SEO News & Updates

SEO Update Jan 2018 – Google’s Page Speed Announcement

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On 17th January 2018, Google announced an upcoming update that will supposedly come into effect in July 2018 and will affect rankings directly. They are calling it…

“The Speed Update”

Now, page loading speed has been a ranking signal for 4-5 years already. You might have read some of our other articles talking about the importance of faster loading speeds. So why is this important? What has changed?

Well, in total there are more than 200 factors in Google’s algorithm that are “ranking signals” which affect your website’s placement in the search engines. But not all ranking signals are created equal and some of these are far more important than others. So while “page speed” has been a ranking signal for some years, it was rather low on the list and has become more and more important over the last year. And now with this announcement, it safe to say that it has made the Top 10 List.

In other words, fixing your page speed will no longer be optional in the near future if you want to rank. It used to be that a specialist could rank a website without maximizing the website’s speed but this is no longer the case. The last thing you want is to build a great looking website, only to find out people are getting frustrated because it takes too long to load!

fix your page speed SEO update 2018

What exactly is considered “fast” page speed?

We finally have a specific answer from Google. Their current benchmark for fast-loading web pages is…

3 seconds or less

So basically if your site does not load in less than 3 seconds, your rankings will likely take a hit. Google has mentioned the rankings will be affected on mobile devices. But remember that Google is well on their way to moving towards a “Mobile-first index” meaning that their Mobile Index will become primary (which has also been estimated to go fully live in 2018)

When does this Update come into effect? The real deal

Google’s official announcement says July 2018 but we know from history how misleading those dates can be. As it was with the Mobilegeddon update of 2015, it is likely that Google has already started rolling out this update. It is much more practical for them to roll it out over a period of months rather than suddenly in one day.

What can you do about it?

The time to take action is NOW to make your website lightning-fast to load, which secures not only your rankings but provides a better experience for your potential customers and website visitors (thus helping with conversions). Google generally reveals very little information on how to get organic traffic so when they make an announcement like this, it is certainly something you should address.

First things first. You need to know what your site’s current score is.

To check this, go to and note the following numbers: PageSpeed Score & Fully Loading Time (in seconds), both highlighted below:

While a grade of B+ or B used to be perfectly fine, your website really needs an A to perform well in 2018 and beyond, with a loading speed of 3 seconds or less.

If your scores are less than that, get in touch with us and we guarantee to boost your Site Speed as high as possible and get that Grade A score.

Don’t Take Shortcuts

If your website is built with WordPress, it can be enticing to simply install a plugin that promises to fix all your page speed issues in an instant with one click. You don’t want to do that! Why?

  1. While there are some plugins that can effectively take care of issues that might be contributing to page speed issues (such as suppressing large images), there’s isn’t a single reliable plugin that can fix ALL those issues.
  2. Plugins create conflicts. The more you install, the more you make your site vulnerable, both in terms of functionality and security.

It is best to do the work manually, especially delicate work like minifying JavaScript & HTML. Getting a plugin to do this sort of work is literally asking for a disaster. So it is best to get your SEO expert involved!

A.P. Web Solutions is an SEO Agency based in Melbourne, Australia and working with local businesses all over Australia to help with getting organic traffic and leads. More information here

Google Updates: Security Warnings HTTPS & Google My Business Posts

By | Internet Marketing Service, search engine optimization, SEO News & Updates | No Comments

There have been 2 main updates from Google this month:

Google’s Security Warning

You MAY have received an E-mail from Google recently about the importance of securing your website with an SSL certificate.

converting your website to HTTPS, installing SSL certificate SEO update

If you have NOT received this email, it is probably because you do not have Google Search Console installed on your website, which is the only channel Google uses to communicate with website owners.

The email warns website owners that starting October 2017, Google Chrome (the most popular internet browser) will start displaying “Not Secure” warnings to visitors to your website, unless you have the SSL certificate installed (which converts your website from HTTP:// to HTTPS://).

This is another step from Google towards their long-term goal of making ALL websites secure with SSL certificates and marking all others as “not secure”. This 2014 blog post from Google’s official blog explains their long-term goal of making all websites secure with the https encryption and also hints that it is a ranking signal.

In the past, this applied mainly to websites that carried out transactions and where users had to enter payment details within the site itself. So it was mainly a consideration for E-commerce stores and such. However, this new update changes the landscape even for local SEO and businesses that do not transact from their website.

So jump on the safe side and install an SSL certificate on your website!

We are providing this service for a $150 one-time fee per website. If you would like us to do this for you, click here to pay by Paypal. And please note that you must provide Hosting information for us to be able to install the SSL certificate on your website. You can also ORDER THROUGH THIS PAGE.

Once you pay, we will get in touch by email requesting the information we need.


Google My Business Posts

Yet another great update from Google to enable businesses to make Posts that appear directly on the results page!

In other words, when people search for your business name, in addition to your Maps listing showing on the right, a “post” can also now appear just below it. These posts are much like Facebook and Twitter updates, except that they appear directly on Google and people do not need to follow you or even know about your business, to read them.

They can be used to promote events, discounts, promotions etc. Here’s an example screenshot, with the Google Post, highlighted in red:

A.P. Web Solutions provides digital marketing & SEO services to businesses Australia-wide. We have recently started working with a startup company operating from Tasmania and aims to revolutionize the options available for Australians to buy fresh edible products online. 

What Are AMP Pages And What It Means For Your Business?

By | Internet Marketing Service, search engine optimization, SEO News & Updates | No Comments

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are part of a recent update that Google has been rolling out gradually this year. So let’s be futuristic and try to figure out how this could affect your business and your website in the months to come. We wouldn’t want to be hit by a Google penalty now, would we?

picture of cute panda artIf you followed Google’s announcements at all last year, then you have likely heard about the huge Mobile-Friendly update that hit in April 2015. For those of you that didn’t have Internet at the time, this update was when Google announced that they would practically be punishing websites that weren’t mobile-friendly by lowering their positions in the search engines. The main reason they did this is because they want to ensure the best possible user experience and since more and more people are now browsing the Internet on mobile devices, Google wants to make sure that websites that aren’t easy to navigate on the phone are not be shown in the first place.

Well, the AMP update is kind of an extension to last year’s “mobilegeddon” update. AMP is merely a very condensed version of your current web pages. When you have AMP installed on your website and someone tries to view it on their mobile device, instead of loading the regular version of your site (which would take longer and consume more data), it would load the AMP version of your website, which is more user-friendly and easier to browse. These are exactly the kind of updates that we keep track of at our local SEO Melbourne agency to help our clients stay ahead of their competitors.

Here’s what AMP Pages look like…

When 2 or more websites are competing for the same position, Google always prefers the one that provides the best experience to its users and it gauges that by how up-to-date and relevant your website is. So you’re likely to get more visibility for your business if you go AMP. If you’re ever in a position where you can’t understand why the traffic you’re getting to your website is not converting, ask yourself if your viewers are having a hard time finding the information they’re looking for. Is your site easy to navigate through? Is the Call Us button prominent and easy to find, if you even have one? Is there a Find Us button that gives them instant directions? Consider getting an expert’s take on what your website looks like and how it can be improved to attract and convert prospects into paying customers. Click here to find out more.

At the end of the day, traffic is only as good as the sales it converts into. The more user-friendly your site is, the more Google will reward you with organic traffic. And as far as your website’s health is concerned, organic is always better.

Can’t be bothered following Google’s ever-changing rules and algorithms? Hire an SEO consultant and let us take care of it for you. A.P. Web Solutions offers SEO services with guaranteed rankings. See for more information!