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Mobile, Responsive, Google & You

May 1st, 2015
Posted by - The Mobile Group

You may have heard that Google has recently updated their organic search algorithm. This is nothing new and their algorithm is in a near constant state of refinement and change.

What is notable though, is that a major update at Google on April 21, 2015 has likely penalized your business search rankings if you don’t have a mobile optimized web site. This change could have major search ranking impacts if you’re not prepared. If you’re not sure if you’ve prepared for this change then it’s likely you are not. Don’t fear, we’ll help you determine if it’s time to make some changes.

The key to understanding if you have work to do is knowing the difference between a “Mobile” site and a “Responsive” site.

Mobile – Two Designs: Two Devices

Mobile Design

Mobile sites are not considered a recently new invention. For years now, and since the onset of smart phones and tablets, we’ve seen mobile friendly web sites. Most often it is simply the same website but a second version of the design with some modifications to make some fixed layout changes so that the navigation, artwork and content is more digestible on a small smart device screen.

Typically, the browser notes that you are using a smart device and the web site loads the second design of the site on a sub-domain of the main site like “m.yourwebsite.com.” This is a “one size fits all” approach to providing a web site on a smart device and is meant to eliminate the pinch-zoom style of web surfing that plagued smart devices in the beginning.

Technically this has worked well in the past, but as content is becoming more engaging and complex now there is something better: Responsive site design.

Responsive – One Design: Many Devices

Responsive DesignResponsive site design is exactly that. Instead of a second version of the web site with fixed navigational, artwork and content changes for smart devices, Responsive design responds to the size of the screen dynamically.

On screen elements resize, rearrange , appear and disappear depending on the resolution of the device. In this way, the web site is optimized on the fly for virtually every screen size, big or small ensuring the best user experience every time. This is more of a “custom fit” approach to displaying your web site on all screen sizes from desktop to smart phones.

Odds are you’ve been using responsive web sites for a while now and didn’t even notice because the content is what kept your attention, not how unruly the design was to use. Moving forward this is how web design will be implemented and Google has been silently watching this trend unfold.

Google – Relevancy and Accessibility

Google is most interested in delivering relavant and easily accessable content. It’s not enough to just deliver great content. You need to do it in a way that ever user will find straightforward. That’s where Responsive design comes in and why Google places such a high premium on sites that offer it. All things considered, if two site score the same for content but only one site is responsive, then Google will likely favor that site when it comes to search rankings.

To learn more about what Google has to say about it’s recent algorithm updates, Responsive design and to test your site for “mobile friendliness” go to http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html.

You

If you find that your site is not mobile friendly, then don’t worry. We’re here to help answer any questions. Give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you along the road to a Responsive web site.

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Video Orientation: Hamburger, not Hotdog

April 9th, 2015
Posted by - The Video Group

Video: Hamburger not Hotdog

There is no use doubting the power of YouTube. It’s a wonderful way to connect to your target and a superb lost cost marketing avenue that just about every business should leverage in one way or another.

However, one of the most annoying things to hit the Internet (aside from those duck face selfies or getting Rick Rolled) is that many of us are shooting video all wrong. Too many of us are shooting videos in portrait mode when a sideways flip of the phone could solve this dilemma and save their viewer some frustration.

Video should ALWAYS be shot and viewed in landscape mode — that’s the “long way” instead of the “tall way,” or as I like to say “hamburger” not “hot dog.” Here’s why.

Landscape orientation fits a theater screen, your HDTV, computer monitor and virtually every other device known to mankind without excess wasted display space on the sides. Videos, unlike photos, are almost universally presented horizontally. There’s a reason for this: it’s how our brains are wired to view the world. Since we live on a perceptually flat world, our vision developed to allow us to see more to the left and right than top and bottom. Luckily, that is where the majority of interesting stuff is happening so every thing works out.

That is until you shoot a video on your smart phone in portrait mode. You’re violating not only the industry agreed upon video standard, but also the laws of nature as they pertain to human vision. Every time we see a video shot in portrait mode on YouTube (or anywhere else), we all should feel as if we’re not getting the full story from a person that just didn’t realize their $800 smart phone also works when rotated 90 degrees.

The question remains, can we teach ourselves how to shoot video so it fits properly into the same shape as the TV they watch in our homes and incidentally the very phone we shoot video with? Here’s an idea . . . just think about hamburgers.

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Before You Build

March 15th, 2015
Posted by - The Design Group

Building a new web site is an exciting venture, however before you turn on a computer or meet with a design firm there are some key things you’ll want to consider. Here’s a helpful infographic that will prime your thoughts for creative and effective site design.

