In response to EU’s request to help reduce strain on internet bandwidth, Netflix will reduce its streaming quality in Europe by lowering the bitrate for 30 days.
REDUCED STREAMING QUALITY:
Earlier this week, European Commissioner Thierry Breton urged Netflix and other major streaming services to switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary and said that he had already discussed the initiative with Netflix CEO Reed Hasting.
To beat #COVID19, we stay at home. Teleworking and streaming help a lot but infrastructures might be in strain. To secure Internet access for all, let’s switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary,” Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for internal market, wrote on twitter on March 18.
Netflix has now responded to EU’s request – partially. It says that it will begin reducing bitrates across all streams in Europe for 30 days. Netflix estimates that it will reduce traffic in Europe by approximately 25%.
“Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings – and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus – Netflix has decided to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days,” a spokesperson from Netflix said. “We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25% while also ensuring a good quality service for our members.”
NOT SD RESOLUTION:
FlatpanelsHD has found that Netflix still offers streaming in HD resolution as well as 4K HDR10 and 4K Dolby Vision for now. The company has not capped its streaming quality to SD resolution.
It appears that Netflix’s approach is rather to cut off the higher bitrate levels. This is possible because Netflix uses adaptive bitrate meaning that all content is encoded and stored at multiple quality levels (bitrate, resolutions etc.). The viewer will automatically get the highest quality level available based on broadband speeds and hardware.
At the time of writing, FlatpanelsHD is seeing a 35-50% reduction in bitrate for some 4K streams while other 4K streams appear to be unaffected. We are seeing a more modest reduction in bitrate for HD streams but there are fluctuations here, too. As Netflix is still rolling out the changes, it is too early to draw conclusions. We refer to the comments section below for more information on how to check streaming quality on your Netflix streams at home.
This means that Netflix streaming in Europe will look more compressed than usual higher levels of artefacts, softer details etc. but still relatively good compared to many other streaming services. Apple, Amazon, Disney, Google and YouTube have not announced plans to reduce their streaming bitrate at his time.
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One of the most frequent questions our community members ask us and themselves is how to get more people to visit their site. There’s no magic formula, but there are ways to increase your website traffic with a few WordPress.com tools and best practices.
Help search engines find your website:
If you want your content to be indexed by search engines such as Google and Bing, set your privacy settings to make your site visible to all search engines.
While we take care of a lot of the Search Engine Optimization for you, you can also verify your site through several search engines.
Plus, if your business has a niche, you can tell the Google Search Console to help you position your site to be even more successful in search rankings. We’ll show you how using Webmaster Tools!
The internet is full of theories as to how you can raise your post’s visibility in search rankings: none will contest that original, high quality content with a few well-chosen tags is the best way to get started.
Blogs that have more frequent and regular posting schedules tend to develop an audience quicker. If you need inspiration, check out resources like these how-tos on editorial calendars or serial posts.
Blogging isn’t just for hobbyists. Businesses, organizations, and professionals can blog to boost their site’s traffic and get noticed. In fact, blogging regularly is still the single most important thing you can do to increase your site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
People with a WordPress.com Business plan can also use Advanced SEO tools to customize the meta description with a summary that does a better job at captivating readers and potentially increase the post’s search page ranking.
Even if you have a website with mostly static content, add a “Blog” or “News” section that you regularly update so search engines can see that your site is active. All the SEO strategies in the world won’t help if you’re not adding content, so get to writing!
Use keywords on your website:
Make sure your site is well indexed by search engines by using keywords in your site’s tagline, in your website content, and in tags. Keywords are terms that your target audience might use when searching for your site. To figure out what keywords to include on your site, think about what you would search for if you were trying to find that information. If you sell toys and games to play with toddlers, for example, it would be a good idea to use the term “games for toddlers” in your pages and blog posts.
Be careful about using too many keywords, though! If you repeat the same keywords multiple times, your content will read awkwardly — and worse, search engines like Google will consider that “keyword stuffing,” so doing this can actually hurt your site’s ranking.
Use appropriate tags:
Attach appropriate categories and tags to your posts so people can find them in the WordPress.com Reader. But be careful not to use too many tags — less than 15 tags (or categories or both) is a good number. The more tags you use, the less likely your post will be featured in the Reader. Read more on tagging.
