O'Brien Media blog

Time to upgrade! WooCommerce 3.2 is now available

On the 11th October the WooCommerce team announced that WooCommerce 3.2, which has been in development since July, was now ready for deployment on websites!

WooCommerce 3.2 is a minor update, and all changes should be backwards compatible with 3.0 and 3.1 sites according to the WooCommerce team , but tit's still recommend to ensure extensions and themes are compatible before upgrading by testing on a staging site, and making backups for peace of mind.

Twitter is giving users more characters to express themselves

Every Twitter user has been there, you've composed the perfect tweet but you've got to make cuts to fit your thoughts into 140 characters. Well, those times may soon be over.

5 reasons Google search results may vary dramatically, even for identical searches

Like many people you may be a regular Google search user. Over time you may have noticed a strange phenomenon: Google search results vary, even on the same device, using the same browser and using the same keyword phrase or search term.

Users who are not well-versed in Google’s mysterious and ever-changing search algorithm may attribute this to simple error. However, these changes are actually quite intentional. While occasionally inconvenient for users, these search results variations can prove much more problematic for businesses and marketers.

What are social signals, and why are they an increasingly important SEO factor

  • What are social signals, and why are they an increasingly important SEO factor

Social signals are the likes, shares, votes, pins, or views people place on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media sites that filter out to the various search engines. 

A search engine's primary aim is to provide high-quality, relevant content to searchers. Search engines, such as Google, judge quality in large part by how frequently a URL is seen throughout the internet, and as more web communication has moved to social media, Google and other search providers have integrated social signals as a ranking signal. 

Fight back against email spoofing and improve email deliverability with SPF (Sender Policy Framework)

SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. It’s an email authentication method that helps identify the mail servers that are permitted to send email from a particular domain name. Using this validation method, ISPs can determine when spoofers and phishers are trying to forge emails from your domain name to send malicious email to your customers.

By using SPF you can not only help protect your customers but also get your emails accepted for delivery to email services such as Gmail and those provided by Microsoft who are increasingly looking at ways to prevent spam and phishing emails from reaching their customers' mailboxes.