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What is Thin Content and Why Does It Matter?

Thin content was one of the first SEO issues Google targeted with its Panda algorithm update in 2011. That update rocked the entire industry and kick-started the search giant’s war against low-quality content.
It also made life increasingly difficult for black hat SEOs trying to game the SERPs. However, there are plenty of genuine, technical reasons why you might end up with thin content on your website. In this article, we explain exactly what thin content is, how to find it on your site and what you need to do about it.
What is thin content?
Google describes thin content as having “little or no added value”. This is the description you’ll see if you’re unlucky enough to get a manual action warning in Google Search Console, informing you that you’ve been penalized for having thin content on your site.

You definitely don’t want one of those.
The question at this point is: what kind of content does Google consider to have “little or no added value”?
Back in the early Panda days, Google was mostly targeting deceptive uses of thin content – for example:
1. Content that’s automatically created
In this case we are looking at low-quality content, often created by basic machine concatenation, and offering limited, if any, value. For example, grabbing a news story in Spanish and then running it through Google Translate before adding it to your site – a big no-no.
We are starting to see examples of machines (or ‘robots’) writing high value content and this is something that will become more prevalent as AI and machine learning continue to improve. This does not fall into thin content but you would still want a human editor to review this type of content before publishing it.
2. Low-value affiliate content
Affiliate websites offering useful, comprehensive purchase advice have nothing to fear from Google. However, pages filled with affiliate links that offer no useful or relevant information for the end user are prime targets for getting hit by a search penalty.
If you’re in the affiliate game, stick to the following guidelines:

Make sure your website has a purpose beyond that of any affiliate offering alone. Affiliate pages should contribute to a tiny percentage of your total website.
Add something new to the affiliate audience. Not only will this provide access to new online niches, fuelling your affiliate ROI, but will create value to encourage SEO success.
Be objective; ask yourself whether there’s a reason why a user should land on your website before going to the actual product/service originator website. Remember, your site is an added step in the process between the user and their end destination, so there has to be a value-enhancing reason for them to take this detour.
Only offer affiliate opportunities that are closely matched to your target audience. This helps to overcome diluting your offering, mixed messaging signals and barriers with user engagement and interaction.
When you refresh and improve your main website copy, remember to review, update and add depth of value to your affiliate content too. Don’t have scraped, duplicate affiliate content on your website – make it unique, better than any other examples and something of value to your website audience.

3. Content scraped (copied) from other sources
If you systematically add content to your website from external sources, you’re also at risk of a thin content penalty. There are a number of ways in which content is copied (or scraped) from other sources, a few of the more common ones being:

Copying and pasting full articles that were not created by you.
Adding external content in part, or in full, to your site without any extra unique value.
Completing minor tweaks and changes to predominantly copied content.
Using automated means to re-purpose content that exists externally, trying to display this content as unique.
Embedding lots of other content types (video, images, infographics etc.) without bringing anything new or adding value.

4. Using doorway pages to rank in Google
Doorway pages are a means to spam the search engine results pages (SERPs) with very thin content that target a very specific term or close group of terms with the purpose of sending this traffic to another website or destination.
This creates a poor user search experience and adds unwanted steps for the user to get to their desired end result. Often, doorway pages mean that the user ends up on a lower quality and less relevant search result page than required, resulting in excessive searching to discover the content they needed.
It’s all about adding value
Essentially, if your content is copied from anywhere else, generated by software or you’re creating pages with little or no content, you could be in trouble. Even if you’re not trying to be deceptive (for example, reposting relevant news stories), you have to question why Google would choose to rank your page when it’s simply repeating content that’s already available – it has nothing new or valuable to offer.
As Google explains over at Search Console Help:
“One of the most important steps in improving your site’s ranking in Google search results is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content.
“However, some webmasters attempt to improve their pages’ ranking and attract visitors by creating pages with many words but little or no authentic content. Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other cookie-cutter pages that don’t add substantial value to users.”
It all comes down to adding substantial value to the end user because this is what Google aims to deliver as a search engine.
For more info on thin content, take a look at this video from Google’s former head of web spam, Matt Cutts:

It’s not a particularly recent video but everything Matt Cutts says is still relevant today.
What are the dangers of thin content?
While the most publicized danger of thin content is getting hit by a Google search penalty, your problems run much deeper than this if you’ve got too much of it. If Google’s algorithms can tell you’re using thin content deceptively, then you can bet the majority of users who visit your site can see it as soon as they land on the page.
Whatever your objectives are with the page, you’re not going to convince many people to take action this way. You’ll struggle to keep users on the page, encourage them to engage with your brand or inspire them to convert.
Essentially, this is the real danger of thin content: your marketing objectives are going to fall flat.
Now, in terms of the Google Search penalties, these can be pretty devastating and it helps to understand how Google’s Panda algorithm works.
Thin content and Google Panda algorithm updates
The Google Panda update was first released in 2011 with the purpose of de-valuing low-value and thin websites, to stop them from appearing so prominently in SERPs.
The other, lesser communicated, side of this update was the additional ranking gains (tied to content quality signals) rewarding websites creating high-quality content.