Connect to the community and spread the word:
Build your traffic in smart ways. SEO and traffic go hand-in-hand: the more people who visit your site, the higher your site will rank in search results. Luckily, WordPress.com is a community in addition to a website building platform, so we have lots of ways to increase your readership.
Read and comment on other blogs:
Check out Discover to find great blogs and websites on your interests. Then, subscribe to these sites and get to know them a bit. When you read a post that moves you in some way, leave a comment. Read more on comments and creating online conversations.
Link to other blogs:
Blogging is all about engaging with others and interacting in online discussions. When you link to a blog post, the blogger will likely find your blog through their stats or a pingback, and come to see what you had to say. They may even subscribe to your site and leave a comment, as we suggested you do above!
Share on social media:
Use features like Publicize to alert your various social networks to your new content. Set it up to automatically share your new blog posts to Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, so your current customers and fans never miss an update.
If you have a Premium or Business plan, you can also use the Publicize feature to re-share your content an unlimited number of times. You can find more ideas in our Social Tools support pages.
Bug your real life friends:
Encourage friends and family to read your blog: send them reminder emails when you update and talk to them about it when you meet in person. Better still, encourage them to sign up for updates using the Follow Blog Widget. Having a small audience of people you care about is better than having a million visitors and not knowing any of them.
Let people know about your posts:
If you’ve written a post with someone in mind, drop them a short email with a link to it.
Relax, it takes time:
Even if you do all of the above, you won’t develop a huge following overnight. Building a sizable audience of engaged and loyal readers takes time. Many of the bloggers you admire have likely been at it for years. Stick with it, and don’t get discouraged by a slow start.
If you’re interested in learning the ins and outs of blogging, take a free course at Blogging U. Blogging 201: Branding and Growth is a two week course focused on growing your blog and online presence.
Ask a marketer or business owner what they’d like most in the world, and they’ll probably tell you “more customers.” What often comes after customers on a business’ wish list? More traffic to their site. There are many ways you can increase traffic on your website, and in today’s post, we’re going to look at 25 of them, including several ways to boost site traffic for free.
This one is so obvious, we’re going to look at it first. Paid search, social mediaadvertising and display advertising are all excellent ways of attracting visitors, building your brand and getting your site in front of people. Adjust your paid strategies to suit your goals – do you just want more traffic, or are you looking to increase conversions, too? Each paid channel has its pros and cons, so think carefully about your objectives before you reach for your credit card.
If you’re hoping that more traffic to your site will also result in more sales, you’ll need to target high commercial intent keywords as part of your paid search strategies. Yes, competition for these search terms can be fierce (and expensive), but the payoffs can be worth it.
2. Get social:
It’s not enough to produce great content and hope that people find it – you have to be proactive. One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote your content. Twitter is ideal for short, snappy (and tempting) links, whereas Google+ promotion can help your site show up in personalized search results and seems especially effective in B2B niches. If you’re a B2C product company, you might find great traction with image-heavy social sites like Pinterest and Instagram. Here’s more advice on making the most of social media marketing.
3. Mix it up:
There is no magic formula for content marketing success, despite what some would have you believe. For this reason, vary the length and format of your content to make it as appealing as possible to different kinds of readers. Intersperse shorter, news-based blog posts with long-form content as well as video, infographics and data-driven pieces for maximum impact.
4. Write irresistible headlines:
Headlines are one of the most important parts of your content. Without a compelling headline, even the most comprehensive blog post will go unread. Master the art of headline writing. For example, the writers at BuzzFeed and Upworthy often write upward of twenty different headlines before finally settling on the one that will drive the most traffic, so think carefully about your headline before you hit “publish.”
5. Pay attention to on-page seo:
Think SEO is dead? Think again. Optimizing your content for search engines is still a valuable and worthwhile practice. Are you making the most of image alt text? Are you creating internal links to new content? What about meta descriptions? Optimizing for on-page SEO doesn’t have to take ages, and it could help boost your organic traffic.
6. Target long-tail keywords:
Got your high-intent keyword and popular keyword bases covered? Then it’s time to target long-tailkeywords, too. Long-tail keywords account for a majority of web searches, meaning that if you’re not targeting them as part of your paid search or SEO efforts, you’re missing out.
7. Start guest blogging:
Before you say it – no, true guest blogging isn’t dead, despite what you may have heard. Securing a guest post on a reputable site can increase blog traffic to your website and help build your brand into the bargain. Be warned, though – standards for guest blogging have changed radically during the past eighteen months, and spammy tactics could result in stiff penalties. Proceed with caution.
