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Mobilegeddon – 1 Month Later

By | General, Online marketing, SEO, Social Media | No Comments

It’s been almost two years since we posted about responsive sites and the importance of making sure your online presence is mobile ready. We remember because the publication of such a post resulted in a rather healthy debate on Twitter with some advocating that it’s really not that important.

Well we hate to say we told you so but . . . we told you so.

A month ago Google put in place a new algorithm that focuses on the mobility of your website. That is, if your website does not have the capacity to adapt to mobile or tablet screens you will find you Google ranking (SEO) affected.

Some sources are saying that this could be as bad as your search ranking being cut in half in one fail swoop. We’re only a month in and businesses are watching their SEO rankings closely and so far they’ve seen a drop but nothing that has people panicking. . . Yet.

The good news is that it will be over the coming year that we will begin to see it’s true impact so there is still time to make sure your website is ready for what is being dubbed ‘mobilegeddon.’

How To Check If Your Website Is Ready

This is quite a simple step but one that many haven’t yet completed. Take a mobile phone, open up your browser and enter your websites address.

If:

• You have to zoom in to navigate
• The images are tiny and undefined
• You find it difficult to select categories or fill in forms

Then your website is not ready for Mobilegeddon and you will find your SEO severely affected, dropping page ranking radically.

What To Do If Your Website Isn’t Ready

If your website isn’t ready for the oncoming SEO apocalypse it may be time to have a look at your website in a new way and maybe even giving it a little spring cleaning.

To make your online presence mobile friendly your website will have to be looked at from the back end. We can help advise you on all elements of making your website fit for any mobile or tablet screen.

Once you have a streamlined adaptable website you have to make sure that it is present on social media. The current Google algorithm focuses on your social presence. On how many ‘likes’ your FB page is and how many +1s you have on Google+ so you have to make sure you have a presence on both of these platforms and that you are driving traffic back to your website.

If you want to speak to someone about getting started on Social Media ask our resident Social Media Guru Helena

So are you ready for Mobilegeddon?! If not don’t let your website suffer! Talk to us today and we’ll be happy to help!

And The Winner Is. . .

By | General | No Comments

For the past month we have helped Graft run their first social media competition. With over 3,500 entrants vying to win an iPad Mini we can now announce that the lucky winner is:

 

Gill Knowles

 

Congratulations Gill!

You can see the selection process here with Graft’s Olando Salina and SEO man/independent selector Conor Lyons making the pick.

If you could please contact one of our team to claim your prize we’ll make sure it’s on its way to you in no time!

E-mail: h.walsh@novadigitalmedia.com and she’ll help organise delivery.

On behalf of Graft thank you again to everyone who entered!

The competition is in no way affiliated with Facebook or Twitter and you can see T&Cs here.

See How We Chose The Winner

Nova Sponsors Barking & Dagenham Chamber Of Commerce Awards 2015

By | Brand development, Business, Business advice, Essex, General | No Comments

The Nova Agency is proud to be sponsoring the Young Entrepreneur Award at the Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce (BDCC) Business Awards 2015. At what will certainly be a fantastic evening, businesses from around Essex will gather to celebrate the best and brightest that the South East has to offer.

The Young Entrepreneur Award

This category is open to a young innovative business mind (under the age of 30) who has demonstrated vision and creativity in their work. Does this sound like you or someone you know?

The judges will want to know:

• Your vision for the business
• How you have achieved your objectives, and overcome obstacles
• Your plan for the coming year

This is an excellent opportunity to gain the recognition you deserve. Apply or register your interest here!

Where

The BDCC Business Awards will be held at the impressive function room at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club. The perfect venue to celebrate such an event the function room will help to all to celebrate the Awards in style.

Dates For Your Diary

Entries are open and applicants can apply here.

Entry form closes at 5pm on the 7th of June.

Successful applicants will then be told and provided with free tickets to the event on July 16th! Get your finest wear ready!

How To Apply

So are you a bright young individual making strides in your industry? Or do you know someone who shines at the work that they do? If so get involved and sign up today!

