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Bots Defended By Judge In LinkedIn Ruling

Posted by MBL Web Design

A San Francisco judge has made a key ruling that will stop LinkedIn from blocking third-party bots from mining members' data from its website.

The Microsoft-owned company had previously wanted to protect members who made changes to their LinkedIn profiles, mostly in anticipation for courting new employers.

However, as can be imagined, that wouldn't make current employers of those job-hunters too happy.

LinkedIn argued that some third-party companies, claiming to offer clients accurate predictions of forthcoming risks to turnover and future skill gaps, were using private LinkedIn member data in contradiction to the website's terms of service.

Yet the judge has ruled that LinkedIn cannot scrap members' data through any technical means, keeping it open for bots to mine.

It's an interesting ruling, particularly for those maintaining a website. After all, it's thought that 60% of website 'visitors' are actually bots.

These bots can be used to either improve and hinder a website's chance of success on search engines, including malicious processes such as hacking and scraping.

This 'scraping' sees bots duplicate and publish content from a website.

This can lead to Google punishing the original website's search engine position for this duplication, despite the owners having done nothing wrong, due to it being perceived as a 'black hat' SEO tactic.

So while this legal ruling intends to enshrine freedom of information, it does set an interesting precedent in an already legally grey area.

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In-Progress: Murray Packaging

Posted by MBL Web Design

At MBL Web Design, we're always delighted to work with returning clients.

Due to the continual growth of online reliance for business across all industries, websites need to be updated to suit modern requirements.

A returning client means that we not only did a good job the first time around, but it also means that they understand the importance of keeping a fresh online presence.

One example of such a client is Murray Packaging Ltd.

Based in the charming town of Milngavie, Murray Packaging's employees – past and present – have been stalwarts of the Scottish packaging industry for nearly 100 years.

In 1965, they introduced shrink-wrapping equipment to Scotland for the first time.

Now, half a century later, they have installed in excess of 1,000 shrink-wrapping lines.

In that time, Murray Packaging has been behind innovative products that have benefited clients that rely on quick, reliable packaging solutions.

It's clear that the team at Murray Packaging know more than a thing or two about evolving to keep with the times.

So they also understand the importance of maintaining a modern web presence.

Our team at MBL Web Design is currently in the process of giving Murray Packaging's website a facelift to ensure customers – and potential clients – will have a pleasant browsing experience across all platforms.

Keep an eye out for more in-progress and completed projects by regularly checking in with our 'News' page.

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Amazon Echo & Alexa Continue To Expand

Posted by MBL Web Design

This year has definitely seen the true mainstream arrival of smart speakers and voice control.

We had fun with the likes of Siri and Cortana on our smartphones, but Alexa – thanks primarily to the success of the Amazon Echo – has undoubtedly been the winning combination to turn voice control from gimmick to gadget.

Now Amazon has rolled out an update for Alexa, including changes to the Echo, which cements its place as the must-use domestic voice control device.

The June update includes the ability to schedule reminders and create timers that can be named to suit particular tasks, allowing multiple timers to run at the same time without confusion.

Also to be introduced is the ability to make 'intercom' calls between rooms in a house that has multiple Echo devices.

The potential of the Echo and Alexa is something we previously touched upon in January when we predicted that voice searches would uproot the way that we think about SEO keywords.

The way we type into a search engine and the way we speak into a voice control device are, after all, not like for like.

At least one analytics company has predicted that voice searches will account for half of all searches by 2020.

There's no reason to doubt that as Amazon looks set to ship more than 10 million Echo speakers by the end of this year.

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In-Progress: E Coaches Of Alfreton

Posted by MBL Web Design

The team at MBL Web Design is always working away on new web design projects for a steady stream of both new and returning clients.

One such returning client is E Coaches of Alfreton.

Approaching its 50th year of business, E Coaches of Alfreton serves the Derbyshire area, and beyond, with the highest quality of coach hire service.

Their team provides this service to schools (for school runs and special day trips), businesses (such as chocolate makers Thorntons), the public sector (including Derbyshire County Council) and private individuals (for family holidays and special occasions).

Their fleet is maintained beyond industry standards, every coach is meticulously cleaned after each job, and all vehicles benefit from the engineering power of Mercedes.

It's clear that the team at E Coaches care deeply about their business and its image.

So it's no surprise that they would want to ensure that their online presence is just as impeccable by investing in a brand new web portal.

As such, MBL Web Design has been tasked with creating a contemporary website for E Coaches of Alfreton.

We're doing just that by bringing our fresh, modern web design approach – powered by responsive web technology – to the table.

Keep an eye out for more in-progress and completed projects by regularly checking in with our 'News' page.

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Is Built-in SEO The Future?

Posted by MBL Web Design

There's no denying how incredibly important search engine optimisation (SEO) is to the success of a website. As such, SEO has become a big money market. A study by American data analysts Borrell Associates projected that companies would spend a staggering $65 billion in 2016 on SEO, and that the industry would reach an annual worth of $79 billion by 2020.

With such sizeable market growth evident, it's no surprise that companies try to capture a slice of the pie by introducing new SEO-related products. That's exactly what many content management systems such as WordPress want to do with built-in SEO.