8. Invite others to guest blog on your site:
Guest blogging is a two-way street. In addition to posting content to other blogs, invite people in your niche to blog on your own site. They’re likely to share and link to their guest article, which could bring new readers to your site. Just be sure that you only post high-quality, original content without spammy links, because Google is cracking way down on low-quality guest blogging.
9. Go after referral traffic:
Rather than trying to persuade other sites to link back to you (a tedious and time-intensive process), create content that just begs to be linked to.
When Larry wrote about the kick in the proverbial teeth that eBay took from Google’s Panda update, we managed to secure a link from Ars Technica in the Editor’s Pick section alongside links to The New York Times and National Geographic. Not too shabby – and neither was the resulting spike in referral traffic. Learn what types of links send lots of referral traffic, and how to get them, in this post.
10. Post content to linkedin:
LinkedIn has become much more than a means of finding another job. The world’s largest professional social network is now a valuable publishing platform in its own right, which means you should be posting content to LinkedIn on a regular basis. Doing so can boost traffic to your site, as well as increase your profile within your industry – especially if you have a moderate to large following.
11. Implement schema microdata:
Implementing schema (or another microdata format) won’t necessarily increase traffic to your website on its own, but it will make it easier for search engine bots to find and index your pages. Another benefit of using schema for SEO is that it can result in better rich site snippets, which can improve click-through rates.
12. Link internally:
The strength of your link profile isn’t solely determined by how many sites link back to you – it can also be affected by your internal linking structure. When creating and publishing content, be sure to keep an eye out for opportunities for internal links. This not only helps with SEO, but also results in a better, more useful experience for the user – the cornerstone of increasing traffic to your website.
13. Interview industry thought leaders:
Think interviews are only for the big leaguers? You’d be amazed how many people will be willing to talk to you if you just ask them. Send out emails requesting an interview to thought leaders in your industry, and publish the interviews on your blog. Not only will the name recognition boost your credibility and increase traffic to your website, the interviewee will probably share the content too, further expanding its reach.
14. Don’t neglect email marketing:
So many businesses are focused on attracting new customers through content marketing that they forget about more traditional methods. Email marketing can be a powerful tool, and even a moderately successful email blast can result in a significant uptick in traffic. Just be careful not to bombard people with relentless emails about every single update in your business. Also, don’t overlook the power of word-of-mouth marketing, especially from people who are already enjoying your products or services. A friendly email reminder about a new service or product can help you boost your traffic, too.
15. Make sure your site is responsive:
The days when internet browsing was done exclusively on desktop PCs are long gone. Today, more people than ever before are using mobile devices to access the web, and if you force your visitors to pinch and scroll their way around your site, you’re basically telling them to go elsewhere. Ensure that your website is accessible and comfortably viewable across a range of devices, including smaller smartphones.
16. Make sure your site is fast:
Ever found yourself waiting thirty seconds for a webpage to load? Me neither. If your site takes forever to load, your bounce rate will be sky high. Make sure that your pages are as technically optimized as possible, including image file sizes, page structure and the functionality of third-party plugins. The faster your site loads, the better.
17. Foster a sense of community:
People want to speak their minds and weigh in on subjects they feel passionately about, so building a community into your site is a great way to start a conversation and increase traffic to your website. Implement a robust commenting system through third-party solutions such as Facebook comments or Disqus, or create a dedicated forum where visitors can ask questions. Don’t forget to manage your community to ensure that minimum standards of decorum are met, however.
18. Make yourself heard in comment sections:
You probably visit at least a few sites that are relevant to your business on a regular basis, so why not join the conversation? Commenting doesn’t necessarily provide an immediate boost to referral traffic right away, but making a name for yourself by providing insightful, thought-provoking comments on industry blogs and sites is a great way to get your name out there – which can subsequently result in driving more traffic to your own site. Just remember that, as with guest posting, quality and relevance are key – you should be engaging with other people in your niche, not dropping spam links on unrelated websites.
19. Examine your analytics data:
Google Analytics is an invaluable source of data on just about every conceivable aspect of your site, from your most popular pages to visitor demographics. Keep a close eye on your Analytics data, and use this information to inform your promotional and content strategies. Pay attention to what posts and pages are proving the most popular. Inspect visitor data to see how, where and when your site traffic is coming from.