Weekly Round Up

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This Week In The News

Apple Gets Pranked & It’s Pretty Glorious

We wonder if Microsoft had anything to do with these pranksters?

Instagram Introduce An Excellent New App – Layout

layout-ipad-radial-menu

Instagram noticed that their users love to combine many photos into one post so to help them out Instagram has rolled out a new App called Layout. It allows users to easily combine multiple pictures into one and then post onto Instagram in one swift motion.

Developers Aren’t Happy With Facebook’s WhatsApp Announcement

Facebook WhatsApp

Developers want to get their hands on WhatsApp but Mark Zuckerberg simply will not let that happen. He believes that allowing third parties access might “inundate users with messages they don’t want.” Sounds pretty reasonable to us given what it’s done to Facebook. . .

UK MPs Being Forced Into The 21st Century

mp_2407898b

Every single one of those 650 hard working MPs of ours will be gifted with brand new Ipad Air 2s after the Election. Bet they want to win their seats even more now.

Tips & Training

Not Too Late To Book In & Find Out Why Our Helena Walsh Loves Social Media

Next Tuesday morning Barking & Dagenham Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Women In Business Breakfast Briefing and our very own Social Media expert Helena Walsh will be there to talk about the many benefits of Social Media to business. It’s not too late to book in, you can either ring Mary Clements on 02085916966 or register your interest here.

5 Executive Tips To Speed Up Your G-mail

Spending too much time going through your E-mails? Check out these 5 great tips & cut time wasting significantly!

Favourite Youtube Video Of The Week

Sassy dog does not like being left alone in the car.

Weekly Round Up

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This Week In The News

The World Bullied The Bully #NataliaKills

Now in the safety of another country it looks like she won’t be apologising any time soon.

Update: Louis Walsh has a few stern words and Natalia Kills has changed her tune.

Dyson Could Be The Answer To All Our Prayers

Iphone 5 charging

Dyson is investing $10 million in trying to double mobile phone battery life. Prayer circles form now.

The Death Knell Rings For Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer RIP

Google Looking To Penalise ‘Doorway Pages

flat-door-feature

Nova’s John Palmer isn’t that impressed with the whole thing. . . he breaks it down here

Game Of Thrones Social Media Team Has A Mean Streak Cersei Lannister Would Be Proud Of

Game of Thrones News

In other news 24 days until the premiere!

The Apple Watch May Be Facing A Dangerous Rival Soon – Tag Heuer

Tag Heuer, Google & Intel

Tag Heuer, Google & Intel join forces to create a new Android watch to rival the Apple Watch.

Total Eclipse 2015 – A Tale Of Two Moons

For some it was a momentous once in a lifetime experience. The perfect fodder for Instagram and Twitter.

Solar Eclipse Northumberland
Pretty impressive Northampton. Pretty impressive.

For others it was the Google Glass of Eclipses. Have no fear the British public rallied around their own #anticlimax trend. Damn you Toxic Smog!


Norwich Eclipse not such a ‘tell my grandkids’ moment.


Tips & Training

11 Things You Should Stop Doing On Social Media – By Mellissa Culbertson

Ladies Book In To Hear Nova’s Helena Walsh Talk About Social Media

BDCC Event

Helena will be speaking about the exciting benefits that Social Media has for business at the next BDCC Women’s Breakfast meeting. To book e-mail mary@bdchambers.co.uk, complete this form or ring on 02085916966.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Top 5 Irish Inventions

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In honour of St Patrick’s Day we thought someone should celebrate a few of Ireland’s top contributions to society. Thanks Ireland!

1. Chocolate Milk

Sir Hans Sloane

Yes we have the Emerald Isle to thank for this most delicious of drinks. Sir Hans Sloane discovered locals mixing cocoa with water in Jamaica, decided this was vile and so mixed it with milk. I for one will be forever thankful for this invention.

Sir Sloane also left his collection of artefacts to the nation establishing the foundation of the British Museum. Also impressive but we’re focusing on the chocolate milk.

2. Modern Chemistry

Modern Chemistry

Sir Robert Boyle from County Waterford is recognised as one of the founders of modern chemistry with his book The Sceptical Chymist. He is also well known for Boyle’s Law which has something to do with Gas. . .

