Monday, 23 March 2015

Google Algorithm April 21 Update Confirms Importance of SOcial, LOcal & MObile (SOLOMO)

Google indicated last year that extra emphasis was going to be given to mobile responsive websites. Furthermore, the early adopters of integrated mobile ready sites with quality local search capabilities are going to be the standout winners with the next Google update slated April 21.

Mobile Responsive Websites Not An Option Anymore:

The latest round of Google updates will continue to focus on the increasingly high reliance on mobile devices for product research during the decision making consumers make for products and services. The natural extension of this process is to create a positive purchasing experience for mobile devices and Google is pushing Digital businesses to lift their game.

As search from mobiles and purchases continues to increase, the updated search engine algorithm will reflect the shift towards mobile friendly websites and online stores, directly responding to consumer centric search.

Users will find it easier to get relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for their devices" Google Webmaster Blog

Google's focus on mobile isn't new - last year the global search giant put the main eCommerce players on notice, stamping their authority yet further as the pivotal force within the Digital economy. This time, the focus on smaller players to update their websites and to adopt Mobile Responsive practices:
  • Flash based sites marked down - not supported on many mobile devices (thanks Adobe!)
  • Sufficiently readable text for mobile devices with need to zoom on screen
  • Resizes and relocates content so user does not have to zoom or scroll horizontally, such as used in Gantry style templates
  • Links that are easy to use on devices, preferably graphic based but more importantly with white space surrounds

Social, Local, Mobile (SOLOMO) now ‘front and center’ of Googles search parameters... we've been monitoring and discussing this movement for the past 18 months… no surprise to us!

While a continued shift to mobile is even more important, the following website best practices are also required to keep up with your competition:

  • Keyword research - Precise keywords and long-tail keywords ever more important
    • don't focus on generalised, industry related keywords - brute force approach penalty
    • spend time crafting keywords through quality research tools, create effective funnels for conversion, don't focus on just 'the sale'
  • Performance of websites:
    • Higher performing sites will be given better rankings by Google
    • Considerations for Page Load speed, bounce rates and time on site
    • Indication for quality user engagement
  • Content above the fold:
    • Focus on immediacy of relevant content open page loading
    • While Bing indexes first 100k - Google does whole pages but also indications of emphasis for first 100k
  • High Quality Content a Priority
    • What web users want AND where it can be found
    • Humanising the web, focus back on the consumer

Have you received a Google notification email recently about Mobile friendly sites? 

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