This form of SEO allows newcomers to have a go at optimising their sites for search engines by suggesting and introducing keywords to the text automatically in a format that is not too dissimilar to spellchecking.

However, these systems do have their limitations.

This trend of 'automation' and 'user-creation' leaves websites at the mercy of limited toolsets and can lead to a loss of identity.

Just imagine two businesses from the same industry, performing the same role, and using the same automation tools. What will set them apart? It will still be wording in the copy decided by a human.

Additionally, SEO is an ever-changing field that is often dictated by the consistently revised guidelines Google sets out. Providers of such automated systems would need to keep on top of these changes to ensure their automated SEO tools don't end up out of favour with Google.

It's likely that automated SEO is the future as advancements in AI become a reality, but it's important to remember that copy will be read by a human. Artificial keywords may just sap the soul from your website's copy and drive customers elsewhere.

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Aeropair Ltd's New Responsive Website is Ready for Lift-off

Posted by MBL Web Design

Glasgow, Scotland – MBL Web Design is happy to announce the launch of Aeropair Ltd's brand new responsive website.

For over 20 years, Renfrew-based Aeropair has been one of Scotland's finest suppliers of aircraft products and services.

Situated close to Glasgow International Airport, Aeropair has forged relationships with loyal clients all over the world.

The manufacturing quality of Aeropair's products speaks for itself, with its custom-built parts receiving approvals from national and global names such as the Civil Aviation Authority, Airbus, BAE Systems and more.

Now with the launch of its brand new responsive website, Aeropair is looking stronger than ever.

Our team reworked the old Aeropair website to give it a dynamic new look.

With mobile internet browsing now more common than traditional desktop-based browsing, it is important that companies have a responsive website to deliver the best user experience to potential clients and to drive online lead generation.

Thanks to our responsive technology and fresh design, the new Aeropair website will look great across screens of all sizes.

The team at MBL Web Design would like to thank Aeropair Ltd for the opportunity to work on its website. Here's to another 20 years of success!

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What are the SEO trends to look out for in 2017?

Posted by MBL Web Design

Now is the time to think about your business plans for the year ahead. Those plans should definitely focus on search engine optimisation (SEO). With search algorithms becoming more complex, today's SEO (like web design) needs to be dynamic and responsive. With that in mind, we've decided to preview three of the most important and continuing SEO trends to watch for in 2017:

Mobile Optimisation becomes Mandatory

In 2017, mobile optimisation will be a prerequisite to website success. Mobile searches now surpass desktop searches on Google. So is your website responsive and optimised for mobile users? And has the SEO and text been built with snappy keywords and short paragraphs in mind?

The Rise of Voice Search

Just a couple of years ago, we were crying with laughter as the likes of Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana tried to comprehend our words. Today, the software has improved immensely. With the likes of the Amazon Echo set to be a big seller this Christmas, voice recognition is about to boom. There's a need to think about not just what people type when searching, but what they will say aloud. In terms of SEO, this will be a major game changer.

Intent over Keywords

With those algorithms getting updated, stuffing keywords into a turkey of a website just won't cut it. Keywords are still critical, but they are now part of a wider picture. Search engines can now read intent from words and form word associations. Look beyond simple keywords by optimising your full website to suit this trend.

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Are Black Friday bargains all they’re cracked up to be?

Posted by MBL Web Design

It’s that time of year again - the bargain bonanza that is Black Friday. This year, it falls on November 25, although what was once a 24-hour snap sale is now routinely extended over a much longer period.
But those after a bargain are being urged to research thoroughly before plumping for a purchase, since potential savings could be greater before or after the main event.

Consumer champions Which? found that fewer than half (90 of 178 or 49%) of deals advertised in 2015 were cheapest on Black Friday itself.
The organisation looked at popular gadgets and electrical appliances from a string of well-known retailers, from Amazon to John Lewis. It believes some may have broken advertising rules by apparently inflating the previous price to make the discount look bigger than it actually was.
Head of campaigns at Which? Peter Morrey urged: “Do your research. Some deals may not be all they are cracked up to be.”
What’s more, the month-long returns deadline, allowing for a full and immediate refund on faulty goods, expires on Christmas Day. That means Christmas gifts may not be covered if there is a problem with the item.
Equally, under EU law, anything bought online can be returned up to 14 days after receipt, and no reason must be given. That deadline runs out for Black Friday purchases on December 9, more than two weeks before Christmas.
So while the bargains look tempting – be sure of what you’re buying, and research deals thoroughly first.

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Wishing you the merriest of Christmases

Posted by MBL Web Design

As the festive season approaches, we thought it would be a good time to reflect on the last 12 months and say how much we value your support and business. We appreciate we may not say it often enough – but thank you.
Your custom really does matter to us, not just at Christmas time but all year round, and working with you has been a genuine pleasure. We’re looking forward to continuing our business relationship, and to working with you in the New Year - and beyond -as we move into 2017.

Meanwhile, we hope the holiday period is a relaxing one, and that you have time to enjoy this special time of year with those closest to you.
Finally, because Christmas is clearly a time for giving, click on our festive video here. Every time it gets clicked on, money will be made towards a donation to Marie Curie Cancer Care, a wonderful charity caring for those with terminal illness, and their families, so that they get the most from whatever time remains to them. Once again, our warmest wish for a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

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