Google Panda updates can impact (remember, this ‘impact’ can be positive or negative) a single page, a whole topic or theme, multiple themes, or entire websites.
The Panda filter applies a number of perceived content quality criteria as well as questions that the Google Quality Raters would be asking themselves when manually viewing content – things like:

Does the content convey expertise, authority and trust (E-A-T)?
Are the ‘Your Money or Your Life’ (YMYL) pages present and providing everything needed (think about pages tied to transactions, financial details, private information collection and more)?
Is there depth of content? For example, do core service pages cover the main topic, plus supplemental information, and enable the user to immerse themselves into the topic (and discover more information easily, should they choose to)?
Is the content accessible? Can it be accessed easily within the site structure? How quickly does the content load? Does the content work effectively on mobile devices?

The above is just the starting point for Panda protecting your website and content.
It is important to get a second opinion on your content. Be objective and honest with yourself and your team about the quality of what is being produced, and how it needs to improve.
Not all thin content is deceptive
While the penalties for having too much thin content can be severe, there are quite a lot of scenarios where you’re naturally going to end up with content that could fall into this category.
Search results pages
If you have a search function on your website, the results pages are going to offer very little or no original content. This can’t be helped, of course. The purpose of a search results page is to show snippets of other pages across your site and help users choose the most relevant option.
Solution: Prevent Google from indexing results pages by adding a disallow line for these pages in robot.txt file.
Photo/video galleries
In many cases, it’s perfectly reasonable to have a photo or video gallery on your website. You might be a wedding photographer, a marquee hire company or a business with a bunch of video case studies to show off.
If the purpose of this page is to allow visitors to browse your photos or videos and choose which ones they want to view, this causes some thin content issues. You probably don’t want a load of text getting in the way on the gallery page itself and your problems get worse if each image or video has its own dedicated page.
Solution: This really depends on how you structure your gallery. You might choose to create content for your gallery page and no-index the individual image/video pages, for example. Or you might take the opposite approach and create unique content for each image/video and no-index the gallery page.
Alternatively, you could create a carousel that displays all images/videos on the same URL – it all depends on what you want to rank for and the kind of content you’re planning to create.
Shopping cart pages
Shopping cart pages aren’t there to provide users with valuable content; they’re designed to help people manage orders and complete purchases. Technically, we’re in thin content territory here but the fix is pretty simple.
Solution: Once again, stop Google from indexing these pages by no-indexing them in your robot.txt file.
Duplicate pages
Duplicate pages are a natural part of managing a website. Moving over to HTTPS from HTTP creates duplicates, as does having www and non-www domains while managing multilingual websites and recreating pages for multiple locations can also result in duplicates.
Technically, duplicate content isn’t quite the same thing as thin content but the two do overlap in certain cases.
Solution: Mark the page version you want to rank with canonical tags, use 301 redirects if you’re sending users to a different URL and use hreflang tags for international languages/locations.
In many cases, thin content isn’t detrimental to the user experience at all. In fact, it’s sometimes better to forget about content and simply deliver the functionality users need – eg: shopping carts.
Luckily, keeping these pages safe from search penalties is relatively simple. By no-indexing pages, telling Google which version to index (canonical tags) and/or using 301 redirects to send users to the right place, non-deceptive thin content shouldn’t be a problem.
Can I have thin content on product pages?
This is one of the most common scenarios where thin and/or duplicate content occurs on a website. This is especially true if you’re selling multiple versions of the same or very similar product.
Naturally, brands try to avoid having duplicate content across these pages but it’s difficult to say the same thing in a hundred different ways.
It becomes a battle of thin content vs duplicate content and this causes a lot of confusion for website owners, SEOs and marketers in general.
The truth is, duplicate content is the lesser of two evils here and it’s better to provide users with comprehensive product details – even if they’re the same or similar – than publishing pages with very little (albeit unique) content.
Here’s What Google’s Andrey Lipattsev had to say about duplicate product pages during a Q&A on duplicate content with fellow Googler John Mueller.
“And even, that shouldn’t be the first thing people think about. It shouldn’t be the thing people think about at all. You should think, I have plenty of competition in my space, what am I going to do? And changing a couple of words is not going to be your defining criteria to go on. You know, the thing that makes or breaks a business.”
More to the point, there is no search penalty for duplicate content but there is for thin content.
So, when it comes to product pages, don’t worry too much about duplicate content for very similar products or variations of the same product. Instead, focus on optimizing for the best experience and giving Google any clues you can about which page to prioritize in terms of indexing.
Here are some tips:
The key takeaway from the Q&A on duplicate content is that when pages are similar (or the same), Google is looking for a way to differentiate between them and product descriptions are just one of the hundreds of factors it looks at.

