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Google’s Algorithm Change and You

So, Google’s updated algorithm is in place.You’ve been warned for the last two months that this was coming. The market has shifted so much in it use of mobile devices that the undisputed leader in search has begun to prioritize quality and accessibility on mobile devices.In other words, sites that do not pass a mobile quality check will be downgraded in mobile search.

From the minute that mobile stats were perceptible on Google Analytics, mobile use has caused a low-level panic among business owners relying on web traffic for new business. Suddenly, there was a whole other portal to program with content. I remember a few years ago telling clients who panicked at 10% mobile traffic that no one, not even a long-range report Cisco published, knew where the ceiling was for mobile use. Now it’s unusual for one of our clients to have less than 40% mobile traffic and many are over 50%. I should state here, you need to know your mobile traffic percentage. It’s a must for decision-making, especially today.

Our SEO program’s reporting keeps our clients informed on mobile traffic patterns because that knowledge is power. Do you know how many mobile visitors you get? Do you know how they behave on the site? Do you track your mobile calls separately? In our SEO program we do all of this so that days like to day, when mobile readiness is in the spotlight, our clients know where they stand.

So, here are a few things you should know about Google’s algorithm change:

Let’s start with USA today and a headline that would probably upset you. Here is the story as it's being presented in the media: Mobilegeddon Could Impact Your Business

And, of course after reading this article, everyone is going to test their web site here: Google Mobile Friendly Test

If you passed congratulations. If you didn’t, don’t panic yet. There are a few things you need to consider as a small business owner.

1) How much of your traffic is mobile? If you are north of 50%, you need to realize right now, your mobile presentation is at least equal in importance to your desktop presentation. Do you need more convincing than this?

2) How much of your organic search is mobile? The algorithm change only affects mobile search. Again, if you are on the high side of 50%, your mobile presentation should be a priority.

3) Is your site responsive? A responsive site will have a mobile template as part of its scaling feature, meaning your desktop site sizes and reformats for mobile presentation. In other words you are covered. Dog Star Media only designs responsive sites so, here is an example: drjackpeterson.com. Go ahead, test it. It passes the Google test.

4) What can cause my responsive site to fail the google test? A common answer here is bot security. (btw: here is what you should know about bots: 2014 Bot Traffic Report ). Depending on how secure your site needs to be, you may be screening out the Google bot, causing you to fail the test. This does not necessarily mean a trip to the search penalty box, however. If you know this about your site and accept the tradeoff, you can choose other strategies that boost your relevance with Google. The impact for small businesses on niche search terms is reclaimable by simply causing a traffic increase. In other words make smart marketing choices.

The people this change will impact are the ones who do nothing. If you have an old site and won’t update it, you will be affected. If your mobile presentation is poor and you won’t change it, you will be affected. If you don’t understand your traffic and user experience, you are vulnerable.

If you want a free evaluation of your situation, please contact us today. There is a lot of talk and nervousness out there and a little knowledge will help you make the right choices.

For a free evaluation of your web site, please just send me a link at donald@dogstarmedia.com

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Dog Star Media is a marketing and media company based in Dallas, Texas. We specialize in social media, search engine optimization, web design, video production and marketing. Contact us and find out how we can help your business.

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