20. Get active on social media:
It’s not enough to just share content through social channels – you need to actively participate in the community, too. Got a Twitter account? Then join in group discussions with relevant hashtags. Is your audience leaving comments on your Facebook posts? Answer questions and engage with your readers. Nothing turns people off quicker than using social media as a broadcast channel – use social media as it was intended and actually interact with your fans.
21. Submit your content to aggregator sites:
Firstly, a disclaimer – don’t spam Reddit and other similar sites hoping to “hit the jackpot” of referral traffic, because it’s not going to happen. Members of communities like Reddit are extraordinarily savvy to spam disguised as legitimate links, but every now and again, it doesn’t hurt to submit links that these audiences will find genuinely useful. Choose a relevant subreddit, submit your content, then watch the traffic pour in.
22. Incorporate video into your content strategy:
Text-based content is all well and good, but video can be a valuable asset in both attracting new visitors and making your site more engaging. Data shows that information retention is significantly higher for visual material than it is for text, meaning that video marketing is an excellent way to grab – and hold – your audience’s attention, and boost traffic to your website at the same time.
23. Research the competition:
If you haven’t used software like BuzzSumo to check out what your competitors are up to, you’re at a huge disadvantage. These services aggregate the social performance of specific sites and content to provide you with an at-a-glance view of what topics are resonating with readers and, most importantly, making the rounds on social media. Find out what people are reading (and talking about), and emulate that kind of content to bring traffic to your website.
24. Host webinars:
People love to learn, and webinars are an excellent way to impart your wisdom to your eagerly waiting audience. Combined with an effective social promotion campaign, webinars are a great way to increase traffic to your website. Send out an email a week or so ahead of time, as well as a “last chance to register” reminder the day before the webinar. Make sure to archive the presentation for later viewing, and promote your webinars widely through social media. If you’re wondering how to do a webinar, click the link for some tips.
25. Attend conferences:
Whatever industry you’re in, chances are there are at least one or two major conventions and conferences that are relevant to your business. Attending these events is a good idea – speaking at them is even better. Even a halfway decent speaking engagement is an excellent way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and gain significant exposure for your site.
Well, that just about does it for today’s post. If you’ve got your own tips for increasing traffic to your website, I’d love to hear them.
Take control of your site and how it appears in search engines.
Written by: Chris S
Date: June 2, 2016
WordPress.com has always taken care of your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) behind the scenes. Whether you have a free site or paid plan, we index your posts and pages so that the Googles and Bings of the world can easily find them. Many of you, however, have requested more hands-on control over your site’s SEO so we’re thrilled to introduce a new SEO settings panel to your dashboard.
When it comes to attracting viewers via search engines, nothing beats publishing high-quality posts on a regular basis. But there are also a number of technical settings that can have an impact, and our new panel gives you easy access to and control over these settings.
When you’re working on your site in the WordPress.com dashboard access it by going to My Sites in the top left corner of the screen, head to the settings page and you’ll see a new traffic section.
This section contains two items: Site Verification Services, and XML Sitemap. Read on to learn how they can help with your site’s visibility.
Site verification tools:
WordPress.com comes with built-in stats that give you ample information about your traffic. If you’d like even more stats, some search engines and social networks offer additional “webmaster tools” that may complement the data you see here.
We’ve made it easier for you to verify your site with several services for detailed instructions on site verification, read our step-by-step instructions. All you need to do is copy the HTML verification tag from any of the platforms listed below, and paste it into the corresponding field:
Your site has always had an XML sitemap, but now you’re never more than a couple of seconds away from finding it!
Sitemaps are special-format pages that let search engines know what pages exist on your site and where to locate them. After you’ve verified your site using Google, Bing, or Yandex’s webmaster tools, you can submit your sitemap to those services so that search engines can easily find all the pages on your site.
Going through this step may help search engines index your site more quickly, as well as establish your authorship of original content in case your posts get syndicated or shared elsewhere on the web later on. Once you’ve added your sitemap, some of these services (including Google and Bing) will also be able to provide you with more information on your site’s performance.
With access to more SEO settings than ever, you have the ability to take charge of your site’s search engine success. If you’re interested in learning more about SEO on WordPress.com, visit our previous articles on the topic at The Daily Post, or check out some of the most frequently asked SEO questions.