Provide full product details on every page
List the key benefits of each product
Include images and videos where relevant
Create unique content where you can
Avoid copying product descriptions from other sites (eg: Nike’s descriptions of its shoes you’re selling)
Allow users to select different versions of the same product from a single page (sizes, colors, etc.)
Use canonical tags if you want Google to index one version of the same or very similar pages
Focus on adding value beyond product descriptions: page speed, mobile optimization, navigation, etc.

How do you find thin content on your site?
There are a number of ways to discover thin content (levels of words, duplication, and value) and a few of the more common actions can be seen below.
1. Copyscape
Using Copyscape (and other free tools), you can crawl the web to look for any content that has been copied from your domain, as well as any content that may have been added to your own site over the years copied (in part or full) from external sites.

2. Google search operators
You can also use Google search operators to manually check Google for instances of content copying/scraping or duplication.
Here’s an example of what you need to do:

Copy a selection of content that you feel may have been copied (consider more successful content types you have added to the site)
Paste into Google (in this case assuming it was text content) within quotes (“”)
Review the results

Here’s an example of the above in action. In this case checking any duplication of content from a post I created for Search Engine Journal:

As you can see, the first site appearing is the originator website, and as this content is opinion-driven, it is intended to be distributed, shared socially and used on other websites.
An important aspect of this is the purpose of the content, whether it’s to drive traffic back to the main website, encourage shares or something else.
3. Deep data platforms
I’ve been using our machine learning software Apollo Insights for nearly ten years. One of the ways in which I use the data is to locate pages that are not contributing towards total site success.
You can see this in action below (the ‘Page Activity’ widget):

Another metric I use Apollo Insights for is locating content with a limited word count.
Although more words doesn’t always mean better quality content, in most cases a page with very few words is unlikely to be providing the depth of user and search value needed to deliver an optimum search experience.
You can see this below using a deep data grid – in this case I am looking at depth of content based on expected content structural elements, things like the presence of multiple levels of header tags, and checking that the page is active and real:

Remaining with Apollo, ‘Auditor’ tells me how many pages have fewer words on them than I would expect from a high-quality website page. I can also look at the bigger picture and combine this knowledge with items like: external linking, framed content, pages orphaned off from the main website and much more.

How do you fix thin content?
The first stage in fixing thin content is understanding what high-quality and value-enhancing content looks like in the first place. The example below is from Think With Google: ‘The Customer Journey to Online Purchase‘.
Some of the key points which flag this as high quality for me include:

The use of unique data to provide user meaning.
The ability for the user to engage with the content and work with it to create new value.
Mixed content types and content segmentation for easy understanding and skim reading.
Responsive design, supporting universal access to information.
Solving a problem – purposeful content is a key factor for truly valuable content creation.
Detailed supporting information placing the report into context, backing up the stats and enabling further reading on the topic.

Using external comparisons is a great way to put in place the lowest benchmark for your own content quality. The goal is to create content on your website that is far better than any other examples available online.
Once you identify what ‘good’ looks like in your niche, you want to move towards creating ‘great’ content. At this stage, you need to find the content that doesn’t work at present (see previous section on ‘finding thin content’) and boost the content so that it can contribute more towards total site success, as well as its own standalone value.
“You will also need to find new opportunities for effective content creation. Don’t limit your content value by re-purposing alone, there is always an opportunity to create something amazing with digital content.”
Other tactics for creating new quality content include:

Looking at real-time data changes for new content ideas and action points.
Following social media trends to see what your audience needs.
Keeping up to date with industry changes and regularly revisiting old and existing website copy.
Looking at big data (all of the relevant data) so you can base decision making on more than gut feel.
Creating tiered content strategies and aligning them – a blog post is great, but supporting this with an infographic and updating it from the data you receive after it goes live, is much better.
Asking your audience what they want – after all, the content should be primarily to help them solve their needs.

