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I haven’t done a list like this in a while, so I thought now’s as good a time as any.

These are 50+ hand-picked articles that I enjoyed since the beginning of 2018:

Business / Industry news

Google Trends redesign focuses on finding stories in the data

Thoughts on Flickr being bought by SmugMug as Yahoo breakup begins

And another one: 500px Acquired by VCG, the Getty Images of China

If you’re a Gmail user, you probably already noticed its big update

See where Gmail fits in the entire email client landscape, and how email design is evolving.

Google experimented with answering the query directly without showing any website results (!), but they scrapped it eventually.

Meanwhile, the EU wants to make Google reveal their ranking factors (I assume they won’t need to also reveal their weight/importance, that would basically expose their entire algorithms. It’s just like listing ingredients on a food product, without writing their specific amounts)

And another Google-related piece of news (hmm… they really dictate a lot of in the industry): they made important changes to Google Images (by removing the “view image” button), which is a “step in the right direction” according to Getty.

Google again… :-/ You can now add videos to your Google My Business listing

I sometimes use this site to copy-paste special characters and this one for finding more obscure emojis

To stand out in a crowded industry, look beyond the picture. Ooor, dive into these 50 marketing ideas.

A NY-times post on backing up photos

My favorite post of the year: Seth Godin’s open letter to Google entitled “Please don’t kill the blogs”Β (be sure to also read Seth’s update at the end)

 

Web-design

I was back on the PhotoBizX podcast with a really long and detailed conversation (with host Andrew Hellmich) about user experience in photography websites.

Really interesting list of 12 web hosting industry statistics (from 2017).
A few notable ones:

  • GoDaddy still hosts 6.3% of the top 10M sites, even though they’re terrible at it
  • Points 4 to 6 hail the importance of website performance!
  • Only 44% of all traffic is human. “The Internet is awash with robots.”
  • And 51% of all traffic is on mobile (and expected to rise to 68% by 2020). I guess all those robots have smartphones too :-)
  • Browser market dominated by Google Chrome (75%), with Firefox in second place (13%). Be sure to primarily test your new site on them.

Another reason to use Google Chrome, it now comes with a built-in ad blocker

After a lot of hype, HTTPS is slowly becoming the norm

12 Good reasons why you should start a photography blog, 10 more blogging tips.

Shopify did a list of 10 image optimization tips. Here’s my own article on resizing, exporting & compressing your photos.

A list of generic-but-interesting-nonetheless common website mistakes and how to fix them

 

SEO

A big list of 31 steps to rank your photos in Google (by the guys from Envira Gallery).

Nice podcast episode on 10 quality factors search engines like to see on your site

For the SEO obsessed (you know who you are): The state of SEO in 2018 + 9 Predictions for SEO in 2018

Google reduced meta-description limits back to 158 characters (after initially increasing that limit to 290 characters in Dec 2017)

What happens if you don’t write an SEO meta-description for your page? This Yoast article explains it well:
“If you do not write a meta description, Google will generate one. That could be the first paragraph of your blog post, but it could be something else as well. We’d advise you to write one because it’ll increase the chances of showing an appealing snippet. This will positively affect the click-through rate”

A good explanation of the difference between an H1 heading and the SEO title

Another detailed article from marketing-guru Neil Patel on 8 SEO tactics before launching a new site, and one on troubleshooting your rankings

Yoast users should learn what the new version 7 brings to the table

When you share your photos on social media, why not turn them into clickable social cards?

On this topic, here’s a nice list of 8 tips to boost your social media game

Have you checked out Google’s three new photography apps?

Last but not least, a good guide on Google Search Console, the must-use tool for any website owner today

Putting SEO aside, don’t underestimate word-of-mouth marketing

 

WordPress

The Ultimate Guide to WordPress and GDPR Compliance (in Plain English)

My favorite performance plugin (by far) just got a big update. And they also do a great job explaining the difference between perceived performance and actual load times (it’s a must-read).

Speaking of performance, here’s a comparison of 3 popular speed-testing tools

And apparently,Β Google is investing resources into WordPress speed

3 elements to include in a WordPress photography website. And here are more WP-based eCommerce solutions.

Secure your WP admin are with one of these two-factor authentication plugins

When you want to customize your WP site beyond the theme options, watch this 8-min video on how to add custom CSS

Overall, WordPress is definitely going strong

 

And finally, some of my own articles that you might have missed

New Google Search Console design and user interface: here’s what changed and which reports are most useful

Copywriters for your photography website & 10 tips on improving your own writing

Don’t obsess over SEO: 10 things you should be taking care of on your photography site before doing advanced SEO work

WordPress vs. photography-specific & other platforms: deciding where you should build your photo website

Best WordPress hosting for photographers: budget vs premium providers, what features to look for, and how to migrate your photo site

eCommerce solutions for photographers: how to sell images & services on your photography website

 

Happy reading!
– Alex

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