3. The Modern Tank

The Modern Tank

The invention that changed warfare forever, the modern tank, was co-invented by Major Walter Gordon Wilson from Dublin after Sir Winston Churchill issued an all points bulletin for it’s creation.

4. Colour Photography

Colour Photography

Creating colour photographs required the help of Irish born John Joly inventing something now called the Joly Colour Process. Imagine a life where the vibrant green of your kale salad couldn’t be seen on instagram? It just doesn’t bare thinking about.

5. Whiskey

Whiskey

Guiness may be Ireland’s most famous contribution to alcohol but did you know that the first written reference to Whiskey is from Ireland as far back as 1405. It references a Chieftain who dies from drinking too much at Christmas.

Do you know of any other Irish inventions?

The Colour Changing Dress Solved!!!

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Many people have seen this dress.  Some see a distinct White & Gold, some are convinced it is Blue & Black.  Everyone is confused, people are taking sides, families are being torn apart.  So we thought we would do some investigating.

Breaking News: This is what the dress ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE

1227241296046

This following image shows you the actual 2 colours of the dress and the 2 colours it appears to be.

cracked-it

The following tweet will explain how this happens.

https://twitter.com/rebelashton/status/571116554357596160

So there you have it.  The dress is actually a grey/blue colour and dark gold.  Your brain picks out the colours you see depending on a variety of factors, angle of the screen, the lighting in the room etc.
You can thank us, or the tweeter, later.

1 Facebook Security Tip Everyone Should Do Now

By | General, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

First Things First: The Information You Share With Your Friends Is Not Restricted To Their Eyes Only

Recently there has been much talk over FB and privacy rights. You may have even taken part in sharing the ‘better safe than sorry’ status that was doing the rounds recently. In more recent news the hacking of the USA’s Central Command’s Twitter and Youtube account has made Social Media security a hot topic.

Unfortunately through signing up with Facebook anything that you make public can be used by 3rd parties. It’s in the sign up fine print and it has always been the same way. That does not mean however, that you should instantly panic and immediately boycott Facebook. Take a read of this article to gain a better understanding of the matter.

Furthermore, the more malicious of these Apps can be used to hack you Social Media accounts like with the USA’s Central Command’s accounts. You should be careful when accepting any App request for access and if your gut says there’s something iffy then trust it! It’s usually right!

This is not what I want to cover today. Today I would like to cover something that has flown under the radar of many a Facebook user.

3rd Person Access Via Your Friends

Many of you would have signed up to 3rd party systems that you can access via Facebook sign in. Spotify, Netflix, Candy Crush to name but a few. Many of these Apps are doing what marketers do on a daily basis, they use your Facebook profile information to tailor their services and advertise the right products to your FB page. Their request looks something like this:

1 Top FB Tip 1

They tell you what they can access when you sign in for the first time via Facebook and if you are like me I accepted these terms. I know the grey area that is Facebook privacy and I know that for the most part it is up to me to govern how much information I put up there.

What I did not realise until very recently was that my more private information, information that I have allowed only friends to see, can be made available to some Apps out there despite me not using or allowing them.

How? Because my friends use them and have accepted their access requests.

Before you get angry with your friends, you’re doing the exact same thing and these Apps are clever. They tell you that they will gain access to your contact list but do not need to tell you what they do with that contact list.

If your friend uses a 3rd party App on Facebook and have accepted their terms then automatic settings on YOUR Facebook account means that those Apps have access to the following pieces of information:

FB Security Settings v6

I’m not sure about you but I’m pretty uncomfortable with Apps that I have not given my authority to having access to information such as my photos and current location. Even if it’s just potentially.

If you feel the same way then go into your Facebook account and select settings.

FB Security Settings v3

Go into ‘Apps’ on the left hand side.

FB Security Settings v1

Scroll down to the bottom and select ‘Apps Others Use’ and edit your settings according to your comfort level.

FB Security Settings v2

And there you have it! Isn’t it a great feeling to essentially blockade those sneaky Apps?! When it comes to this aspect of sharing information it really is ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’.