5 Ways You’re Harming Your Website Functionality

Did you know little things, like an oversized image or HTTP over HTTPS, are harming your website, making it difficult to load, attract users, and convert leads? Because your website is the first thing many people see about your brand, it’s important it looks good – and works properly. Here’s what to avoid to ensure your website both attractive and functional.

Not Using a Content Management System
While a content management system (CMS) is not technically required for your website, there are many benefits of using one that positively affect your website functionality. For example, without a CMS, your website will likely be built using static pages that are uploaded directly to servers – which severely limits your ability to scale and improve your site. If you build it this way, anything you want to be removed, updated, or changed on your website must be done by a developer. And most developers are busy managing other tasks for your company, so the errors can quickly pile up and potentially damage the perception of your brand. No one wants a ton of spelling errors they can’t fix.
Likewise, without a CMS, it’s more difficult to test different functionality like CTAs, videos, blog templates, landing pages and more. A CMS also allows you to create pages easily through the use of templates, which helps the functionality and layout of your site look consistent as it grows.
Using Tables for Layouts
During the ’90s and 2000s, you probably saw a lot of websites designed with table-based layouts. Today, that trend is all but extinct. Using tables for layouts went out of style for several reasons including:

More bytes of markup which take longer to download
Bad user experience due to slower site speeds
Difficulty maintaining code
Locking developers into the design, making redesigns much harder
Breaking text copying on specific browsers

Not Using HTTPS/SSL

Though the visual difference between HTTP and HTTPS is only one letter, the impact that extra letter has on your website’s performance is critical. HTTPS encrypts information you send between a web browser and a web server, protecting your users from attacks. To have HTTPS on your site, you must purchase and install an SSL certificate. Once you have it installed, you’ll reap the benefits of a more secure website like:

Increased consumer confidence. With more cyber-attacks making the news, more online visitors are looking for safe sites. That peace of mind can also lead to more conversions, too, as more people are willing to input their personal information and data on a website they feel is secure.
Higher Google rankings. Google has confirmed they favor HTTPs. And because it’s almost every marketer’s goal to rank high in search engine results, having HTTPS should be high on your website list.

Not Having a Responsive Design
Consider your personal belongings. You probably have a smartphone, a laptop, a tablet, and maybe even a desktop computer. You also likely use all of these to surf the web at one point or another. And when you come across a website that doesn’t look good on your phone, you may leave. If your own company’s website doesn’t render correctly and loads slowly on a mobile device, your visitors are also disappearing.
Another reason to ensure your website is optimized is for Google (yes, again). For years now, Google has penalized websites that aren’t mobile-friendly and provide bad functionality to mobile users. The penalization? Lower search engine rankings. That means if your site isn’t responsive, you’re losing out on a lot of organic traffic and potential sales. And while some people think redirecting users to a mobile version of your site may fix this issue – it doesn’t. Doing this doesn’t help with search engine results as it sends users to a separate website; something they probably don’t want to do.
Using Features That Slow Your Website
Designing and creating your site is a fun process. But you’ll need to use discretion when deciding what visual elements to add because not everyone is using the same browser or has the same internet speed. To avoid bloating your website to the point that it doesn’t load quickly, avoid using elements like:

Multiple full-sized videos
Frame-based designs
Too many big images or animations
Marquee fonts
Having automated music or sound
Overloaded navigation
Splash or entrance pages

Even if a user makes it past your potentially slow-loading site, the misuse or overuse of some of these features could confuse them – causing them to bounce, leaving you with a lost conversion.

How to Turn Your WordPress Website into an SEO Powerhouse for Better Conversions

I know why you’re here.
You want to get better conversions, don’t you?
I don’t blame you.
After all, it doesn’t matter how seemingly lucrative your prospective business idea is, without having the capability to turn your web visitors into paying customers, you’ll never get a single cent from your website.
Nada. Zilch. Zippo.
And you don’t want that, do you?
If you’re sick and tired of getting poor sales results month after month, then allow us to share with you these SEO strategies to help you get better conversions.
Let’s hop right in.
Polish your Landing Page
First things first!
Your would-be customer’s experience in your website starts on your landing page.
That means you need to work on the CRO and aesthetic part of your website to make it more user-friendly.
Once your visitors come to your landing page, direct them to the right conversion path, displaying clear call-to-action buttons, adding sign-up forms, etc.
Here are more key traits you need to look into for better conversions:

Have a simple, yet intuitive design
Create a captivating headline title that lures in visitors
Include authentic testimonials and reviews from happy customers
Have clear images to grab visitors’ attention
Include social sharing icons to allow visitors to share your site with the world
Add a live chat option

Get Rid of Duplicate Content on your Site
Once the aesthetic and conversion optimization part of your website is out of the way, it’s time to check your content.
Your content can make or break your site. While having great content optimized for particular phrases will help your site rank better, having duplicate content can cause you some serious issues.
If you have duplicate content on your site, you might want to get rid of them before you get penalized by Google — causing your pages to be removed from the SERPs.
If you have to, go ahead and check your pages manually or use tools such as SEMrush if you have lots of content.

