As a small business, there’s a strong chance that you will rely heavily on Google when it comes to driving traffic to your website. Whether your clients and customers type in ‘best bakery in Swindon’ or ‘reliable builders in Kent’, the world’s most popular search engine is often one of the main ways that you will get a sale, but only if the Google search algorithm works in your favour. Here’s what to do…
That’s why it’s so important to take into account the new Google search algorithm. Initially introduced with a soft-launch last year, Google‘s ‘RankBrain’ algorithm has allegedly went full-time in June 2016, and the changes it introduces could potentially be devastating for your business.
According to Glenn Gabe at G-Squared Interactive, “the update looks content quality and user engagement-based versus inbound links-based.” Gabe notes that sites that appear to have been negatively affected by the Google RankBrain update has been so as a result of the following:
- “Thin” Content – A Q&A site that Gabe looked at appeared to drop because many of its content pages were ‘thin’, including some with no answers as well as content that wasn’t helpful. It’s recommended that you only let Google index your highest quality content.
- Too Many Ads in Content – While your small business website is likely more geared towards making sales on the website itself and probably won’t have a ridiculous amount of traditional online advertisements, Gabe warns of one site that was around two-thirds ads and one-thirds content, a recipe which led to a significant drop in the site’s Google search algorithm.
- Generic Content – Gabe also says that one site appeared to drop in the rankings due to “generic” content and it appeared that the site had essentially found the information elsewhere and just reworded it. This site also “weaved” ads into this content, confusing Gabe and clearly being an unwelcomed move from Google.
Another important point about the new Google search algorithm is that it also appears to penalise sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. While we have stressed the importance of mobile-friendly websites before, Gabe says that Google search algorithm actually helped to boost a site that had a strong mobile experience, even though its desktop browsing experience wasn’t very good.
Vision Odyssey’s own web developer Gavin, explains that “Google is all about the user’s experience. It’s not in Google’s interest to send you to content that is not relevant or meaningful, and that goes for the UX as well. So when it comes to search on a mobile compared to desktop, your search results could be very different. If a site loads slowly or the text is too small your site will be marked down in the mobile search results.”
Gavin also says that getting good speeds with Google’s PageSpeed Insights or on Pingdom is “crucial to competing with your competitors” and will lead to a “better experience for your potential customers.”
Get in touch with Vision Odyssey today to find out more about our web development and social media marketing services.