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06 Jul

I hear that Google has changed its search mechanism, how will that impact on my Google ranking?

I hear that Google has changed its search mechanism, how will that impact on my Google ranking?

Ask Silver Bullet: July 2015

In February 2015 Google announced a new search algorithm that gave “mobile friendliness”’ or how your website works on mobile devices, a far greater weighting in the criteria in its web searches. These algorithms were launched on April 21st 2015 and now a website’s text size, space between links and how the site generally appears on a mobile screen will be one of the key factors in determining your Google ranking. The implications for SEO on older sites will be dramatic - some have even called this “Mobilegeddon!”.

We all strive for that higher Google ranking, as online search engines are now one of the primary ways our potential customers will come across our company. Being in those first few spots makes it increasingly likely that the searcher will select your site and your product/service.

Why have Google done this? There are many search engines that we can use to search the vast array of information at our disposal via the Internet. Google will be striving to be the search engine of choice, not to mention the small matter of building on their $66billion revenue in 2014. They want their users to find relevant information as quickly as possible, so will select the best website they feel will meet the visitors’ needs at the top of their rankings. Now, with the rapid increase in Internet traffic from mobile devices, via phones, tablets and with the growth of wearable technology, even watches in the not too distant future, Google wants to give their visitors the best sites.

If you want your website to get that high ranking it really isn’t a matter of choice now, you have to be mobile responsive. We have seen the growth in responsive websites where a single website effectively “responds” to the device in which the user is operating it on. In the past we have seen organisations build mobile specific sites and push users to access their “apps”. However, it was the rise to prevalence of the tablet (hard to believe the iPad is just 5 years old?) that has caused the development of increasingly responsive sites, as the tablets size suits neither desktop nor mobile sites.

So, if your website is not mobile responsive, then will you just disappear off Google altogether? Well, no. Google searches or the “Google-bots” use over 200 criteria to select websites from across the World Wide Web that Google feel best match search criteria. It is just now that mobile friendliness is one of the heaviest ranked criteria. Google’s handy online developer tool goes give advice on the current responsiveness level of a particular site. It is worth taking a look at your site…

Now then, your website isn’t responsive? As we have said, you don’t really have a choice here, if you want to stay ahead, you have to do something about it. Of course you can invest in a new mobile responsive website, which can be costly, but, investment in your website is extremely important. The second option is to adapt your current website to make it mobile responsive, which is possible with a large amount of websites, but not all.

We would advise any client to review and when it comes down to it, invest in their website as this may very well be the first view a potential customer has of your brand and your organisation - a poorly designed website can often be an instant turn-off for a potential customer.

It is important to remember that even if you get your site mobile responsive you won’t just appear at the top of the Google rankings. Getting to the top of Google isn’t easy, but there are things you can do to help your website move up those rankings.

Firstly, there is the content on your website, is it relevant? Up to date? Does your website text contain the words that people are likely to search for? There are also your website key-words - editable key-words embedded in your site which are a key factor in your online visibility. When Google searches for sites they don’t want to give the user out of date or inactive sites, so it’s a good idea to keep adding content (relevant of course…) to your website and the best way to do this is often through a news or blog section. Much like your news, an active and engaging social media presence will also have a positive impact on your Google ranking.

After reading this are you considering adapting your website? Do you need some help in moving up those Google rankings or have another marketing question we can help with? Talk to us. Email your questions anonymously to us today hello@silverbulletmarketing.co.uk  or Tweet us (not so anonymously) @SilverBulletPR  and use the hash tag #AskSB   

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