Here’s another trick you can consider:
If your site has two or more pages with identical content, consider consolidating them, keeping the one containing the most internal links and ranks better and then redirecting the other pages to it.
WordPress has a number of plugins you can use to redirect your internal links. The premium version of YoastSEO also offers this functionality.

Integrate your WordPress Site with Google Search Console
If you care about your search engine traffic, you’ll need to integrate your site with Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tool.
This tool monitor and analyzes your site, letting you know the phrases that you are actually ranking highly for and if there are any errors or broken links on your site that you should work on. You can then use these pertinent details to create an effective marketing strategy/campaign.
Through Search Engine Console, you may discover pages or posts that have been linked incorrectly by other bloggers, leading visitors to a 404 page.
Once you are aware of such links, you can redirect them to another relevant page to maintain the link juice and keep the traffic being redirected to your site.

If you have not already integrated this tool to your site, you can do it easily via the Yoast plugin. Just click on the ‘Search Console’ Option on Yoast and follow the prompts as outlined by Yoast.

Work on your Page Load Speed
The importance of page load speed cannot be stressed enough when it comes to improving the ranking of your WordPress site.
Google and other search engines consider page load speed as a key factor when ranking sites, so it goes without saying that you need to work on yours.
Now, assume you are a website visitor; would you be patient enough to wait extra seconds for a site to load?
You answer with a “no,” didn’t you?
Just like you, no one has the patience to wait forever for a site to load. They’ll just leave and opt to use the services of your competitors.
In order to know how your site is doing speed-wise, you can use a number of online speed tools such as Page Speed Insights and Pingdom.

To give you an idea of the kind of insights you can get out of these website testing tools, I ran Amazon.com with Pingdom. Here’s how the results look.

Those are just some of the many insights you can get out of using Pingdom.
Pretty awesome, huh?
When it comes to cleaning and streamlining your website, for starters, you can remove all clutter that’s not adding value to your site.
Deactivate plugins that you don’t use, optimize your images, minimize your redirects, and if necessary, reduce large size images.
You can also run a compression audit using WordPress tools, such as the ones listed below.

Have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate
The SSL certificate does not only make your site to look good; it also reassures your users that any information you collect from them, including emails and credit card details, is in safe hands.
Google recently made this a crucial ranking factor, meaning, if your site is encrypted, it stands a better chance to rank better.
You can know if your WordPress site has an SSL certificate by checking the beginning of the URL.
For instance, if it reads www.example.com, then it doesn’t have an SSL certificate. If it reads https://www.example.com, then it uses an SSL certificate.
In simple terms, if it has HTTPS, then you know the site is encrypted and secure.
Use SEO-Friendly URL Structure
How do you know a URL is SEO friendly?
Well, it’s simple. SEO-friendly URLs usually have words explaining the content behind the link and are easy to be discovered by both search engines and human beings.
An example of an SEO-friendly URL would be something like this: https://www.example.com/how-to-install-wordpress/
See? It explains to readers what they are likely to find if they click on the link and lets Google know what your page is all about.
Now, notice the difference with this link: https://www.example.com/?0=11207
With this kind of URL, a user can’t possibly guess where the link goes.
It also doesn’t help when it comes to optimizing your links to allow search engines to know what the page is about.
To make sure your links are always correct, go to your WordPress Settings Permalinks, check the field for Post name and then hit Save Changes.

Write Great Content
When it comes to optimizing your website for the search engines, you probably know this already – you create need mindblowing content for your pages.
The fact of the matter is, you can concentrate on all things we have highlighted on this post, but if the content on your site is poor, your website will be buried under hundreds if not thousands of other results — and should any web visitors land on any of your pages, there’s almost a zero chance that any of them will buy.
Don’t just write any content and hope that Google will index it; provide useful, informative content with focus keywords.
If you are not sure if your content is up to standard, go ahead and use Yoast SEO, a free WordPress plugin that analyzes your posts, giving you the option to add a description, title, and focus keyword.
It also gives you a readability score of the content you are about to post, giving you suggestions to make your articles SEO-friendly.
Conclusion – A Word for the Wise
Ranking your web pages online can be a neck-breaking task, considering that your competitors are working equally hard to impress search engines.
But hey, you can’t just sit there and watch as your site is buried by Google and other search engines. Employ these simple tricks, and you will certainly see some positive changes on your site.
They may not work magic overnight, but over time, your pages will rank better, giving you the traffic you’ve always wished for. It’s time to get those conversions!