FB Security Settings v5
(image www.comicbookmovie.com)

If you have ANY questions regarding Social Media Security or any advice of your own let me know! Leave a comment below, Tweet me @_NovaHelena, leave a comment on our FB page or find me on LinkedIn.

Hope it helps!

Our Response To The G-Mail Hacking

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5 Million Gmail passwords leaked.

I love this article from Jose Pagilery, his opening sentance. “It is still unclear how anyone obtained the vast collection of usernames and passwords.”

Hey Jose!

5 Million, usernames and passwords were, leaked, hacked, phished and cracked. There’s nothing else that could have happened. Unless those ruskies have started their mind control practices again and have figured it out finally!?

I love that as soon as something like this happens the company targeted is potentially to blame. Now I’m not saying that Google haven’t been hacked, but what I think is more likely is this is an accumulated list from peoples accounts that have been phished.

Phishing is the art of building a website that looks like Google (in this instance) and making you sign in, normally with a ruse of some kind sent via email, like “you password has been infiltrated, you need to reset it”.

Where you’ll then be presented with a site that looks like Google but isn’t, it’s a trap and you’re about to fall for it by entering your username and password. Bazinga, too late!?

You know how often kids or uneducated adults wander from web page to web page, from email to email, link to link, without any regard for the “naughty people” lurking in the Dark Web.

Terrorist, Hacktivists, Crackers, Coder and Teens who want to prove to their peers they are capable, all nipping the edges of the WWW and it’s old school security like a school of piranhas eating an elephant, all waiting for the problem between the chair and the keyboard to make a mistake.

The facts are Google probably hasn’t been hacked, they most likely have the very best in security and verification (including the use of mobiles, IP and trends), the fact is the person that’s been hoodwinked is you. Do you need to change your passwords… YES. For Google or just in general…?

If you feel you know this subject and have the perfect password system already, please email me the system, I’m eager to learn!

But for the masses of internet users, all several billion of them, you need to change your outlook on password security altogether, do you have a master password for everything? Is it a word with some numbers?

Currently as it stands the likelihood is, your password can be hacked in less than a few seconds, using a simple online tool and a list of possible alpha-numeric combinations.

Oh, you’ve added a few symbols too? Great you’ve added a few minutes on the length of time it would take the crackers to get access. The fact is their are no passwords on earth that are “uncrackable”, the best you can do is not be one of the 5 million gmail accounts that has by trying the following tips:

1/ Do not use real words!
2/ Add a few numbers
3/ Use Uppercase and Lowercase
4/ Gibberish vs Intelligence

Think about your passwords, create a little system that works for you. Most passwords need to consist of more than 6 digits, Letters and Numbers, Upper Case and Lower Case and in some cases Symbols too.

Why not mix all of these things up in some form of a legible way that means something to you but no one else. Any real words or names will be subject to a simple and easy dictionary attack, these take minutes to crack and are the most obvious failures in password protection. Even if you added 10 numbers afterwards, all you are doing is adding time to crack the password as dictionary + maths equals how computers work.

Well now you are adding significant failsafes in to your password, not to the crackers but to people looking over your shoulder to get your details. There is not much visually
between a capital i and the number 1 for example.

There’s a distinct difference between you chucking some letters, numbers and symbols into a website registration and using an intelligent system.

I believe that there is nothing we can do to prevent hacking or cracking of passwords. Maybe I’m being cynical and negative, maybe, but passwords can be gibberish if your using a password manager, that makes sense.

If you won’t use a password manager things like “Leet Speak” in normal words to break dictionary attacks and maybe linking a couple of words together using a mixture of L33T, symbols, non dictionary words might make a super secure password string that you can adjust per site and remember without a manager?

But I’m confident there is no cure with passwords alone that can prevent this problem, 2-stage verification and IP tracking helps but again, it isn’t the be all and end all solution. I’m sure a lot of the 5 million passwords that were leaked have 2-stage verification also.

The solution is simple. Get educated, we can find out how our passwords are breached with a few google searches or youtube videos, arming ourselves with knowledge is the best way to fight against this problem.

