Five Big Google Changes You Need To Know About
Nuclear Chowder Online Marketing For Small Business Podcast episode number 009.
In this episode my guest Stephen Gardner and I will discuss the recent and coming changes to the Google search algorithm. These changes will dramatically affect small business websites. In this podcast, we cover the five big Google changes you need to know about.
Stephen, who is the SEO manager for Nuclear Chowder Marketing, recently attended a 3 day intensive training with Google. Here are the five main take-away areas that will impact your small business.
1: The first big change is that Back links are no longer a major ranking factor. A back link is an external link from another website to your site. In the not so old days, it was all about building tons of these back links. Today, this is a recipe for getting yourself penalized and kicked off the Google index.
We have been seeing more and more companies getting dramatically penalized for bulk back linking. Stephen recently worked with a company that had over two thousand low quality links that all had to be disavowed from Google before the penalty could be lifted.
On the podcast, Stephen and I discuss how much and what kind of back linking will still work. And we also discuss what will replace the old method.
2: Google Plus and Google Places changes. The maps listing known now as Places has been incorporated into Google Plus. Plus, is Google’s fast growing social media platform. We now see GPS’s and many other things pulling reviews from Plus. Over the next year, the real estate on the front page of Google will be taken up by the Plus listing as opposed to your main website. Those businesses that don’t have a Plus account and update all the local citation sites will see big problems.
Pictured below is a recent search on restaurants. You can see how this has changed. And if you look deeper, you can see that sites not incorporating Google Plus are at a disadvantage.
3: Content is more important than ever. It has always been the secret recipe for big success. But Google has come right out and said websites that lack ever changing and valuable content will actually be penalized.
4: Social Signals. Google is using what is happening across the Internet on social media platforms to rank you. It is imperative to engage with your clients on social media. And, to have them engage back with you.
Social is also making it much more difficult for businesses to measure how they rank for keywords. One person can now get completely unique results based on your own social media. If you search on your favorite keyword, you may see it completely different than another person sees it. And this is because of social signals. This will be more and more of a factor.
For example, if you search on your competitors a lot to see where they are, Google remembers it. So it serves you results it thinks you want. Now you see your competitor ranked higher than you. But someone else sees it completely different.
5: Mobile Search. People are now searching more on mobile devices than on desktops. Business websites must be responsive to mobile devices. This will grow over the next few months. And business websites that don’t format for mobile devices will be penalized for it.
The Bottom Line
The really important take away is that you need to know Google is ALWAYS changing. Businesses need to stay current on what the rules are and know if their website and online presence overall is following the rules.
We will continue to see significant and continued changes in how Google ranks sites over the next year. Personally, I am always happy to run a businesses website through our tools to see how your doing and give feedback.
Speaking of feedback, leave yours here below in the comments section and let me know how your website is positioned for these changes. What are you doing right now to make sure you’re protected from Google changes?
And for you SEO managers who are reading this (I know you’re out there)… agree or disagree with me? Leave a comment and share your thoughts. Lets all help educate small business owners so these folks who drive our economy can succeed!
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