Charlie’s Quick Fire Reading List #11: Agile, APIs and hreflang

It’s been a while since my last reading list was rudely hijacked by Zachy boy (the new boys gotta learn though right) but I’m back, back again, Shady’s back…. Never mind. Some useful and timely reads in this list. Anyone been getting those pesky new notifications in Search Console about CSS files? Yep, us too. Not to worry, potential solution below!


Don’t block your CSS and JS files

We noticed a number of our clients receiving a similar message through Google Search Console (formally Webmaster Tools) over the past few weeks. Psssssst, it might look a bit like this:


It basically says you shouldn’t be blocking your CSS and JS files because Google wants to access them, and if you block them it “could” affect your rankings negatively blah blah. Specifically the message says that “the files help Google understand that your website works properly so blocking access to these assets can result in sub-optimal rankings”.

Yoast published this blog post as guidance for webmasters using WordPress on what you need to do to stop blocking the offending files. Go forth and read it, be informed.


Google to shut down autocomplete API on August 10

autocomplete screenshot

Anyone using Google’s autocomplete API independently of Google Search should be aware that the API will be retired on August 10. Any publishers or developers who still want to use the autocomplete service for their site should use an alternative. Google Custom Search Engine allows sites to maintain autocomplete functionality in connection with Search functionality.


An open-source tool for checking rel-alternative-hreflang annotations


WARNING: This is pretty techy stuff, but hreflang is super important for multilingual sites. Like super, super important. So it’s really useful to have a good handle on the stuff. Tom Anthony from creative online marketing agency, Distilled has kindly built these open-source tools for checking rel-alternative-hreflang annotations. What a great guy. If you’re too lazy to click on the article, here are the aforementioned tools:

  • Polly – the hreflang checker library
  • – use this together with Polly to highlight common mistakes


What is agile marketing and why do you need it?

agile marketing
This is what comes up when I search for agile… Well ok then.

The word “agile” has been making its rounds over the past couple of years. The “agile” approach has been tweeted about, talked about, written about, countless times. Unfortunately, it has been boiled down by the masses to something that has been put out “quick and rusty” but this article suggests there is a wider picture that needs to be discussed.

I like this post as it hits the nail right on the head; if you’re able to call it “agile” marketing, is it actually agile marketing? If you’re planning, it’s not really agile, is it?

One thing is for sure, we’ve adopted the 70:20:10 rule ourselves here at Attacat and firmly believe in it working as an “agile” method. Don’t know what I’m talking about when I say 70:20:10? Here’s a quick overview from the article:

Basically (and I am cribbing liberally from Ashley here): 70% of your marketing should be planned ‘marketing as usual’ activity. 20% of your marketing should be programmatic, which is to say machine-driven marketing that automatically responds to various actions of the user. 10% of your marketing should be entirely agile. Reacting to news and events as and when they happen.

That’s you guys caught up with what’s been on my reading list. If anyone has used the hreflang tool please get in touch with us as we’d love to speak to someone with first-hand knowledge! Thanks for tuning in.



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