Google’s algorithm is set to update on 21 April 2015. So how can you make sure you’re optimised site is ready for the change? There are steps you can take, which will not only help you website to be seen online, but support you to manage your online reputation better.
The change is focused on ‘mobile-friendly’ content, so if you’re doing things correctly, the new algorithm shouldn’t affect how your website is viewed online. In reality, all it will do is strengthen your page’s Google ranking. However any site that is not optimised for mobile devices may suffer.
What changes are happening?
On 21 April, the new Google algorithm will be gradually rolled out worldwide, revolutionising the way mobile-friendly sites are determined, according to a recent Google webmaster blog post.
Sites which are mobile-friendly will be ‘more likely’ to be approved by Google than those which are not. This does already happen in the current algorithm, and the changes will potentially increase a site’s ranking signal.
Google, after all, was created as a concept of ‘link analysis’ to measure the importance of sites based on a search term. What does this mean? You need Google to see your page for exactly what it is. Therefore show your site off in the best possible light with fresh, relevant content, and make sure it’s updated regularly.
This update is arguably Google’s biggest change in years. As around 80% of Google traffic only uses page one, the change is important to anyone with a website, as your site probably won’t be seen my many unless it’s Google approved.
Nobody is exactly sure how much rankings will change for existing sites, but it would be reasonable to assume that sites which are ‘not’ mobile-friendly will fall significantly.
A search on a non-mobile platform will work as usual; but according to www.comscore.com, around 60% of ‘Googlers’ are now doing so on a ‘mobile’ device. Evidently a lot of traffic will only be hitting the sites compatible with mobile devices, so in the coming months your site may seriously struggle to rank unless it’s optimised in the correct way.
Why good reputation management helps your website to be seen online
This change is happening to all languages worldwide, and as you probably already know, Google is the most popular search engine. According to www.searchengineland.com around 65% of people searching on the internet use Google.
The following key points will help you to be seen by Google, and will help you to manage your reputation online:
- Content – This has always been ‘king’ in the digital world. But for Google, it’s literally the king, queen and her corgis – it’s that important. Sites need positive, relevant content on a regular basis.
- Promotion of digital assets – Optimisation of your website, blog or profile will help things run smoothly with Google. Make sure you’ve got links to relevant websites and your page is easy to read. The key is valuable, relevant content that is promoted well.
- PR – Make it work for you. Key terms throughout your site and linking to relevant news, as well as creating content that is news-relevant, will help your website, blogs and online profiles to climb.
- Social media – Create what’s best for you. Assess which types of profiles are more appropriate for you as individual, or for your company. Sites such as Twitter, WordPress and Facebook often rank on page one when managed effectively. Sites such as Crunchbase and About.me are also worth considering to ensure you’ve got plenty of assets.
- Executive reputation – Promoting key executives’ profiles on company websites, industry forums and news sites will help people to gain an insight into the running of your business. This can only be good when you’re looking to gain new customers and retain the existing ones.
- Guides and e-books – These are great tools to promote you and your business as an authority online. They can be extremely helpful to both individuals and businesses.
How do I make sure I’m doing it correctly?
If you’re unsure whether your site is mobile-friendly, follow these simple steps to ensure you change things before Google does it for you!
- Check that it’s functional on a mobile device – sounds simple enough, but make sure it’s either a responsive site or a separate hosted mobile version.
- Ensure it’s good for ‘Google bots’ – you may think it is common sense, but Google bots like content that is well laid out from left to right.
- Check every page on your site – the home page is one thing, but make sure navigation is simple and easy. You don’t want to confuse the viewer, especially if it’s a Google bot!
- Use the Google Mobile Friendly Test – this will give you any hints and pointers to ensure you’re on the right track.
Google has had this change lined up for a couple of months, deciding not to roll the changes out immediately so that sites had the opportunity to prepare. So, unfortunately, there will be no excuses if you don’t comply with the new regulations now.