Progressive Web Applications – The Best of the Web, Plus the Best of Native Apps

Nowadays, every business realizes the need for establishing their business on mobile devices. And for the entire market, the question is no longer, “If they should work on a mobile app” but the question now is “What kind of mobile app”.
Well, a business that targets a mobile-based customer has three options:

to develop a Responsive Website

to develop a Native App
to create a Progressive Web App (PWA)

Mobile websites are fast and light, but they are less efficient in terms of user experience. While native apps offer the finest user experience, but these are limited to certain devices and have restrictions in terms of adoption. Native apps need to be downloaded that means the buy-in from the consumer is implemented and the impulse behavior is lost. And PWAs is the amalgamation of the two. It combines the best elements of mobile sites and native apps while eliminating their disadvantages. In the words of Alex Russell –
“PWA is just a website that took all the right vitamins.”
The problem with native apps is that we do not find most of the app worth downloading, sometimes our device might be short of space, or the available data isn’t sufficient.
It is seen that people are turning away from Android/iOS apps because users do not want to flood their phones with all kinds of apps. This is where a progressive web app takes advantage of what the web has to offer.
Ola – One of India’s most highly valued startups, Ola completes more than a million daily rides. Ola developed PWA just 200KB of data to install, the PWA is at least 300X smaller than downloading the Android app and 500X smaller than downloading their iOS app. And the conversion rates are 30% higher on the PWA.
Features of PWA
1. Progressive –It works for every user, regardless of the choice of browser.
2. Responsive –Automatically adjustable to any device.
3. Secure –Served via HTTPS.
4. Load Time -Lesser load time; instantly available.
5. Fresh –Always up-to-date; the app doesn’t require updation like native apps.
6. Installable – App installed directly to the home screen without visiting the app store.
7. Linkable –Easily shared through URL
Twitter Lite – Twitter Lite was developed to deliver a more robust experience, with explicit goals for instant loading, user engagement, and lower data consumption. PWA has increased 65% in pages per session, 75% more Tweets sent, and 20% decrease in bounce rate.
Functionality of PWA
1.Web-App manifest
It is the very first component of a PWA, it controls the way an app is displayed to the user, and how it can be launched. The file consists of starting URL, an app’s full and short name, links to icons and icons’ sizes, type, and location.
2. Service Worker
The service worker consists of the main features of a progressive web app – the background syncs, offline work mode, and push notification.
These features respond to the users’ interaction.
self.addEventListener('activate', function(event) {

// Perform some task

});
Source: developers.google.com
a) Offline work mode –
This helps application interface to load faster and the needed dynamic content is refreshed every time the connection is back.Source: developers.google.com
b) Push Notification –
This is an efficient tool for user-engagement through the content and prompt updates from the website. PWA can send notification even when the browser is closed, and the app isn’t active.

Source: developers.google.com
c) Background Sync –
Background Sync delays action until stable connectivity isn’t back. This is done so that the server can send periodical updates to the app enabling it to refresh itself when the connection is back.
Source: developers.google.com
d) Transport Layer Security (TLS)
Transport Layer Security is the standard of secure and robust data exchange between two applications. This ensures highest security for the user and site data.
Benefits of PWAs
1. Cost-Efficient
PWAs are built on the web stack. The approach takes less time and effort making it cost-efficient.
Developers do not need to build the app for multiple platforms because a single progressive app can work on both Android and iOS platforms.
2. Less Installation friction
One of the main features of PWA is discover-ability. This is a big advantage as the user does not need to install an app and do not reduce the number of potential users by 20%.
As PWA does not require an app to be downloaded via the App Store, it makes the customer’s several steps closer to the launching phase. They do not have to visit the app store, click on install, accept various licenses and permissions, and then wait for it to get installed. For PWAs, the user just needs to visit the website, add it to the home screen, and simply open PWA.
3. Increased User Engagement
It is seen that 80% of mobile users move their apps to the home screen. And PWA’s ability to add themselves to the home screen makes them more competitive. Also with accessibility, PWA also offers the frequency of use by 61 %, the simplicity of access by 54% and the speed of access by 49%. Additionally, Push notifications also fuel user interest in the app.
4. Easy Updations
PWA users are free from app updations for every time the developer releases a new version. This feature allows enterprises to avoid the difficulty referred to as software fragmentation when they have to support old versions of apps or jeopardize the loss of users until they begin the update.
To Conclude
Your users have switched to mobile, and you should also follow it to hold a conversation with your audience more effectively. And Progressive web apps can solve two main problems of the users. Firstly, Users who do not want to overcrowd their device’s space can be part of this community. Thus it can significantly increase the number of user engagements.
Secondly, as people rely on a wireless network and mobile connections they are are more likely to prefer websites and apps that use less data.
PWA, in short, offers benefits like greater performance and functionality, development time frames and costs, and ultimate user experience.

