February 10, 2012
Google Changes and What They Mean for Your Business
Google is king when it comes to online search and web marketing, therefore whenever they make any changes to their processes or algorithms everyone sits up and takes notice. Since Google is constantly updating to improve their numerous services, it is difficult to keep up with the latest changes Google has initiated. For those of you who have been too busy to keep up, here are some of the latest changes:
Search Plus Your World
Google’s new search feature, interestingly titled “Search, plus Your World,” enables search results to be tailored to you when you search while signed into your Google account. It does this by pulling information from your account history and preferences, most notably through your Google+ content, your +1s, and circles. Something to consider from a marketing perspective: if you’ve not yet made up your mind regarding the relevance of Google+ as a social network platform, seriously consider using its Google+ business page feature as a marketing tool. Since Search plus Your World skews results in favor of Google+, it’s best to be have representation and a marketing presence on the Google+ platform.
Penalization for Too Many Ads “Above the Fold”
Google lately introduced the “Page Layout Algorithm” that penalizes too many ads “above the fold,” a phrase which describes the portion of the page of a website that is viewable without scrolling down. When you google a search term while looking for specific information, you’re not wanting to click on a link and then have to wade through a bunch of ads to find the content you desire. Aware of the issue, Google has responded with this algorithm that penalizes sites too heavy on ads at the top of the page, in order to provide users with a better search experience. A page that is tagged as too ad-heavy by Google will see the ranking for the overall site (not just the page) as punishment. If you’re a Google user looking for relevant content, this change will make you happy, and if you’re an ad-happy website then watch out!
And Finally (Ominous Music in Background) Panda!
In February 2011, Google created an algorithm that wreaked havoc across the Internet. If you are involved in online marketing or SEO then you’ve probably heard of this algorithm and its deceptively cute title: Panda. If you haven’t heard much of Panda yet, here’s a summary: it was designed to improve search results by boosting higher quality site rankings and decreasing the rankings of lower quality websites, mainly through determining content quality. Many sites with duplicate content, repetitive keywords, or heavy advertising took a hit in their rankings when Panda was released, while sites with original, relevant content saw a boost in their rankings. Basically, Google set out to improve search results by downgrading sites that didn’t add to the user experience.
What does all this mean for your business?
Simply put, if you ignore these changes you’ll get left behind. To have a superior web site that gets to and stays at the top of Google search, you need to stay informed OR get help from a company like ours to do that for you.
Are there any other Google changes you’d like to discuss? Please leave your comments or questions below and we’ll do our best to answer them!