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Bulletin | August 2015

The London Design Festival 2015

August sees a new study carried out to ascertain whether there have been any changes to the way search engines are using the information in our websites to carry out their ranking. Google is now only one of many companies under a very large umbrella called Alphabet. London Tube strikes have brought out the best in the marketing departments. Periscope has hit extraordinary heights in a short amount of time and the much celebrated London Design Festival is getting ready to open its doors to astound and amaze.

New Ranking Factors

Moz, the American SEO consulting company, have just released the results of their new web ranking study. Surveying over 150 of the world’s leading search marketers, they have put together a study which shows the current trend in what characteristics are helping search engines to rank websites. So what has (or hasn’t) changed?

The main outcome was, as expected, that links continue to show one of the strongest associations with higher rankings. Use of anchor text and the number of social shares associated with the page also prove to be extremely strong in attaining higher rankings with those search engines, as do keywords in the title element of the page. Also expected was the mobile-friendliness of sites and the loading time. Responsive sites which are mobile-friendly show a stronger tendency to rank higher while sites that have a slow loading time did badly, something that many people even in this day and age do not take into consideration as much as they should when planning their website.

It proves once again that the design and structure of your site is just as important as its content and something that should not be taken lightly. When looking to your website it is so necessary nowadays to put it in the hands of the professionals otherwise you could find it floundering amid the millions of other sites out there.

Some links to learn more

Google Alphabet

Since Google has expanded way beyond its original purpose of providing an online search facility, it has announced that it is creating a new entity and called Alphabet. This new brand name will incorporate a collection of companies, of which the largest will be Google itself. The other companies involved will have their own objectives and run independently of one another – Alphabet purely being the umbrella. On first glance, Alphabet perhaps looks a little underwhelming a name but delve deeper and many obvious reasons surface. The main one being that the company aspires to cover everything from A to Z and they also have a cheeky little url, not ending in any of the usual .coms, instead they have the memorable abc.xyz.

But what does this mean for current Google shareholders? Well, all stock will automatically convert to the new company later in the year. Nothing else will change as far as the shares are concerned. Google will still be around, it will simply be one of the companies under the Alphabet umbrella, other companies under the Alphabet name include Calico, a life-sciences division, Nest, which makes web-connected thermostats and security systems and Google X, which funds projects such as the Google driverless car. Alphabet’s CEO is Larry Page and, taking over the reins at Google is Sundar Pichai, previously Android and Chrome chief for Google itself.

Some links to learn more

#TubeStrike Reaction

With round 2 of the Tube strikes taking place, brands have come out in their hordes to keep a smile on the faces of frustrated Londoners. Sure, the deodorant brand, created images of bikes and running shoes out of the underground map; Gaucho were offering free Bloody Marys to the stranded; Belvita had branded tuktuks on the go to help people get from A to Z. There were also other more thought-provoking reactions showing, for instance, the day-to-day accessibility (or lack thereof) for wheelchair users on the Underground – and not just on strike days!

Our favourite has to be from chocolate milk brand Cocio who put up the following tweet: “We’ve reused the witty image we made for the last #TubeStrike (because nobody’s in the office to make a new one) #NothingButGreatTaste” – It says it all!

It wasn’t just advertising pushes that were being sent out. Companies were flooding the capital with great offers such as free showers, free rickshaws, discounts on food and drink. The best one came from Feel Good Balham: a £20 discount on a detoxing colonic. Well, I suppose if you’ve nothing better to do!!

Some links to learn more

Periscope now has 10 million users, whilst Facebook announces Facebook Live to more than just celebrities

Periscope, Twitter’s live-streaming app, hit a massive 10 million active accounts during the month. No mean feat for an app that launched just 4 months earlier. However, it isn’t the amount of accounts that has got the company all a-twitter, it’s the amount of time watched each day and that, according to founder Kayvon Beykpour, is collectively 40 years-worth of content daily! And that’s without taking web streams into consideration.

That’s impressive but for those who don’t quite appreciate what this means, let us explain: Live streaming is a fast-growing option for brands and individuals to better connect with their potential audience. There is a definite demand for this style of advertising but it is not for the faint-hearted. It takes a certain know-how and a lot of showmanship to pull it off and not everyone has that ability. Best to take professional advice before diving in.

One of the consequences of this announcement from Periscope is that Facebook have suddenly come forward to say they are going to open access to their VIP-only app Mentions to all verified profiles and that includes Facebook Live. When Live launched it was only available to a few celebrities who used it to either make announcements, hold Q&As or just rant! At the moment the big advantage Facebook Live has over its competitors is that the content is permanently saved to be watched over and over again at the viewer’s demand, unlike Periscope’s content that can only be replayed for 24 hours. Let the battle continue but be assured the real winners will be the broadcaster/consumers.

Some links to learn more

London Design Festival, 19-27 September

The London Design Festival takes place at venues across the capital from the 19th to the 27th September. There will be more than 350 events and installations from around the world celebrating the best creative talents. Many unique spaces will be popping up and studios given over to a broad spectrum of design and innovation, all emanating from the hub of the festival at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

One of the highlights of the festival has got to be A Bullet From a Shooting Star, a massive steel structure that was commissioned by the London Design Festival in collaboration with Greenwich Peninsula. However, as we’ve already mentioned, this is only one of over 350 wonderful innovations that are guaranteed to range from ‘what on earth is that?’ to ‘WOW!’ Everything from the latest in technology to furniture design, to crafts, to state-of-the-art yarns and wools. It is simply a mind-blowing cornucopia of what is to come and certainly something that shouldn’t be missed.

Some links to learn more

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