18 Top CDN Service Providers To Speed Up Your Website

Can a fraction of a second in your loading time affect your online business? Well, obviously, YES. Think about it: we’re pretty sure you have been in a situation where you tried going to a website but ended up just moving on to other sites because the page took so long to pop out. Yup, we’ve all been there. In this fast-paced, almost-instantaneous digital world, most if not all of us demand speed. And if you own an online store, a slow loading page could be disastrous to your business. If you’re not too sure with your website’s speed performance, website speed optimization is key to your success.
There are many ways to speed up your site’s load speed, one of which is using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This is what we’ll be focusing on in this article. What is it, and what can it do to help increase your website’s loading speeds? Read on.
CDN: What is it and what’s it all about
A Content Distribution Network is a system of interconnected servers located around the world that helps in distributing web content in different geographical locations. How can it help boost your website’s loading speed? Well, if you have an online store, especially in a global market, the distance between countries and the sheer number of visitors on your website can significantly affect your site’s loading speed. When you avail the services of CDN providers, however, the loads of data your main server was initially handling can be distributed across different geographical locations through their strategically located servers. This means that it will not only reduce the workload of your server; it could also help your content reach a wider audience without sacrificing your site’s loading speed.
18 Best CDN Providers
If you’re thinking of investing in CDNs to boost up your site’s loading speed, you’ve made a sound decision. Speaking of decisions, there are so many CDN providers to choose from, each offering different services and features to cater to different needs. Aside from the cost, you should also consider what features these providers offer and how these can help you out with your site’s specific needs. It’s also pretty neat to point out that most of these providers offer free trials and versions of their services, which gives you a chance to try all of them out and choose the one that suits your needs best.
Here are the 18 of the best CDN providers available today and what you can expect from them:
MaxCDN

uses SSD-loaded servers
reaches over 90 countries worldwide
customizable CDN rules
Free trial of up to 30 days; paid service packages available

Amazon CloudFront

integrates with other Amazon web services
allows usage of own domain name and SSL certificate
low latency; high data transfer speeds
custom error responses
dynamic content support
live media streaming
own management console
price based on usage

CloudFlare

global network
blocks threats, abusive bots, and crawlers
simple set up; no need for software and hardware installation
automatic optimization of delivery speeds
provides analytics
free to $200/mo

Incapsula

uses advanced networking, dynamic caching, and content optimization techniques
real-time health and monitoring notifications
no hardware and software to install
DDos attacks protection
Free to $299/mo

Edgecast

global network
analytics suite
on-demand streaming capabilities in Flash, Silverlight or HTTP
price is available upon request

Cachefly

30 points of presence strategically spread worldwide
simple interface; full access to files
token-based identification for security
on-demand bandwidth
$99 to $499/mo

Swarmify

unlimited points of presence worldwide
hyper-local connectivity
Hive Cache feature
predictive loading
encrypted communication between users
free to $99/mo

Google App Engine

automatic scaling and load balancing
secure environment
handles a huge amount of data
asynchronous task queues
persistent storage
price based on units used and quota limits

jsDelivr

open source CDN
NetDNA servers
42 POP locations worldwide
DDos protection
unlimited traffic
free

CDN77

25 data centers available in five continents
all automatic
no DNS change or manual configurations needed
powerful API
intuitive control panel
real-time data security and protection
$35 to $49/mo

Akamai

highly-distributed cloud optimization platform
150,000 servers in 92 countries
SSL content protection
trusted by Nintendo, NBC, Adobe
price is available upon request

CDNetworks

multinational CDN with infrastructure in China, Russia, Asia, and other emerging markets
cloud-based DNS and storage and global load balancing
Cloud DNS
Cloud Load Balancer
Cloud Storage
real-time intelligence
price is available upon request