Just try to react fast when we are hacked and be careful when browsing online, could it be that simple?

5 SEO Tricks You Didn’t Know

By | Business, Essex, General, SEO, Social Media | No Comments

SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a term that I am sure you are hearing more and more these days.  To put it simply SEO means ‘how to get Google (as the main Search Engine we will be using Google throughout) to notice my website.’  Think about a shop in a shopping centre and all the methods store managers use to make sure people visit them.  Leafleting and standard advertisement works but nothing is more effective than having the shopping centre promote them and push their offerings to visitors.  The exact same applies to your online store.  To drive more traffic to your website you have to be found on the 1st page of Google search, 2nd page at a push.

There are  2 main ways of doing this:

1)         Pay Google to put you at the top of the 1st page.

2)         Use a few of our simple SEO tips to appeal to the Google algorithms and push you to the top organically. Where are these Tips I’m talking about? Keep reading.

1.Social Media

Nova touched upon the relationship between SEO and Social Media in our blog post ‘Social Media & SEO A Match Made in Heaven’ where we emphasized that your page ranking can be directly impacted by your Social Media presence.  There are numerous reasons why Social Media is so great for your page ranking.  Firstly, it is a great platform to promote Specifically the more ‘shares’ you have the higher Google will rank you, and the best way so make it easy to share is the key point here.

Google’s newest algorithm update ‘Hummingbird’ specifically looks at the standing of your Social Media presence. Rather than backlinks it would seem Google is actively more interested in the amount of ‘Shares’ your FB page generates as well as the popularity of your Google + page.

2.Interesting Content

This follows on well from Social Media I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, genuine interesting content is vital to a successful SEO campaign. Remember one of Nova’s key rules:

If Content Is King Then Conversion Is Queen

The two go hand in hand. If you generate good content and put it out there conversations will start to happen. Google bots will pick up on the new interesting additions to your website as well as the ‘Shares’ ‘Likes’ and ‘Retweets’ that come with it, all of which ticks Google’s SEO boxes pushing your website up in their page rankings.

One of the best ways to do both is by regularly updating a Blog page on your website. Now we’re not talking once a week every week, but just once a month a 500 word post offering a genuine insight into your industry and what you do as a company can significantly help your SEO ranking.

3.Webmaster Tools

If you are serious about increasing your Search Engine ranking and I mean serious then you have to get to grips with Webmaster Tools. I use Google Webmaster Tools as it works well with Google Analytics. Where Webmaster Tools aid help you is in pointing out problems on your site that cause Google Bots to send negative SEO readings back to Google. Once rectified it will give you a positive SEO boost. So where Analytics tells you about the visitors you’re already attracting, Webmaster Tools helps you attract a whole new group of visitors.

4.Get more mobile friendly

Google have just reported changes to be initiated in the USA which will hit the UK soon.  Now Google will highlight when their algorithms find a website that is not mobile responsive, this will have the negative effect of encouraging people to avoid your site.  This then has a knock on effect on your page ranking and so should be a serious consideration when creating or re-developing your website.

The fact is Google prefers responsive web design not just for you, but for them also.  It’s more efficient for Google bots to trawl through the site, additionally if your site is repsponsive therefore combining your desktop and mobile site onto one URL it makes the site easier to share and for people to engage with.  If a visitor is unhappy when trying to view a mobile site on a desktop it creates a higher bounce rate causing problems for Google’s external link algorithm which will then harm your SEO.

5.Change the way you think about keywords

Previously Google focused on the words used in a particular search to evaluate the keywords you use in your site.  Now Google will also be looking at the intent of the searcher and will look to predict the answer of their next searches dependent on a previous search.  For example if you were to search “Who is Jennifer Lawrence?” then it will come up with her Wikipedia and IMDB pages.  If you were to then search “What films has she been in?”  then Google will presume that you mean Jennifer Lawrence and provide you to links about The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.  To get to grips with this new SEO style start thinking about the subject of your website, what information it provides and where your service is located.

Do you have any great tips for increasing your Page Ranking?

What do you think of Google’s developments?

As always we would love to hear from you! Either in the comments section below or Tweet us @TheNovaAgency