Max's Round-up from April's SIMS

Max's round-up of all things new in the industry. 

Every month at SIMS, Max provides a brief run-down of just some of the tech-related news that may affect small businesses, and agencies that work with small businesses and we post the links here. If any of these catch your interest, but you're not sure how they would affect you, feel free to get in touch and ask!

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Here's what you need to know:

https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/https-everywhere-encryption-for-all-wordpress-com-sites/

Those of you who attend SIMS every month will remember two things: that encryption SSL certificates were made free by Let's Encrypt and that Google explicitly said they were rewarding encrypted sites. Following on from that WordPress have announced that they are turning on encryption for all sites hosted by WordPress.

Note: that's not all WordPress sites, that's all sites hosted by WordPress themselves.

 

https://yoast.com/hreflang-ultimate-guide/

This is more likely to be useful for larger sites, but it's been asked a few times at SIMS, so here's a handy guide for multiple languages and the (somewhat technical) usage of HREFLANG.

 

http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/26/11510472/youtube-unskippable-bumper-ads-announced

YouTube have announced a new ad format, a 6-second unskippable ad at the start of videos. For those of you who thought video ads might be a little too hard, this could be a viable option.

 

http://marketingland.com/google-analytics-new-user-explorer-report-shows-individual-anonymized-website-interactions-172998

Google Analytics have introduced a new User Explorer Report which shows an anonymized, time-based report of your visitor's activities. It looks great and is really useful for profiling your customers. See some previews here, and we'll let you know when this is available for everyone.

 

http://searchengineland.com/google-tests-displaying-review-snippets-local-3-pack-246629

Google are starting to show random snippets from user reviews in the search listings, that's going to be really important for those of you who have, or are hoping to have reviews from previous customers in your Google My Business account.

 

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/04/helping-webmasters-re-secure-their-sites.html

Yet more security information from Google. If you're not signed up for Search Console and Google Analytics, which both delivery security notifications, you should be.

 

https://messengerplatform.fb.com/

We've mentioned it before at SIMS, but Facebook has made even more announcements about their ‘Messenger as a platform’ product.

 

http://analytics.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/redesigned-google-analytics-mobile-app.html

The Google Analytics app for iOS and Android has been redesigned. If you're working hard on your targets and want to check in regularly, this is a great way.

 

http://searchengineland.com/googles-manual-action-penalty-weekend-free-product-reviews-247122

http://searchengineland.com/google-penalizes-sites-unnatural-outbound-linking-247001

Google have confirmed they recently sent out a round of “manual action” for bloggers that were being paid or sent free products in return for links. Google have taken away the ‘trust’ from those links, which will have varying degrees of an effect on their own sites and the sites they're linking to.