Limelight

one of the world’s largest private CDN providers
optimizes delivery for multiple HTTP and streaming protocols
geo-blocking, DRM and tokenized authentication
customizable configurations
analytics feature
price is available upon request

cdnjs CDN

open source CDN by Cloudflare
hosts several of popular JavaScript and CSS libraries
free

jQuery CDN

hosts its own libraries
free

RackSpace

cloud control panel integration
over 230 edge nodes worldwide
powered by Akamai CDN
multiple interface options
instant provisioning
custom SSL

Microsoft CDN

dynamic site acceleration
CDN caching rules
HTTPS custom domain support

BitGravity

more connections around the globe than other CDN service
first CDN optimized for HD video streaming

Speeding up your site’s loading time is vital to your business’ success. Not only will a fast loading speed ensure much better user experience and boost conversion, but it can also actually affect your site’s Google rank. Check these content distribution network companies out and see for yourself how these could help you speed up your site’s loading time.

On-Site Factors That Matter In 2015

Photo Credit: Search Influence (cc)
The world of SEO is forever changing.
Google, Bing, Yandex— every year, they all add new features and functionalities to their indexing algorithms and their guidelines.
And alas, much of what used to work in the past is now surefire way to get your website in pretty poor conditions in the search index.
However, most of what worked on-page is there to stay— it only changed a bit, in the better.
In this post is a list of these old (but upgraded for 2015) on-site SEO techniques and my advice on how to implement them.
Your Page Title
Google reduced word count for titles to 70 characters.
Bing supports up to 58-60 characters.
That means you have to play it smart with your headlines— at least for search engines (your users may appreciate longer titles).
Keywords Matter… Always
Keyword research is an evergreen SEO practice.
Keep proximity in mind, don’t use keywords verbatim— they won’t make sense for the reader and search engines don’t like them either.
Neil Patel from QuickSprout wrote an interesting post on 5 keyword research methods to uncover hidden gems for your content. I recommend you read it and put it to use right away.
Long Content is Better than Short Content
It’s proven that the longer the content, the more time users will spend on your website, which will not just lower your bounce rate, but also help your readers create a relationship with you and your website.
There is not much room to convey who you are and give others a reason to interact with you when you only post short write-ups, right?
And longer content is link bait, too! Nothing attracts good backlinks like detailed, helpful guides and tutorials.
Don’t Ignore Your Images Alt Text
Your images alt tags is not just helpful for SEO, but especially for UX, as visually impaired users rely on alt text to know what the image contains (through their text-to-speech readers).
So don’t stop to keywords in the alt tags, describe your images for users!
Mind your site speed and design
Use PingDom’s Site Speed Test to find out about your site loading speed.
Ideally, your website should load within 3 seconds or it means there are scripts and images slowing down the loading process.
The tool will show you a grid of your site elements and their loading speeds, so you wil know exactly where to put your hands to optimize your site speed.
Also, keep your website design clean and uncluttered. Of all search engines, Google is the most sensitive to the quality of your design for its manual reviews.
In addition to that, users love websites where they know how to move around and not websites where they wind up feeling more confused than when they clicked on your link.
Mobile Optimization
The number of mobile users has grown considerably in 2015, so optimizing your website for mobile is almost a must (I say ‘almost’ because, as always, there are exceptions and your user experience should always come before SEO).
HREF Lang Helps
If you run a multi-language website, the HREF Lang tag will come to your rescue and help with indexing the correct language in each country-specific version of Google.
I wrote about this tag in detail recently here at Bosmol, so refer to that post for tag implementation details.
Link Out to Trusted Webmasters
Linking out is what websites are made for— you link to others, others link back to you. It’s the one action that gets fruitful relationships started.
And your traffic flowing, as well as giving signals that you are an active element of the Web community.
From a SEO point of view, linking out to trusted webmasters is a sign that you make optimal editorial decisions and search engines will trust both you and your neighborhood.
Keep Your Homepage OBL Low
While linking out is good, to clutter your homepage with links to other website is a bad idea.
It’s bad for the users, who should be able to focus only on navigating your website and not to undergo continuous visual stimulus that will distract them from their goal.
It’s bad for your SEO because it makes search engines suspicious that you might be selling links or run a spammy, low quality website.
Controversial: HTTPS or Not?
The truth is: it’s your choice, even though Google pushes for it. Use it of you have at least a shopping cart on your site, don’t use it if you run a simple blog or forum-based website.
The ranking boost from Google for HTTPS websites is not relevant enough to justify the time and money switching to HTTPS requires, but you can still switch if you believe it will benefit you and your users in the long run.
There is an interesting post at SEO-Theory.com about this controversy.