The atomix team have been exploring different parts of the globe, attending some fantastic conferences and events to uncover the latest innovations in web development and technology. Mirzaa and Jack attended JAMstack_conf in San Francisco in late October, and Chloe and Josh were in Portugal in early November for WebSummit. We’ve summarised the team’s top takeaways for you below, along with some other news shorts that have got our attention.
Let’s get started!
WebSummit is the leading tech-industry event, held annually in Lisbon, Portugal. Last week, Josh and Chloe were hearing from a range of leaders, game-changers and innovators in the tech and web industries – check out the list of speakers here.
“It was great to be back at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal to get re-energised and inspired for a big year ahead in 2020. The energy and pace of change is moving so fast, with so much innovation and big ideas that are being put into action every day.” – Josh
Google’s BERT update: natural language processing
The latest update from Google, nicknamed BERT, is one of the most significant algorithm updates we’ve seen in years. BERT is aimed at helping Google to better understand the intent behind searches. Google has historically had some issues in understanding longer, more conversational search queries – often using prepositions including ‘for’ or ‘to’. While seemingly small, these words can really shift the meaning of a search query.
To combat these misunderstood searches, the BERT update helps the search algorithm to better understand the nuances of natural language, with a view to serving more informed search results.
Is your website content geared toward this algorithm change?
In short: you can’t really ‘optimise for BERT’. That’s not the right way to look at this update. BERT is designed to help understand natural language searches, and serve more useful answers. The best way forward is to continue creating great content that engages, informs and educates.
Our key takeaway: write for the user, not for the algorithm.
New WordPress plugin: Site Kit by Google
Site Kit is Google’s official WordPress plugin, enabling webmasters to more easily set up and configure key Google services (including Analytics, Search Console, AdSense and PageSpeed Insights) and see quick insights on how to improve site performance. We will be exploring the potential of this plugin for our clients and are really pleased that the team from Google are keen on making web performance stats easier to access.
AUDA: .au domains available in 2020
AU Domain Administration will be releasing a second-level domain for Australian registrants (.au) in 2020. This means that domains like atomix.au will be an option: shorter, simpler and more direct. Registrants, if eligible, will have six months to apply for priority status to register their domain name. We’ll be keeping an eye out for the announcement in early 2020.
GMB: Study finds 3.7/5 is the conversion sweet spot
A recent study found that locations on Google My Business who lifted their aggregate rating from 3.5 to 3.7 saw a 120% improvement in conversions year-on-year. 3.7 out of 5 saw the largest growth from all ratings: it’s seemingly the GMB ratings “sweet spot”. The study also found that businesses that respond to at least 32% of their reviews achieved 80% higher conversion rates, compared with businesses that responded to only 10% of reviews.
Google Chrome to flag slow web pages
Google Chrome has announced plans to introduce a form of ‘badging’ as a way to encourage the development of, and reward, faster websites. They’ve proposed a badge and colour-coded load progress bars that indicate to the user whether the page is fast or slow to load, as well as a contextual menu on organic search results that tells a user about the speed of the page before they click. There’s no word on when they’ll roll these changes out, but it reinforces the need to provide a fantastic user experience – especially when it comes to page speed.
Is there anything you’d like to know more about?
Our team are always keen to discuss their learnings and findings; is there something that you’d really like to dig into?
If you’d like to chat to us about any of these topics, you can either email us or call our studio on 08 7127 4881.
The atomix growth team
Josh, Sarah, Georgie, Chloe, Liz and Adam