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Google Recently announced that if your site doesn't pass the "mobile friendly test" by April 21st 2015, your site can be taken out of their mobile index. Since the majority of people access the web on mobile, that's kind of a big deal.
"According to a recent Google blog post, the search giant is currently working on a major algorithm change that will revolutionize the way mobile friendliness is determined. Starting on April 21, this new algorithm will be gradually rolled out worldwide, affecting mobile searches in all languages in all corners of the globe." -Jayson DeMers, Entrepreneur Magazine
As we started browsing local websites to see who needed our help in staying compliant with Google we ran across a very high number of local sites that didn't pass the test. Having a mobile compatible site, or a mobile friendly site is not a new thing.
Responsive design has been around for quite some time and, since a majority of searches are now coming from mobile devices, it is definitely not a good thing to have a mobile unfriendly website in 2015.
Our very own City of Richmond website richmondindiana.gov does not pass the test. (Last checked 4/16/2015)
Redesigned so recently, the site should definitely be responsive and mobile compliant, especially for the amount paid and the credentials of the firm that did the redesign.
Why is this a big deal for local businesses?
According to Mitul Gandhi of seoClarity, around 30% of TOTAL traffic comes from mobile, no matter the industry. Locals doing searches for food, services, etc. do so at much higher rates on their mobile while they're out and about, obviously.
"Apps Now Drive Half of All Time Spent on Digital" - In June 2014, comScore released a report found that...
"Mobile platforms – smartphones and tablets – combined to account for 60% of total digital media time spent, up from 50% a year ago." -comScore
New Mobile Friendly Rules
Does your site pass the Mobile Friendly Test?
Go here to test your site: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
Just add your site's URL and click "Analyze."
On April 21st, Google will begin deciding who does and does not end up with their new and separate mobile index based on their parameters for "mobile friendliness" according to the new rules.
Talk to your webmaster ASAP to get the recommended changes done before April 21 if at all possible. Google shows you the recommended fixes after you run the test.
If you don't have a person capable of making the changes, contact Brick Road. We're working around the clock on a first-come first-served basis to help as many as we can to meet the deadline. Some sites are very easy fixes, while a site like RichmondIndiana.gov can be a lot harder to bring into compliance, depending on the platform.
If you cannot get the changes done in time for the deadline, get them made as soon as you can. Getting re-indexed for mobile search will only happen once you've satisfied Google's requirements.
"Will Your Website Survive the Upcoming Google Mobile Penalty?" -Demin Farnworth, CopyBlogger
"April 21 Is Your Last Chance for Mobile Optimization Before 'Mobilegeddon'" -Entrepreneur Magazine
Word Cloud for This Article
There are mountains of statistics that should give any small business owner pause with regard to the importance of the internet. Here's just one piece of evidence:
"Consumers are using a combination of search engines and social media before making a purchasing decision, a new study by GroupM Search and comScore finds.
In fact, 58% of respondents first turned to search engines such as Google and Bing, while 24% visited company sites, and a mere 18% went to social media, according to a study called "The Virtuous Circle: the Role of Search and Social Media in the Purchase Pathway". During the purchase process, 48% of shoppers used a combination of search and social media, the study found." Information Week, Consumers Combine Search, Social Media For Buying Decisions
The old days of search engine optimization are over. SEO used to be easier for small business because you could afford to be more passive in your marketing efforts.
Today, you have to be moving - constantly - to get good search engine rankings and direct traffic from other sites and social networks. This isn't such good news for local business owners, because it means internet marketing cannot be phoned in any longer.
We encourage our clients to take active roles in their social media and content marketing campaigns as much as possible. Even when we're hired to do the heavy lifting. It is simply no longer possible for any site on the web to rank by putting up "brochure sites" and including a few keywords on their pages, getting a few links, and letting the rankings fall where they may.
The upside - and it is huge - is that there is far more opportunity for targeted traffic, lead generation, and increased profits today than ever before.
Social media offers a plethora of opportunities to connect with new customers and keep the old ones coming back.
Search simply relies on the activity generated by social and various link-building techniques to rank sites. All Google wants to see is an active presence on the web. They watch whether or not people are "voting" for your site with links, Likes, Tweets, and +1's. Also reviews on local places listings.
None of that happens without an active campaign of content marketing (blogging new content regularly) and social engagement signals that prove to Google that what you're doing is relevant and well-liked by your target market.
It's simple, really. There are a lot of moving parts and technical stuff to know about, which makes having a firm who knows what they're doing no longer an optional thing. Not for a business that wants to grow.
We'll keep teaching methods for getting attention from local search and social here on the Brick Road blog. If you have the time to follow our lead, it would be well worth the effort.
Everyone is online and the tiny fraction of old school newspaper readers is fading fast. Online marketing simply has to be made a permanent and serious focus for every small business.
There's almost all the potential for local business growth and customer retention lies on the internet today.
Ask us how to get involved in your business' future. The competition is already making its moves.
Buzz is beginning to grow about Google's plans for a rolling, significant overhaul of how we experience search. Below are the latest pieces which covered the release of semantic search details last week. It's worth noting how these changes might affect rankings and traffic from the search giant in the future.
Google is launching a massive semantic search update. This update impacts ~20% of all searches. This is the second large update to the Google algorithm this year. If your site relies on people, places, or reviews to generate traffic it is time to get...
Telegraph.co.ukWith Semantic Search, Google Eyes CompetitorsWall Street JournalThere are few semantic games around Google's search-engine changes: It must defend its turf against traditional search rivals such as Microsoft Corp., new entrants includi ...
Daily MailGoogle semantic search planned to improve resultsSlashGearThe Wall Street Journal reports that Google is set to modify the way the search engine operates in an attempt to maintain its pole position in the market. Google are poised to switch ...
Google Preparing Semantic Search Results - IT Business Net
Google Preparing Semantic Search ResultsIT Business NetBy GrabNetworks The Epson Stylus® Pro 3880 and 4900 Designer Editions were created to specifically meet the unique needs of graphic designers. Print full-bleed from 17" to 44" with ultra-accurate ...
PCR-online.bizGoogle to Penalize Over-SEO'd SitesPC MagazineAccording to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, Google is working on integrating "semantic search" technology into its primary search system. This would give Google the ability to b ...
Mediative recently completed a study watching people interact with search results in Google Places listings. They wanted to know where people look, whether listings with reviews influence people and if/how people use the ...
AllFacebook point out these 3 interesting comparison points yesterday: Google Plus has the +1 button, while Facebook has the like button;; Google Plus has Hangouts, while Facebook has video chat and group chat with ...
Read on to learn how easy it is, along with tips that will save you some time. ... restaurants, places, services. Requires the primary phone number of the local business, so it can be located on Google Places. Product or Brand – Apparel, cars, electronics, Financial Services. Requires the selection of a secondary category. ... Community Manager Job Description, A Definitive Guide · 8 Low Cost Facebook Tab Creator Tools · Social Media is the 3rd Era of the Web ...