April 2015 Newsletter

Hi

Welcome to our April 2015 Great New Zealand / Net Action Tourism Web Marketing newsletter.

We (Net Action Ltd) can help you with anything to do with your website or Internet presence. We don’t build sites but do pretty much everything else! We make it all easier for you.

In this newsletter:

  • Social media privacy – Fair Go special
  • Google Analytics Ghost Referrals & Robots
  • Google Mobile Friendly site test
  • .nz domain names

Fair Go Social Media Expose

Last week’s Fair Go was dedicated to highlighting the dangers of sharing your information on social media. And how that could easily lead to identity theft etc.

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/ondemand/fair-go/22-04-2015

There were some excellent points regarding privacy settings etc. It is well worth watching as it demonstrated in a simple way how much of your personal information you might be giving away without realising it.

This week’s episode is apparently also about computer security issues, particularly on insecure café Wifi connections. Probably also worth watching.

Google Mobile Friendly Website Test

Many of you will have received emails from Google telling you that your site is not mobile friendly and that as from 21 April it could lose ranking in mobile searches as a consequence.

You may also have received scaremongering calls from web developers telling you that disastrous things were going to happen on 21April.

The world did not end on 21 April and you don’t need to panic about changing your site immediately.

You may be moved down the mobile search results because another more mobile friendly site is ranked higher than yours is. When you do get a mobile friendly site then Google should improve your ranking again. Note: this algorithm change only impacts mobile searchers using mobile smartphone devices and will have no impact on your desktop or tablet rankings.

However, having said that there is no need to panic, if your site is not mobile friendly, you should be planning on making it mobile friendly as soon as you can anyhow. You want users who look at your site on a smartphone or tablet to be able to get the information they need easily. Around 25-30% of users are now viewing on a mobile device. If redeveloping your website make sure it is rebuilt as “fully mobile responsive”

Have a look at how your site looks on a smartphone – is the writing big enough to read without zooming and scrolling the page? If not plan on getting a mobile responsive site soon.

Google has a tool to test whether your web pages are smartphone friendly at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Put in your page URL and see what it says. This test is done on a page by page basis, not site-wide. The tool is not perfect in that there are some conflicts between what Google wants and how some systems like WordPress work. Just because Google says it is bad (for them) doesn’t mean it is bad for users as well. Some great sites don’t pass the test.

More useful information about this important Google algorithm change is at http://searchengineland.com/tomorrow-is-mobilegeddon-are-you-ready-for-the-google-mobile-friendly-update-219291

If you need help on interpreting what the Google tool is telling you, ask us. We can help.

Google Analytics re Robots and Ghost Referrers

Google Analytics is still being hit hard by robots and “ghost referrer” sites. This may be screwing your statistics data significantly. In the case of small sites, we have seen up to 80% of recorded traffic being from spam sites and robots. Larger sites are less affected proportionally.

To see if your stats are being affected:

Login to your Google Analytics
Have a look under Acquisition / All Traffic / Referrals

If you see sessions from sites like best-seo-offer.com, semalt.com, daraodar.com, googlesucks.com pornhub-forum.ga, makemoneyonline.com or similar then your stats are skewed. Your total site sessions, referrals, geographic data and more will be affected. Many of these spam sites will show as sessions from Brazil and Italy.

DO NOT click on the links to these sites – that is what they want you to do and may install malware on your computer if you do.

We are adding and updating filters to Analytics for all of our clients’ sites to exclude this spam from their stats. Currently we are excluding around 50 of these but the list grows daily.

It is becoming a serious problem for Google so we are hoping they will soon find a way to exclude these sites. However, it will not be an easy fix for them and their last fix was not effective.

I could get technical and tell you how and why the spammers are doing it but there is plenty of info online – search for “ghost referrers” or “referrer spam”

If you need help to identify and exclude this bad data from your Analytics stats, please contact us.

.nz domain names

In previous newsletters we advised about reserving your .nz domain name before 30 March when you may have had Preferential Rights to it.

Now that this deadline has passed all remaining .nz domain names are available on a first come, first served basis.

So your competitor is able to register the .nz version of your business / website name if you haven’t.

You are no longer able to reserve it for free. If you want your .nz domain, you now need to register it with any NZ domain registrar.

And you may even want to check to see if you can obtain your competitor’s name! Or some very good generic names may not have been reserved.

To see if a name is reserved or registered go to http://dnc.org.nz/ and use Search Domains (top left).

If you have anything you are unsure about or need help with regarding your web prescence, we can help you. Please contact us at Net Action, ph 07 866 3929. Loads of info about what we do on our website at www.netaction.co.nz

Best regards

Ron & the team at
Net Action Ltd and Great New Zealand
(Great New Zealand is a trading division of Net Action Ltd)
Phone 07 866 3929