will be rejoicing that Google is taking a lead in banishing the deeply unloved Internet Explorer 6 to the annals. Those not familiar with web design probably won't know that we routinely have to 'break' code to make it work in this old browser, yet people still refuse to upgrade -- mainly corporates who lock down desktops for fear of security issues. The irony here, of course, is that IE6 is a security vulnerability in itself -- as one bright spark once remarked about Windows "its not like theres a load of back doors its more like the back of the house is missing". As we previously posted, Google launched "Chrome Frame" back in October 09, which essentially replaces Internet Explorers rendering engine (ie. the main bit inside the window) with a Google Chrome-based replacement. A stealth-like approach if ever there was one. Next, Google roundly blamed Internet Explorer for the Chinese hackings. The French and German Governments followed this with a warning to their citizens to stop using the old browser. The UK Government did not issue a warning. Microsoft have since released a patch. Google then announced dropping support for Internet Explorer 6 on its widely used GMail webmail service "this year". Yesterday, Google upped the ante by announcing it is dropping support for IE6 on YouTube - its video sharing site. Our own web stats are showing a startling demise in the use of Internet Explorer in general. In the last Month: Firefox - 46% Internet Explorer - 38% Safari - 6% Chrome - 5% Of the Internet Explorer traffic: IE8 - 52% IE7 - 32% IE6 - 15% So, farewell IE6 - you won't be missed. For those looking for an alternative, try Google Chrome or Firefox.

Google Buzz – a powerful new move from the search giants

By Dave Haygarth   February 10, 2010  
Google Buzz is possibly the most long overdue movement from Google that one could imagine. People (myself included) spend a good deal of their time sitting looking email... increasingly more on web based mail clients. To add social networking / status updates / microblogging / call-it-what-you-will to the main hub of your online experience is at best, genius, or at worst, blaringly obvious. Still - that's the beneft of hindsight...

Google’s cheeky answer to Internet Explorer’s shortcomings

By Dave Haygarth   October 19, 2009  
Google has made a cheeky and brave attempt to fix Microsoft's Internet Explorer shortcomings, by encouraging Internet Explorer users to use the Google Chrome rendering engine inside Internet Explorer. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 - in particular -has no support from Microsoft and hasSecurity holes that are never properly patched. It crashes. The CSS model for it is worthless. It uses big, messy workarounds for FlashWorking as a plugin for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome Frame leaves the rendering of the page to Chrome. Google says this will lead to better browser performance for Internet Explorer users, thanks to a faster JavaScript engine, support for HTML 5 and better CSS handling. PC Pro's own tests have repeatedly shown that Chrome far outstrips Internet Explorer in terms of raw performance, using JavaScript benchmarks such as SunSpider. Google allows web developers to trigger Chrome Frame by inserting a single line of code into their webpages:The switch of rendering engines is achieved using a tag Microsoft invented to emulate compatibility with older versions of Internet Explorer.

Official: Google Ignores Keyword Meta Tag and Does Not Use Description for Ranking

By Dave Haygarth   September 22, 2009  
We've been saying it for years as this has been well known in the SEO community, but Google have finally made it official: the meta keywords and description are NOT used to work out what your page is about and decide on your ranking. The meta description, however, is useful as it is displayed below your link in the Google results - this is called the "snippet". Google works out what your page is about by looking at the actual text displayed on your page. Focus your efforts on creating good keyword-rich content, rather than worrying about meta data. Read the official Google blog post here. [image title="google-snippet" size="medium" id="262" align="none" ]

Google Re-think the Operating System

By Dave Haygarth   July 8, 2009  
With many of us spending an increasing amount of our work lives "in the cloud" using web sites that actually do stuff - or "web applications" as they have become known (think Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce.com etc) it was inevitable that the operating systems we know and love/hate (Mac OS, Windows) would become less and less important. I've said it before, that once software developers can really control their software, reduced costs come through having total control over updates and distribution, and, more importantly software piracy: software becomes a utility, just like water, gas and electricity: centrally controlled with metered usage or subscription payments. Well, as has been expected for a while, Google have made their move: squaring up to the dominant Microsoft and Apple, and typical of Google "re-thinking the OS". However, as with most Google stuff it's free and funding will be coming to them via web advertising: the web is the platform; the OS is just the "chrome" around the edges (hence the name) and will be minimal. Based on their recently launched browser, Chrome, and leveraging the ever-developing Linux system, coupled with their ever-growing list of web applications (Google Mail, Google Docs, Google Calendar) they are pitching this first at the cheap and cheerful Netbook market. Knowing Google, they won't get it right first time, maybe not even second, third or fourth. But perhaps they will nibble away and erode the markets dominated by a few key players, just like they have with Google Mail (against Hosted MS Exchange) and are attempting to also do with Android (against Windows Mobile and iPhone) More here: Official Google Announcement Lifehacker Wired Gizmodo