Favicons, free SEO tools and homepage content – this week’s pro tips

Ok so it’s been a slow, long week where I am, mostly because it’s the month of Ramadan and it’s hitting 40+ degrees Celsius over here in Dubai.

But I’m still pulling through with the goods. So let’s get to it!

1. Google is at it again.
Google decided to be even more nefarious by changing how the SERPs look on mobile.

There’s 2 big changes:
– ads no longer have the green ‘ad’ text in a green box. It now looks like the logo for AdWeek (just “Ad” in black, bold text.)
– website favicons will now be displayed in SERPs

This means a bunch of things:
1. They’re really being douchey about blending ads with organic results and they’re literally taking the mickey by telling us people can ‘easily’ spot the difference.

2. Expect lots of people offering to optimise your favicons for SEO…

Favicons are important to reinforce branding but they’re not an SEO factor.

Most look so ordinary and people don’t always notice them so whether they’ll even affect CTR remains to be seen.

I updated mine around 1pm Dubai time on Sunday and the change hasn’t been reflected in the SERPs yet (almost 24 hours later).

I am, of course, trolling the system so let’s see what happens. Google me and see 😉

I’ll probably have an update for you next week for those who don’t want to cyber stalk me.

In the mean time, check if you have a favicon and if not, get it sorted. It takes literally 2 minutes to do.

Maybe have a bit of fun with it? Who cares?!

2. Be wary of free SEO tools
I found a link to a new suite of ‘free SEO tools’ called SEO Suite dot net.

It has a boat load of tools which on the surface look like it has everything including the kitchen sink.

It’s probably helpful for those who need help generating meta tags or doing word counts.

But I punched my domain in and it told me it had 0 links.

Now my head isn’t so far down in the sand – I know my site isn’t drippin’ backlinks.

But 0 links? gimme a break.

I bring this up because people will always be drawn to free stuff.

But be mindful that if it’s free, it’s not necessarily great.

Data can be wildly accurate, even if some other parts of the tool are functional and serve a purpose.

And who knows what they’re doing with the info they’re capturing?

Pay for software or pay a consultant instead.

It’s always going to be better than the freebies, believe that.

Stay woke. SEO kinda woke. 

And lastly…

3. Go check your homepage!
if it says ‘Home – brand name’ or ‘brand name – home’ –  or Homepage or some sort of unbranded, irrelevant nonsense, CHANGE IT.


If I had a dirham for every time a website owner came to me for SEO and their homepage looked like that, I’d have enough money to perhaps enjoy a meal at a decent restaurant (instead of an Uber Eats carton) and leave a sizeable tip in line with what is commonly expected and accepted.

But no seriously, homepage title tags are an art form and I recommend you do the following:

– keep it lean and maybe just stick to your brand name and slogan/motto/war cry.

– unless you’ve got a 1 page site, there’s absolutely no need to shove all your keywords in there like a mad person.

– the above rule is especially true if you have dedicated pages for your products and/or service.

– there will always be exceptions to the above so don’t @ me. Use some discretion.

– and go beyond the title tag.. make sure you’ve got proper copy on your homepage. Otherwise, use the rest of this week to WRITE SOMETHING and make your website do some work for a change.

I’m out.

Have a ridiculously amazing week!

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