26 Things To Note Before You Build A Web Site

Click here to view the original image source.

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9 steps to take if you think your information has been compromised

September 19th, 2014
Posted by - The Technical Group

With data breaches at major companies becoming more frequent It’s just a matter of time before your information is compromised.

Below are 9 tips on how to protect yourself amid the growing security threat.

See the original article in its full format on the CBS Money Watch site here.

 

1. Check your credit card and debit card statements on a line-by-line basis. “There is absolutely no substitute for being vigilant,” Samid said. Thieves may place a small charge — just a dollar or two — to check if the card is active. Because of this, report any questionable charge, no matter how small.

2. If you notice an unauthorized charge, ask your financial provider to cancel the card and issue you a new one. “This is most advisable with a debit card,” Kroll’s Lapidus noted.

3. Consider tools for monitoring both your credit profile and your card activity. Target is offering a credit-monitoring service for customers, which Lapidus believes affected individuals should enroll in. Consumers may also want to use a bill-monitoring service such as BillGuard, which uses crowdsourcing to flag suspicious charges. The service has caught $60 million in fraudulent charges during the past two years, Samid said.

4. Be suspicious of correspondence claiming to be from your bank or the retailer you shopped at. Because Target’s security breach also included theft of personal data, it’s more likely the thieves will use “phishing” to convince you to part with even more sensitive information, such as passwords.

5. Phishing isn’t only done via the phone and email. Scams also abound on Twitter and Facebook. For instance, already a “phishing” tweet purporting to offer a link to check if you were a victim of the breach has surfaced, Samid notes. Once you click on it, it asks you to re-enter your Twitter password. This could end up as a major financial problem if you use the same password for your bank accounts.

6. Double check the URL of the bank or retailer in any correspondence you receive. If it doesn’t look right, don’t click on it. Better yet, enter your bank’s URL in a separate browser window, to ensure you are reaching your bank and not a scam site.

7. Change your passwords. An astounding number of people use simple passwords like “password” or “1234” for their accounts, notes Neil Chase of Lifelock, which offers identity-theft protection services. Some consumers may want to use a password generator, although for most people changing their passwords to include capital letters, symbols or numbers may be enough.

8. Shred documents. While the focus in Target’s security breach has been on electronic theft of data, criminals still steal physical documents, Chase notes. Remember to keep all your data secure, not just your online information.

9. Be aware if you start receiving strange pieces of mail, Kroll’s Lapidus said. While it might mean nothing, it could also “be a sign that data has been compromised.”

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Marketing

Yahoo! & Bing Advertising
From: The Business Group
Posted: July 8, 2013
Comments: 0

Yahoo! and Bing have combined forces to become the Yahoo!-Bing Network (YBN). Together they represent 30% of the US search market and 31% of those unique searchers don’t use Google. That’s 47.3 million unique searchers in the US that can only be reached through the Yahoo!-Bing Network. Pay Per And and was through md pharmacy [...]

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Mobile

Mobile, Responsive, Google & You
From: The Mobile Group
Posted: May 1, 2015
Comments: 0

You may have heard that Google has recently updated their organic search algorithm. This is nothing new and their algorithm is in a near constant state of refinement and change. What is notable though, is that a major update at Google on April 21, 2015 has likely penalized your business search rankings if you don’t [...]

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Print

printvsweb
Web. Print. What’s the difference?
From: The Print Group
Posted: August 14, 2011
Comments: 9

“But the image looked great on my screen. Why does it look terrible when I print?” Most likely it was designed specifically to be viewed on the a computer screen and not on paper. Still confused? It all comes down to resolution. Resolution Image “resolution” is a term used to describe raster image, virtually all [...]

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Uncategorized

Video Orientation: Hamburger, not Hotdog
From: The Video Group
Posted: April 9, 2015
Comments: 0

There is no use doubting the power of YouTube. It’s a wonderful way to connect to your target and a superb lost cost marketing avenue that just about every business should leverage in one way or another. However, one of the most annoying things to hit the Internet (aside from those duck face selfies or [...]

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Video

YouTubeAprilFools
YouTube’s top 5 videos from 1911
From: The Video Group
Posted: April 1, 2011
Comments: 1

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Web

Mobile, Responsive, Google & You
From: The Mobile Group
Posted: May 1, 2015
Comments: 0

You may have heard that Google has recently updated their organic search algorithm. This is nothing new and their algorithm is in a near constant state of refinement and change. What is notable though, is that a major update at Google on April 21, 2015 has likely penalized your business search rankings if you don’t [...]

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Web International

POP vs. IMAP: What’s The Difference?
From: The Technical Group
Posted: January 17, 2013
Comments: 6

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